Dear Friends and Supporters,

We are delighted to share the in-person retreat information for our fall retreat, co-sponsored by our affiliate organizationthe Santa Barbara Institute

The Fathom the Mind. Heal the World. retreat will be held at the stunning Blazing Mountain Retreat Center in our local community of Crestone, Colorado.

The retreat will be offered both virtually and in-person
Please read below for information to attend in person, and to stay at Blazing Mountain for the retreat.

The retreat is an opportunity to explore the interdenominational, inter-contemplative themes outlined by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in his vision for The Center for Contemplative Research:

  • The Buddhist meditative practices of śamatha and vipaśyanā
  • Teachings on nonviolence and compassion from other revered Indian traditions
  • Instruction in the contemplative traditions of Christianity

Online and In-Person Retreat
Lama Alan Wallace, Dr. Eva Natanya &
 Dr. Anuradha Choudry

October 17, 2022

Co-sponsored by

His Holiness the Dalai Lama presented the following vision, or mandate, for the Center for Contemplative Research:
ཨ་རིའི་ Colorado ཁུལ་དུ་སྒྲུབ་གྲྭ་གསར་འཛུགས་དང་སྦྲགས་ཚན་རིག་དང་མཉམ་འབྲེལ་བྱེད་པའི་ཚོགས་སྡེ་ཞིག་ཀྱང་འཛུགས་སྐྲུན་བྱ་འཆར་ལ་ལེགས་སོ་དང་། སྒྲུབ་གྲྭར་ནང་པའི་ལྟ་སྒོམ་སྤྱོད་གསུམ་ཙམ་མིན་པར། རྒྱ་གར་གྱི་གནའ་རབས་གྲངས་ཅན་ནས་བཟུང་སྟེ་དར་བའི་ཐུན་མོང་བའི་སྤྱོད་པ་འཚེ་བ་མེད་པ་དང་། ལྟ་བ་རྒྱུ་འབྲས་ཀྱི་རྣམ་བཞག་དང་། སྒོམ་པ་ཞི་ལྷག་བཅས་ལ་ཐོས་བསམ་སྒོམ་པ་དང་། དེ་བཞིན་ནུབ་ཕྱོགས་ཡེ་ཤུའི་ཆོས་ལུགས་ཀྱི་ལྟ་སྒོམ་སྤྱོད་པར་ཡང་ཐོས་བསམ་སློབ་གཉེར་ཡོད་ན་དགེ་མཚན་ཆེ་བར་མངོན།
“Regarding the plan to create a retreat center in the American State of Colorado that will also be a Center for Contemplative Research in collaboration with the scientific community, I say, 'Excellent!' It is clear to me that it will be of even greater benefit if this retreat center offers training not only in the view, meditation, and way of life of Buddhism, but also in the widespread, shared, non-violent way of life that has been taught in India from the ancient Sāṃkhya school onwards. There should be teaching, reflection, and meditation with respect to the view, including the presentation of cause and effect, and with respect to meditation, including śamatha and vipaśyanā. Likewise, there should also be instruction and reflection on the view, meditation, and way of life taught in the western traditions of Christianity.”

Inspired by this vision, the Center for Contemplative Research and the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies will present a week-long retreat that addresses each of the themes outlined by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Each full day will consist of two 3-hour sessions, including lectures and meditations, ending with a one-hour session for questions and answers.

The virtual retreat will offer both audio and video recordings. Some sessions will be live while others will be recorded and made available within 24-36 hours. All Q&A sessions, the teachings from Dr. Choudry and the final day panel discussion will be live. All other sessions will be recorded.

Day 1 (evening): Dr. B. Alan Wallace will give an introductory talk on the need for a renaissance of contemplative inquiry in the world’s religious traditions and what that would entail.

Day 2Dr. Anuradha Choudry will teach and lead meditations that draw out experiential understanding of non-violence and compassion (ahimsā and karuṇa) as understood in Sanskrit literature and the philosophical perspectives, or darśana, of India. She will guide practitioners to understand non-violence in all its subtle nuances, and to see the fundamental relationships that we have with ourselves and the world around us, which in turn facilitates a more spontaneous expression of compassion.

Day 3 & 4Dr. Wallace will teach and lead meditations on the sixteen stages of śamatha and vipaśyanā by way of mindfulness of breathing, as taught in the Pāli Canon and Mahāyāna tradition. He will then draw out distinct approaches to śamatha and vipaśyanā found within the Vajrayāna, including the Great Perfection school of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism.

