Koan:The stone that’s lost in the river is found in the river.

Koan: Someone asked “What’s it like when you’ve gone through the Great Death and then come back to life?”

The teacher answered “Don’t accept walking about in the night. You have to emerge back into the daylight.”

Life keeps throwing us into darkness, the unknown, the unforeseen. Things are lost for a time, we fetch around in the dark and feel our way in a world without defined edges. This can even be a blessing. And then something tells us it’s time to come back into the light. How do we get found? That’s a meditation question. In the darkness it’s possible to start to see landmarks, light through the cracks. It’s good to have company and explore this territory together.

There will be meditation, teaching and conversation, walks and time to feel the dark and to emerge.

Rachel Boughton, Roshi is a Zen koan teacher and an artist and mother of two grown children. She studies Jungian Psychology and dreams and is especially interested in the dream of ecology and the emergence of a sense of purpose and balance for these times.


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Fees & Accommodations: Includes daily teachings, optional private meetings with teacher, accommodations, meals and transportation to and from Oaxaca city to the venue.

NOTE: Retreat Spaces are limited & city accommodations during Day Of the Dead fill up early, so plan to confirm early.

D can also help you arrange accommodations in Oaxaca City
with other retreat participants as well as provide basic orientation to
Oaxaca and Days of the Dead events.

Venue: Paraje Bonanza is a sustainable living training center about an hour south of Oaxaca City, cerca de Ejutla de Crespo, specializing in natural building materials and recycling for new uses in construction. They produce almost all of their energy using wind and water. Located in a quiet forested area, the many acres include a reservoir set in the mountains. Accommodations are rustic. Food is simple but ample. Paraje is also affectionately known as Tonantzin Tlalli, the ancient name of the dark grandmother goddess.

What else is going on in Oaxaca just prior to Rachel’s retreat –
(another reason to make the trip):

Oaxaca & Days of the Dead
Dias de Los Muertos
October 31–November 2

Oaxaca is a mid-sized colonial city with vibrant arts, cuisines, archeological sites and diverse cultures. The state of Oaxaca includes high mountains with an abundance of wildlife, exotic plants, and geological formations, and a coast with some of the finest beaches in Mexico.

Sample some Oaxaca events:

What’s Happening in Oaxaca
Oaxaca Events

​About archeological sites
The Cultural Sites

About the coast:
Nearby Coastal Towns

​Days of the Dead happen Oct 31-Nov 2 annually. For visitors, planning ahead is essential.

Hotels and airbnb rentals fill up weeks in advance, and the city and surrounding towns fill with celebrations both solemn and festive. Special foods and special forms of art abound (like candy skulls and giant sand paintings in the streets). Visitors may find themselves in a crowd of face-painted mezcal-drinking skeletons, and with a different way of looking at life and death that is outside the usual views and boxes.

Things to do in Oaxaca for Day of the Dead,
More things to do
How Locals Celebrate
Not Halloween

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