A Study Retreat with Ven Dhammadinna

The Mountain Hermitage

Listening, Contemplation, and  Meditation:
A Study Retreat on The Art and Practice of Loving

Teacher: Venerable Dhammadinna

November 13-20, 2015  at the Columbine Inn in Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico




This retreat will combine the practice and study of metta, or loving friendliness meditation. The Buddha taught metta meditation to quell fear and anger, to promote harmonious relationships, and to purify the mind in concentration. The benefits of this practice touch every aspect of our lives.

We will draw from a handful of sources for our study, including suttas from the Pali canon and teachings from the Tibetan tradition on bodhichitta, the awakened heart. We’ll also give attention to Western neuropsychology. Each of these contribute a distinctive strand of meaning to the fabric of this practice.

This retreat will teach various techniques for cultivating loving kindness in sitting, walking and guided meditation. Students can relax and sit comfortably in chairs or on cushions; no special postureis required. There will be meditation instruction in the mornings, and lecture/discussion in the afternoons and evenings. A period of very gentle body awareness exercises performed lying down will be offered as an enhancement for the sitting and walking. This retreat is suitable for practitioners at all levels of experience, including those new to meditation and to the retreat experience.


We invite invite anyone with a sincere interest in the Buddha Dhamma to join us for this retreat.  You will need to complete an application for the retreat, and it will be reviewed by the teacher.

Please be sure to fill out the application sections asking for any  meditation and retreat experience, as this information will be helpful to the teacher.  Where applicable, include details of the retreats,  including teachers’ names, dates, location and length of the retreat.

The retreat will be limited to 20 practitioners, so early application  is suggested.  It is asked that retreatants commit themselves fully to their stay. All business and family obligations should be taken care of  prior to arrival so that practice and study can be uninterrupted.


Vennerable Dhammadinna began her study and practice of meditation at IMS in Barre  in 1980 while studying biology at the University of Massachusetts. Upon  receiving her degree in 1983 she took robes with the great ascetic  Burmese meditation master Ven. Taungpulu Sayadaw at his forest monastery  near Santa Cruz, California. In 1984 she returned to IMS for a retreat with Ven. U Pandita Sayadaw and stayed for an extended period of  practice, culminating in a three-month retreat with the Indian  meditation master Dipa Ma. Soon thereafter Ven. Dhammadinna joined Ven.  Taungpulu Sayadaw in Burma and for the next few years lived a traditional monastic life, practicing meditation and joining the daily almsrounds in the villages.After Sayadaw’s death she  was invited to join the community of Ajahn Buddhadasa in South Thailand  and help teach the monthly retreats. Ajahn Buddhadasa’s progressive  outlook on Dharma, his creativity, and his openness toward women as  practitioners and teachers made this period of study, practice, and  teaching especially meaningful.  In 2000 Ven.  Dhammadinna met His Holiness the Dalai Lama and he accepted her as a  personal student. This began an exciting time experiencing the  cross-fertilizing power of the Theravada and Mahayana traditions. In  2006 she was invited to Seattle where she co-founded Bodhiheart Sangha with Tenzin Jesse.  Ven. Dhammadinna is deeply committed to the practices of samatha and vipassana meditation shared by both the Theravada and Mahayana.


Besides the teacher, the staff of this one-week Hermitage retreat will consist of a resident retreat manager (the point of  contact in case of any difficulties) and a retreat cook. There will be  three nutritious vegetarian meals per day.


SnoS 2105 1The Columbine Inn, in Taos Ski Valley, is a comfortable timber- frame lodge situated among tall pines at 9000 feet elevation in northern New Mexico’s beautiful Sangre de Cristo Mts .  The Mountain Hermitage will have exclusive use of the Columbine Inn during the period of this one-month retreat, enabling us to provide the privacy, quiet, and sense of harmony  most conducive SnoS 2105 2to intensive practice.

There is a lovely meditation hall,  indoor and outdoor walking areas,  and full dining room.  All of the rooms at the Columbine Inn include a private toilet and shower. Many of the rooms are spacious enough to allow for sitting and walking meditation for those wishing to practice in a more secluded setting.

Meditation hall 3Information about transportation and what to bring will be sent to those accepted into the retreat in time for making travel arrangements and packing.


Fees are on a sliding scale to allow you to pay according to your  means. Our actual cost for the week-long retreat per person is $698. A

portion of our scholarship funds is being allocated for this retreat to  allow us to continue to offer the low range on the sliding  scale. Please pay as much as you are able, in order to allow others to attend who  need to pay less. Any amount above $698 will be gratefully received and  treated as a tax-deductible donation.

$498 (low)    $698 (actual cost)    $898 (benefactor)

If you need more scholarship support, additional funds may be available. Please fill out a  scholarship application form and send it with your application form, specifying how much you feel you are able to pay.

