NDF’s Winter Meditation Intensive – January 2018

  • Wonderwell Mountain Refuge Wonderwell Mountain Refuge
  • 253 Philbrick Hill Road Springfield, NH 03284
  • Jan 2, 2018 (1 day)
  • Private Room w/En-Suite Bath - $207.00 Private Room w/Hall Bath - $180.00 Shared Room w/En-Suite Bath - $152.00 Shared Room w/Hall Bath - $137.00 Dorm - $125.00 Commuter - $89.00

About This Event

Important:  January 2-7 housing is sold out, except for Women’s Dorm and those willing to lodge locally (local lodging options found under “Commuting” lodging type on the registration page).  To wait-list, please follow the “wait-list” instructions listed in the right-hand side column, on this page.

The Heart of Practice

We are delighted to announce Wonderwell’s first ever Winter Meditation Intensive (Dathun)! There is nothing quite like beginning the new year with deep meditation practice in community, encircled by the quiet beauty of snow-covered mountains. Join us this January as we explore “The Heart of Practice,” how to engage, sustain and deepen into the vibrant heart of meditation. Mixing our experience, no matter what it is, with our practice, we will discover how meditation can provide a powerfully transformative container for everything that arises.

This month-long intensive includes meditation sessions (both guided and unguided), daily yoga, a Dharma teaching per day with the teacher-in-residence, and three textual study sessions per week. The textual study sessions will focus on an in-depth study of John Makransky’s Awakening Through Love (Jan 2-7), the classic meditation manual The Ocean of Definitive Meaning by the Ninth Karmapa (Jan 8-23) and Creation and Completion by Jamgon Kongtrul (Jan 23-31). Teachings during the retreat will focus on accessing the heart of awakening through relationality and through resting in natural awareness. Teachings also will explore view, meditation, and action, with special attention on finding stability, ease, and freshness within your personal experience.

Attendees of the Jan 8-23 section of the retreat will have access to purchase the restricted translation of The Ocean of Definitive Meaning. We are especially honored to host Elizabeth Callahan, the translator of this text, from January 19-23. During her stay, she will give daily teachings from her translation.

Weekly Themes:
Week 1 – January 2-7:       Compassion
(Intro to Benefactor Practice.  Margha students encouraged to attend)
Week 2 – January 8-15:     Natural Meditation
Week 3 – January 16-23:   Open Awareness
Week 4 – January 23-31:   Awareness and the Divine
(Green Tara transmission & practice instructions Jan 26-28)

Special Events:  
January 3, 10:30am  New Year’s Fire Puja
January 7,  6pm        Refuge Vow Ceremony
January 14, 6pm       Bodhicitta Vow Ceremony
January 21, 6pm       Buddhist Lay Precepts
January 27, 5pm       Tara Empowerment (Jan 26-28 focuses on Green Tara)

Note: The sangha is welcome to attend special events as commuters, daily schedule will be modified.

Dathun Daily Practice Schedule:

6:30-7:00       Sunrise Meditation
7:00-7:30       Breakfast
8:30-10:00     Yoga Practice
10:20-11:10   Dharma Teaching
11:30-12:15   Meditation Practice (guided)
12:15-3:00     Lunch and Mid-day Break
3:00-3:45       Meditation Practice (silent)
4:00-5:30       Dharma Study Session (M,W,F: Teacher-guided, all other days: Self-guided)
5:45-6:30       Meditation Practice (guided)
6:30-8:00       Dinner and Break
8:00-8:45       Evening Meditation (silent)

For stays of 5 nights or more, a practice interview with Lama Willa or Lopen Liz is guaranteed.  Stays less than 5 nights will receive an interview if the teacher’s schedule permits.  All interviews are scheduled at time of check-in.

For Program Curriculum questions, please email Liz Monson at: (contact info blocked)

Venue Highlights

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.

The house is situated on a west-facing hillside with sweeping views of sky and mountains. On one end of the building is the Great Room, now the meditation hall, which can accommodate groups of up to 100 people. The hall has an oak balcony encircling the room above and two fieldstone fireplaces. Other features of this historic building include a large covered porch for outdoor practice, a kitchen with industrial appliances, dining facilities, 13 bathrooms, and 15 bedrooms of varying capacities sleeping up to 36 people. We have been working tirelessly, with a successful major capital campaign and continuing renovations, to bring Wonderwell into the 21st century, and complete the work necessary to keep this lovely historic building code-compliant, safe, and sustainable.

The house is partially shielded from a country road by majestic, old oak trees, and is framed by well-established perennials, with multiple garden spaces. Behind the house is an acre of open field that gives way to sloping forested land with excellent trail system potential and sites for several retreat cabins. The back of the house faces west toward jaw-dropping, sky-gazing views of Mount Croyden, behind which the sun sets in the evening.

For the many volunteers and benefactors who support Wonderwell, as well as for the people who work there, caring for Wonderwell has become a practice of sacred stewardship. For all of these people, Wonderwell is not just a building; it is a community.


We offer a variety of accommodations, from dormitories for women and men, to double shared rooms some with private bath, some with shared bath, private rooms with private or shared baths, and a lovely Benefactor Suite at some retreats. We also offer the possibility of camping in warmer months, and all retreats also have a non-residential option, if you are commuting from home or staying at a local B&B or motel.


  • Free Parking
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Ceremony Space

Menu Types

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Organic
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free


Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included in your accommodation fee. Our kitchen is dedicated to providing local fresh and/or organic foods whenever possible and we enjoy relationships with Kearsarge Food Hub, and other farmers in the area.

All meals are vegetarian, with gluten-free and dairy-free options available at every meal. Meals are served buffet style. Snacks such as fresh fruit, toast and crackers, nut butters, jams, nuts, and dried fruit are available 24 hours a day. Coffee is offered, usually until lunchtime, and hot water and all kinds of teas are always available.

The fee for the commuter registration option also includes all meals.


From Boston and points East
By Car: Wonderwell is a 2 hour drive from Boston. Take Highway 93 North to Highway 89 North. Take Exit 12A. At the bottom of the exit ramp, take a right turn. When that road T’s take a left onto Route 114. Take Route 114 past Lake Kolelemook (to your right). After going through the small town of Springfield, turn right on Philbrick Hill Road. Wonderwell is at the top of the hill, on the left.

*By Bus: The Dartmouth Coach runs from Boston (from Logan Airport and South Station) to New London (the Wonderwell stop) many times a day, and is a quick, efficient way to travel here. The Coach has wifi on board. Tickets can be purchased online or at South Station in Boston.

From NYC
*By Bus: The Dartmouth Coach runs from New York City to Lebanon, NH. The coach is a direct and comfortable way to travel between NYC and New Hampshire. For more information, see the Dartmouth Coach website.

From the Upper Valley
By Car: Wonderwell is 30 minutes south of Lebanon, NH on Highway 89. Take Highway 89 South to exit 13 (Grantham). At the bottom of the exit ramp, take a right turn. Continue past the Post Office until you intersect 114, and take a left. Take Route 114 for about 4 miles until Philbrick Hill Road and take a left. Wonderwell is at the top of the hill on the left.

*See our website for information on getting picked up at a bus stop.

Cancellation Policy

100% deposit refund for cancellation 30+ days before event.
50% deposit refund for cancellation 15-29 days before event.
0% deposit refund for cancellation 0-14 days before event.
The remaining balance (total price minus deposit) is due upon arrival.
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