Online – Beginner’s Mind: The Freshest Way to Enter the Experience of Meditation

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Online – Beginner’s Mind: The Freshest Way to Enter the Experience of Meditation

Kathe McKenna, Tracie Palmer
December 8, 2023 - December 10, 2023

This is the online attendance option for the retreat. If you’d like to register for the residential option, please click here.

When you develop a meditation practice, you are being kind to yourself and to all those you love. Actually—to all sentient beings. The sacred silence that a weekend hybrid retreat at Wonderwell Mountain Refuge provides can be the perfect way to begin your journey on the path toward awakening. 

The Sanskrit word for meditation is bhavana, which means training the body-heart-mind to skillfully engage with what is here and now. Meditation is supported by mindfulness, the ability to pay attention. Learning to let go of our incessant reliance on the conceptual, thinking mind is a key part of the path. 

We will also learn how to compassionately come alongside whatever arises in our field of experience, including difficult thoughts and feelings. There will be ample time for instruction and guided meditation practice. In addition, personal dharma conversations will be offered, as well as time for questions.


(All times are Eastern Time Zone)

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

Full Days: Begin with a morning meditation at 7:00 am and usually end by 8:30 pm. Lunch break is typically 12:00 – 2:00 pm; and dinner break is 5:30 – 7:00 pm.

Last Day:  The closing session typically ends around noon followed by lunch for residential  retreatants. Online-only closing sessions may occur after a lunch break.

A more detailed schedule will be provided in the pre-retreat information emailed during the week prior to the event.


The Zoom link will be sent several days before the retreat to all those registered by then. If you register after that date, you’ll receive the link with your confirmation email shortly after submitting your registration. If you don’t see an email from Natural Dharma Registrar or Wonderwell Mountain Refuge, it may have mistakenly gone to your spam folder or to Promotions or Updates in Gmail.

Important: Please put the email address below in your Contact or Safe-Send list to make sure you receive our emails:


It is Natural Dharma Fellowship’s aspiration that no one be turned away from our teachings and retreats because they are unable to pay the full cost. In order make our courses affordable for all who wish to attend, we are offering a three-level fee structure that takes into account people’s differing financial circumstances:

  • Benefactor – for those who can afford it, this fee level helps provide support for those with limited financial resources and assists with the care and maintenance of Wonderwell Mountain Refuge
  • Course fee – for those who can cover the basic cost of an online retreat or course
  • Supported – for those with limited financial resources or recent financial hardship

The pricing options for a particular retreat are based primarily on its length and are intended to give you an idea of what it costs to offer that retreat. The amounts listed are suggestions. You may write in any amount that fits your financial situation. Any amount offered above the Course Fee level will be considered a tax-deductible donation and will be acknowledged as such.


The user account feature of our website provides a secure place where materials from your retreats can be posted and accessed. If you don’t have an account already, you’ll want to set one up as soon as you register.

  • If you haven’t already created an NDF user account, please visit our website to Create an account as soon as possible.
  • User accounts are manually synced after the retreat. Please be aware that this does not happen automatically with registration. It is a separate, manual operation.
  • Resources and Recordings: The retreat resources and recordings will be available in your user account. Recordings must be edited before they are posted. We appreciate your patience!  You will receive an email letting you know they are available in your dashboard.  If you have any questions about resources and recordings, please email [email protected].

Please visit the Technical FAQ page on our website for useful information about user accounts, helpful tutorials, as well as answers to many other questions. You can contact [email protected] with questions about your user account.

Wonderwell Mountain Refuge Full Calendar

Dec. 8-10, 2023. Please see schedule for daily times. You can use this time zone converter to determine the start time at your home.

[email protected]

Please see the paragraph titled Program Cost for an explanation of the fee structure for this retreat.

  • Benefactor: $202
  • Program fee: $144
  • Supported: $86

Participants are invited to offer dana ("generous giving") to the teachers and to Wonderwell Mountain Refuge at the close of the retreat.

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

Register Here

About the Teachers

Kathe McKenna

Dharma Teacher, NDF Board President
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Tracie Palmer

Board of Directors, Dharma Dialogues Interviewer
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