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Somatic Enlightenment: Awakening through the Four Kāyas

  • Tara Mandala Tara Mandala
  • Pagosa Springs, Colorado, United States
  • Aug 24 - 29, 2019 (6 days)
  • Camping - $480.00 Dorm Yurt, Men's - $588.00 Dorm Yurt, Women's - $588.00 Commuting - $480.00 Prajna 3-Bed Female Dorm/Family Room - $648.00 Prajna Double - $870.00 Prajna Queen Shared-Bed - $1,050.00 Prajna Queen Single - $1,470.00 Tent Cabin Sin

About This Event

It is a common truism that the key to awakening is training and taming the mind. If we can just observe our state more keenly, our thoughts and the thinker, we will eventually find peace. Without even intending to do so, we privilege the mind in our meditation practice.

But the mind alone will not free us. What we have missed in our enlightenment culture is that the essence of Bodhi, the wakefulness within, is not solely a transformation of consciousness. Bodhi is an awakening of heart, mind, and body—a psychophysical transformation.

The practices of Tantra have long recognized the power of the body to catalyze the fruits of awakening. As the Hevajra Tantra states, “Great wisdom lives in the body.” If we bring attention to the body, great wisdom reveals itself to us, like a hidden lotus blooming in the night.

The catalyst for this revelation is a journey deep into increasingly subtle layers of the body. There are four layers of embodiment that a yogi explores and penetrates: the physical layer, the energetic layer, the layer of subtle awareness, and the layer of non-duality. These four layers correspond to the buddhakāyas of Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.

In this five-day retreat, surrounded by the pastoral beauty of Tara Mandala, participants will

Explore their current relationship to the body.

Learn to experience insight in the body.

Learn meditations and asanas to explore and penetrate the four layers of embodiment.

Learn how these practices can supplement and re-enliven your current mindfulness or Vajrayana practice.

Discover how to access the body’s deepest wisdom.

Join a community of yogis in the beautiful mountains of Southern Colorado as we experience the power of the body to awaken us. Our retreat will be inspired by lineage wisdom from tantric masters including Niguma, Saraha, and Naropa. We will emerge with a simple, joyful collection of body-mind practices that bring wisdom, equanimity, compassion, and peace down from the realm of ideation into the truth of lived experience.

This retreat is open to all.

Please wear loose clothing and bring a yoga mat.

Suggested Dana: $240 – $300

"One cannot force or grasp a spiritual experience, because it is as delicate as the whisper of the wind." - Lama Tsultrim Allione.

Venue Highlights

Bordered by the San Juan National Forest and Southern Ute Tribal Land, Tara Mandala Retreat Center is on 700-acres of rolling hills and meadows adorned with many varieties of wildflowers, ponds, and forests. The land itself is a mandala with a stunning peak in the middle surrounded by four valleys. Retreat cabins are scattered across the landscape designed for deep retreat, and at its heart, is the extraordinary three-story Tara temple which celebrates the sacred feminine. The center has a Community Building, where residents and retreatants convene for meals, and other activities.


Tara Mandala offers a large residence hall (Prajna Residence Hall) for luxurious accommodations. Rooms have single or double beds. Private or shared bathrooms are available. Toiletries and towels are not supplied, so it is recommended that retreatants please bring their own. Retreatants can stay in one of our two Dorm Yurts. These yurts house 8-10 beds. We also offer a large camp-ground, for those who want to get back to nature for their retreat accommodation. For those who are camping and staying in yurts, showers are available in the Community Building, a short walk away. There are plenty of cubicles in the bathrooms to store your toiletries and personal belongings.


  • Free Parking
  • Kitchen
  • Coffee/Tea

Menu Types

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


All meals are delicious, vegetarian, made with all organic ingredients, and served buffet style. Kitchen staff ensure an abundant offering for every meal, in a variety of styles and culinary traditions. We offer tea stations in the Community Building and Temple, with a wide selection of teas and coffee, open 24 hours.


We are 90 minutes from the La Plata County airport in Durango (DRO) and 4 1/2 hours from the Albuquerque airport. The closest international airport is Denver (DIA). Our retreat land is a 25 minute drive from Pagosa Springs. You are responsible for arranging your own transportation. There are several options for ground transportation including professional shuttle services and rental cars from the airports in Denver, Durango, and Albuquerque. For ground transport from Durango Airport to Tara Mandala, we recommend Wilderness Journeys Pagosa. With this service, group discounts can be arranged for $50 each person, each way. A custom reservation is $100 one-way, $190 round trip. In addition to the options listed, you may be able to share a ride with other retreatants coming from various locations.

Reviews     To review this event, visit the page for the venue or retreat leaders (above).

  • Doris Hintsteiner   June 19, 2019


    It’s a very special place to participate in retreats, whichever! The whole surroundings of land and people living and working there makes it what it is , a place to learn, practice and live there and of course the presence of two Lamas . A chance to change in a positive way , even crusted staff has a chance to solve.

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Why Retreat?

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

After participating in more yoga classes and events this year than in my entire life, I am yearning for the opportunity to attend a professional retreat. The opportunity to grow my practice, learn from talented students and teachers, and immerse myself in this gorgeous Red Feather Lakes sanctuary is the dream of a lifetime! Sara

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.