What is the food like?
With the exception of arrival and departure days, we provide three meals a day. We also provide access to a snack fridge with cold-cuts, sliced cheese, fruit, hard-boiled eggs, and leftovers.
We are committed to sourcing the healthiest possible local, sustainable, and/or organic whole foods available to us from farms and suppliers in Crestone, the San Luis Valley, and the Rocky Mountain region. In the kitchen, we prepare food in ways that are nutritionally balanced, beneficial to health and practice, and take into account all dietary preferences and restrictions. Acknowledging the significance of the kitchen’s impact on the retreat, we regard the kitchen as a sacred space of practice.
What should I bring to retreat?
- Prescription medications: Please be sure to bring an ample supply of your medications. The nearest pharmacy is in Alamosa, which is approximately an hour away.
- Clothing For Indoors: We recommend loose-fitting, comfortable, and layered clothing. Bring a meditation shawl or blanket — particularly in the winter the meditation hall can be quite cool.
- Clothing For Outdoors: Prepare for spending time outdoors as part of the program, and make sure you have clothing suitable for the mountains. During the winter months, bring snow gear (boots, gloves, scarf, hat) to go outside on the occasional warm, sunny day. During the summer months, bring warm clothing (coat, hat, gloves) and bug gear (light jacket, bug repellent). Even during the summer, the Colorado mountain weather can be quite cool.
- Personal Toiletries: Bring lip balm and good moisturizing lotion in addition to your usual necessities, as the climate is especially dry.
- Battery-powered Alarm Clock
- Non-Breakable Water Bottle: For safety reasons, no glass containers are allowed in the shrine room. Please make sure your water bottle has a tight-fitting lid.
- Money: Bring cash or debit/credit cards for potential miscellaneous expenses. There is an ATM in downtown Crestone.
- Phone Card: Cell phone reception may be poor or nonexistent, so a phone card is recommended.
- Notebook: Depending on the program, you may be encouraged to take notes during the talks.
What is a donation?
You will be given the opportunity to offer a monetary donation during each program. A custom within the Buddhist tradition, donations (dāna in Sanskrit) are a way of acknowledging what you have received from the teachings and completes the circle of generosity with the teacher. Donations are not part of the program fees. It is entirely up to you to decide whether you would like to participate in this practice.
Will I be expected to do chores? And what is ROTA?
ROTA (Rotating work assignments), an essential part of every Dharma Ocean program, is a mindfulness practice in itself, and an opportunity to express gratitude to fellow practitioners and support their journeys. Examples of ROTA assignments include sweeping, assisting in the kitchen, and helping to clean up after meals. If you have physical limitations that will restrict you from doing certain tasks, please let us know well in advance of your program.
What type of telephone and internet access will I have on retreat?
Retreat offers a unique opportunity to unplug. We request that you refrain from cell phone and internet use during our programs, both for your own journey and so you do not disrupt the practice of others. During long retreats there will be specified periods for making calls to friends and family.
There is a landline phone available for participant use during specified periods. Long distance service is not available from the public phone, so please bring a calling card if you would like to use this phone.
Family and friends can get messages to you by calling the on-site program coordinator’s line: (719) 256-5938. Messages will be posted to a message board as they are received. Emergencies should be identified as such by the caller for urgent handling.
Internet access is not available.
Will I have access to a pharmacy and doctor in Crestone?
The nearest pharmacy and hospital are an hour away. In an emergency, program staff can help refill prescriptions, but please be sure to bring an adequate supply of any necessary medications.
How do I get to the Blazing Mountain Retreat Center?
Click here for detailed driving directions, as well as information on travel by air and bus.
Please don’t hesitate to call our office M-F, 9am – 5pm MST at 303-955-2574. We are happy to discuss any aspects of the retreat experience and answer any questions you have.