40-Day meditation retreat with Beth Upton

Dhamma Dena Retreat Center, Joshua Tree, California, USA

April 11 – May 22 2023

Registration is now open

Retreatants can attend for 40 days, or 10 days. The majority of people will come for 40 days but there are a small number of spots for 10 day retreatants. Please read the rest of this page before registering.

Under the guidance of Beth Upton

A skilled teacher

Beth was born in 1982 in London. She graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in Economics, then in 2008 ordained as a Buddhist nun at Pa Auk Meditation Centre in Myanmar. She spent five years training diligently in meditation in the Theravada tradition under the guidance of Pa Auk Sayadaw, then a further five years training in other meditation methods and doing long solo retreats. In 2014 Beth founded Sanditthika Meditation Community in the caves of Almeria, Spain. In 2018, after ten years of monastic life, Beth decided to disrobe in order to integrate some of the challenges of western life into her Dhamma practice. Beth has been teaching meditation since 2014 both in Almeria and in meditation retreats around the world. You may find out more about Beth on her website

Accessible to everyone

Whether you are totally new to meditation or already an advanced practitioner, Beth’s aim is to understand your personal practice as fully as possible before working with you to guide you to deeper levels of peace and clarity in a way that is tailored to your specific needs.

Online instructions prior to the retreat

If you are not sure whether the retreat will be suitable for you or if you would like some meditation guidance ahead of the retreat, you are welcome to contact Beth anytime. Also, you can meet with Beth to discuss your meditation practice via Zoom by taking an appointment with the link below.


In order to allow you to practice according to your natural rhythm, the schedule will be semi-flexible, with compulsory group meditations twice per day. Individual instructions will be provided on a daily basis.

This retreat is offered on a Donation Basis

When retreats are offered on a donation basis, it is offered as a gift beyond value. It encourages wholesome states of mind, such as joy, gratitude, generosity and metta, that are supportive to one’s meditation development. The teacher, organizers and helpers are all kindly volunteering their time and energy in service of the practice of others. This retreat is 100% funded by donations; all financial donations go toward the direct expenses of the retreat. When the direct expenses are met, any surplus will be offered to Dhamma Dena for the benefit of future retreatants. A list of donors will be posted during the retreat so all meditators can send them loving-kindness. Dhamma Dena is offering the space for this retreat, supporting us to hold it on a donation basis. People are welcome to attend the retreat regardless of financial status.


We expect the retreat to fill up, so in the event that you have registered and cannot attend the retreat for some reason, please let us know as early as possible so we can give the spot to someone else with enough notice for them to make arrangements.


Please wait until your spot has been confirmed to arrange transportation to the center. We will do our best to help coordinate ridesharing after that. Participants with cars may offer to volunteer to drive other participants.


Meals will be simple and vegetarian. Dairy-free and gluten-free food will be offered. The food will be kindly prepared by several volunteers who are generously giving their time to support everyone’s practices. Participants are welcome to bring non-perishable food and staple goods to offer and share at mealtimes.

Covid-19 related information

We ask everyone to respectfully follow high sanitary standards before the retreat in order to keep everyone safe and healthy. Following the guidelines of the center that has been generously offered to us, there will be mandatory covid testing: 1) a PCR test 3 days before arrival, 2) a rapid antigen test upon arrival. For anyone without up-to-date vaccination status, a second rapid antigen test will be required after a few days. Free PCR test are widely available in California.