RETREATS AT DHAMMA DENA

Dhamma Dena offers 360 degree views of the mountains and high desert, unparalleled sunrises and sunsets, and vast black star-studded desert night skies. Its accommodations are charming yet rustic. All retreats are held in noble silence. It is possible to attend most retreats for any period of time, even as short as one day, although longer stays will yield more depth of understanding and mental and physical relaxation. Beginners and seasoned meditators are equally welcome at Dhamma Dena.

Dhamma Dena retreats are not strictly “meditation” retreats, but rather are aimed at cultivating mindfulness both on and off the cushion, throughout all the day's activities, with particular emphasis on sensing the inner body aliveness in the here and now. The purpose of the retreat is to investigate whether the truth of the dharma can be personally realized, not simply intellectually, but experientially in some meaningful way by each of the students. A wide and varied number of mindfulness practices are introduced to guide the students, in a gentle and relaxed manner, to discover for themselves the truth that is unchanging, and which leads to a reduction of self-created suffering, and ultimately to liberation.

A typical day in the tradition of this lineage begins in the meditation hall. Participants greet the day with simple mindful movements to cultivate inner body awareness, then chant the traditional refuge to the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. A period of quiet meditation follows until the breakfast gong is sounded. There are late morning, afternoon, and evening practice periods as well, which may include along with silent meditation: guided meditation to explore the inner body, mindful movement to penetrate the aliveness within our bodies, sacred singing and chanting, walking meditation focused on the precise movements of each body part, meditation in a labyrinth, sacred dance, and mindfulness in Nature, with particular attention to the elemental energies both within and without. Mindfulness and gratitude practices are emphasized in all aspects of the day, including attention to eating and consumption, and to working meditation (mindfully sweeping floors or washing dishes). Dharma talks are offered on a daily basis, and there are frequent dharma discussions throughout the retreat. There are rest periods after all the meals to give students time to attend to their personal needs, nap, or explore the stark beauty of the surrounding desert.


                                            NOBLE SILENCE

Retreats are held in Noble Silence in order to create the space and inner stillness out of which insight can flourish. The vastness of the desert coupled with an inner stillness that is not stirred up by chitchat creates the ground within which the truth of the dharma can be directly experienced. The gift of silence is both a gift to yourself as well as to the sangha.


     Surfing the Waves of Impermanence September 28 - October 2, 2017    


A Creative Path to Life's Changes
 
with Sandy Boucher & Martha Boesing

Life happens. Jobs, relationships, living situations fall away; our bodies morph into unfamiliar forms. People change, and even disappear forever. As the Buddha reminded us, "All things are vanishing and dissolving from moment to moment."

Is this good news or bad? Are we encouraged by the movement of life's unfolding, or are we anxious and wanting to hold on to what was? Most of us shuttle back and forth between these states of mind, often suffering intensely when the changes are not to our liking.

Sandy Boucher and Martha Boesing, longtime Buddhist teachers, writing and theater artists, invite you to explore how we can creatively surf the waves of impermanence and deepen our relationship to Dharma. How can we welcome the changes, work with what we don't like and cultivate what we do?

In a container of sitting and walking meditation, we will invite our imaginations to open us to a wider understanding of reality and help us to become fully responsive to all life's expansion and contraction. Join us to journey together into our creative landscapes through ritual, art, song, dance and writing.

The Surfing the Waves of Impermanence retreat is open to newcomers and experienced practitioners alike. Students are encouraged to attend the full five days, though part-time participation is possible.


Cost: 
$225
includes accommodation and three vegetarian meals per day

The teachings are offered freely. Reduced price work exchange & scholarship opportunities are available. Housing is simple, most in double-occupancy private rooms; meals are delicious and vegetarian.

Dāna (दान) is a Sanskrit and Pali word connoting the virtue of generosity, charity or giving of alms. The teachings, valuable beyond measure, are freely offered. Dana offerings to teachers and staff are gratefully received. 
 

REGISTER HERE for Surfing the Waves of Impermanence

PAY RETREAT DEPOSIT USING PAYPAL

Your Registration is not confirmed until we receive your $100 deposit. 
Use the PayPal button below now, or send a check to: 
Dhamma Dena, PO Box 183, Joshua Tree, CA 92252. 

Upon receipt of the deposit you will be sent a confirmation letter containing all the essential details about the retreat.

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INSTRUCTORS:

Sandy Boucher, M.A. (right, above), has practiced, written about and taught both Vipassana meditation and writing for 35 years. Her books focus particularly on women's contributions to Buddhism and the participation of women in Buddhist institutions. 
Sandy leads retreats including "Dharma and Writing," "A Celebration of the Feminine Divine," and "Meditation and the Spirit of Creativity" in the Pacific Northwest and the San Francisco Bay Area. She has chronicled the contribution of women to American Buddhism through her six Dharma books. Her latest book is She Appears! Encounters with Kwan Yin Goddess of Compassion, a compendium of writings and artwork exploring a Western visioning of the Celestial Bodhisattva of Compassion Kwan Yin.

