March 2016 Newsletter

Wonderwell Recognized as Historic Site

We are pleased to announce that Wonderwell Mountain Refuge has recently been added to the New Hampshire State Historic Registry. This recognition not only confirms the value of our lovely retreat center, but also allows us to focus on preserving the particular historical elements of the building that help to make Wonderwell special.

Here are a few of the interesting tidbits of information that emerged about Wonderwell during the application process for historic registry: The original farm located where Wonderwell now stands was known as “Idyll Farm.” Construction of the existing building took place in 1912 at the instigation of a Washington, D.C. couple, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph M. Stoddard. Joseph Stoddard was a successful car salesman whose company sold Franklin, Baker, Cadillac and Pierce vehicles, and also included a garage, repairs and automative serves. Apparently, this business was lucrative enough for the Stoddards to employ a governesses, a cook, and a butler. The family summered in Springfield and wintered in Washington. Due to Mrs. Stoddards’ love of music, the Great Room at Wonderwell was built to accommodate performances by the singers and musicians she invited to join the family during the summer months. Interestingly, not only the Stoddards, but many other influential Washington D.C. families spent their summers in Springfield, NH—so many, in fact, that Springfield became known as “Little Washington.” Although the register has not yet been fully updated to include Wonderwell, you can find more information here

Update on “Wonderwell: The Next Hundred Years”—The Transformation Begins!

Construction of the phased plan to bring Wonderwell into compliance commences on Monday, March 7th. Both the state of NH and the town of Springfield have approved a phased construction plan for Wonderwell’s renovations and upgrades. By May 1, Wonderwell will be ready to resume operations, minus the use of the third floor, which we hope to regain by the end of the year. During construction and over the course of the next year, we will continue to raise the funds necessary to complete the project.

There are numerous ways that you can help us complete this crucial construction including bidding in the Natural Dharma Annual Benefit Auction opening March 10, pledging a donation, joining us either in person or on-line for an array of fundraising Dharma teachings, volunteering, or simply joining us at Wonderwell for any of the retreats being offered during 2016. Now is the time to get involved!

Natural Dharma Fellowship Annual Benefit Auction to Benefit Wonderwell: The Next Hundred Years

NDF’s 2016 auction opens Thursday, March 10th at 12:00pm EST. This auction is a great way to support our capital campaign for “Wonderwell: The Next Hundred Years” and to help bring our historic building into the 21st century. See the auction website to preview the array of beautiful Dharma items and supports for practice, as well as a range of useful and healthful services.

You can access the auction here

Grant Writing Committee Formed

As part of our fundraising efforts, Natural Dharma Fellowship has formed a small committee of committed individuals, chaired by Jewel Gilbert, that is engaged in seeking sources of funding from local, state, and national foundations and funds-granting organizations. If you know of such an organization or foundation and feel that it might be willing to support Wonderwell’s capital campaign or any of Wonderwell’s programming, please contact Jewel Gilbert at: We appreciate any and all suggestions!

NDF also Fundraising Committee. If you would like to be involved in the Fundraising effort in general, please let us know. The contact for Fundraising is Maureen McGee:

Reminder: Wonderwell retreats are open for registration!

Please visit our website here for our scheduled events. With our new registration system, Wonderwell now requires payment for retreats at the time of registration. When you pay, remember to allow the Paypal website to return you to the Wonderwell registration confirmation page. It takes only a second or two, and you will be all set.

NDF Publications News

Lama Willa was invited to write the Feature Article in the Spring 2016 issue of Buddhadharma Magazine. The topic is non-meditation and the title is “Meditation Only Goes So Far”.

The issue can be ordered here

Liz Monson has an article on meditation just published in the spring edition of the Kearsarge Magazine, the spring wellness edition. Come visit our booth at the annual New London “Zing into Spring” event. You can find more information about the day here

Monthly Words of Wisdom

Whatever practice you do, the most important aspect is awareness. Awareness has everything. Once you recognize awareness, all the practices become important. If you have not realized awareness, then even if you practice all sorts of wonderful special or advanced methods, it will not really help your realization.

— Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche

Listen Online

Unable to join us in person for Dharma Sunday April 3? Join us live. Streaming starts at 10 am. Please register for this event in advance.