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Vajrayoga - A Mahasiddha Reunion: Devotion, Wisdom, and Taras’ Magic

December 11 - December 17, 2023

Dr. Robert Svoboda

Krishna Das

Nina Rao

Michele Loew

Robert A.F. Thurman

Lea Garnier

Don't miss your chance to join an all-star team of teachers and practitioners of Indic yogic sciences for a weeklong Vajrayoga study and practice intensive, "A Mahasiddha Reunion: Devotion, Wisdom, and Taras' Magic" December 11 - 17 at Menla or online. Space is very limited for the in-person option, so sign up now for this amazing opportunity to study and practice with some of the best minds and hearts in the field!This stand-alone hybrid Vajrayoga intensive explores the so-far little-known common origins and philosophical and practical relationships between Tantric Indo-Tibetan Buddhism and Hathayoga. You will leave this retreat physically energized, personally inspired, and connected with a growing community of students who are looking to go deeper in their yogic studies and practices.For all morning sessions, the Vajrayoga/Hathayoga practice stream will be navigated by expert yogini, Michele Loew, as she covers a broad spectrum of yogic practices that are most beneficial when practiced together. Through movements strung together on the thread of the breath, we will bring the brilliant core of the central axis out through the forms of the postures, turning them into mudras of feeling and expression so that our practice is an ever-deepening source of inspiration.For the afternoon teachings, Robert Thurman and Robert Svoboda will lead lively discussions presenting the vast and amazing teachings of some notable Indian mahasiddha adepts. The first westerner ever to graduate from a college of Ayurveda and be licensed to practice Ayurveda in India, Robert Svoboda will present some of the main teachings of the extraordinary Indian Aghori, Vimalananda, with whom he spent many years studying in the 70s and 80s. Robert Thurman will share teachings from the famous Indian master Vimalakirti (whose famous sutra Thurman translated himself) and the Indian Mahasiddha Virupa, relating them to Svoboda's presentations and giving special emphasis to the female Buddha Tara.Our evening sessions will consist of riveting all-faculty discussions on the Vimalakirti Sutra, Bhagavat Gita, and other seminal Indian texts, with students encouraged to offer many questions. Kirtan chant-master Krishna Das will join in several of these discussions and will of course also lead some devotional chanting!On Sunday, Svoboda and Thurman will lead a very special Fire Puja in the central field of Menla's campus, with all students participating. This puja is a powerful way to celebrate the Buddha's birth, death, and total enlightenment (as well as our own in the future!) in a gorgeous setting.The intensive counts for 60 hours of Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Credits!Click Register Now above if you wish to register to attend in person at Menla. If you cannot attend in person and wish to join virtually/online, please click here to register for virtual participation.If you can only attend part of the retreat, you may arrange a partial/prorated registration via our Front Desk at frontdesk@menla.org. Please note that we have a two-night stay minimum. Also, we have a few spots reserved in shared housing for those needing partial scholarships. If you are interested in applying for a partial scholarship, please email frontdesk@menla.org.* Image used by permission © Thomas Laird, Murals of Tibet, 2018
ScheduleMonday, December 11
  • 3 - 6 pm Arrival & Check-in
  • 6 - 7 pm Dinner
  • 7:30 pm Welcome & Opening Discussion (Bob T, Robert S, KD)
Tuesday, December 12
  • 7:30 - 9 am Vajrayoga Practice (Michele)
  • 9 - 10 am Breakfast
  • 10:30 am - 12:30 pm Morning Class (Robert)
  • 1 - 2 pm Lunch
  • 1:30 - 4 pm Free Time for Spa Appointments, Relaxation, or Self-Study
  • 4 - 6 pm Afternoon Class (Bob)
  • 6 - 7 pm Dinner
  • 7:30 pm Evening Discussion (Bob, Robert, KD)
Wednesday, December 13
  • 7:30 - 9 am Vajrayoga Practice (Michele) and White Tara Practice (Michele, Nina)
  • 9 - 10 am Breakfast
  • 10:30 am - 12:30 pm Morning Class on the Sacred Feminine (Michele, Nina, Bob, Robert)
  • 1 - 2 pm Lunch
  • 1:30 - 4 pm Free Time for Spa Appointments, Relaxation, or Self-Study
  • 4 - 6 pm Fire Puja weather permitting (Robert)
  • 6 - 7 pm Dinner
  • 7:30 pm Evening Discussion (Bob, Robert, KD)
Thursday, December 14
  • 7:30 - 9 am Vajrayoga Practice (Michele)
  • 9 - 10 am Breakfast
  • 10:30 am - 12:30 pm Morning Class on Embodying Tara (Chandra Easton via zoom) and Chanting Tara Mantra (Nina)
  • 1 - 2 pm Lunch
  • 1:30 - 4 pm Free Time for Spa Appointments, Relaxation, or Self-Study
  • 4 - 6 pm Afternoon Class (Robert)
  • 6 - 7 pm Dinner
  • 7:30 pm Evening Chanting Session (KD)
Friday, December 15
  • 7:30 - 9 am Gayatri Mantra Veda Class & Recitation (Nina)
  • 9 - 10 am Breakfast
  • 10:30 am - 12:30 pm Morning Class (Robert)
  • 1 - 2 pm Lunch
  • 1:30 - 3:30 pm Free Time for Spa Appointments, Relaxation, or Self-Study
  • 3:30 - 6 pm Afternoon Storytime and Q&A (KD)
  • 6 - 7 pm Dinner
  • 7:30 pm Evening Discussion (Bob, Robert, KD) and Yoga Nidra (Michele)
Saturday, December 16
  • 7:30 - 9 am Vajrayoga Practice (Michele) and Gayatri Mantra Recitation (Nina)
  • 9 - 10 am Breakfast
  • 10:30 am - 12:30 pm Morning Class on Tibetan Medicine and Ayurveda (Bob, Robert)
  • 1 - 2 pm Lunch
  • 1:30 - 4 pm Free Time for Spa Appointments, Relaxation, or Self-Study
  • 4 - 6 pm Fire Puja 2 weather permitting (Bob)
  • 6 - 7 pm Dinner
  • 7:30 pm Evening Chanting Session (KD)
Sunday, December 17
  • 7 - 11 am Check-out of Rooms
  • 7:30 - 9 am Vajrayoga Practice (Michele) and Mantra Practice (Nina)
  • 9 - 10 am Breakfast
  • 10:30 - 12:30 pm Closing Discussion (Bob, Robert, KD)
  • 1 - 2 pm Lunch & Departure
*Please note that the schedule is subject to change at any time. [social_warfare]

