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Painting Improvisations: A Visual Jazz Exploration

Joanne Beaule Ruggles

The performing and visual arts share a common language and process. Visual artists can learn valuable lessons from jazz musicians, whose cre- ations depend on exploration, improvisation, and collaboration.

This workshop will lead participants through a series of visual exercises that develop the skills needed for risk-taking in the arts. Participants will discover ways to remember the fearless play of childhood while letting go of concerns about “abiding by the rules” or “getting to the right answer/representational image.” Students will identify specific aspects of the creative process that produce joy and explore ways to infuse them more frequently into their art making. Participants with diverse interests will find ways to incorporate nonobjective abstraction (pat- terns, abstract designs, free-flowing marks, or “visual jazz”) into their creative process and final artwork.

Whether your artistic interests fall in landscape, figure, still-life, or abstract painting, there will be something valuable for you in this workshop. Each day, additional mystery materials will be provided to participants for group activities.

You can view Joanne’s artwork at www.beaulerug-

Recommended reading: Nachmanovitch, Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art.

($25 materials fee paid directly to the leader)

Joanne Beaule Ruggles has been teaching since 1975. As a Cal Poly studio arts professor, she won the 2004 Distinguished Research Award. Since 2005, she has received grants from the James Irvine, Puffin, and Capelli d’ Angeli foundations.

Weekend of November 16–18

Soul Motion™: The Dance of the Master Vinn Martí

“This is the Dance of the Master: The movement of the moment is his only concern,” writes Vinn Martí. “She cultivates and nourishes the return again and again to the present. He sees total view, and pauses with ease. She moves through the dance floor with confidence. No body is ever challenged to do anything by his presence. She supports all in their expression of sound shaped by the body.

“Soul Motion is a conscious dance practice that brings together deep self-inquiry with an explo- ration of the outer worlds of relations, creative expression, and divine dialogue. Non-choreo- graphed movement with a clear set of working platforms and points of view gives Soul Motion its unique character. Soul Motion is a movement practice, a life philosophy, and pedagogy of a dance practice. The Dance of the Master weekend is about practicing the natural, alive moments of the dance that come and go without our com- mentary.”

Leader bio on page 57.

Changes and Transitions in Your 30s and 40s: How to Stay True to Yourself Phillip Moffitt

Your 30s and 40s are a transitional time in life. For most people, these decades are a time to make unique choices about how you want your life to be, and to find and step into your power. Yet these years can be fraught with questions, concerns, and fears. How do I know what will make me happy? What is meaningful? How can I be more authentic? Who am I, anyway…and how do I make big decisions? This workshop offers tools, practices, and principles that can help you answer these questions.

The program will explore topics including inti- macy, self-esteem, fulfillment in work, money, doubts and insecurities, and life balance. Each day there will be teachings, small group discus- sions, personal inquiry, and participatory exer- cises. You’ll have the opportunity to assess the issues in your life, develop options, and create a plan for making decisions. Each day there will also be some form of movement practice and a meditation experience. The workshop will emphasize making wise choices through clari- fication of your values. Additionally, there will be written assignments to allow you to get clearer on where you are presently in life and also create a vision for yourself. This retreat will specifically focus on looking within versus dwelling on external circumstances. Expect a weekend of self-exploration, self-inquiry, and ultimately, self-knowing for people in their 30s and 40s.

Phillip Moffitt, former CEO and editor-in-chief of Esquire magazine, founded the Life Balance Institute and now teaches vipassana meditation with an emphasis on living the dharma in daily life. Phillip is the author of Dancing with Life and From Chaos to Clarity.

The Promise: Advanced Yoga for Everyone

Mark Whitwell

Yoga is not a linear process. It is direct intimacy with life, and it is available to everyone. This weekend, Mark Whitwell offers yoga’s advanced practices in a way that you can integrate and make your own, whether you are just beginning to practice or have years of experience. The weekend involves an interwoven promise: You promise to practice yoga, and in return you receive the promise of yoga’s gifts, including health, intimacy, wellbeing, and joy. In order to experience these benefits, your yoga practice must be adapted to you, not you to yoga. With Mark’s skillful and heartfelt guidance, you will:

• Explore the five principles of advanced personal practice

• Dive into asana, pranayama, and meditation as a seamless process

• Discover how yoga transforms life into an intimate celebration with everything

• Experience the nurturing principle as a constant in your life from now on

• Return home with understanding and the embodied felt sense of your own joyful practice

This program is a regenerative and joyful event that will continue to reverberate through your daily life in very practical ways. For all levels; no prior yoga experience needed. Please bring a yoga mat.

Recommended reading: Whitwell, Yoga of Heart and The Promise; Desikachar, The Heart of Yoga.

Leader bio on page 26.

Your One Wild and Precious Life: For Women Jean Shinoda Bolen

Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? —Mary Oliver

In this gathering for women, Jean Shinoda Bolen will bring myths, goddess archetypes, dreams, and the sacred feminine to life. Contemplating or facing a life transition—in a significant relationship, career or work, mother- hood, health, menopause, a life-threatening ill- ness, or decision to follow an activist or spiritual calling—invites us to sit with Hecate, archetype of the wisewomen, medium, midwife, and god- dess of the crossroad. In the depth of her soul,


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