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Returning to Our Senses: An In-Person Maitri Space Awareness Retreat

September 11

$500.00 – $950.00
silouette of woman's head against water background

Facilitated by Barbara Märtens and Melissa Moore

New dates! September 11-17, 2022 at Pema Drawa

The Retreat Center of Ari Bhöd, Tehachapi, California

“When you experience precision and gentleness, the phenomenal world is no longer seen as an obstacle - or as being particularly helpful, for that matter. It is seen and appreciated as it is. At this point, you can transmute the various defilements of passion, aggression, and ignorance into a state of wisdom.” Chögyam Trungpa

Karuna Training invites you to an in-person outdoor retreat designed to befriend, soften and liberate one’s mental conditioning. We invite a non-linear, nondual communication with the world by moving closer to nature and through elemental play. As a result, we take our lessons from nature toward a deeper understanding of the invisible forces at play within us in the form of emotions. 

Emotional energy has the potential to open our hearts and free creativity beyond all limitations. However, our emotions can also burden and imprison us, blocking our natural access to inherent wakefulness. The program is designed to ignite our innate capacity to commune with the sacred through the nuance of emotional intelligence.

In this retreat, we practice recognizing the sacredness within us, in others, and in the world surrounding us. We will explore the Five Buddha Families through daily rituals and creative play. 

The retreat is open to anyone interested in a contemplative approach to working with the unseen forces of the world and taking emotions as a path to liberating our innate connection to the sacred earth. This 6-day retreat is dedicated to practicing Maitri Space Awareness and the Mandala of the Five Buddha Families as introduced by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

Spend a week exploring the sacred Mandala of the Five Buddha Families at Ari Bhöd’s Retreat Center in Tehachapi, California.  The retreat is an exploration that combines mindfulness-awareness meditation with elemental postures taken outdoors when possible,, body awareness, and roaming in the wilderness. Daily we explore one Buddha Family, elementally and emotionally, and in the evenings we socialize.

The program is sponsored by Karuna Training, who offer certificates in Contemplative Psychology for basic and graduate program cycles. Contemplative Psychology is a training in integrating meditation into a path of taking emotions as a path to discovering wisdom. The baseline understanding is that people possess basic sanity or intrinsic health, and learning to turn our allegiance toward this health is at the heart of the compassionate practice. 

Ari Bhöd’s land is beautiful and rugged, and if you are up to it, we encourage you to sleep in tents. Indoor dorm space, some double rooms, and a few single cabins are available (on a first come, first serve basis). housing is all-inclusive with 3 meals a day. 

Program,  Food, and Accommodations Costs Combined:

Top Tier: Single rooms and individual or shared indoor bathrooms:  $950

Middle Tier: Indoor dorm rooms, shared cabins, and tented cabins with access to shared bath house:  $750

Lower Tier: Stand up tent provided, with access to shared bath house: $600

Lowest Tier: Camping with either your own tent, or provided tent, with access to shared bath house: $500

Note: We encourage those who can to tent - and live close to the elements. Ari Bhöd is 6000+  elevation. There will be time to roam and dance in the wilderness.

If you have questions about this event, please email our operations manager Mairead at Karuna.assist@gmail.com

Our Facilitators:

Barbara Martens and Melissa Moore have taught Karuna training together and independently for over 27 years. They have collaborated on the Maitri Space Awareness curriculum since 1994. They met at a meditation program at Dechen Chöling in France, dancing around a fire. They recognized a shared bond to the unseen energies of the world, the ordinary magic, as well as a fierce commitment to waking up. This program was first piloted in a retreat center in Costa Brava, Spain, in 1999 and was instantly integrated into the Karuna curriculum. Melissa and Barbara are seeking freedom outside of a Karuna Training cohort to offer an open free-standing program to see what the energies of 2022 have to teach us.


September 11
$500.00 – $950.00
Event Categories:


Melissa Moore
Barbara Märtens


Ari Bhod
16175 Paradise Valley Rd.
Tehachapi, CA 93561 United States
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Single Room Retreat Package
Single Room and Board with Shared Bath
$ 950.00
4 available
Dorm Room Retreat Package
Indoor tented cabins shared dormitory style with shared bath house
$ 750.00
13 available
Tent Retreat Package
Camping with tent and foamies provided or bring your own tent, shared bath house
$ 500.00
8 available
Stand-up Tent Retreat Package
$ 600.00
3 available