Visiting Teachers

Skilled and Compassionate Guidance Vallecitos Mountain Retreat Center guided meditation retreats are led by the most skilled and capable teachers...

Erin Treat

Erin’s love for wild nature, her passionate commitment to serving collective liberation, and decades of working as a somatic bodyworker are all palpable in the way Erin shares the Dharma. Erin is Guiding Teacher at both Vallecitos and the Durango Dharma Center. Erin serves on the Spirit Rock Teachers Council and as core faculty of the sixth Community Dharma Leaders (CDL) Program.  She has also completed Thanissara and Kitissaro’s Dhammapala Training to bring forth an embodied bodhisattva ideal within the lineage of Theravada Buddhism.

Erin was born and raised in the prairie of Fargo, North Dakota to a family of Irish, British, French, German, and Scandanavian heritage. After attending college in New York, she moved to Santa Fe to attend massage school. She felt an unexpected sense of homecoming – an immediate connection to the cultures of the southwest as well as the magic of the red rocks, high desert, and alpine landscape of the Four Corners area. She’s lived in Durango for 25 years.

Erin is committed to fostering communities of belonging. In both her teaching and Dharma leadership, she works to decenter whiteness and heteronormative culture. In her hometown of Durango, she teaches classes that help practitioners understand and deconstruct whiteness in their own minds and acts as a resource for other dharma teachers engaging these issues. In 2018, she was part of a team that developed the groundbreaking “Race and Dharma” course for the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies.

Erin is also committed to practicing and sharing the depth of the dharma, including teachings on emptiness and not-self, and loves mentoring students over time as their practices deepen and mature. Erin is happiest dancing, hiking, cooking, and being in the mountains and rivers she calls home.

Events with Erin Treat

Deepening the Natural Path to the Heart's Liberation: A Vipassana Retreat for Experienced Practitioners
June 26 - July 3, 2022

Join us in practicing the timeless teachings of the Buddha as a pathway to inner peace, freedom, and the compassionate heart.  This retreat is designed to offer support for experienced practitioners in insight meditation, known as Vipassana in the Buddhist tradition, which has been a foundation of Buddhist teachings for 2,500 years. Inspired by the early Buddhist tradition, we will utilize the natural surroundings to support our inner exploration. There will be a focus on cultivating an embodied presence and mindful awareness that embraces our experience with acceptance and wisdom. We will offer meditation instructions for Vipassana and lovingkindness practices, including walking and hiking meditation. Additionally, there will be individual practice discussions…

Belonging, Connection, and Nature: Coming Home Together (Registration page for white-identified persons)
July 12 - 17, 2022

This retreat emerged from the relationship between its teachers as a result of many years of being together in dharma practice, teaching, and spiritual friendship. And this retreat invites the participants into relationship — with themselves, each other, the land, and all beings everywhere without exception. Awakening from the delusion of separation through practice and inquiry we will explore belonging, connection and nature to reveal what supports us in coming home to our hearts, coming home to interdependence. Grounded in foundational Dharma teachings, we will offer traditional sitting and walking instruction as well as daily opportunities to practice in wild nature together.…

Belonging, Connection, and Nature: Coming Home Together (Registration page for BIPOC-identified persons including BIPOC-identified mixed race persons)
July 12 - 17, 2022

This retreat emerged from the relationship between its teachers as a result of many years of being together in dharma practice, teaching, and spiritual friendship. And this retreat invites the participants into relationship — with themselves, each other, the land, and all beings everywhere without exception. Awakening from the delusion of separation through practice and inquiry we will explore belonging, connection and nature to reveal what supports us in coming home to our hearts, coming home to interdependence. Grounded in foundational Dharma teachings, we will offer traditional sitting and walking instruction as well as daily opportunities to practice in wild nature together.…

Mindfulness in Education Retreat
July 26 - 31, 2022

Mindfulness meditation offers powerful antidotes to school-related stressors and is a support for compassionate engagement inside and outside the classroom.  Retreat practice can cultivate practices of presence in body, heart, and mind in a way of responding to oneself and also to the larger suffering of our communities and our world. Please join us for this very special silent mindfulness meditation retreat for educators. Each day will include instructions for sitting and walking meditation as well as talks by the teachers. There will be time for discussion, questions and answers, and meetings with the teachers. In a spectacular wild environment, we…

Sacred Sound, Insight, and Silence: Meditation and Music in the Deep Woods
August 15 - 19, 2022

The retreat will combine two ancient spiritual practices–meditation and music–as a path to opening one’s heart and uncovering one’s true nature. There will be guided instruction in the fundamentals of mindfulness meditation and dharma practice, including periods of sitting and walking meditation in silence. Woven throughout the meditation practice, participants will engage in a wide range of musical experiences, from traditional and contemporary traditions, including sessions of chant, song, and deep listening. The meditation practice and musical experience are all designed to create equanimity, joy, and healing, and both will be offered in a safe, lighthearted, and sacred environment. Each…