For the fifth year in a row, Shambhala Mountain Center will host “Courageous Women, Fearless Living,” a retreat for women touched by cancer. With meditation instructor Acharya Judith Lief, integrative medicine physician and professor Victoria Maizes, yoga instructor Linda Sparrowe, and yoga and sacred movement teacher Sofia Diaz (all shown below), the workshop includes include mindfulness meditation instruction, integrative medicine, and yoga and movement classes.
The program started in 2006. “Originally we talked about creating a program for women with breast cancer, but quickly realized that breast cancer gets the lion’s share of research money as well as public recognition and support,” says Sparrowe. “So we made the decision to reach out to any woman touched by any kind of cancer. We wanted something that blended Buddhist meditation (specifically in the Shambhala tradition), yoga, nutrition, info on holistic therapies, being in nature, and the power of coming together as women.”
The program, which runs Aug. 23-28, is open to a wide range of women dealing with cancer: Those who have just gotten their diagnosis, who are in the middle of treatment, who are in remission, and women whose cancer has returned. “Because of the nature of the retreat, we encourage caretakers to come as well,” Sparrow says. “We’ve had women bring their sisters, their best friends, the moms or daughters, and their hospice workers. We’ve had as many as 65 women and as few as 36.”
Partial scholarships are available for those who are unable to bear the program cost, which ranges from $745-$1,495, depending on lodging. “Eileen Fisher has contributed every year and this year has given us a
whopping $10,000. We’re hoping to match that,” says Sparrowe
To get an application or donate, visit Shambhala’s site.