Vallecitos Mountain RefugeTaos, New Mexico
This is an "invitation-only" center set up to serve people who work in the public-interest and nonprofit sectors. In order to attend, you must demonstrate you've been working in that capacity for at least five years and plan to continue. Aptly named, this Zen center is situated on 135 acres surrounded by the Carson National Forest and operates without telephone, electricity, or television. Its programs are aimed at helping people accomplish goals of social change and environmental renewal through personal centering and spiritual growth. Activities include treks into the forest, silent meditation, and talking circles—anything to help relieve the "burnout" common in public service jobs. Meditators of all levels are welcome. (505) 751-9613; www.vallecitos.org.
Martha Schindler is a freelancer writer based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.