Buddha and the Yogis: Crossing Paths, Bodhisattvas and Warriors

June 30 - July 07, 2019

Insight that invites transformation arises where seemingly contradictory or opposing things meet; where night meets day, inhale meets exhale, or peace meets war. This is yoga, and this is the Mahayana. If each differing side stands unwavering in its own form, intelligence can grind to a halt. Instead of resistance to the other, a healthy mind learns to compare and contrast while contemplating differences and questioning similarities.In today’s world differences and diversity are being used as roots for divisiveness and there is no room for understanding the common thread of compassion that is at the center of every human heart. Lies are replacing truth, conscience is out of vogue and diversity is becoming a breeding ground for hatred and violence. This sort of intolerance is not new, but it has reached epic levels in current times`In this week-long course we will dive deeply into practices and philosophical underpinnings of Buddhism and yoga, training our bodies and minds, opening to new perspectives. We will explore central themes and illuminating corners of these two great schools which share a common root yet have healthy dissimilarities, to see beyond surface differences that might fool us into pitting them one against the other. Using asana, meditation, chanting and lively philosophical discussions we will cultivate the questioning mind and the clarity that is an open, tender heart. By comparing and contrasting the devotional text of the Bhagavad Gita with the study of Mahayana, we will explore how this may inform us on a path toward insight and compassion.Please note: you may register for the entire retreat by giving us a call, or if you can only attend part of the retreat, please email Amber at registration@menla.org to make partial-registration arrangements. 
ScheduleSunday, June 30th
  • 3 - 8pm Check-In
  • 4:15pm Early Arrival Asanas
  • 6 - 7pm Dinner
  • 7:30pm Welcome & Opening Discussion (All Faculty)
Monday, July 1st – Saturday, July 6th
  • 5:00 - 7:00am Mysore-style Open Yoga Practice
  • 6:30 - 7:15am Beginner Yoga (Taylor)
  • 7:15 - 9:15am Internal Form Yoga (Freeman)
  • 9:30 - 10:30am Breakfast
  • 10:45am - 12:00pm Chanting, Pranayama, Meditation (Freeman)
  • 12:00 - 4:00pm Free time (Spa, pool, hiking trails)
  • 1:00 - 2:00pm Lunch
  • 4:00 - 5:45pm Afternoon Class (Thurman)
  • 6:00 - 7:15pm Dinner
  • 7:30 - 9:00pm Evening Discussion (Freeman & Thurman)
Sunday, July 7th
  • 5:00 - 7:00am Mysore-style Open Yoga Practice
  • 6:30 - 7:15am Beginner Yoga (Taylor)
  • 7:15 - 9:00am Internal Form Yoga (Freeman)
  • 9:15 - 10:15am Breakfast & Check-out of Rooms
  • 10:30am - 12:30pm Closing Discussion (All Faculty)
  • 12:30 - 1:30pm Lunch & Departure
* Schedule is subject to change at anytime


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 in service of HH Dalai Lama & the people of Tibet. A close friend of the Dalai Lama’s for over 50 years, he is...


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