There will be a mix of single and double rooms.  Anyone paying below actual cost may be sharing a room.  Single rooms will go to the first 10 registrants paying at actual cost or above.

The Mountain Hermitage will gratefully receive donations to our scholarship fund to enable those in financial need to attend this retreat. Donations are  tax-deductible and should be marked ‘Scholarship Fund’.


The retreat fees only cover basic expenses and operating costs. The  teacher offers the Buddha Dhamma without any set fee, and totally  depends on DANA – on the generosity of their students and benefactors –  for the support of her daily life needs.

DANA, an ancient Pali word meaning generosity, giving, or gift, is  central to the 2,600-year-old tradition of Buddhism. The teachings of  the Buddha have been offered freely since the time of the Buddha. There  was and is no way to put a price on the teachings of the truth – they  are valuable beyond any fee one could set.

At the end of the retreat, envelopes will be provided for you to  offer Dana to the teacher. Giving to the teacher from the heart,  whatever feels appropriate, is the practice of Dana. You may also wish  to offer dana to the staff or to the Hermitage itself to support operating expenses or future scholarships.

Another way to support the Hermitage is to donate all or part of the cost of a meal during the retreat.


Your fees for the Study Retreat  will be used to pay for: rental of the Columbine Inn and attached  expenses; other general retreat expenses; a retreat cook; a small stipend for the retreat manager; a small parsonage stipend to the teacher to  help cover ongoing home expenses for the duration of the retreat;  teacher transportation.


Please send your deposit with your application. The deposit is: $275.

Columbine stairwellThe deposit will not be banked until your registration is confirmed  and will be applied to the total fee for those accepted to attend. The  deposit will be returned in full to those not accepted, or to those who  are on a waiting list at the time that the retreat begins.


The full deposit must accompany your application, even if you are  requesting scholarship funds. No monies will be banked until you are  accepted on the retreat.

The balance of the retreat fee is due when you arrive for the  retreat, or you can mail the balance to us in advance. If possible, we  appreciate you paying the full fee (deposit plus balance) at the time of  application or on acceptance, as this improves our efficiency. However  this is not necessary.

Please pay by check or money order in US funds, drawn on a US bank.  We cannot accept foreign cash or bank drafts, but we can accept  international money orders in US dollars.

Checks/money orders should be made payable to THE MOUNTAIN HERMITAGE.


Cancellation fees apply to all confirmed registrations.

Cancellations received on or before August 31, 2015:  your deposit will be returned minus a $50 cancellation fee.

Cancellations received between August 31 and September 22, 2015:  your deposit will be returned minus a $125 cancellation fee.Surya in kitchen2

Cancellations received between September 22 and October 22, 2015:  your deposit will be returned minus a $225 cancellation fee.

Cancellations received on or after October 22, 2015, including  non- attendance at the retreat: your deposit cannot be refunded. If you  have already paid the balance, then that balance will be refunded minus  the $275 cancellation fee/deposit. CANCELLATION FEES WILL BE APPLIED TO  THE MOUNTAIN HERMITAGE SCHOLARSHIP FUND (after the cost of the retreat  is covered).

In the event of specific, unusual emergency circumstances, the cancellation policy can be discussed with The Mountain Hermitage Office Manager after the retreat is concluded.

If you attend the retreat but for some reason decide on your own to  leave early, the deposit and balance you have paid cannot be refunded to  you.


Anyone interested in attending the retreat must have read this document. Then, complete the  Application Form and Waiver of Liability, attach your deposit, and mail  to: The Mountain Hermitage, PO Box 807, Ranchos de Taos, NM 87557.

Applications and deposits are requested as soon as possible. Late  applications will be considered on a space available basis. Applications  will be accepted only by mail, not by phone, fax, or e-mail, because  they must be accompanied by the appropriate deposit. Incomplete  registrations, including those without sufficient deposit, will be  returned for completion.

Each application will be carefully reviewed. In some cases, a  personal or phone interview will be conducted with the teacher  prior to determination of suitability for this type of practice. All  applications are processed by date received. We will respond within four  weeks from receipt of your application.  If your application is not accepted for this retreat, your deposit will be returned.

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Places are limited to 20 practitioners, so early application is  advised. Once the retreat is full, you will be notified and placed on a  wait list, and we will contact you if a place opens up. If it does not,  then your deposit will be returned.

If you are placed on the wait list and you then cancel your  registration before a space has become available, your deposit will be  returned.

If you are placed on a wait list and are unable to attend the retreat, please let us know immediately. As long as your name remains on a list, we assume you wish to attend. If a space becomes available, we will automatically confirm your registration. Once you are confirmed for a retreat, you are liable for applicable cancellation fees if you subsequently cancel.

Printable Documents and Forms…