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Ruth Denison

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Ruth Denison (born 1922) was the first Buddhist teacher in the United States to lead an all-women's retreat for Buddhist meditation and instruction. Her center, Dhamma Dena Desert Vipassana Center is located in the Mojave Desert, in Joshua Tree, California. She was also a teacher at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. She sometimes teaches at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California.

After spending her youth in Germany she immigrated to the United States. In the 1960s and 1970s she was part of the alternative and counterculture scene.

She is one of four Westerners who have received permission to teach from Burmese master U Ba Khin, a layperson known for a particular method of awareness practice, called "Vipassana", in which the meditator closely observes bodily sensations.


  • Dancing in the Dharma by Sandy Boucher (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 2005. hardcover, $25.95 ISBN 0-8070-7318-0)
  • Meetings with Remarkable Women: Buddhist Teachers in America by Lenore Friedman (Boston, MA: Shambhala, Revised and Updated Edition, 2000 ISBN 1-5706-2474-7)

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