This annual retreat is an important part of my personal practice and yearly reflection. I look forward to spending five nights at Esalen in the darker days of winter when the stars are bright over the Pacific Ocean. These deep skies combined with hot springs water, an amazing sangha (community) of practitioners, and skilled teachers washes away doubt, challenge, and stress.
Registration is open on the Esalen website, and affordable accommodations are available, but can be limited. I invite you to register and experience this magical place with Tias Little (my teacher) and Henry Shuckman. We'll get to be students together.
Yoga & Zen: Entering the Bloodstream
One of the primary aims of yoga and zen practice is to integrate them so deeply into our lives that the practice flows through us constantly, like blood in the bloodstream. This course seeks the essence of what it means to practice by investigating the wakeful nature of prana (breath, or life-giving force) in every cell of the body. Just as the blood supports all living function, so Buddha-nature is the reality of all experience. The aim of our yoga is to discover this directly, not as a static, isolated event on the meditation cushion or in asana, but in the midst of everyday life. In this course, we promote the fluid nature of true awareness not only in asana, but also in standing, walking, sitting, and lying down. Like the blood stream, we flow in the continuity of awareness at all moments.
In addition we will undertake a fundamental self-inquiry: How do we create and maintain our sense of self? Who do I think I am? Who am I really? Why am I here? What should I do? We will use the calming, opening, and energizing effects of asana practice, and the invigorating expansive beauty of Esalen’s natural landscape, to explore these fundamental questions of a human life during a week of deep healing and self-exploration.
Register on Esalen's Website.
Tias combines Iyengar and Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga in his teaching practice. Also a licensed massage therapist, he has been influenced by Ida Rolf, Moshe Feldenkrais, and Thomas Hanna. Tias is a longtime student of Tsoknyi Rinpoche in the Dzogchen practice of Tibetan Buddhism. Learn more about Tias at prajnayoga.net
Henry Shukman, associate Zen master of Sanbo Zen, teaches at Mountain Cloud Zen Center in Santa Fe, NM, and Sonnenhof in Schwarzwald, Germany. He is also a prize-winning poet and novelist, and frequent contributor to Tricycle and the New York Times. Learn more about Henry at mountaincloud.org