Discover a Deeper Way of Living Vallecitos Mountain Retreat Center offers a retreat for almost everyone. Our schedule carries a...
  • Casita Supporting Rate – $1,110.00
  • Casita Actual Rate – $870.00
  • Casita Base Rate – $780.00
  • Yurt Supporting Rate – $1,110.00
  • Yurt Actual Rate – $870.00
  • Yurt Base Rate – $780.00
  • Tent Cabin Supporting Rate – $840.00
  • Tent Cabin Actual Rate – $720.00
  • Tent Cabin Base Rate – $630.00
  • Hermitage – $1,650.00

Date & Time Details: Check-in is from 3:00-5:00 on the first day of the retreat. The retreat will close mid-morning on the last day of the retreat. (Learn more)

PRICE: We offer a sliding scale structure. Scholarships are available, see below. Prices for this retreat range from $630-$1,650 (not including teacher dana and add-on items). (Learn more)

DANA: This is a dana-based retreat. (Learn more)

SHUTTLE SERVICE: Shuttle Service is available for this retreat. (Learn more)

NOBLE SILENCE: This retreat will be held in noble silence. (Learn more)

SCHOLARSHIP: Scholarships are available on a limited basis for Hemera, BIPOC, and Needs Based. (Learn more)

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Natural Awareness and Wisdom: Exploring Mindfulness in Nature

With Dave Smith and Cheryl Slean

July 18 - 24, 2024

During this retreat we will explore the Four Foundations of Mindfulness with an emphasis on developing continuity of wise awareness as taught by Burmese master Sayadaw U Tejaniya. Instructions will emphasize the Buddha’s teachings on view, attitude and qualities of mind that support a relaxed and alert awareness throughout all activities. Through the development of a sustained and kind awareness we come to meet ourselves and the world with presence, ease and wisdom, naturally establishing the clear seeing and collectedness of mind that are the hallmark of liberating insight.

The retreat will be conducted in noble silence and will follow an open schedule that includes guided practice sessions, dharma talks and teacher meetings. Retreatants will enjoy the opportunity to follow their own rhythm of practice, supported by the flow of nature, and learning to trust their own natural capacity for awareness and wisdom in every moment, whether in retreat or in daily life.

This retreat is suitable for both beginning and experienced meditators.


COVID Safety Measures: Please review our current COVID Safety Measures, which are subject to change.


Dave Smith
Dave Smith is an internationally recognized Buddhist meditation teacher, addiction treatment specialist, and published author. His background is rooted in the Insight Meditation tradition and he was empowered to teach through the Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society. He has extensive experience bringing meditative interventions into jails, prisons, youth detention centers and addiction treatment facilities. Dave teaches residential meditation retreats and classes, provides trainings and consulting in both secular and Buddhist contexts, and works with students through his meditation mentoring program. He recently founded the Secular Dharma Foundation and lives in Paonia, Colorado.
Learn more about Dave Smith
Cheryl Slean
Cheryl Slean has been practicing Insight meditation intensively since 1995 and has taught classes and retreats worldwide for 15 years in both spiritual and secular settings. Cheryl is also a writer, filmmaker and climate advocate, and is manager of Sustainability and Storytelling at Netflix.
Learn more about Cheryl Slean