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6 Days Spiritual Counseling Teacher Training Retreat in California

Ananda Spiritual Counseling™ Training Meditation and Yoga Retreat USA

The program is for anyone interested in deepening the art of listening and solution orientation. This is an essential tool for anyone but this can be especially helpful for yoga and meditation teachers as advisers for their students. This program includes specialized exercises, introspection, practice counseling, and instructor feedback.

Part of the training is focused on learning about oneself, strengths and weaknesses, and one’s reactions to different situations. This self-introspection helps to remain even-minded and neutral when counseling others. The aspect of faith and trust in a higher power is also being presented and discussed, to help participants in this program clarify their own relationship with the divine. This is a beautiful and inspiring time of honestly sharing our experiences and challenges in trying to help others.

Highlights

  • 2 daily sadhana classes
  • Meditation and chanting sessions
  • Specialized exercises and introspection
  • Free Intuition for Starters book by Swami Kriyananda
  • Practice counseling and instructor feedback
  • 5 nights accommodation
  • 3 daily meals

Skill level

  • Beginner

Styles


5 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
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Accommodation

The accommodation options are for single or double occupancy. A single guest may choose to share a room with another guest of the same gender or occupy a room privately. Two guests traveling together may occupy a room privately.

Each guest room includes two twin beds, heat, air conditioning, towels, and bedding. A limited number of queen-sized beds are available. King conversions are available for an extra charge upon request. Fresh linens and towels are available weekly with no daily maid service. Wi-Fi is available for all guests. Guests who stay in a tent or RV have access to free Wi-Fi in Serenity Lounge as the Wi-Fi does not extend to all tent or RV sites. The Expanding Light Retreat has a computer lounge with two computers and a printer. Please be aware that the Expanding Light has limited handicap accessibility.

Private and shared DELUXE rooms

Harmony house

Each room has a private entrance, a private bathroom, air conditioning, a ceiling fan, and a hairdryer.

Private and shared STANDARD rooms

Cabins

Each cabin has one room, which is larger and more private than other standard rooms. Cabin occupants share separate men's and women's shower houses a few paces away and the path is lit after dark.

Serenity house

Serenity house is an inn-style house with twelve rooms and four hall bathrooms. Serenity House lounge is available for all guests. It is equipped with a small refrigerator for personal items, hot tea and a microwave.

RVs and tents

The Expanding Light Retreat does not provide tents or RVs. Please bring your own camping gear and be sure that tents are water tight in the case that it may rain. RVs are welcome year round, however, the property does not have RV facilities or hookups.

Tent spaces do not include facilities for cooking or picnicking. There is a high fire danger in the summer so no campfires are allowed, as well as candles, kerosene lamps, or anything with an open flame.

Because of animals, no food is allowed in the tenting area. The Expanding Light Retreat has a refrigerator behind the main kitchen which is available for guests.

Shower houses

For those staying outdoors, guests have access to separate men and women shower houses. Facilities have flush toilets, plenty of hot water, and shower and toilet partitions for your comfort and privacy.

The Expanding Light Retreat Professional Training Yoga Retreat California Program

This one-week program includes specialized exercises, introspection, practice counseling, and instructor feedback. Deepen your knowledge and understanding of how to counsel others effectively and bring out their divine nature.

During this course, you will learn how to:

  • Cultivate and recognize true intuition
  • Listen to, and assess, your intuitive feelings
  • Listen to someone’s higher self from your own
  • Avoid the temptation to try and “fix” people
  • Look for solutions, instead of being overwhelmed by the problem
  • Recognize subconscious, conscious, and superconscious thinking in yourself and others
  • Learn how to ask the questions that will open doorways for the other person
  • Find solutions for your own challenges

This is a beautiful and inspiring time of sharing honestly our experiences and challenges in trying to help others.

Included in your course materials is the book Intuition for Starters by Swami Kriyananda.

Members are disciples of Yogananda and students of Kriyananda: we are Kriya Yoga meditators, vegetarians, and represent many nationalities, races, and ages. This course is open to all and is also part of Ananda's Yoga Therapy Training. In this Course Syllabus, certain parts apply only to those seeking certification as an Ananda Yoga Therapist.

Spiritual Counseling Training starts the afternoon of the first date listed and ends with lunch on the last date

Below is a typical daily schedule. Schedule may vary depending on course or event. All activities are optional, you decide how much to enjoy.

