Silent Retreat to Profound Wisdom



FEBRUARY 14 – 17, 2020



Annual Joshua Tree Away Retreat on Emptiness - Buddha's Wisdom Teachings
Take four days off in the desert of Joshua Tree and meditate on the profundity of Buddha’s teachings on wisdom, the wisdom realizing emptiness.  Drawing from Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche’s texts, Resident Teacher of the Mahamudra Kadampa Buddhist Center, Gen Kelsang Tangpa will offer commentary and guided meditations on how to develop wisdom.

Venerable Geshe-la encourages us to understand that the things that we normally see do not exist.  In order to solve our daily problems and free ourselves from the pain of self-grasping, we should take advantage of this once a year opportunity to contemplate and meditate on the emptiness of self and all other phenomena.

The purpose of meditating on emptiness is to permanently free our mind from all mistaken appearances, which is the main obstruction to the attainment of enlightenment.  However, without understanding emptiness correctly, Geshe-la kindly tells us, there is no basis for this meditation.  Therefore, the purpose of this retreat is to create the basis or potentials in our mind to realize emptiness directly.

Emptiness is the way things really are.  It is the way things exist as opposed to the way they appear.  It is as if we are living in a hallucination and Buddha is giving us a perfect method to wake up from this dream.  By following Buddha’s meditations on emptiness we can put an end to all suffering and problems.

To best prepare for the retreat we encourage reading on Dependent Relationship, Emptiness of Phenomena, and The Emptiness of the Eight Extremes which can be found within the following texts:

How to Transform Your Life, can be downloaded as a free ebook.

Modern Buddhism, also available as a free ebook.

Joyful Path of Good Fortune

The New Heart of Wisdom

These readings will assist you greatly in improving your retreat and meditation experience.  Of course hard copies of these books may be purchased at any of our class locations or directly through the publisher Tharpa Publications.

“The knowledge of emptiness is superior to any other knowledge.
The Teacher who teaches emptiness unmistakenly is superior to any other teacher,
And the realization of emptiness is the very essence of Buddhadharma.”

Silent from 7:30 pm each evening to 1:00 pm each day, the retreat is self-contained at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center just east of Palm Springs.  One must arrive for registration between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm Friday afternoon to register and get settled in your room.


$275 includes 3 nights/ 4 days shared accommodation and all vegetarian meals.

Retreat limited to 31 people.  $100 non-refundable deposit is required to hold a space.  Kindly RSVP to

Please call 310 848-9680 if you have any questions.

Retreat held at

Joshua Tree Retreat Center
59700 Twentynine Palms Highway
Joshua Tree, CA 92252

“It is very important to engage in regular meditation retreats, and I am always happy when I hear that people in centers are engaging in them.  This is the best present that students can offer their spiritual teacher because it indicates they are not wasting the teachings that they have been given.”

~ Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche