Online – Living with Dying: Practices and Practicalities for Facing Our Final Exit

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Online – Living with Dying: Practices and Practicalities for Facing Our Final Exit

Lama Willa Blythe Baker, Lama Liz Monson, Cheryl A. Giles, PsyD, Chris Berlin
November 9, 2023 - November 13, 2023

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

Death is a topic that we often shy away from, and its realities are hidden in our cultural context. Yet the Buddha taught that contemplating death is a practice of liberation – one that vastly enhances the quality of our life.

By looking directly at death, we access our appreciation and joy for this human life and its transformative potential. Join Lama Liz Monson, Lama Willa Blythe Baker, Dr. Cheryl Giles, PsyD and Chris Berlin, MDiv for a unique retreat in which we delve deeply into the liberating practices of death and dying, drawing on the profound resources of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

Among topics explored include contemplative practices  for facing our own death and preparing for the bardo (the in-between state between death and rebirth),  spiritual care for the dying, Buddhist rites of passage for helping others at the time of death, and practical preparation for dying in our time and place.

What to bring

  • A photograph (framed if possible) of someone you love whose death transformed you. We will set these up on a communal “benefactor shrine”.
  • A container to use as a ‘death basket’: a basket, sturdy cloth bag, or wooden box). It should be large enough to hold approximately one gallon jug of milk.
  • A few compact items that you would like to have nearby if you were to unexpectedly find yourself in the Intensive Care Unit of a hospital for an extended stay (a statue, framed photos, a rosary for example). These are “starter items” for the death basket.
  • A notebook for writing


(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 around noon followed by lunch for residential retreatants. Online-only closing sessions may occur after a lunch break.

These times are just for reference. An expanded schedule will be provided in 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 these this email address 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

Nov. 9-13, 2023. 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: $468
  • Program fee: $332
  • Supported: $200

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

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

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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Cheryl A. Giles, PsyD

Visiting Teacher, Contemplative Care Instructor
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Chris Berlin

Meditation Teacher
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