Mindful Hiking Retreat Application Opens Thursday, December 8th

This one week backpacking trip (February 19-25, 2023) in the wilderness surrounding Deer Park Monastery will entail approximately 3-6 miles of walking with a fully-loaded backpack per day. Participants are required to bring their own backpacking gear, including a shelter, sleeping system, and personal cooking stove and meals for backpacking. In addition to daily mindful walking in nature, we will follow a full schedule including sitting meditation, short Dharma talks, Dharma sharing, and deep relaxation.

The application window will open here on Thursday, December 8th at 8:30am PST


Temperatures average in the 70s during the day and 40s at night, but can dip as low as the 30s, so please ensure you have a warm enough sleep system. Helpful suggestions for gear can be found here.  Please note that hammock camping is not possible in the chaparral landscape, and bring ample sun protection (sun layers, umbrella, sunscreen, hat).


You should be prepared to carry enough water to last a full day in the heat (minimum 2.5 liters), along with all of your camping and cooking gear. Water will be supplied by a support vehicle, and available at camp each evening/morning.


You will also need to bring your own vegan/vegetarian meals (here are some suggestions.) Sunday dinner (Day 1) and Monday breakfast (Day 2), and then Friday dinner (Day 6) and Saturday breakfast and lunch (Day 7) will be provided at the monastery; Monday lunch through Friday lunch (Days 2-6) you will need to bring. 

Proposed Daily Schedule

subject to change based on weather conditions, etc.

  • 6:00am Wake up
  • 6:30am Sitting Meditation (30mins)
  • 7:30am Breakfast
  • 8:00am Break Camp
  • 9:00am Short Dharma Talk (20-30mins) and reading from Touching the Earth
  • 9:30am Mindful Hiking
  • 1:00pm Lunch
  • 1:30pm Deep Relaxation/Rest
  • 2:00pm Mindful Hiking (impromptu Dharma sharing if there is an appropriate spot)
  • 5:00pm Set Up Camp and Cook Dinner
  • 6:00pm Dinner
  • 7:30pm Sitting Meditation or other Dharma-related activity


We will begin and end the retreat at Deer Park Monastery. The first hiking day, Monday, we plan to leave Deer Park on foot and hike into nearby Dixon Lake, which we will be exploring for the five days of backpacking.


Registration is via application and the number of participants is limited. Priority will be given on this trip to applicants with previous multi-day point-to-point backpacking experience. A short telephone interview may be conducted to assure that you have the necessary level of backpacking experience. The registration fee for this retreat is $300.

Retreat application will be available on the Mindful Hiking in Nature Retreat page.

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