Richard and Mary will be returning to the magical Catskill Mountains of New York this summer to teach alongside Buddhist scholar Robert AF Thurman. This year’s retreat, entitled Buddha & the Yogi/nis: the Divine Feminine, explores the interface of Buddhism and yoga with the unique perspective we glean by looking through the eyes of the divine feminine. In both Buddhism and Vedantic yoga traditions, the feminine voice—expressed through numerous goddesses—has a strong presence that provides balance and insight into internal yoga involving the central channel and the transmutation of deep emotions.
In this course we will explore traditional myths, texts, and practices—such as the Devi Mahatyam on the Yogi/nis’ side of things, and some of the Tara and Vajrayogini literatures as well as Unexcelled Yoga Tantra on the Buddha’s side—that represent the perspective of the feminine, giving voice powerfully to the feminine principal itself. We will look at the fantastical stories and unravel their insights as they shed light on traditional philosophical views as well as on contemporary circumstances and culture.
We will practice daily yoga asana in the Ashtanga yoga tradition as well as explore sitting practice, chanting, and pranayama as foundations for embodying the practice more fully in our lives. Each day will include lively explorations and discussions of the merging and differences between Buddhist and yogic teachings and practices, with all classes following the traditional structure for teaching in the Indo-Tibetan traditions: listening, contemplating, and meditating/practicing, the last of which is the process by which all concepts come to be integrated into personal experience. All lecture-based classes include opportunities for Q&A and dialogue with students, guided meditations, and illuminating investigation of esoteric texts.
We are offering an extended six-day program split up into two parts: the weeklong Intensive and the weekend Retreat. You may attend either part or the entire event, which takes place from July 16 to 23, 2017, at the Menla Mountain Retreat. All levels are welcome to this unique and transformative event.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for reading materials relevant to the retreat discussions. Visit Menla Mountain Retreat to register and view the daily schedule and other details.