Sponsored by the Arizona International Buddhist Meditation Center   (a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization)   432 South Temple Street, Mesa, Arizona, 85204

Email    Phone: 480-626-4153

December 10th - 11th , 2011 - Body and Mind Connection - A weekend retreat with Venerable Yogavacara Rahula

Bhante Ruhala image Bhante Yogavacara Rahula was ordained in Sri Lanka in 1975. He was a part of the Bhavana Society, West Virginia since 1987 and served as the vice-abbot. He regularly teaches and conducts retreats, including retreats integrating yoga breathing and exercise with vipassana. His approach to meditation emphasizes mindfulness of the body. Bhante Rahula conducts retreats in the United States, Canada and Germany. He also regularly goes to India to teach Buddhists and give talks in remote villages.

As a self-described “confused youth”, Bhante Rahula served a three-year stint in the army, then traveled in Europe and Asia. He spent much of this time living as a hippie, experimenting with a variety of recreational drugs. Eventually, he encountered Tibetan Lamas in Nepal and, after a month-long meditation course, began earnestly seeking a spiritually fulfilling life. He studied yoga in India, then traveled south and began learning about Theravada Buddhism. He ordained at Tapovanaya Buddhist Monastery under the tutelage of Late-Venerable Vangeesa Maha Thero in Sri Lanka and lived there for 11 years, practicing in solitary caves and huts, learning dhamma, and eventually leading retreats. Bhante Rahula describes his transformation from a young hippie and army dropout to a Theravadan Bhikkhu in his autobiography, One Night’s Shelter.

He has also written a number of other books. Most recently Meditation: Body and Mind Connection, a manual about the integration of simple yoga and movement with vipassana meditation which is not available because it is out of print now. Bhante Rahula has also written two other meditation manuals, Cutting through the Self-Delusion and The Way to Peace and Happiness , and a chronicle of his hiking and travels as a bhikkhu in India and Nepal, Traversing the Great Himalayas which you can order online.

Purpose of the retreat

This retreat will emphasize mindful attention to the body and breathing as the foundation for cultivating awareness and insight into the deeper nature of our body and mental process. We will practice meditation in sitting, standing and walking sessions. There will be nightly Dhamma talks, chance for a personal interview, clear instructions, questions and guided meditations. Loving-friendliness (Metta) meditation will begin evening meditation. We will also practice some Yoga stretching and breathing to help circulation and to concentrate in the body. This retreat is suitable for beginners as well as experienced meditators. Noble silence will be observed among students.


The retreat will take place at Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center in Carefree, Arizona. Please learn more about this beautiful retreat center, including location information, from their website at Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center  If you wish to stay over on Saturday night at the retreat center you may call the center directly and book a room.

Contact Information

Phone:  480-626-4153    

How to Register

If registering after December 5th please call AIBMC at 480-626-4153 to register by phone and simply bring a check with you to the retreat. Checks should be made out to AIBMC.

Venerable Rahula will also talk on "Mindfulness Meditation, on and off the Cushion" 7 p.m. Dec. 9 at Arizona International Buddhist Meditation Center, 432 S. Temple St., Mesa. The talk is free. You can also come to the talk and register Friday evening for the retreat if you like.


The retreat will begin at 6:30am on Saturday December 10th. Tea, coffee, and snacks will be available throughout the day. There will be a vegetarian lunch break at 11:30. The first day of the retreat will end at 8:30pm.

The Sunday schedule is the same as Saturday except that the retreat will finish at 5:30.