Nonduality and the Nature of Mind

July 25 - July 31, 2022

Andrew Holecek

Robert A.F. Thurman

This unique retreat is an exploration of the nature of mind from the nondual traditions of Tibetan Buddhism and Hindu Saiva Tantra. While based on these noble paths, the program is trans-religious, pointing out timeless truths that transcend any tradition. It is based on the radical proclamation that the enlightened state is always already present, forever right here and now, hiding in plain sight. The path is therefore one of recognition -- and the immediate self-liberation that ensues from that open perception.

Using the tenets of the ancient Kalachakra Tantra, conjoined with modern Deep Ecology and Ecopsychology, we will use outer nature to invoke the recognition of the natural state within. In addition to a progression of  practices held indoors, we will do extensive “aimless wandering” in the majestic forests at Menla, inviting the symbolic guru of the phenomenal world to teach us. Using the teachings of the Yogachara, we will examine how pure awareness became obscured, and how “Knowing thy enemy” (the eight consciousnesses) can transform them into friends (the five wisdoms). The archetypal teachings from the Perennial Philosophy on contraction/expansion will be presented, along with practices that reveal their vast applicability in immediate experience.

In the Vajrayana tradition, the body is as important as the mind. They are also fundamentally not-two (nondual). Using subtle inner yogas, we will work with the body to awaken the mind, and dis-cover the intimate relationship between the outer elements of the world, the inner elements of the body, and the innermost elements of the mind – seeing how the former are expressions of the latter.  We will also see how all these teachings are profound preparations for death, and deeply connected to the bardos. This is a no-nonsense deep dive into the nature of mind and reality, designed for serious practitioners.

In this retreat we will explore:
  • What is the nature of mind?
  • Why don’t I recognize it?
  • Why enlightenment is a false destination
  • What is nonduality -- really?
  • Gradual vs sudden paths to awakening
  • Where does emptiness fit in?
  • What is the role of light, and how does it play into enlightenment?
  • How does nonduality connect to the bardos?
  • What are the meditations that allow me to discover nonduality and the nature of mind?
  • How the Eight Consciousnesses work to create samsara
  • How the Eight Consciousnesses can be transformed into the Five Wisdoms
  • The power of mantra, the vibratory nature of reality, and "tuning" into reality with sound
  • Do psychedelics have a place?
  • Dzogchen sky gazing and star gazing practice

While open to all, this program is ideal for those who have attended the bardo series with Andrew and Bob. If you have questions about your eligibility, please reach out to Andrew at andrew@andrewholecek.com.

ScheduleMonday, July 25th
  • 3 - 7 pm Arrival & Check-in
  • 6 - 7 pm Dinner
  • 7:30 pm Welcome and Intro Class
Tuesday, July 26th - Saturday, July 30th
  • 7 - 8 am Optional Yoga
  • 8 - 9 am Breakfast
  • 9:15 am - 12:15 pm Morning Class
  • 12:30 - 1:30 pm Lunch
  • 1:30 - 4 pm Free Time for Spa, Hiking, R&R
  • 4 - 6 pm Afternoon Class
  • 6 - 7 pm Dinner
  • 7:30 pm Evening Class
Sunday, July 31st
  • 7 - 11 am Check-out of Rooms
  • 7 - 8 am Optional Yoga
  • 8 - 9 am Breakfast
  • 9:15 am - 12:15 pm Morning Class
  • 12:30 - 1:30 pm Lunch
  • 1:30 - 3:30 pm Naga Puja with Phakyab Rinpoche
*Please note that schedule is subject to change. 


Andrew Holecek

Andrew Holecek is an author, speaker, and humanitarian who offers seminars internationally on meditation, lucid dreaming, and the art of dying. He is the author of many books, including The Power and the Pain: Transforming Spiritual Hardship into Joy, and Preparing to Die: Pr...

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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