Buddha and the Yogis: Freedom on the Path to Compassion

October 12 - October 17, 2020

Richard Freeman

Mary Taylor

Robert A.F. Thurman

Diving deeply into the complementary teachings of Mahayana Buddhism and classical Indian thought, we find at the core the common ground of cultivating compassion within the context of daily life. This turns out to be an essential step toward peeling away layers of confusion and habitual ways of thinking and acting that keep us stuck and unable to experience the interpenetrating nature of all things.During this week of yoga, meditation, storytelling, chanting and lively discussions, we will explore how these two traditions are profoundly relevant to life in the 21st Century. As a backdrop to the practices, we will study sections of the Amrta Siddhi, Yogavaśiṣta, Vimalakirti Sūtra, Narada Bhakti Sūtra and Heart Sūtra, exploring how these practices and teachings stimulate our creative imagination for problem solving as well as how they ignite the intuitive sense of who we really are as part of the ecosystem we call life.If you are unable to attend in person, please use this link to register for the online option! Richard and Mary will be joining us remotely via livestream from the safety of their home in Colorado, whereas Thurman will conduct his classes in person at Menla. Students registered for the in-person residential option will be able to view Richard and Mary via projection on a screen.One of the foundations of studying yoga and Buddhism is the idea of sangha or community and the process of finding others with whom you can study, communicate and learn. Since Richard and Mary will not be able to attend the Buddha and the Yogis retreat in person at Menla this year, for those participants lucky enough to be staying at Menla during the retreat we would like to offer two very special live streamed classes on chanting and meditation, followed by questions and answers with Mary and Richard.
ScheduleMonday, October 12th
  • 3 - 8pm  Check-In
  • 4:15 - 6pm  Early Arrival Asanas
  • 6 - 7pm  Dinner
  • 7:15 - 9:15pm EST (5:15 - 7:15pm MT) Welcome Evening Discussion (All Faculty)
Tuesday, October 13th – Friday, October 16th
  • 8:30 - 9am EST (6:30 am - 7:00 am MT)  Private Virtual Sessions - On Site Guests Only
  • 9 - 9:30am Break Breakfast Available at Front Desk
  • 9:30am -12pm EST (7:30 - 10am MT) Morning Asana, Pranayama with Richard and Mary
  • 12:30 - 1:30pm Lunch
  • 1:30 - 4pm Free time for Rest, Relaxation or Spa
  • 4 - 5:30pm EST (2 - 3:30pm MT) Afternoon Class with Bob or Richard and Mary
  • 6 - 7pm  Dinner
  • 7:15 - 9:15pm EST (5:15 - 7:15pm MT) Evening Discussion (All Faculty)
Saturday, October 17th
  • 7 - 11am Check-out of Rooms
  • 8:30 - 9am EST (6:30 am - 7:00 am MT)  Private Virtual Sessions - On Site Guests Only
  • 9 - 9:30am Break Breakfast Available at Front Desk
  • 9:30am -12pm EST (7:30 - 10am MT) Closing Discussion (All Faculty)
  • 12:30 - 1:30pm Lunch & Departure
*Please note that schedule is subject to change.


Richard Freeman

A student of yoga since 1968 and is one of America's foremost teachers of yoga. He has studied various traditions in Asia which he incorporates into the Ashtanga yoga practice as taught by his principal teacher, K. Pattabhi Jois. Richard is an avid student of both Western and Eas...

Mary Taylor

Mary Taylor began studying yoga in 1971 while earning a degree in psychology. In 1988, Mary traveled to India to study with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and began to see the overlay of yoga with her interests in food, cooking, movement, anatomy and art. Mary has authored three cookbooks ...

Robert A.F. Thurman

Robert Thurman is Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University as well as co-founder and President of Tibet House US and it's Menla Retreat & Spa. A world-wide lecturer on Tibetan Buddhism, activist for the plight of the Tibetan people, translator of Buddhis...



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