Sugarplum Sangha

Nature Connection & Retreat Center in the Mendocino Mountains

The Mariposa Institute

The Mariposa Institute holds land and its associated facilities to nurture and support educational programs that will promote a humane, equitable, sustainable and regenerative human culture that can coexist on this earth in harmony with all life. The facilities and land should be made available for use to local and regional programs that aim to promote this mission. 

Mariposa means butterfly in Spanish.  It is a place to change, to grow and learn.  What started in 1971 as a private alternative school has evolved into a nonprofit corporation dedicated to the enrichment and education of people of all ages by providing a unique opportunity to be in the natural world, to relax, to learn, and to reflect. Local flora and fauna include native wildflowers, oak and fir woodlands, black tail deer, wild turkeys, ravens, turkey vultures, redtail and other hawks, California quail, raccoons, mountain lion, red fox and sometimes bear. There are seasonal creeks, hiking trails, a meadow, an abandoned orchard, and a waterfall in the winter. On the north side of the creek are the school buildings and restrooms. These include a large classroom, an art room, a kitchen and dining room, a bunkhouse, a barn, a yurt and a garden. On the south side are 10 small cabins which are private residences. There is also a small labyrinth maze which was built by students in Ukiah.

For Information about renting facilities, visit the Mariposa website



Since Sugarplum Sangha moved into the Mariposa Institute, we've enjoyed the presence of many friends for community and personal retreats,. We especially enjoy friends who practice with us long term. Long retreats create the conditions to stop, calm, rest, and heal.

In addition to hosting long term retreats, the Sugarplum Sangha frequently hosts guest teachers, lay and monastic, for offering teachings and community retreats. Doing so in the past has required making space available either by residents sharing their cabins or teachers sharing a dorm with retreatants.


We aspire to host teachers and long term retreatants comfortably and affordably so they can enjoy personal space and feel at home while at Mariposa. We hope that you will help us realize this aspiration by contributing your joy and kindness to our trailer renovation project. Click below to donate and/or join a working meditation weekend.

Stage 1

Tree Trimming

$300 / $300


A large oak tree over hangs the site where the trailer will reside. Sugarplum Sangha hired a local expert tree trimmer named Chris Bennet, who advised us on safety and the health of the tree. Thanks to his recommendations and skillful work, we now have a sunny spot for the trailer close to retreat facilities and the tranquility of the creek

Stage 2

Clean Up

no cost


Debris from the tree trimming needs to be chopped up and stacked. Sangha members are invited to stay at Mariposa for a working weekend to assist with the efforts. Besides contributing the trailer project, you'll be increasing our firewood supply for the winter! Click below to register for a work weekend.

Stage 3




The trailer currently sits behind the garden and shares a lot with the modular, where a current Mariposa resident lives. The Sangha will hire a mover to hitch the trailer up drive it down the road, and back it down the flood plain to its final destination. Greg Hoyt, a long time neighbor of Mariposa has offered his services at a very affordable rate.

Stage 4



Once the trailer is moved to its new home, work will begin on transforming it into a sangha space. Its first round of renovations will consist of replacing the floors, walls, and ceilings.  At this point, the trailer will be a comfortable guest house. The final vision includes solar electricity, running water, and composing privy.

The Trailer