Martha Boesing, (left, above) in her three decades of Buddhist practice, has taken refuge with Pema Chodron at Gampo Abbey and has received lay ordination at Clouds in Water Zen Center in St. Paul, MN. She teaches with Sandy at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Marin, CA and Great Vow Zen Monastery in northern Oregon. 
Martha has written over forty produced plays, led workshops and directed plays for theaters throughout the country. She was founder and Artistic Director of At the Foot of the Mountain theater in Minneapolis from 1973 to 1984. She has won several national awards including an NEA, a Bush fellowship, and the Kennedy Center's Fund for New American Playwrights. Currently, she is creating theater at the Faithful Fools Street Ministry in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco.   


          
October Work Retreat
 October 14 - 22, 2017 

Work & M
editation retreat in Sangha

Come join us as we bring joy and mindful attention to a variety of repair and renovation projects around our lovely campus in the desert. You will enjoy good company, seasoned with the satisfying results of the work of your hands.

Practicing in this work retreat is very close to daily life practice. There will be time to investigate the body-mind process, to see what all is going on during work, and what is going on in the interactions with each other.
 
Organized work projects will take place morning & afternoon, alternating with meditation sessions in group and discussions of selected Dhamma topics. During the sittings, we will be asked to “drop” all attachments to the tasks we are involved in.

There is no cost to join this retreat. Single- & double-occupancy accommodation with three delicious vegetarian meals per day are offered to participants.

The teachings are offered freely.
 
Dāna (दान) is a Sanskrit and Pali word connoting the virtue of generosity, charity or giving of alms. The teachings, valuable beyond measure, are freely offered. Dana offerings to teachers and staff are gratefully received. 
 

REGISTER HERE for the Dhamma Dena October Work Retreat



Fall Retreat
October 27 - November 5, 2017

A Vipassana retreat for everyone
with Jill Rayna & Jain Hein

Ruth long established the tradition of twice-yearly retreats, one in spring and one in the fall. The Fall retreat is open to women and men, newcomers and experienced practitioners alike.

Jill Rayna now gratefully continues the tradition along with sister senior teacher Jain Hein. Having practiced with Ruth for decades until her death, both Jill and Jain embody her focus on bringing mindfulness to each moment, both on and off the cushion. Guided meditation focusing on the sense doors takes place both within the Zendo and without, cradled by the expansive and changeable Mojave Desert. A variety of movement and sensory awareness exercises enhance focus on mindfulness of the body.

The Fall retreat is noted for its mindful Halloween/Hallowmas/Day of the Dead celebration, as well as for the ongoing tradition of celebrating the birthday of founder, Ruth Denison.

Cost:$45/day
including accommodation and three yummy vegetarian meals

The teachings are offered freely. Housing is simple, most in double-occupancy private rooms; meals are vegetarian.

Work exchange & scholarships available upon request.

Dāna (दान) is a Sanskrit and Pali word connoting the virtue of generosity, charity or giving of alms. The teachings, valuable beyond measure, are freely offered. Dana offerings to teachers and staff are gratefully received.


REGISTER HERE for the 2017 Fall Retreat

PAY RETREAT DEPOSIT USING PAYPAL

Your Registration is not confirmed until we receive your $100 deposit. 
Use the PayPal button below now, or send a check to: 
Dhamma Dena, PO Box 183, Joshua Tree, CA 92252. 

Upon receipt of the deposit you will be sent a confirmation letter containing all the essential details about the retreat.

PAY RETREAT DEPOSIT USING PAYPAL 

Select Amount

INSTRUCTORS:

Jill Rayna began meditating in college, then attended Ruth Denison's first Dhamma Dena Women's Retreat in 1979, where she embraced Ruth as her root teacher. She attended most of Ruth's Spring and Fall Women's Retreats from then on. In 1991, Ruth ceremoniously initiated Jill as a Vipassana teacher in her lineage. Jill established DharmaCreek Sangha on her coastal canyon in Sonoma County, where she did Mindfulness in Nature weekend retreats for many years until taking on organizational responsibilities at Dhamma Dena, where she presently serves as President of the Board of Directors and Retreat Coordinator.


Jain Hein met Ruth Denison in the '80s and immediately understood that Ruth could light the path to Liberation from suffering. Jain proceeded to attend over 140 of Ruth's retreats throughout the U.S., where she acted as Ruth's assistant and trusted supported for many years. More than any other of Ruth's spiritual progeny, Jain absorbed Ruth's ability to guide students thoroughly and deeply, to experience the inner life of the body. Practicing diligently, Jain has realized the fruit of the practice and at age 86 is a wise and skillful teacher with students of her own. 



