New to meditation? Interested in learning mindfulness from something other than an app?

Have no idea what mindfulness1 even is?

Well we have a retreat (short for Real Treat) for you! Four days at Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center in the Ozarks!
November 30 to December 4.

Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center is near Annapolis, MO.

You may not know this but Saint Louis has an incredible meditation center and monastery in its backyard–hundreds of people fly in from around the world every year to attend ten-day retreats and learn Tranquil Wisdom Insight Meditation. The Dhamma Sukha staff have generously agreed to let us organize and run a four-day retreat for people in Saint Louis interested in learning TWIM and we have an excellent schedule designed to a) teach you the basics of meditation, b) get you to meditate for 90 minutes (or more) in a single sitting, c) make you chill and happy, possibly permanently.

We’ll go ahead and get your objections out of the way first:

  • I can’t take off time for a ten day retreat. Great! This is a four day retreat that runs Friday to Monday AM. You can drive down after work Thursday or take a half day and get in more meditation.
  • I don’t know how to meditate! Perfect! We’ll have guided meditations twice a day, daily one-on-one instruction with an experienced teacher and nightly presentations on the finer points of practice.
  • Seems complicated! TWIM is a very simple practice that yields very fast results and the teachers at Dhamma Sukha have years of experience with thousands of students. This is the best possible way to learn how to meditate.
  • I don’t think I can focus for that long. Sure you can! You’ll start with thirty minute meditation sessions and work up from there at your own pace. There are beautiful walking trails to explore when you’re between sits. There’s nothing else to do or worry about. Also we take your phone away from you when you show up.
  • My wellness budget is uh limited. No problemo! Total cost of the retreat is $249, including lodging and food.
  • But traveling in December is A Fool’s Errand! It’s 80 miles outside Saint Louis and we’ll organize carpools. Let’s make this happen, captain!


  • Arrive Thursday, November 30 mid-day to evening.
  • Leave Monday, December 4 after breakfast
  • We will practice lovingkindness (metta) meditation and will teach you how to skillfully deal with distractions and hindrances as they arise.
  • Guided meditation before breakfast and after naptime.
  • Seriously. Naptime included daily. Tea time too.
  • Evening presentations and dhamma talks–deepen your practice and familiarize yourself with the Pali canon suttas.
  • Extremely good food from Rose.
  • Individual cabins for retreatants.
  • Beautiful scenery.


  • 6:30 AM Wakeup
  • 7:00 AM Refuges, precepts, guided meditation
  • 8:00 AM Breakfast
  • 9:00 AM “Monk work”–a small, daily chore to practice mindfulness off the mat.
  • 9:15 AM Morning meditation time
  • 12:00 PM: Lunch
  • 1:00 PM: Naptime (see, I told you!)
  • 2:00 PM: Guided meditation
  • 3:00 PM: Afternoon meditation time, also one-on-one interviews with instructors.
  • 6:00 PM: Teatime.
  • 7:00 PM: Presentation/Dhamma talk/guided meditation
  • 9:00 PM: More meditation! (not gonna lie most people take showers or journal after the dhamma talk)
  • 10:30 PM: Lights out!
The dining hall. Breakfast and lunch served daily!

Seriously. 8 hours of sleep a night, daily naptime, you don’t have to cook any food and you can’t check your phone. What a gift to yourself! We’re very excited to be able to offer this to new and experienced meditators in Saint Louis and hope four days of dedicated TWIM practice in a supportive and beautiful environment leads to happiness and intense personal transformation for all participants.

Know before you go

  • This is a silent meditation retreat. Idle talking is often a form of storytelling where we perform/reinforce a sense of self and the whole goal of a retreat like this is to give you a break from the neverending exhaustion of maintaining a fictional self. Just relax and let it all go!
  • No drugs, no alcohol, no cigarettes. We’ll take your phone when you show up and give it back the last morning.
  • We observe the eight precepts on retreat, including “no harming or killing living beings on purpose.” This is a great exercise in mindfulness in how our bodies move through the world and how we share our environment with other living beings. Don’t squash spiders!
  • The refectory, dhamma hall and bathrooms are all heated, the cabins will have space heaters. It will likely be cold-ish and walking between sits is pretty important for your health and morale so pack warm layers.
  • Dhamma Sukha provides linens, towels and has some toiletries available. The cabins have space heaters, lamps and alarm clocks. The dhamma hall has chairs and meditation cushions available. You really just need to bring your carcass, clothing and curiosity. And a toothbrush.
  • Again, this is a chance to escape from your daily life and experience an alternate way of being. Leave your laptops, smartwatches and books at home. Give yourself four days to just exist without worries (and increasingly, without thoughts). You’ll be very happy you did!
  • The $249 covers room and board and is an incredible deal–it’s actually cheaper per day than a ten day retreat. Dhamma Sukha runs on donations (and generosity is one of the foundations of morality, according to the Buddha). So consider bringing cash (or a check, or credit card) for a donation at the end of the retreat if you feel it has been worthwhile.
  • Show up with an open mind and a willingness to understand things experientially rather than intellectually.
  • Be prepared to smile! You’ll be doing it a lot!

*Mindfulness is a translation of the Pali word sati, which means “to remember or observe”. It’s remembering to observe mind’s attention as it moves from object to object. Harder than it sounds!

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