Loving Awareness: Opening the Heart Through Practice (Residential)

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Loving Awareness: Opening the Heart Through Practice (Residential)

Lama Willa Blythe Baker, Lama Liz Monson
July 29, 2024 - August 4, 2024

Movement Teacher: Kim Albert

This is the registration for the residential attendance option. For the online option, please click here.

Join us at Wonderwell Mountain Refuge for Natural Dharma Fellowship’s core summer retreat, Loving Awareness. In this week-long silent meditation retreat, we will focus on coming home to our deepest sense of being – that which lies beneath all of our self-conceptions and judgments.

When we connect to this deepest sense of being, a greater kind of love becomes possible, including compassion for the more challenging parts of ourselves and others.

This retreat takes us through four ways to know ourselves more deeply: “The Way of Allowing,” “The Way of Metaphor,” “The Way of Recognition,” and “The Way of Love.” We will discover these ways of being through daily sitting meditation, movement, meditation journaling, small group inquiry, and Dharma reflection.

Practicing the four ways helps us to see beyond the thinking mind, to the one who witnesses. We will come to understand that this witness is not a “self” in a conventional sense; it is an innate awareness. It is a vivid receptivity. It is a loving gaze on all of experience, capable of melting a sense of separation into a sense of oneness.

Typical Retreat Schedule

(All times are Eastern time zone)

First Day — Hybrid session begins around 7:00 pm. (see Residential info for check-in times)

Full-Day Schedule — Morning meditation 7:00 am; Breakfast break 8:30-10:00 am; Lunch break 12:00-2:00 pm; Dinner break 5:30-7:00 pm.

Last Day — The closing session typically ends by 12:00 pm.

These times are just for reference. An expanded schedule will be provided in pre-retreat information emailed during the week prior to the event.

Important Covid Information

The NDF Health Committee continues to monitor evolving public health conditions and trends, as we keep the safety of our Sangha at the forefront of our decision-making. At this time, COVID-19 testing is no longer required. Masks are optional and encouraged if you are at higher risk.

Scholarships and Fellowships

Wonderwell Mountain Refuge strives to offer retreats in a manner that is inclusive for persons of all means. If the full retreat cost would create an undue financial burden, we encourage you to apply for a scholarship. Please visit this page on our website learn more about financial aid.

Depending on the type of work that you do, you may be eligible for a Hemera Contemplative Fellowship. Please click on this link for more information.

Please do not apply for financial assistance until after you have registered for the retreat.

Cancellation Policy

Wonderwell charges a $75 cancellation fee for residential (onsite) retreat cancellations more than 4 weeks before the start of a retreat. Any cancellations between 4 weeks to 11 days prior to the program are charged a $150 cancellation fee. For any cancellations 10 or fewer days prior to the start date of the program, no refunds are offered.

However, if you are feeling ill or feel you might have been exposed to the COVID virus, please cancel your attendance at any Wonderwell retreat even at the last minute. In this case, we will provide a full refund of your payment.

If you decide to transfer from residential to online attendance, any cancellation fee will be determined based on the time remaining before the start of the retreat.

Access to Recordings

NDF offers unlimited access to recordings, which are accessed in your user dashboard (more information about user accounts provided in a pre-retreat letter). If you have a user account, please register with the same email you use to log into your dashboard. If not, an account will be created for you using your registration address.

Availability will vary depending on the type of event and the backlog for our precious resource volunteers. Thank you for your patience.

Wonderwell Mountain Refuge Full Calendar

Click here for more about Kim Albert.


Check-in at Wonderwell is between 3:00 and 5:00 pm on the day of arrival. On the last day of the retreat, we ask that people leave Wonderwell by 2:00 pm so staff can finish their work and get home themselves.


If the type of room you require is sold out or no rooms at all are available at Wonderwell, you can email to be placed on a waiting list in case there are cancellations. You also might want to consider the commuter option. A list of nearby accommodations (including some with sangha members and friends) can be found by clicking on the More Details link under the Commuter option.

A limited number of hearing assistance devices are available at Wonderwell. Please indicate in the comment box on the registration form if you would like to reserve one of these devices. Devices reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.

Full access to all recordings and retreat materials through your user account.

  • Private Room w/Queen Bed & Ensuite Bath - $1,353.00
  • Shared Room w/Ensuite Bath - $912.00
  • Women's Dorm - $702.00
  • Shared Room w/Hall Bath - $839.00
  • Private Room w/Twin Bed & Hall Bath - $1,231.00
  • Private Room w/Queen Bed & Hall Bath - $1,231.00
  • Men's Dorm - $702.00
  • Suite/Benefactor - $1,736.00
  • Camping/Self-Contained Vehicle - $523.00
  • As Commuter - $523.00
  • Camping/Tent or Vehicle - $629.00

Register Here

About the Teachers

Lama Willa Blythe Baker

Lama, Founding Teacher, Spiritual Co-Director
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Lama Liz Monson

Lama, Managing Teacher, Spiritual Co-Director
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