Holiday Meditation Retreat
December 22, 2018 - January 1, 2018

with Frank Leder, Nick Herzmark & Sakti Rose


We are pleased to once again offer our Holiday Retreat in the tradition of our founder, Ruth Denison. It is a special time for old and new sangha to gather, to practice and celebrate the holiday season together.

The retreat will be co-taught by three of Ruth's senior teachers and students. All sessions will be conducted according to the unique methodology refined and perfected by Ruth herself, one that emphasizes attention to the inner life of the body and its ever-changing sensations. This method of practice offers students an effective way to stay connected to the experiential truth within each present moment.


In accordance with Dhamma Dena tradition, this retreat is a “drop-in” retreat, which means you can come for as long as you like, whenever you like, although attending the full retreat is highly recommended.


This course is open to both new students and those experienced in meditation. The retreat will hold Noble Silence, which is a gift to yourself and others, allowing you to connect with your inner nature and supporting an atmosphere of deep practice.


Cost:$45/day
including accommodation and three vegetarian meals

The teachings are offered freely. Housing is simple, most in double-occupancy private rooms; meals are delicious and vegetarian.

Work exchange & scholarships available upon request.

Dāna (दान) is a Sanskrit and Pali word connoting the virtue of generosity, charity or giving of alms. The teachings, valuable beyond measure, are freely offered. Dana offerings to teachers and staff are gratefully received.

 
REGISTER HERE for the Holiday Meditation Retreat

PAY RETREAT DEPOSIT USING PAYPAL

Your Registration is not confirmed until we receive your $100 deposit. 
Use the PayPal button below now, or send a check to: 
Dhamma Dena, PO Box 183, Joshua Tree, CA 92252. 

Upon receipt of the deposit you will be sent a confirmation letter containing all the essential details about the retreat.

PAY RETREAT DEPOSIT USING PAYPAL 
               
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INSTRUCTORS:

All the instructors are long-time students of Ruth Denison. 

Frank B. Leder, Frankfurt, Germany: Massage therapist and instructor, Natural Health Educator, Founder of the TouchLife Massage method in which mindfulness to the body/conscious touch plays an important role. Frank met Ruth Denison as a young man at age 19 and became her student. He has been teaching mindfulness meditation since 1993 and is  the author of  two non-fiction books: 'Glücksgriffe - Balance für Körper und Geist mit der TouchLife Massage' and 'Achtsamkeitsmeditation und Wege zur Einsicht'. www.touchlife.de

Nick Herzmark, MFT Nick was a close student and friend of Ruth Denison from 1977 until her death. He helped build Dhamma Dena. He traveled extensively with Ruth all over the world. In 1987, Ruth sent him to Sayadaw U. Pandita where he practiced until Ruth joined him to travel in SE. Asia and China, studying and practicing together. As a licensed psychotherapist since 1994, he blends mindfulness with western methods. He is currently a student of Ven. Tsoknyi Rinpoche. www.nickherzmark.org

Sakti Rose, M.A. , S.E.P. Sakti has studied and taught meditation under the guidance of Ruth Denison since 1995. As a senior Somatic Experiencing practitioner and teacher, Sakti helps individuals suffering from symptoms of stress and trauma. She has taught these skills joining healing and meditation at Spirit Rock since 2008. She is faculty of Karuna Training and has practiced Tibetan Buddhism since 1974 with many great masters in US and Asia. www.saktirose.org 

PAY RETREAT DEPOSIT USING PAYPAL

Your Registration is not confirmed until we receive your $100 deposit. 
Use the PayPal button below now, or send a check to: 
Dhamma Dena, PO Box 183, Joshua Tree, CA 92252. 

Upon receipt of the deposit you will be sent a confirmation letter containing all the essential details about the retreat.

PAY RETREAT DEPOSIT USING PAYPAL 

Select Amount

ABOUT THE COSTS

The teachings are freely given. Retreat participants are provided with rustic but comfortable lodging and three vegetarian meals a day, which is barely covered by the suggested donation of $45/day. No one is turned away if they cannot afford the retreat. Full scholarships are offered to those volunteering to prepare one of the three daily meals, and a partial work exchange is available to those who would be willing to come early, stay a day or two afterward to clean up, or to take on more work responsibilities during the retreat beyond ordinary service.

It is customary to offer “dana” or generosity to the teachers in appreciation for receiving the priceless gift of the Dhamma.

PAY RETREAT DEPOSIT USING PAYPAL

Your Registration is not confirmed until we receive your $100 deposit. 
Use the PayPal button below now, or send a check to: 
Dhamma Dena, PO Box 183, Joshua Tree, CA 92252. 

Upon receipt of the deposit you will be sent a confirmation letter containing all the essential details about the retreat.

PAY RETREAT DEPOSIT USING PAYPAL 
               
Select Amount