We have settled on a retreat venue in the California Mojave desert, in the north of unincorporated Joshua Tree, a sparsely populated area. Dhamma Dena Meditation Center was founded over 40 years ago by Ruth Denison, who studied with Theravada Buddhist masters including Mahasi Sayadaw and also trained in Zen monasteries. Like her contemporary S.N. Goenka, Ruth received transmission and was empowered to teach by the Burmese lay master Sayagyi U Ba Khin.
This retreat is officially sponsored by Inner Way L.A.
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GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE RETREAT
This is an intensive course. The requested period of practice will be 11 - 13 hours daily. Students new to Mahasi-style vipassana practice are welcome. The teacher will conduct interviews by Skype with new students as part of the registration process.
Every participant will have a private room in a house, or a private travel trailer if you prefer to be more solitary. Note that in the high desert, night temps drop to below freezing and the trailers are more difficult to heat. Dhamma Dena does not segregate the houses by gender.
The half dozen bathrooms are shared and unassigned; you can use what’s available, according to your preference. There are also four outhouses and a rustic bath house for those who like to shower under the skylights.
There is a group meditation hall known as the Zendo where the community sits in silence daily at 7:30 - 8:15 a.m. and 7:30 - 8:15 p.m. Our group will be welcome to sit in the Zendo, in our rooms or out of doors, weather permitting. There are desert paths and open space suited to walking meditation, including a labyrinth, plus a covered concrete apron all around the Zendo.
There are vast open/undeveloped areas to hike or walk adjacent to the centre property.
There will be three simple vegetarian meals catered daily, including a warm breakfast, full lunch and a light supper. If you follow a special diet, you are welcome to bring meat or other needed items to store/eat in individual house kitchens. Vegan and gluten-free options are available at all meals. Outside mealtimes, there will be a selection of fruit, bread, crackers, jams, nut butters and coffee and teas for those who need more fuel.
THE COOKS Jaime and Erin come from complementary backgrounds in vegetarian cuisine, farm-to-table systems, urban bakeries, and herbal medicine, with additional experience in Sicilian cuisine and Ayurveda.
You will be requested to sign up for a daily housekeeping task of 30 – 45 minutes per day to help with the smooth running of the retreat. Tasks will generally be performed in silence.
This retreat center requests all participants use fragrance-free products for bathing and laundering their clothes.
Please click here for an informational booklet from the Dhamma Dena Meditation Center regarding their general policies and culture, which includes detailed information on the scent-free policy and how to prepare for retreat. Recommended reading.
For more information about the center, please see the Dhamma Dena website: https://www.dhammadena.org/about/vipassana-retreat-center-joshua-tree
ABOUT THE TEACHER
Daniel has been meditating over half a century and has studied one-on-one with many of the most respected Eastern and Western Buddhist teachers, including Taungpulu Sayadaw, S.N. Goenka, Anagarika Munindra, Ruth Denison and Joseph Goldstein. A hospice RN, Daniel balances head and heart in his presentation of the Buddha’s teachings. He provides students with guidance in the insight meditation traditions of Mahasi Sayadaw, Taungpula Sayadaw and S.N. Goenka, as well as in samatha practices. He is the author of a forthcoming book on the Mahasi method and the Progress Insight.
If you have further questions, please contact Marie at firstname.lastname@example.org / 562.280.4469
We look forward to seeing you there!