May 8, 2023

Join Waylon of Elephant at Kripalu for a retreat, this June.

Join Waylon of Elephant at Kripalu for a restorative retreat, this June: writing, meditation, mindful walks in Nature, caring community, yummy food—it’s never too late to fall in love with your life.

Meet me at Kripalu, this June, for writing, meditation, yoga, yummy food, community. Befriend your sweet heart, and invest in your life’s path.

I grew up in a Buddhist community, and by the age of 15 was coordinating and helping run weekend or even weeklong or monthlong meditation programs. This coordination involved dressing up, giving announcements, helping folks with questions or confusions…and lots of meditation and study and community.

As I grew up, I did many of these programs and others, myself, traveling the path of Dharma and learning to tame my wild mind, my sometimes-broken-heart, and enjoying opening up to reality and compassion more and more, out of the regular confusion and angst that seems to be our inheritance as human beings.

By the time I was in my late teens, I was playing minor but responsibility-ful leading roles in programs. This was not unique to me; many of my fellow “Dharma Brats” took on various joyful, tough, challenging and fun responsibilities, too.

In my 20s, I began Elephant, and started interviewing famous and influential thought leaders, or whatever you want to call ’em. Politicians, gurus, best-selling authors, rabbis, climate change activists, yogis, and all manner of other troublemakers. I’d host sometimes-large events, talk in front of 100s of folks. As I did so, I discovered a joy in speaking with fellow humans, and hosting good events that benefitted not only myself but many others.

Simultaneously, I’d gone to college for journalism, creative writing, politics, and then more writing. I worked at a publishing company, read a few 1,000 books (nerd alert; guilty as charged). And from the age of 7, when I shared my first written work, I discovered a modest acclaim in doing so, a joy similar to performance in drama in sharing my writings. As Elephant progressed, I led dozens of online programs called Elephant Academy, graduating 1,000s of students (apprentices, we called them) in the path of writing, meditation, maitri (making friends with oneself), and right livelihood. But as Elephant grew online, I found myself missing in-person connection and community through these mindful paths.

And so, finally, in our 22nd year (!), it’s time I get back out there, and begin offering retreats for, as we say in Buddhism, “progressing along the path.” It’s time to offer meditation, joy in community, mindful walks in Nature, maitri (befriendly ourself) practice, and writing exercises directed at finding and sharing our voice and stories so as to inspire catharsis in oneself, and inspiration and cheering up in others.

So that’s what we’ll do, this June.

At Kripalu, a retreat center I fell in love with a few years back in beautiful, wooded Western Massachusetts, overlooking a golden green valley. Kripalu offers deliciously healthy food, and yoga classes, and together we’ll get to know ourselves and share our stories, to the benefit of all.

Finding our voice is the foundation of a life full of joy, caring, and resiliency in tough times. We can do so through the Buddhist path of meditation, maitri (befriending ourselves practice)—and through writing. We’ll do it with caring community, in Nature, at dear Kripalu, with yoga, and yummy healthy food to keep us going.

Through lecture, Q&A, guided meditation practices, mindful walks in Nature, and writing exercises, you will learn:

• The foundation of a life well-lived: how to befriend all of your sweet self
• The number one mistake we make when trying to find our voice.
• Three essential components to sweet, sweet catharsis in writing—that alchemical relief that comes with sharing our stories.
• Five writing exercises to bring us back to our voice, to truth—again and again. These can be used in times of stress, grief, conflict, confusion, or overwhelm for the rest of your life.
• An immediate practice to come back into this present moment—to your life—again and again. Particularly helpful when heading into a challenging situation. What you “get” is simple: a break from your patterns, a reminder of your true self, and two practices to connect and heal the two, in celebration and service.

Join here.

Hear a sample of what you’ll be learning, here.


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Waylon Lewis  |  Contribution: 1,510,860