About us

donn at piano

If you are a classically trained pianist, or aspiring to play piano with more  freedom, and creativity, this workshop is for you.

Improvisation is a spiritual practice: It asks you to have faith, to relax and receive,  to become childlike and spontaneous,  not to judge any of it.

No matter what type of music you’re into, learning the fundamentals of improvisation will allow you to play with more fun and authentic expression.  Enjoy a day of immersion into the fun and freedom of musical expression that will take you to another level of enjoyment and creativity at the piano.

“Don’t be a psychological antique, try to be ever new unto yourself”  Swami Kriyananda

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday November 10th.   Cost of $125 (includes vegetarian lunch)

In this one day workshop, you will learn:

The 12 bar Blues Form ( essential to gospel, jazz & blues styles)

The 11 v 1 progression ( the fabric of all Jazz standards)

Extended chords ( ” Jazz chords”)

Inversions and chord voicing’s

How to improvise using “Modes”

How to spontaneously create interesting motifs

Solo and ensemble improvisation styles

How to overcome performance anxiety and perfectionism

(prerequisite to taking this workshop)

How to play a major chord, & a major scale.

** If you would like to stay overnight at the Laurelwood Retreat Center either before or after this one day retreat,                                           you can go here and register. This is a separate registration and cost.


The Center at Ananda Laurelwood is an ideal environment to quickly “unplug” from life’s daily stresses and learn lifelong techniques for an improved quality of life. The retreat center has great energy, beautiful surroundings, and warm, open people. The food was excellent and the lodging comfortable.

Venue Highlights

The Center at Ananda Laurelwood is located 45 minutes west of downtown Portland in Oregon, surrounded by farmland, forest, and wetlands, with vistas of gently rolling hills stretching west to the coastal range. Quiet, serene, and inspiring, the landscape itself rejuvenates the soul.

The campus was originally designed and built as a residential high-school for the Seventh Day Adventist community. Retreat buildings are updated and comfortable, while retaining the charm and nostalgia of mid-century architecture.

Classrooms are sunny and bright, with plenty of room to stretch out and immerse yourself in a workshop, discussion group, or movement class.

Afternoon yoga classes are offered almost daily, year round.

Group meditations are held each morning and mid-day. Meditation instruction can be arranged.


  • Free Wifi
  • Towels
  • Free Parking
  • Kitchen
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Cafe
  • Yoga Studio

Menu Types

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Organic
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Nut Free


All meals are vegetarian, with vegan and gluten-free options available. Grace Kitchen tries to accommodate special dietary needs.


Most of the accommodations at the Center at Ananda Laurelwood are dorm-style bedrooms with shared bathrooms down the hall. Most rooms have a sink in the corner. All rooms have ample closets and are quite spacious, light, and airy with good-sized windows looking out either across Laurelwood valley or onto the hillside above the retreat center.

You can choose your sleeping preference: twin, double, or queen bed. A small number of rooms have an en suite bathroom. A 2-bedroom apartment with kitchen and bath is also available.


From Portland airport (PDX), take the MAX light rail to the Beaverton Transit Station. Uber or Lyft are available for the picturesque, 30-minute drive to the Center at Ananda Laurelwood.

For GPS directions, enter Academy Way, Gaston OR.

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at The Center at Ananda Laurelwood

  • Nov 10, 2018 - Nov 10, 2018 ()


Thank you!

We're glad you've joined our retreat community. See you around :)

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Why Retreat?

We asked people why they go on retreat, here's what they said:

To fix me and therefore fix the world. Rogers

Retreat Guru's Vision

We believe human beings are innately wise, strong and kind. This wisdom, although not always experienced, is always present. Going on retreat is a beautiful way to reconnect to our basic sanity and health. Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness.

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