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True Nature Refuge – where women bring an ancient practice of awakening to life, in sitting, walking, and movement meditation

True Nature Refuge is hidden in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California, five minutes outside Nevada City. The surroundings are nourishing – flower gardens, water, rolling hills, and a gentle grazing mare. Since the beginning of 2016 women are gathering here to explore meditation practice with koans. We also explore meditation in movement. We share our experience in conversation, laugh, and feel the depth of who and what we are.

Jo leads a regular Monday evening group and a Thursday evening group. We do sitting and walking meditation with koans, followed by tea and sharing from the heart. After closing you are invited to stay for Being Danced–a moving meditation to music. Less frequently, we hold half-day and weekend retreats. All our forms of practice are relaxed and informal. We get to know ourselves and each other outside of our usual roles and stories.

Meditating with Koans

Koans are not mysterious puzzles or problems to be solved, as depicted in popular culture. Meditation with koans has longMore…

Ways We Practice

We offer meditations every Monday evening, and some Sundays, orientations by request, and...More…

Photo Gallery

What began four years ago as a koan salon in our living room has developed a life of its own. See photos of our practice here. More…


Influences on True Nature Refuge are many and as the universe itself, are continuously expandingMore…