ABOUT THE TEACHERs

Dr. Robert Svoboda

Dr. Robert Svoboda was the first Westerner to graduate from a college of Ayurveda and be licensed to practice Ayurveda in India. During and after his formal Ayurvedic training, he was tutored in Ayurveda, Yoga, Jyotish, Tantra and other forms of classical Indian lore by his mento...

Krishna Das

Krishna Das is a Grammy-nominated chant artist and has sung with people all around the world for over 35 years. His music offers the practice of chanting mantras– mostly in the Indian tradition, with some Buddhist and Gospel infusions. By sharing his life experiences on the pa...

Nina Rao

Nina Rao learned traditional chants from her grandfather in a village in south India when she was nine years old. The chants quietly stayed with her until she rediscovered chanting with Krishna Das in New York in 1996. For many years Nina has been Krishna Das business manager and...

Michele Loew

Michele Loew is an international yoga teacher & practitioner of Hatha & Tibetan Yogas & the founding director of the Vajra Yoga School of Comparative Buddhist & Indic Yogic Studies where sheco-teaches with Professor Robert A.F. Thurman at Menla & abroad. She has taught, practiced...

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...

Lea Garnier

SOUND TOOL AWARENESS Every sound we use for sound bath journeys or private sessions has a unique voice or attribute to help facilitate a therapeutic healing response. In this segment, we will explore the “tools of the trade” and have plenty of practice time to feel into the u...

UPCOMING EVENTS

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