Day 5 & 6Dr. Eva Natanya will teach and lead meditations that offer a fresh, experiential perspective on the “Christian mandala” with Christ at its center. She will share some core elements of the worldview that inspires the Christian contemplative tradition, its path of meditation (including the stages of purification, illumination, and ultimately union with God), as well as its mystical way of life, which seeks to actualize the glory of resurrection even now, in our world.

Day 7 (morning): Dr. Choudry, Dr. Wallace, and Dr. Natanya will engage in a panel discussion concerning the integration of the themes highlighted by His Holiness, the challenges and benefits of interreligious practice, and the urgent need for contemplative inquiry in the modern world.

Join us in person for
"Fathom the Mind. Heal the World."

Blazing Mountain Retreat Center is an exceptionally beautiful property at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, overlooking the expansive San Luis Valley. We are very excited to extend this invitation for you to join us there October 1-7, 2022.

  • An application is required if you would like to attend the retreat in-person. We will limit in-person attendance to maintain maximum safety protocols for everyone who attends so please apply early.

  • All in-person attendees will be required to submit proof that they have received the Covid vaccination and at least one booster. We will require masking in all public areas, including the teaching hall. If you cannot agree to this, please register for the virtual retreat.

  • The price for the in-person retreat is $525, exclusive of lodging. There will be a limited number of scholarships available. You can apply here.

  • You will be responsible for organizing all of your transportation to and from Crestone as well as your lodging. View this link for a description of housing options.

  • A Covid test will be required upon arrival at the retreat, as will a second test a few days later. Tests will be supplied. If you test positive during the retreat you will need to quarantine in your room or wherever you are staying.

  • Once you are confirmed to attend the retreat via the application process linked below, you will receive a code to register officially at the Santa Barbara Institute website. After you register there, you will receive an email confirmation when your registration is completed.

  • Continue reading for more information about staying at Blazing Mountain Retreat Center, and about Crestone and how to get there.

You will be able to stay at Blazing Mountain Retreat Center 
during the retreat. 
Please register early to secure a room at this beautiful facility.

  • Meals will not be served at Blazing Mountain in order to reduce the risk of Covid transmission, and as you will see the room rates are very reasonable for this reason. You will be responsible for your own meals. There are refrigerators available to store your food, and there are microwave ovens to warm any prepared items. There will not be any cooking allowed at the retreat center but you will be able to do cold prep and use the dishes that are there. 

  • We are looking into local caterers preparing pre-packaged lunches and/or dinners and we will do our best, but please plan that you might not have this option.

  • We will have coffee and tea available from the morning and throughout the day.

  • Read more about Crestone below.

  • We will require masking in all public areas, including the teaching hall. If you are staying at Blazing Mountain Retreat Center you do not need to mask in your own room.

  • It is a short walk from the lodging hall to the building with the teaching hall so if you have mobility issues please contact us so we can be sure you will be comfortable staying on site.

  • Once you are confirmed to attend the retreat via the application process linked below, you will receive a code to register officially at the Santa Barbara Institute website. After you register there, you will receive an email confirmation when your registration is completed.

  • If you will be staying at Blazing Mountain, you will pay for both your registration and lodging when you register. You will receive an email confirmation when your registration is completed.

  • The Blazing Mountain Retreat Center ivery well appointed, in a breathtaking location with many areas to practice and relax during the retreat and to go for a walk in the mountains. We recommend this option, as it can be difficult to find Airbnbs in Crestone, and because we need to fill a minimum number of rooms at Blazing Mountain.

The lodging hall at Blazing Mountain Retreat Center
Information about Crestone
  • Crestone is a small, isolated town in Southern Colorado, at an elevation of 8,000 feet. It sits at the base of the Sangre de Cristos Mountains. If you suffer from altitude sickness or any other health conditions that could be triggered by the elevation please consider this before submitting an application and consult with your doctor.

  • Should you have health conditions that could require a doctor, please be aware that it is about 50 miles to the closest town with a hospital, Alamosa, on a two-lane highway. So the trip can easily be over an hour. This is also the closest airport.

  • The Crestone area is home to more than 20 spiritual centers and landmarks, including the Tashi Gomang Stupa, which was consecrated in 1996 on land selected by the 16th Karmapa during his visit in 1980.

