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 Retreats

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

The Grand Embrace: a blossoming of the heart

An online meditation retreat with personal exploration through writing.

Sept. 13 10:00 - 4:30 MDT
Susie Harrington and Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
Registration and more info on Retreats Page

We live in a time of great upheaval. It is a time to look more closely. What is really here in this world when we look underneath our longing for orderliness and certainty? What would happen if we could really rest in uncertainty? We’ll read poems that don’t bring answers, poems that lead us deeper into paradox. We’ll meditate in the midst of the not-knowing, sit with our joys, our challenges, the what is here of each moment. We’ll write our own explorations of what if and what else and see what even a small bit of wonder might do … if you’re willing to risk a little, meditation and writing can open doors where before you didn’t even realize a door existed. No previous writing or meditation experience required. For those who have attended before, this will be a new exploration.

Meditation in the Forest

Aug. 24 – 31     SIerra Nevada Foothills, CA
Susie Harrington and Dawn Scott
Info & Registration

This retreat will be held at the Wisdom Retreat Center, on the west side of the Sierras. It is a privately owned 200 acre parcel that adjoins National Forest land. We will be camping and practicing in open shaded forest adjacent to meadows that afford views and generous sky. You will be able to drive close to your campsite to drop off your gear for the week, and then we will park the cars away from our home in the forest.

While it is isolated and simple, solar showers and a complete kitchen with fresh food contribute to making it an inviting and nurturing place to be. Living and practicing outdoors, in conjunction with other protocols, will allow for both in-person sangha and COVID safety.

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