Natural Dharma Annual Family Retreat
|July 4, 2013||to||July 7, 2013|
Wonderwell Mountain Refuge
Bring the kids! Join us for our first annual Family Retreat at Wonderwell.
Many parents of young children express that they sometimes need to slow down and relax in a supportive environment. These savvy parents are aware that their retreat life does not look exactly as it did in the past, but they still want to receive deep teachings and have time for personal practice. These parents’ needs have molded the plans of this retreat, and their aspiration has made it possible. Two long-time spiritual practitioners have stepped forward in response to their brave and noble request.These meditators, being of the altruistic ilk, want their children to have similar but age-appropriate opportunities. While families will share meals and some other activities together, children will separate for mindfulness games, yoga, crafts, and other activities while their parents receive teachings and meditate. An elementary school teacher and yogini has heard their call, and she is arranging activities for them to enjoy. Afterwards parents will have a network of fellow “parent schleppers on the road to enlightenment” with whom they can embrace the practice of (somewhat) mindfully raising a family together. Kids will have a community of friends and a tool box of practices, too.Whether you are an experienced meditator or have never meditated before, you are welcome on this retreat. It is aimed at families with children ten years old and younger, though if you have a situation with older children, we may be able to incorporate them in a counselor-in-training role.
Jessica Whiteley is a fourth-grade teacher at Our Lady’s Academy in Waltham. She graduated Lesley University with a degree in Elementary Education and Global Studies; she is certified to teach grades 1-6 in Massachusetts. She has trained with Lama Willa in the Five Element Yoga practices. She is working toward certification as a birth doula because she loves working with children from birth to beyond! Jessica enjoys yoga and pilates, and loves to cook and dance. She is also CPR certified.
Lama Willa is the Spiritual Director of Wonderwell Mountain Refuge and the founder of Natural Dharma Fellowship. She has studied and practiced in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition for the last twenty years in the nonsectarian Kagyu, Nyingma, and Shangpa lineages of Tibetan Buddhism. She completed two traditional Three-Year Retreats in the nineties and was authorized as a lama [Buddhist minister] in 1999. Her teaching specialties include natural meditation (mahamudra), heart-cultivation (lojong), and deity practice. In addition to her dharma teaching, she is working toward a PhD in Religion at Harvard University. She is author of the book Everyday Dharma: Seven Weeks to Finding the Buddha in You and The Arts of Contemplative Care.
Laura Howell has been practicing meditation since 1988, when she began attending retreats led by Baba Ram Dass. In the early 1990s she became a Dzogchen practitioner and a student of Lama Surya Das. Laura was a practice leader for Cambridge Dzogchen Sangha for many years. She has been a student of Lama Willa Miller since 2008. Laura resides in North Andover, MA, where she is director and meditation teacher for Great Pond Sangha, which she and her husband Brad cofounded in 2004. She is a poet, psychotherapist, homeschooling mother of two sons, active in North Parish Unitarian Universalist Congregation, and especially interested in sharing the Dharma with children and families.
Teacher(s) Jessica Whiteley, Lama Willa Miller, Laura Howell Payment Info Registration fee is $300 per family for an adult room plus $75 per each child.Contact firstname.lastname@example.org