This spring, three teachers will offer Being Here Now in the Middle of Everything, a three-day retreat at rustic Breitenbush Hot Springs, deep in the Oregon Cascades forest.
Living Earth founder Betsy Toll, Rameshwar Das of Love Serve Remember Foundation, and kirtan artist Kavita MacMillan will explore practices and insights from the Buddhist, bhakti, sanatana dharma, and nondual traditions.
These currents flow with the grace, humor, depth, and love that define Neem Karoli Baba, the Indian saint affectionately known as Maharajji. Together, they nurture our capacity to live with compassion, courage, grace, and ease as we navigate challenging times.
Meditation, discourse, and dialogue will balance with music, yoga, and movement, weaving together laughter, tenderness, and stories of Ram Dass’s epic journeys with Maharajji. Morning and afternoon sessions in the River Yurt each day will be balanced by time to rest, soak, hike, and enjoy the beauty of Breitenbush. Evening sessions will feature call-and-response kirtan, sacred chants and bhajans, and informal question-and-answer opportunities.
Informal check-in and welcome will begin at 5:15 PM in the River Yurt. Our first evening session will begin at 7:30 PM, and retreat will close on Wednesday, April 17, just after lunch.
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. She also bows to Joanna Macy, Roshi Joan Halifax, and Frank Ostaseski, whose lives and generosity illuminate the dharma path.
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.
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 for retreat, plus $63 Breitenbush facility fee, plus lodging.
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. Full registration includes retreat plus use of lodge, hot springs, sauna, labyrinth, and trails, and three scrumptious vegetarian meals daily. Advance requests for special diet needs can be accommodated.
Register by calling Breitenbush at 503-854-3320. They’re very good at getting back to you if you have to leave a message when you call.
Questions about retreat format/content? Please contact Living Earth.