Dharma Heart Program

The Program


Transforming our lives through devotion.: A program of study, contemplation, and meditation.

The program is designed for the dedicated dharma student who wants to go deeper into their practice and aspires to awaken to their true nature. Over the three years we will explore the teachings directly from the Buddha as well as those shared by other great masters, reading from the Pali Canon and selected Mahayana Sutras. In addition, we will be practicing both shamatha (calm abiding) (Tib. ཞི་གནས་) and vipassana (insight) meditation techniques and encouraging contemplative investigation into the nature of self. The basis of all the teachings will be on integration of our dharma practice into our lives and to see into the nature of our thoughts, concepts, beliefs, and emotions.

Studying the teachings of the Buddha and other masters we will learn what it is to be a practitioner and how to be on the path of the Dharma. These masters shared their wisdom with their disciples in order to help them see the way out of suffering. Keeping this in mind we will be studying the teachings with the aspiration that the seed of insight spring forth and help us to realize our own true nature.

Contemplation is part of integrating what we hear, study, and experience, making it a part of our lives. Our spiritual lives cannot be separate from our daily lives. By sitting with the teachings and actively engaging with them through contemplation we take our study from solely an intellectual endeavor turning it into a powerful tool for transformation. Actively looking into the nature of reality will transform the way we work with our minds and hearts.

Meditation is a core component of this program is a commitment to a daily meditation practice. Through enthusiastic effort and an aspiration for realization, we lay the ground for our evolution on the path. In order to accomplish the fruit of practice, consistent effort is needed. Diligent practice opens our hearts and transforms the way we work with our mind.


If you are interested in joining the Dharma Heart Program please send a letter to apply to heart of dharma at gmail .com.There will be 4 retreats a year for 3 years covering topics from both the Hinayana (not a synonym for Theravada Buddhism) and Mahayana teachings.  As part of the program, you will receive the retreat teachings in a downloadable format. You will also receive a letter from Dana between each retreat and will be able to have an interview about your practice between retreats in person or by phone.

All participants are encouraged to go through the entire three-year program. If circumstances arise that prevent this from happening you are encouraged to speak with Dana. The commitment is completely up to you.For those who live outside of Boise you can participate in two ways: by traveling to attend retreats in person or engaging with recorded videos on your own time. We may have guest speakers to cover certain topics You may be asked to do some writing and reading between retreats.


In-person Retreats

The preferred method is to attend all or a majority of the retreats in person. This direct experience of the teachings and the experience of the retreat itself helps practitioners along the path. There will be 4 retreats each year for three years.

Online Retreats

The alternate method to experience the Dharma Heart retreats is by watching the teachings in your home as your schedule allows. This method is meant for those who can’t travel to the retreats for one reason or another. However, everyone is highly encouraged to come to at least one retreat a year if at all possible. The retreat fees are the same as those for in-person retreats.

Year Two Dates:  Mahayana Series

April 13, 2019- Day-long Retreat 

June 22 - 23 - Weekend Retreat (Sat. - Sun)

November, 2019 - Residential Weekend Retreat (Exact Dates TBD)

January 11, 2020 - Day-long Retreat

(The day-long retreats will take place at the Compassion & Insight Center.)

Program Payment Levels

Sustaining Members * Retreat fees: $40 for day-long retreat/$100 for a weekend retreat (Friday – Sunday)

Non-Sustaining Members and Public* Retreat fees: $50 for day-long retreat/$125 for a weekend retreat.

No one is turned away for lack of funds. Partial Scholarships are available. If you need a scholarship please email greg@meritprogram.net to apply.

(*Sustaining Members have signed up as Sustaining Members and donate monthly to Heart of the Dharma consistently supporting its activities)

(*Anyone is welcome to join any of the retreats, however those who have been accepted into the 3 year program will receive readings, check-ins with Dana, and retreat recordings as part of the program.)

If you still have Questions, read the dharma Heart faQ