Morning

  • 06:00 Wake-up bell
  • 06:30 Sadhana (spiritual practices) which consists of: Energization exercises (20 - 25 min,); Yoga postures (60 min.); Chanting (5 min.); Meditation (15 – 30 min.)
  • 08:30 Breakfast (in silence Monday - Saturday)
  • 10:00 Scheduled program, class, group activity, or free time

Afternoon

12:00 Meditation (5 min. chanting, 25 min. meditation)

12:30 Lunch

14:00 Scheduled program, class, group activity, or free time

16:45 Sadhana (spiritual practices) which consists of: Energization exercises (20 - 25 min,); Yoga postures (45 - 60 min.); Chanting (5 min.); Meditation (15 – 30 min.)

17:15 Lahiri Shrine Meditation (alternative to regular sadhana)

Evening

  • 18:30 Dinner
  • 19:30 Scheduled program, class, group activity, or free time

Instructors

Nayaswami Mangala
Nayaswami Mangala has an impressive background in yoga teacher training, Ayurvedic training and practice, and in-depth medical training and practice. She holds a master in nursing and has won awards as nurse practitioner of the year in 1982, and for outstanding achievement in teaching when she was a lecturer at The University of Washington School of Nursing in 1987.
Diksha McCord
Yoga Alliance E-RYT 500 (Yoga)
Nayaswami Diksha has been a popular Expanding Light teacher since 1997 as well as the director of the meditation teacher training program. She is a native Israeli who came to the U.S. in 1990 and is a powerful and dynamic woman who has shared yoga postures and yogic teachings across the United States, Canada, and Europe. She teaches many different courses at The Expanding Light. Diksha is also an outstanding chef and very knowledgeable about the yogic diet and Ayurveda, an Indian system of natural health and healing.

Location

Home to The Expanding Light yoga and meditation retreat, the Ananda community is situated on 700 acres of meadows and forests amidst the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains in northern California just outside Nevada City. It is approximately two hours east of Sacramento and two hours west of Lake Tahoe.

Ananda is organized like a village, with member-operated businesses, a school system, a market, homes, and temples. Expanding Light guests are offered tours of the village and are welcome to walk the acreage as you wish. The energy and vibration of kindness and respect for every guest are tangible. “Come as you are” and be welcomed. Here, the guest is God, and we see God’s love, peace, hope, and energy in everyone who comes.

Nearby places

  • Lake Tahoe - 2 hours
  • Portland - 12 hours
  • Reno - 2 hours
  • Sacramento - 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Seattle - 15 hours

Food

Three delicious and satisfying vegetarian buffet meals are included with the cost of your stay. Some of the dishes contain eggs and dairy. The Expanding Light uses organically grown foods as much as possible, including some organically grown eggs and produce from right here at Ananda Village, and organically grown fair trade coffee. They have a variety of tea and fresh fruit available all day.

The Expanding Light can accommodate some special dietary needs with non-dairy, non-wheat, and egg-free choices. If you have other dietary needs, it may be that they will not be able to accommodate them.

A small refrigerator for guests who are staying in serenity house lounge and a full-size refrigerator outside the kitchen are available for storing special foods guests might need during their stay. There is a market in the Ananda Village if you’d like to buy special items.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Snacks
  • Drinks

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Organic
  • Whole food
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Crystal hermitage

At crystal hermitage, guests can enjoy the spiritual heart of Ananda. Tour the beautiful gardens, small chapel, and the Shrine of the Masters, a small museum and gift shop housing holy relics from India and Ananda's line of yoga masters.

Hansa temple

A unique architectural building that houses longer morning meditations for Ananda residents. If some guests are experienced meditators and would like a 90-minute meditation, they are welcome to join. Ask for times at the front desk.

Healing prayer

A healing prayer, on an individual basis, is offered through the healing prayer ministry for a suggested donation between 40 to 100 USD. Session lengths vary based on individual need.

Individual spiritual counseling

Receive assistance and guidance tailored to your needs with counseling available from the Ananda ministers for a fee of 75 USD per hour. If you are interested, contact the front desk to schedule a private session.

Lahiri Mandir

This is a small chapel on the path to Lotus Lake. A sacred space ideal for meditation, Lahiri is open all the time for quiet reflection and meditation.

Lotus Lake

This lovely lake fills with water lilies and lotus flowers in summer. It is a beautiful area ideal for walks where you can often see wild birds. A path around the lake includes outdoor altars to the line of masters.

Masters market

A natural foods market with a deli, bakery, and cappuccino bar that also features homemade pizza on Friday nights, a local favorite!

Personal instruction in meditation

This is available to everyone Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday at 10:00 or at other times by appointment. Even if you currently meditate, it is encouraged to take the class which includes how to focus your mind, how to sit comfortably, when and where to meditate, and more.

