Half-Dathun: Illuminating Basic Goodness

with Acharya Holly Gayley

December 15th—December 30th (2017)

Date details +
  • $950 Pay-It-Forward Tuition
  • $825 Full Program Tuition
  • $585 Subsidized Tuition
Room: El Solarium
Program Registration is Closed.

 In these challenging times, the flame of basic goodness has nearly been extinguished by the storm of concepts, and the spirit of humanity has been so dampened that we experience our goodness as a faint echo. As brave people, we must find the courage to gently blow on this ember of goodness.  – Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

Dathun, Tibetan for “moon session,” is an intensive group meditation retreat for new and experienced meditators interested in deepening their mindfulness-awareness. Composed of two weekly segments called "weekthuns,” this 14-day retreat allows participants to attend either one or two weeks. Through this immersive program, the practice of meditation goes beyond the cushion, with every aspect of daily life becoming a practice of wakefulness and an opportunity to make better friends with ourselves and our world. Daily dharma talks, guided sessions of Shambhala Meditation, and contemplative movement will allow us to connect with our bodies, sense perceptions, and the world around us--allowing a deep sense of connection, healing, and joy to emerge.

lluminating Basic Goodness explores the connection between personal, social, and environmental transformation, based on Shambhala and Buddhist teachings. The three modules are combined in this Half-Dathun.

Illuminating Basic Goodness: Who Am I?     Exploring Identity and Belonging
How do we develop a sense of self as separate from the world around us? Does adopting certain identities, personal and social, require us to leave parts of ourselves behind in order to belong? This module explores the classic Buddhist teachings on ego, alongside contemporary considerations of social identities and their relationship to systemic injustice in our society.

Illuminating Basic Goodness: How Can I Help?     Transforming Self and Society

How can we bring wakefulness into every part of our lives? This module explores the Shambhala teachings on working with the various domains of our life—family, work, culture, and wealth. How does our involvement in these domains connect to larger social, political, and economic systems? In addressing this, we develop insight into the social forces shaping contemporary life and nourish a commitment to be of service. 

Illuminating Basic Goodness: What is Real?     Touching the Sacred Earth 

What is real and what matters in our lives? What would it mean to reassess our participation in the speed and consumer-driven orientation of modern society that is rapidly degrading our planet? This module explores the Buddhist teaching on interdependence and their connection to an ecological worldview and alternative ways of being in right relationship with our environment. 

These three modules fulfill the Basic Goodness Series requirement. Full participation in this program also completes the Half-Dathun requirement for Sacred World Assembly

Opportunities to practice the Shambhala Sadhana will be available.

This program will be taught in English with full Spanish interpretation.

For information about the weeklong group meditation retreat, please visit:  https://casawerma.shambhala.org/program-details/?id=314295 

Pay-It-Forward program tuition not including accommodations: $950 usd  We invite all who are able to do so to consider paying the Pay-It-Forward tuition rate. By doing so, you make it possible for us to offer scholarships to others, particularly our Mexico sangha, while also covering the direct cost of your stay here and contributing to our year-round operations. 

Full program tuition not including accommodations: $825 usd   We invite all who are able to do so to pay the full tuition rate.  By doing so, you cover the direct cost of your stay here and contribute to our year-round operating expenses. 

Subsidized program tuition not including accommodations: $585 usd  If the full tuition is unworkable for you, please pay the subsidized rate. By doing so you contribute towards the cost of your being here and everything it takes to keep Casa Werma operating year-round. Unfortunately, Casa Werma is not able to offer work/trade options at this time.

Please email [email protected] with any further questions.


The first and last program dates for any program at Casa Werma are considered travel days. We start with dinner on the first listed program day, followed by orientation and opening remarks by the teacher. On the final listed program day, there will be no program activities and a light, continental breakfast will be available to all participants.

Please visit our Accommodations page for more info about housing (not included in tuition).

We recommend flights into Morelia airport (90 minutes away by car). We can help with travel arrangements, please inquire about options. Visit our How to Get Here page for more info.

Shastri Holly Gayley is an Assistant Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Colorado in Boulder, having completed a Masters at Naropa University in 2000 and Ph.D. at Harvard University in 2009. She has been practicing meditation in the Shambhala tradition for more than twenty years and regularly leads meditation retreats and workshops as a senior teacher or shastri. Holly has frequently traveled to eastern Tibet for her research on contemporary Buddhist movements and enjoys trekking in the Himalayas and Rocky Mountains. Her first book, Love Letters from Golok: A Tantric Couple in Modern Tibetcame out in November 2016. For more information, visit her website: https://hollygayley.org/