Solitary Retreat Cabin Descriptions
Retreat cabins at Tara Mandala provide a rare and precious opportunity to be completely secluded and alone in a remote mountain setting. Here you are free to maintain intensive practice and connect with your innermost being. The retreat cabins have been created through the loving kindness, generosity, and hard labor of many people. Please note that the retreat cabins are very rustic and primitive, and while this may be part of the allure, it can be challenging to live for any length of time in this setting. Please contact our Registrar on this page for more details. Our cabins are insulated and have wood burning stoves for heat, thus they suited for year round inhabitance.
Karuna is nestled into the south side of our northernmost east-west ridge on the land. This 200 square foot wood cabin has sweeping mountain views with Ekajati Peak and the Tara Shrine in the foreground. The wraparound, hardwood deck is a great place for yoga or meditation. There is a woodshed to protect firewood, which is provided. Inside, the cabin holds a twin bed, a wood burning stove, a kitchen with a four burner propane stove, small propane refrigerator, a strong water filtration system, and limited solar power. The cabin includes a fully equipped kitchen, complete with everything you will need for your retreat. There is enough floor space for a yoga asana, tai chi, and other movement meditations. Secluded and serene, Karuna facilitates inner stillness and is an ideal location, especially for long retreats. Access to Karuna is a steep 1/3 mile walk uphill, which can be snowy, icy, and muddy depending on the season.
Luminous Peak is one of the most rustic cabins, conveniently located slightly closer to the road for those who are less able to carry gear and groceries a long distance. The hike in is less than ¼ mile when snow or rain prevents driving. It is, however, still very private. The nearly 180 degree views from Luminous Peak are stunning and live up to its name, luminous. Small and very cozy at just over 100 sq ft, Luminous Peak has a double bed, a wood burning stove, a small refrigerator, a counter top propane stove, and solar electricity. The cabin includes a minimally equipped kitchen, with the basics you will need for preparing meals. With its own water source, a good water filter, and a compost toilet located on the deck behind the cabin, this is a comfortable place to do retreat. The ample south facing deck also provides great opportunities for outdoor meditation in warmer weather.
Prajnaparamita cabin is slightly less remote than some of our other cabins, making it easy to access with no hiking required, even in the winter. This quaint and serene cabin has a wraparound porch on which you will enjoy meditation, yoga, or simply moments of stillness communing with nature. Prajnaparamita cabin is equipped with a two burner countertop propane stove, a source for water plus a Berkey water filtration system. There is no refrigerator; one small cooler is provided (retreatants are responsible for providing their own ice when there is no snow to use). It has all the basic utensils you need to prepare a meal, a wood burning stove for heat, solar electricity, and a covered wood shed for firewood. The twin sized bed is raised and is accessible by climbing a ladder, leaving ample floor space below.
Perched at the end of a ridge south of Tara Mandala’s temple, this beautiful retreat cabin has almost 360 degree views of forest and Ute land for hundreds of miles. Our most remote and rustic cabin, Dragon’s Nest has a hike of about a ¼ mile to access firewood and about a ½ mile to pick up groceries. From November through May, the narrow trail will be snowy and icy and is only accessible for hearty winter hikers. Dragon’s Nest includes solar power, a wood burning stove, a propane stove for cooking, a water catchment tank, and a strong water filtration system. There is no refrigerator; one small cooler is provided (retreatants are responsible for providing their own ice when there is no snow to use). Beautifully constructed of local trees, wood, and a beautiful shade of red, this cabin is a real gem and perfect for serious practitioners and the meditation platform on the deck makes it ideal for sky gazing. Note: This cabin is generally reserved for those who have previously done a retreat at Tara Mandala and/or those with extensive backpacking experience, who understand and are capable of managing the challenges of the rustic environment.
Minimum stay: One week
Two Trees is located higher into the south side of our northernmost east-west ridge than Karuna, it features a stunning view of Ekajati Peak from a hillside of majestic Ponderosa Pines for which it is named. The hardwood deck provides the perfect outdoor meditation spot while the inside has been described by departing retreatants as “the perfect size” for a solo retreat. There is enough floor space for a yoga asana practice, tai chi, and other movement meditations. The cabin has a wood burning stove and woodshed containing firewood, which is provided. This cabin has a twin bed and kitchen with a four burner propane stove, a strong water filtration system, and limited solar power. There is no refrigerator; one small cooler is provided (retreatants are responsible for providing their own ice when there is no snow to use). The cabin includes a fully equipped kitchen, complete with everything you will need for your retreat. Access to Two Trees is a steep, winding, ½ mile walk uphill, which can be snowy, icy, and muddy depending on the season.
Ratna, our largest and most remote cabin, faces south into the ‘Secret Valley.’ There are large windows on three walls, featuring sweeping views of the South and West. About 350 square feet, there is plenty of room inside for yoga, tai chi, and other movement meditations. There is a choice of meditation seats at a full length window looking out over the valley (perfect for mornings or just after sunset), or facing the altar. Inside, there is an oven and four burner stove and limited solar electricity. This cabin is notable for the unparalleled silence and solitude, far removed from the world. Access to Ratna is a steep, winding, ½ mile walk downhill. Note: Ratna is not accessible November through May unless you are a hearty winter hiker.