Retreats   •  Workshops  •  Hermitage
Deep in the Tusas Mountains west of Taos
One of the most magnificent landscapes in New Mexico


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August 6th, 2015

To our beloved community members,


Vallecitos Mountain Retreat Center is celebrating its first 25 years of success. Founded on the temple of our land, realized through the vision of our people, and sustained through the depth of our spirit, we are looking forward to our next 25 years together!


Founding Teacher Grove Burnett is retiring from the position of Guiding Teacher at Vallecitos. Grove will continue teaching mindfulness trainings and retreats at Vallecitos and at other venues, as well as fundraising for Vallecitos and serving on the Board of Directors. Grove, thank you deeply for your vision and your fortitude in creating Vallecitos and sustaining it through its first 25 years!   


As we enter our next 25 years, we are delighted to announce Erin Treat as our new Guiding Teacher. Scroll down to read Erin’s letter to you. Erin has been serving as Guiding Teacher since April 2015. She’s taught at Vallecitos for four years and serves as Vice-President on our Board of Directors. Erin teaches dharma and meditation retreats at Vallecitos and across the country. She is affiliated with Spirit Rock Meditation Center and the Insight Meditation Society and has served on the BOD of directors and the dharma leader council of the Durango Dharma Center for over 10 years. 


Erin joins Vallecitos with a wealth of experience and skills to continue Vallecitos’ success into the next 25 years. Her appointment is a sign of Vallecitos’ commitment to the future and Erin embodies our ethos of deepening the connection of our inner lives with our outer life of action and service in a place of quietude and beauty.


We are very fortunate that we were able to find someone of Erin’s caliber to lead Vallecitos into its next 25 years of service and success.  Please welcome Erin in her new role as Guiding Teacher of Vallecitos.


We will be scheduling a celebration honoring Grove’s deep dedication and noble efforts to VMRC and greeting Erin in her new role in the near future.



Gregory Hicks, President

The Board of Directors of Vallecitos Mountain Retreat Center





Dear Vallecitos Friends and Yogis,


I am honored and delighted to be stepping in to the role of Guiding Teacher for the Vallecitos Mountain Retreat Center (VMRC). While many of you know me, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and share my vision, direction and passion for our magnificent wilderness learning and retreat center. For those of you I have not yet met, I look forward to meeting you personally soon. 


It’s so easy to be excited about my new role at VMRC. For over two decades, I have had a deep love of the San Juan and Tusas Mountains. My connection with this land inspired me to move to Durango, CO nearly 20 years ago. My new role at Vallecitos brings together my longstanding connection with wild nature and my love of the dharma. The power of wild nature to reflect to us and guide us in remembering our own deepest nature has proved to be true for thousands of retreat participants who have practiced and explored at VMRC for the past 25 years.


A few days ago I returned from teaching two retreats at Vallecitos.  With the recent rains, the land is verdant in what seems like endless shades of green.  The wildflowers are dancing in their full glory with shades of fuschia, purple, orange, and white in more abundance than I have ever seen. One evening during dinner we were greeted by a rainbow that spanned the sky just past the Middle House, appearing to both begin and end on the land that is Vallecitos. In the heart of retreat it was an auspicious presence indeed.


Amidst matriarch ponderosas, sprays of rushing water, and the vast quietude of wilderness, Vallecitos supports the capacity of the human heart to nurture a culture that values, sustains and enables reverence for life. This is the essence of what inspires me in the Guiding Teacher role. The practices of mindfulness, dharma and awakening in nature create a transformation of the heart. This transformation expresses itself as wisdom and compassion that has never been more important to this world. 


As part of my new role, I am focused on growing our relationships with our teachers plus creating a schedule of retreats led by skilled teachers of dharma and various wisdom traditions. While our retreats are vital in our mission to serve our yogis, another key part of my role also will be to work within the VMRC organization. I am implementing a staff dharma program and will be sitting in retreat with the Board of Directors to grow our relationships so they align with the aspirations and values that guide VMRC.


My vision for VMRC is to offer refuge in wild nature to all who come to practice on this land in the spirit of welcoming collaboration and deep inclusion. Along with our dedicated Board of Directors, staff and teachers, I am exploring what will best serve and express our values and aspirations as a community. We are moving toward a future brighter than ever. The sacred land of Vallecitos carries countless stories over Millenia, and we are writing a new story together. There is nowhere else in this world that offers great beauty and peaceful retreat in a wilderness setting as nurturing as VMRC. I am honored to be part of the next generation of service to this place that inspires me and supports our deepest liberation together.


With much metta,


Erin Treat

Guiding Teacher of Vallecitos Mountain Retreat Center


Erin Treat lives in Durango, Colorado and has been teaching vipassana meditation since 2005.  She teaches retreats at Spirit Rock and the Insight Meditation Society and serves on the Dharma Leader Council of the Durango Dharma Center.  Erin’s approach to sharing the dharma and teaching mindfulness is influenced by her experience as a student of the Diamond Approach by A.H. Almaas and by her love of embodiment and wild nature.  Erin enjoys mentoring dharma students from around the country and she maintains a private bodywork and counseling practice when she is in Durango. “Vallecitos is my favorite place in the world to teach! What an incredible setting to support our deepest liberation.” 
We are thrilled about Erin’s expanded leadership role at Vallecitos!

About the Ranch

Go to the woods.
Come into the presence of still waters.
Walk in the silence of ancient forests.
Rest on the banks of the Vallecitos River.
Listen to the land and your heart.

For two decades the Vallecitos Mountain ranch, a wilderness learning and retreat center, has offered unique programs grounded in the power of mindful awareness and a direct engagement with the natural world.

Nationally renowned teachers lead retreats and trainings at Vallecitos in meditation, mindfulness practice, personal growth, professional development, continuing education, and yoga. The ranch is available for private retreats, conferences and special events. The Vallecitos Mountain Refuge is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization.