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Manifesting the Wisdom of the Body: A Zen Mind, Yoga Body Retreat with Samantha Ostergaard and Robert Thomas

Have you tried to meditate and found that physical discomfort prevented you from being able to concentrate?

Or maybe you were frustrated by your inability to slow down your thoughts or settle your mind, and were never able to get past this? 

Many people come up against these difficulties when they try to meditate. But the solution is not that you need to try harder to concentrate, or do something special to get rid of your thoughts, or that you need to meditate for longer periods of time. It’s much simpler and more direct than that. 

In this half-day retreat Samantha and Robert skillfully guide you with alternating sessions of yoga and Zen Buddhist practice that make it possible for you to experience a deeply settled meditation practice and manifest the innate wisdom of your body and mind. 

The yoga practice will focus on preparing your body and mind for meditation through hatha and restorative sequences. You will experience how yoga makes it possible for your body to sit in an upright meditation posture without discomfort. You will learn how to create the conditions for your thoughts to slow down and naturally settle, so that you can access and enjoy the internal clarity, freedom and spaciousness that is available to you in every moment. 

Through the profound insights of Zen Buddhism we will explore what it is to accept our experience and fully meet the present moment. You will be encouraged to wake up to a wider sense of possibility in your moment-to-moment experience. This awakens the body and mind as one being, and allows you to connect intimately with your true, original nature. Returning to the experience of yourself in the present moment, your practice unfolds naturally, guided by your body’s innate wisdom. 

With a Zen mind, yoga body practice you will discover a greater sense of connection, wholeness and well-being, so that you can open to the boundless possibilities in every moment of your life.

This retreat will be accessible to beginners, and may provide a refreshing new perspective for more experienced practitioners of yoga and meditation.

Samantha Ostergaard brings two decades of training in therapeutic and restorative yoga to guide you in practices that restore, rebalance and realign body and mind. Her yoga teaching is deeply influenced by three transformational years of training in Zen meditation practice at Tassajara, a Zen monastery in the mountains near Big Sur, CA. Her teaching emphasizes meditative awareness in the yoga poses, along with alignment principles that energize and harmonize the body. Samantha is an acupuncturist and yoga therapist in San Francisco, specializing in helping people recover from chronic pain. For more information please visit 

Do-On Robert Thomas spent six years as a monk at Tassajara, a Zen monastery near Big Sur, CA, and has been practicing Zen Buddhism for over 22 years. He is a Zen priest and Dharma teacher with dharma transmission from his teacher, Zoketsu Norman Fischer. His teaching is focused on helping people extend the deeply grounded yet expansive awareness of Zen meditation into the activities of everyday life. He is the founding Spiritual and Executive Director of San Francisco Zen Center’s Sangha Project, which is using digital technology to extend Buddhist practice into the world.

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