“We are at the center of our mandala, with our family, children … as our retinue.”
~ Lama Tsultrim Allione, from her book Wisdom Rising: Journey into the Mandala of the Empowered Feminine.
It is our family that strengthens our center and opens our hearts to all beings. Honoring this view, Tara Mandala’s Family Retreat on August 1-7 offers family bonding activities, teachings, and meditations focused on the heart opening practice of the Four Immeasurables.
This retreat will include family activities, young people’s groups, a parent program, and free time. Dharma activities include songs, stories, skits, yoga, games, art, time on the land, campfires, council practice, an optional solo wilderness fast for teens, parent discussions, meditation for all, and dharma talks.
Each group will engage with age-appropriate teachings and meditative practices to tap into our natural capacity for kindness. As a family, you will develop resources to integrate these practices into your home life on a daily basis.
Watch this video for a little sneak-peek into Family Retreat.
The Four Immeasurables
The Four Immeasurables offers us easy access to expansiveness and settles our oft-times limited conceptual minds. When meditating on love, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity, we are lifting the limits of our day to day capacities. The added magic of the fourth immeasurable, equanimity, is that it supports balance of the previous three, while also allowing them to spread boundlessly. This practice supports the Mahayana philosophy that “all beings have been our mothers in another life,” and strengthens a sense of relating to all beings as family. This practice allows us to truly embody the bodhisattva, which is to set an intention to put the well-being of others before ourselves.
“The bodhisattva aspiration leads us to enlightenment, to the fullness of wisdom and compassion, so that we may be of eternal benefit to others. It is a most profound aspiration. One aspires to be a bodhisattva not in order to reach out for the bliss of paradise, heaven, or any kind of pure land, but rather to come back, again and again, in whatever form that will be of benefit to others…” ~ Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, from her book Into The Heart Of Life.
ABOUT THE RETREAT TEACHERS
Dorje Lopön Chandra Easton, Buddhist teacher and translator, studied Buddhism and Tibetan language at the Library of Tibetan Works & Archives in Dharamsala, India, founded by H.H. Dalai Lama. She later received her degree from UCSB’s religious studies department at which time she co-translated Sublime Dharma, A Compilation of … Read more »
Magyu Lopön Charlotte Z. Rotterdam has studied Tibetan Buddhism for the last 20 years, was authorized to teach by Lama Tsultrim Allione in 2006, and received the title of Magyu Lopön, lead teacher of Magyu: The Mother Lineage at Tara Mandala from Lama Tsultrim in 2016. Lopön Charlotte teaches in the US and abroad, often in partnership with her husband Pieter Oosthuizen … Read more »
Pieter Oosthuizen is a teacher and entrepreneur and a long-time student of Tibetan Buddhism. He has been teaching various practices and retreats in Lama Tsultrim’s lineage in the US and abroad since 2006, offering a blend of incisive insight and genuine compassion. He serves as the President of the Tara Mandala Board … Read more »
Scott Blossom is a Traditional Chinese Medical practitioner, Shadow Yoga teacher and Ayurvedic Consultant. He has been studying yoga since 1989 and teaching since 1997. His primary teachers are Zhander Remete, founder of Shadow Yoga, and Dr. Robert Svoboda, Ayurvedic physician and scholar. In 2011 he founded a site dedicated to Ayurvedic education … Read more »
Jennifer Warren spent her formative years in Norway, playing in primordial forests. She’s taught elementary school for over 20 years, including 7 in Waldorf schools. Jen is a Certified Master Gardener and Wilderness First Responder. She first became a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner when she lived in Nepal in the 1980’s … Read more »
Alexis Slutzky, MFT is a mentor, educator, guide and facilitator whose work supports cultural restoration through listening and mindfulness practices, nature connection, grief tending, dream work, rites of passage and community ritual. Alexis holds a Master’s Degree from Pacifica Graduate Institute in depth psychology, is Adjunct Faculty at Antioch University, and a council trainer … Read more »
From an early age Nick was enamored with nature, often camping or mountain biking with his family in Southern California. He began traveling solo internationally at fourteen and has since journeyed to Nepal where he took refuge at Kopan Monastery. Now living in California, he works as an outdoor educator fostering nature connection and land stewardship for students of all ages … Read more »
Nikita remembers spending much of her childhood at Tara Mandala with her mom, Robin Gayle. She took refuge with Lama Tsultrim at just one year of age, given the name Shewa Osel. She then returned to Tara Mandala for the summer of 2012 as a Living Dharma volunteer. She is also a 500-hour certified Yoga Teacher, a certified Yoga Therapist, and leads … Read more »
Born and raised in Northern New Mexico, Andy has been adventuring in the wilderness his entire life. His parents’ philosophy was that for every year he was old he could hike that many miles with his pack in one day. His family hiked often and he climbed his first fourteener at age 7. His first spiritual and religious experiences happened in the mountains … Read more »
Stacy Zumbroegel is a practicing counselor and meditation teacher who lives in Myanmar and California. Her love of the Dharma and Asian culture has her traveling throughout India, Nepal, and Myanmar. She has been practicing Buddhism for over twenty-five years. Stacy teaches counseling training workshops in Yangon and mentors executives in bringing wisdom to their businesses … Read more »
We hope you and your family can join us for this precious time together as we open our hearts more fully to ourselves, each other, and the community of life around us.
Tara Mandala Retreat Center