Wonderwell Mountain Refuge

About us

Wonderwell Mountain Refuge is a sanctuary dedicated to the cultivation of mindfulness, wisdom, and compassion. Through the transmission and preservation of authentic and ancient lineage teachings, visitors discover how the depth and profundity of these teachings are relevant to contemporary life. Located on twenty-five acres of rolling hills in Springfield, New Hampshire, Wonderwell was originally built as a summer home in 1911.

Tranquil and serene, surrounded by woods, meadows, gardens, and century-old stone walls, Wonderwell’s stately main building offers a comfortable and spacious setting in which the transformative potential of meditation—for work, community and daily life—can be explored and realized. Recently, due to its many unique features, the building has been recognized as a New Hampshire state historic site.

Since its founding in 2011 as a Buddhist retreat center dedicated to the cultivation of mindfulness, wisdom, and compassion for a better world, Wonderwell Mountain Refuge has provided a sanctuary for the transmission and preservation of authentic and ancient lineage teachings, as well as for the rediscovery of these teachings as profoundly relevant to contemporary life. Wonderwell Mountain Refuge is owned and operated by Natural Dharma Fellowship, a non-profit 501c3 organization dedicated to the preservation of the teachings of the Buddhadharma in the West. While grounded in the practices and teachings of the Buddhist tradition, Natural Dharma Fellowship’s mission is enhanced by retreats at Wonderwell that explore the realms of contemplative care, social justice, secular ethics, and activism.

Over the first six years of operation, Wonderwell hosted over 100 residential group retreats supported by dedicated staff and guided by experienced meditation teachers. The types of retreats hosted include:

  • Silent group retreats to deepen in meditation practice, to steep in the timeless wisdom of the Buddhist teachings, and to cultivate the heart of compassion.
  • Contemplative retreats for activists, educators, care-givers, artists, writers, couples, and families.
  • Gatherings dedicated to exploring the intersection of Buddhist ethics with ecological sustainability.
  • Yoga and mindful movement retreats.
  • Events for local communities in and around Springfield, New Hampshire.

At present, Natural Dharma Fellowship’s vision, and the programming and development of Wonderwell, are stewarded by Willa B. Miller, PhD, Founder and Spiritual Director of Natural Dharma Fellowship and Elizabeth Monson, PhD, Spiritual Co-Director of Natural Dharma Fellowship and the Managing Teacher at Wonderwell.

Both are fully authorized teachers within the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism and are trained scholars of the Buddhist traditions and translators (Tibetan-English). Their work is supported by a community of over 30 meditation teachers, visiting teachers and mentors, who participate in creating a web of support for students who participate in Wonderwell’s retreats and trainings.

Tags: buddhism compassion training dzogchen kagyu mahamudra meditation new hampshire tibetan buddhism yoga


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Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck. Dalai Lama

Why Retreat?

We asked people why they go on retreat, here's what they said:

My inspiration is a desire to gain a deeper connection to and understanding of myself, something that I've been working hard on for so long and will continue to do in the future. I view a retreat as a wonderful way to focus entirely on this without the distractions of every day life! Nicola

Retreat Guru's Vision

We believe human beings are innately wise, strong and kind. This wisdom, although not always experienced, is always present. Going on retreat is a beautiful way to reconnect to our basic sanity and health. Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness.

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