Private yoga classes

Personally tailored to your body and needs, these classes are available with one of the certified Ananda yoga teachers for a fee of 75 USD per hour. You can focus on classical Hatha yoga or Restorative yoga. Contact the front desk to make an appointment.

Rajarshi park

A complex that houses a number of Ananda businesses including the management offices for the community; the healing prayer ministry, with 600 members worldwide who do healing prayers for those in need; and Crystal Clarity publishers, which produces books, DVDs, and CDs by Paramhansa Yogananda, Swami Kriyananda, and others on topics related to yoga, meditation, and self-realization.

Serenity lounge

This is a homey room located in the Serenity building. When not in use for a class, it is open to guests for relaxation, reading, yoga, meditation, watching videos, listening to music, or just socializing. Serenity lounge is also stocked with tea and coffee and equipped with a small refrigerator, microwave, and electric teapot for guest use.

The Expanding Light boutique

The boutique is located in the guest services building and is open from 09:00 to 17:00 daily. Full of unique treasures, The Expanding Light boutique is a favorite destination shopping stop for guests and locals alike.

The temple

This temple, located just off the dining room, is a beautiful space, in which daily practice of yoga postures and meditation is held, as well as classes and evening programs. When not in use for a scheduled class or event, it is open for meditation and Hatha yoga.

Spa treatments

Just across the meadow from The Expanding Light Retreat is The Center for Radiant Health. The Center offers massage, body and energy work, emotional freedom technique, career coaching, and astrology consultations. It is an independent cooperative of qualified Ananda health practitioners, available by prior appointment seven days a week.

Prices for massage sessions are 75 USD for a one-hour long massage and 95 USD for a one and a half hour long massage. They are a healing center rather than a spa, have treatment rooms but unlike a traditional spa, they have no pool facilities.

What's included

  • 2 guided yoga classes and energization exercises (sadhana)
  • 3 daily vegetarian meals
  • 5 nights accommodation
  • All classes and activities described in the program
  • All course materials as appropriate
  • Intuition for Starters book by Swami Kriyananda
  • Many options for meditation daily

What's not included

  • Transportation and airport shuttle

How to get there

Driving directions from Sacramento

  • Take I-80 towards Reno and go about 25 miles.
  • At Auburn, turn left on CA-49 toward Grass Valley or Nevada City and go 38 miles.
  • Just past Nevada City, turn left at the 49 to Downieville" sign.
  • Follow this road for 10.5 miles (watch your odometer). It's a curving mountain road that crosses the Yuba River.
  • Turn right on Tyler-Foote road, immediately after the sign for Malakoff Diggins State Park, and go about five miles.
  • Turn left on Ananda Way and left again, almost immediately, on Expanding Light Way.

Driving directions from Reno

  • Take I-80 towards Sacramento and go 55 miles.
  • Take CA-20 and go 27 miles.
  • Turn right on CA-49 towards Downieville and go 10.5 miles.
  • Turn right on Tyler-Foote road, immediately after the sign for Malakoff Diggins State Park, and go about five miles.
  • Turn left on Ananda Way and left again, almost immediately, on Expanding Light Way.

Driving directions from Seattle or Portland

  • Take I-5 to Williams, California.
  • Take CA-20 to Nevada City and go 77 miles.
  • Turn right on CA-49 towards Downieville and go 10.5 miles.
  • Turn right on Tyler-Foote road, immediately after the sign for Malakoff Diggins State Park, and go about five miles.
  • Turn left on Ananda Way and left again, almost immediately, on Expanding Light Way.

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flights to arrive at Sacramento International Airport (SMF). Another option is Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) but it's less preferable. The Expanding Light Retreat can organize transfers for an extra price and based on availability. Please request this service from them once you have booked your plane tickets.

Arrival by bus

Greyhound bus offers service from available cities to Colfax, approximately an hour from Ananda. To get to Ananda from Colfax, you will need to take a cab.

Amtrak offers limited bus service from available cities into Colfax (if coming from the East) and Auburn (if coming from the West), each about an hour away from Ananda. To get to Ananda from Colfax or Auburn, you will need to take a cab.

Arrival by train

Amtrak offers train service from available cities into Colfax (if coming from the East) and Auburn (if coming from the West), each about an hour away from Ananda. To get to Ananda from Colfax or Auburn, you will need to take a cab.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 25% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 7 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.
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Availability

Arrival: Tuesday September 11, 2018
Departure: Sunday September 16, 2018

Retreat information

Please request or book your reservation at least 24 hours prior to your desired arrival date.

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