Sitting Circle by the Ocean
Desert Dharma provides Buddhist insight meditation programs and retreats with guiding teacher Susie Harrington, with an emphasis on retreats in nature. Desert Dharma also supports other Buddhist Insight Meditation groups and teachers in Utah, and western Colorado. The programs, classes, retreats, and weekly groups presented here are the result of the collaboration of many people and area meditation groups. If you are new to meditation or experienced, we hope you will find something in the programs, retreats, and resources that will support your journey. We hope to see you along the way!

You will find in the retreat schedule a variety of retreats located in wild and wonderful places throughout the west. Susie's particular passion is to share with participants her love of the dharma as it expresses itself in the natural world. By combining meditation practice with time in nature we can engage, with intention, the inherent silence, aliveness and intimacy of the natural world, and may discover new depths of beauty and truth in ourselves and the world we live in. Please come join us - in the desert, in the mountains or at the ocean.

Insight Meditation is a branch of Vipassana meditation, offered throughout the United States, best known for the large centers on the East (IMS- Insight Meditation Center) and West (Spirit Rock Meditation Center) coasts. Susie Harrington and the other co-teachers on retreats listed here have primarily been trained and are supported through the Insight Meditation lineage.

Sky Mind Retreats (SMR) is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting retreats and programs in the Buddhist Insight Meditation tradition. SMR is a sister organization to Desert Dharma and a primary sponsor of retreats and programs. A primary intention of SMR is to provide support for wilderness meditation retreats. SMR also supports Mindfulness in Education, which provides mindfulness and yoga instruction to Grand County UT students. SMR provides scholarships for most SMR sponsored retreats. One of the missions of SMR is to understand, reduce, and mitigate the inevitable environmental impacts of running retreats.

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Upcoming Events

The ultimate measure of a person is not where one stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where one stands in times of challenge and controversy. Martin Luther King

Buddhist Eco-Chaplaincy


July 2022 – January 2024


This program offers training to be a Buddhist Environmental Chaplain, who support people in developing compassionate and mutually supportive relationships with each other and with the natural world. Via online session and in-person retreats, it provides experience-based activities and contemplative practices that deepen individuals’ own relationships with the natural world, and develop the skills to be spiritual caregivers, helping others (re)connect with nature and face contemporary socio-environmental crises with wisdom and compassion.

More info

Awake in the Wild

Exploring Awareness & Insight in Nature

October 28 – November 3, 2022

Nowhere is the power of contemplative silence and meditation more profound than in the beauty of nature. Following the rich Buddhist tradition of meditating in the forest, this retreat will be spent primarily outside, practicing in the beauty of nature, in the hills and woodlands of Spirit Rock.

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Ecosattvas in the Anthropocene

Dharma Dialogues Series - 2022

December 30th, 2022

Susie Harrington and Lama Willa Blythe Baker

Sponsored by Natural Dharma Fellowship

We live in unprecedented times; human activities have altered the climate and disrupted ecosystems, threatening life on Earth as we know it. How shall we conduct ourselves within a changing climate and world? How do we listen deeply, and find our way from here? How might the dharma and the natural world serve as teachers and guides?

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