Be with us this spring for Being Here Now in the Middle of Everything, a 3-day retreat at rustic Breitenbush Hot Springs, deep in the Oregon Cascades forest.
Rameshwar Das of Love Serve Remember Foundation, and kirtan artist Kavita MacMillan will join Living Earth founder Betsy Toll for this immersion in devotional practices and insight from the Buddhist, bhakti, sanatana dharma, and advaita traditions.
The currents of these traditions flow with grace, humor, wisdom, and love from Neem Karoli Baba, the Indian saint introduced to the West by Ram Dass as Maharajji. Woven together, they enrich our capacity to live with compassion, courage, grace, and ease as we navigate the challenging times we live in.
Early welcome will begin at 5:15 PM in the River Yurt, and our first evening session will begin at 7:30 PM, after dinner. Retreat will close on Wednesday, April 17, just after lunch.
Meditation, discourse, and interactive dialogue will balance with kirtan, yoga, and movement – all woven together with the laughter, tenderness, and joy of stories and reflections of Maharajji.
Each day, early morning meditation from 7:00-8:00 am will be optional before breakfast. Our mid-morning (9:30-11:30) and afternoon sessions (3:30-5:30) in the River Yurt will be balanced by time to rest, soak, hike, and enjoy the beauty of spring. Evening sessions after dinner from 7:30-9:30 will offer informal Q&A about the practices, and feature heart-opening kirtan and sacred chanting.
Rameshwar Das was Ram Dass’s first student after he returned from his first trip to India. Ramesh has traveled extensively and spent a year and a half living in India with Neem Karoli Baba and studying vipassana meditation with S. N. Goenka. Ramesh co-authored two books with Ram Dass, Be Love Now and Polishing the Mirror, and they are currently working on a third volume together. At home in New York, Ramesh works with youth in Long Island schools, developing programs focused on mindfulness, creative arts, and environmental awareness.
Betsy Toll offers dharma gatherings, workshops, service programs, and community celebrations based in Portland. She has volunteered since 2009 in chaplaincy with individuals who are dying or in trauma. Betsy is deeply grateful for Ram Dass’s experience, wisdom, and loving support over many years, and also bows to Joanna Macy, Roshi Joan Halifax, and Frank Ostaseski, whose lives and generosity illuminate the dharma path.
Kavita Kat Macmillan is a multifaceted artist, dancer, yoga practitioner, and musician whose kirtan and movement will enliven our retreat. Her practice embodies 18 years of study of nada yoga – the Indian system of fundamental unity through sound resonance. Kavita offers kirtans and yoga workshops year round at festivals including Beloved and Bhaktifest West. She teaches yoga and music and offers regular kirtans in Portland and up and down the West Coast.
COST: $160 retreat, $63 Breitenbush facility fee, plus lodging.
TO REGISTER: Call Breitenbush at 503-854-3320. Early registration discount before March 15. Visit Breitenbush.com for lodging options and non-peak rates, and other facility questions. Registration includes the full retreat, plus use of lodge, hot springs, sauna, labyrinth, and trails, and three scrumptious vegetarian meals daily. Advance requests for most special diet needs can be accommodated, with advance notice.
Register by calling Breitenbush at 503-854-3320. Since they’re deep in the forest, phone reception can be limited. Leave a message if necessary and they’ll get back to you to answer any questions and confirm your registration.
Other questions about retreat format/content? Please contact Living Earth.