  • There are currently two grocery stores in Crestone and a few small cafes with limited hours. Here is a list of some of the available services in Crestone.

Join us in Crestone for this special retreat:
Getting to Crestone

  • Crestone can be reached via Denver, CO and Albuquerque or Santa Fe, NM Airports. 

  • From Denver you can either drive to Crestone (about 3 1/2 hours) or fly to Alamosa (book with Key Lime Air) and then organize transportation to Crestone.

  • From Albuquerque you can drive to Crestone (a little over four hours) or drive from Santa Fe (about 3 1/2 hours).

DR. ANURADHA CHOUDRY is presently the Coordinator for the Indian Knowledge Systems Division of the Ministry of Education, Government of India at AICTE, New Delhi, and a faculty member at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, as well as a Member of the Rekhi Centre of Excellence for the Science of Happiness and the Centre of Excellence for Indian Knowledge Systems at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. A multilingual Sanskritist, she works in the areas of Indian/Yoga Psychology, Philosophy and Culture and is a resource person for national and international organisations. A recipient of the Excellent Young Teacher’s Award at IIT Kharagpur in 2019, she has co-edited and co-authored Perspectives on Indian Psychology and Happiness: Indic Perspectives with Dr. Vinayachandra B. K., Director of Indica Yoga, and together they have also conducted two annual month-long Yogathons for the International Yoga Day for Indica Yoga.
DR. EVA NATANYA has served in many capacities as a practitioner, scholar, translator, and teacher of Indian and Tibetan Buddhism, Christian theology, and comparative religion. Following a nine-year career as a professional ballet dancer with both the New York City Ballet and the Royal Ballet of England, she earned an MA in Christian Systematic Theology at the Graduate Theological Union, and a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia. Her dissertation examined the complex interactions of Madhyamaka, Yogācāra, and Abhidharma teachings as they underlie the Vajrayāna philosophy of Je Tsongkhapa. In a Christian context, she co-authored Living Resurrected Lives: What It Means and Why It Matters with Veronica Mary Rolf. 

She has spent more than three years in solitary meditation retreat, and now serves as hermitage director and resident teacher at the Center for Contemplative Research at Miyo Samten Ling in Crestone, Colorado.
DR. B. ALAN WALLACE is a prominent voice in the emerging discussion between contemporary Buddhist thinkers and scientists who question the materialist presumptions of their 20th-century paradigms. He left his university studies in 1971 and moved to Dharamsala, India to study Tibetan Buddhism, medicine, and language. He was ordained by H.H. the Dalai Lama, and over fourteen years as a monk he studied with and translated for many of the generation’s greatest lamas. In 1984 he resumed his Western education at Amherst College, where he studied physics and the philosophy of science, graduating summa cum laude. He then applied that background to his PhD research at Stanford on the interface between Buddhism and Western science and philosophy. Since 1987 he has been a frequent translator and contributor to meetings between the Dalai Lama and prominent scientists, and he has written and translated more than 40 books. 

Along with his scholarly work, Alan is regarded as one of the West’s preeminent Buddhist meditation teachers. He is the founder and director of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies and of the Centers for Contemplative Research, with branches in Crestone, Colorado, Castellina Marittima, Italy, and the Matiri Valley in New Zealand.
We hope you can join us for this very special retreat.
Spoken Sanskrit Course Taught by Dr. Choudry

We would also like to announce that Dr. Choudry will be teaching a basic and intermediate level Sanskrit class from July, 25th. 
An advanced level course will then be offered in January 2023. 

The knowledge of Sanskrit is very helpful for anyone who is interested in delving into the original texts relating to various subjects from the Indian traditional knowledge systems. This language, however, is often presented as a difficult language to learn for many and moreover as a classical language of the past that is of no special relevance in the contemporary world. Those who have been exposed to it in school often regard it as nothing more than a scoring subject and have little appreciation for the various dimensions of the language. The objective of this course if to give students a taste of Sanskrit as a living language by introducing them to its basic grammatical structures so that they can start understanding simple texts as well as allow them to use it in daily life. It also seeks to give them an understanding and appreciation of the beauty of the different aspects of this language from its sounds to its rich content so that they feel enthused enough to delve further into it.

We hope you can join us in-person in Crestone for the very special "Fathom the Mind. Heal the World." retreat:
We extend our deepest gratitude to all for your support of the Center for Contemplative Research and its Miyo Samten Ling Hermitage.