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Discovering the Wild Body: The Five Buddha Families

May 14, 2016 - May 22, 2016


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As humans, we are often trying to understand and work with the energies that pervade our existence. In the Vajrayana Buddhist tradition, we are invited to relate to these energies directly, in their undomesticated essence. This includes the “wild” energies of our minds and bodies, like strong emotional energy, as well as the energy of the “wild” natural world.

One of the most profound ways to work with energy is through the Five Buddha Families, an ancient Buddhist system of understanding enlightened mind. Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche showed that the underlying energy of our lives, even when experienced through neurotic or egocentric lenses, is fundamentally good. We will be exploring Maitri practices developed by Trungpa in how to relate to the five energies and start to see through the constrictions of our egos. The energy of the mind and the world, free of ego attachment, is nothing less than the energy of life itself, a singular expression of enlightened mind.

In The Wild Body, we will develop a relationship with the “wild” energies of our existence, so their wildness ceases to be threatening, and confusion is transformed into wisdom. Awareness shifts our experience of the energies within ourselves, and likewise allows us to cultivate compassion in energies expressed in others.

We will be working with Five Buddha Families through sitting meditation as well as different postures that evoke the five energies. We will also be doing outdoor practices where we can experience these elemental energies (water, fire, earth, air, and space) in nature. This means our afternoons will be spent in the open and ruggedly beautiful land that surrounds the Blazing Mountain Retreat Center.

Register Now


Blazing Mountain Retreat Center

Crestone, CO



About the teachers

Jeremy Lowry has been a student of Dr. Ray since 1996. He studied with Reggie at Naropa University, where he earned a Master’s Degree in Buddhist Studies. He is currently a faculty member and administrator at Naropa, teaching courses on Buddhist and Western philosophy and psychology, women and gender studies and other topics. Among other things, he has supported faculty members in the creation and implementation of online courses on meditation and the Buddhist tradition. He has been a meditation instructor for more than ten years, and enjoys working with students from a variety of practice backgrounds and interests.


Colette Smart, Ph.D. has been practicing meditation since the late ‘90’s and has been a close student of Reggie’s since 2002. What draws her most to the Dharma Ocean lineage is the relentless commitment to the raw, gritty reality of one’s everyday life, seeing our lives as inseparable from and an expression of the practice. Unsurprisingly, she is particularly inspired to work with students around the topic of right livelihood and finding their place of belonging in the world. Outside of Dharma Ocean, Colette is a psychology professor at the University of Victoria in British Columbia where, amongst other things, she studies the effects of meditation on the brain, conducting research and teaching classes on this topic. She is also trained as a wilderness rights of passage guide and has a keen interest in the transformative power of relationship with the natural world.



To register for this program follow the “Register Now” link at the top of this page. We ask that participants interested in this program register early. Registration will close Friday April 29, 2016.

The total price of the retreat ranges from $820 to $1,665, depending on your choice of housing. This includes food, tuition, lodging, and tax. A more detailed breakdown of our retreat prices can be found here.

Retreat Details

Please plan to arrive between 4 and 7pm on Saturday May 14, 2016. Departure will be after breakfast on Sunday May 22, 2016.

If you are staff or work-study for this program, please plan on arriving a day early and departing after 5:00 pm on the departure day.

Check out our Program FAQ page for other important information about being on retreat at Blazing Mountain. For any further questions please email us at info@dharmaocean.org.

Scholarship & Work-Study

There will be scholarship and work-study opportunities available for this program. If you are interested in this option please register for the program and fill out an application by Friday April 1, 2016.

Click here for more information, and to find the online financial aid application.
 You are welcome to apply at any time. Applications will be reviewed shortly after the scholarship deadline.

Accommodations & Dining

Lodging for this event will be on-site only, and participants can choose from a number of options as they go through the registration process. To see the kinds of rooms available, look to BMRC Accommodations.

We are committed to sourcing the healthiest possible local, sustainable, and/or organic whole foods available to us from local farms and suppliers. In the kitchen, we prepare food in ways that are nutritionally balanced, beneficial to health and practice, and take into account all dietary preferences and restrictions. You can inform us of your dietary restrictions while registering (upper right corner of this page). Learn more about BMRC Dining


For general information about traveling to our retreat center, please see the Getting Here page on the Blazing Mountain website.

Dharma Ocean will be offering shuttle service from Moffat to the retreat center for those riding the Black Hills Stage Line from Denver. There are limited seats available for this service, therefore we suggest that you choose this option at registration if you need this service and would like to guarantee a seat. If you need to add this option please contact the Dharma Ocean Registrar (registrar@dharmaocean.org). The cost of the shuttle is $30 round-trip.

Program Staffing Opportunities

If you feel inspired and called to deepen your training by serving in a staff role, please visit Service and Volunteering Opportunities and fill out the staff request form. Preference will be given to people who submit their interest early on.