June 11, 2012
Breath of Fire, Breath of Peace

Breathing Practices in Zen and Yoga: A retreat at Tassajara

Rosemary Garrison, a yoga teacher who believes the practice can uproot, heal and liberate, and Jiryu Mark Rutschman-Byler, who has trained full time in Zen since 1996, invite you to explore the practice of breath in Soto Zen and Vinyasa Yoga in this four-day retreat. This July 27-30, come as is and expect to return enlivened, grounded, replenished and supported with tools to nourish your practice and being.

Indivar Sivanathan

“I’m very excited to join Rosemary in leading the upcoming Zen and Yoga breath retreat at Tassajara!  The retreat is a chance for me to focus and renew my long-standing study of breath in Buddhist meditation – the ways breath practice opens tranquility and insight alike, how it can offer us a mirror of our mind, a measure and guidepost of our grasping or our letting go.  It’s a chance for me to immerse myself again with mind and body into the question of what approaches to breath attention support ease and joy, support the wisdom of accepting an ordinary life, and what approaches draw me away from that. So the prospect of a weekend into which to just plunge into my breath, and our shared breath, is shining very brightly for me in the midst of an all too busy summer.

“And where better to do this than in the profound quiet of Tassajara? I’ve flowed in and out of Tassajara, training there now and again to total five of the last fifteen years, and I’ve often felt that the gift of Tassajara is simply the clarity that there is nothing at all to do. There is nothing at all to do – nothing except to attend to the breath, the body, the mind, to attend to the present arising. I’m selfishly looking forward to the renewal of that clarity for myself, but even more so I treasure that group process of mutual settling, touching clarity together. Rosemary and I will do all we can do to hold a retreat space in which we can all freely encourage one another and offer to one another, with words or in silence, the insights and the sudden freshness — ‘oh yes, I’m alive!’ — that the mountains and waters of Tassajara seem almost crafted to invite us to stumble upon.” — Jiryu Mark Rutschman-Byler

“The second time I came to Tassajara, at 16, I fell in love. Being utterly removed in the heart of the Ventana Wilderness, immersing my body in hot baths and cold streams, eating delicious and abundant food, climbing into the mountains for early morning hikes, exploring the beginnings of Zen mediation … the entire experience combined into a real and accessible Shangri-la.

“The reality that I am now able to share this sacred place with others is deeply fulfilling. Tassajara offers unparalleled integrity, rugged beauty, authentic teachings, and the presence of the sacred in the very air around you.

“Students on the Breath of Fire ~ Breath of Peace Retreat can expect to immerse themselves in the essence of Tassajara. I am so moved by the opportunity to teach with Jiryu and offer everyone the benefits of both the Yogic and Zen traditions. Through a series of breath practices, we will be able to access the commonalities in both disciplines … and also serve to open retreatants to their own inner source, their hearts, their intuition, their own beings. The landscape itself, combined with decades of authentic Zen practice on and with the land, will offer herself to support our journey.

“Jiryu and I both feel eager to welcome everyone and assist in any way we can to serve our students’ experience and guide them into and through the most fulfilling and illuminating weekend possible. The breath can and will take you there …”  — Rosemary Garrison