Be Your Own Guru Retreat

Mandala Springs Wellness Retreat Center

Leslie Barker
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Oct 22 - 25, 2020
Group size: 15 - 25
Be Your Own Guru Retreat
Mandala Springs Wellness Retreat Center

Leslie Barker
  • Email address verified
  • Facebook verified

Oct 22 - 25, 2020
Group size: 15 - 25

About this trip


Discover, explore, and experience new paths to the inner you! 

Be Your Own Guru is an innovative retreat designed for self-exploration of various mind-body

practices in the peaceful enclave of Mandala Springs Wellness Center  - located just 2 hours north of the Bay Area in the beautiful Mayacama Mountains of northern California.  For 4 days and 3 nights, unwind and discover what it means to connect you to YOU! Enjoy multiple activities or simply spend time leisurely exploring and relaxing. Design your own retreat! Take home new perspectives and life skills to integrate into everyday life. Become your own guru!  See below for what we have to offer...


Experience and learn about the Japanese healing art of Reiki.  Reiki Master and Teacher Leslie will offer individual 30-minute sessions for you to relax, let go and renew.  Reiki is a safe and natural hands-on healing that can help you find balance, peace of mind, and total relaxation.  

*Individual sessions are limited, pre-registration is required*

Qi Gong

Begin your day with some gentle and easy QiGong movement to wake up your body and get your energy moving.  QiGong is a series of standing-in-place movements designed to focus and calm your mind while balancing and energizing the body.   QiGong deepens self-awareness of your connection with the Earth.  We will gather in a group to greet the morning and generate a fresh start to our day.

*Classes open to all, no registration required*


Begin your day with a  30-minute gentle flow yoga practice to get your mind and body ready for the day.  Suitable for everyone, you will be guided through various postures -  linked by your breath - to clear out stagnation and to deepen your connection to your inner Guru. Yoga means "union" or "to yoke".  The physical postures and breathwork are used in yoga to yoke all aspects of ourselves - body, mind, spirit, emotions - to present moment.  We will gather in a group to greet the morning and generate a fresh start to our day.

*Classes open to all, no registration required*

Shamanic Journeying

Using indigenous spiritual wisdom, walk a few steps down a medicine path of healing and empowerment.  Guided through a sacred pipe ceremony, attune to the loving presence of medicine animals, ancient grandmothers and grandfathers who are always present. Each participant will learn and perform a versatile and convenient feather ceremony, designed to assist in any area of life, from resolving conflict to manifestation.  Afterward, take home your own medicine pouch to use as desired on your path to Be Your Own Guru.

*Class size limited,  pre-registration is required*

Personal Rituals: Connecting to You

Come explore and share the many ways we all uniquely align with our source, our authentic self. We will honor our differences and connectedness while affirming that my path does not impede your path.

Bring a pen, journal, and an open mind and heart.

*Class size limited, pre-registration required*

Be Yourself Dance

Movement is a way to connect to the energetic flow. Music ignites the flame within and encourages the pulse of life to express itself. Join others in dance, as we move in ways that feel good. Enjoy the freedom to move to your own rhythm, jump to your own heartbeat, or gently sway to the love within. Be Yourself Dance is a time to quiet the inner critic and just be with the music.

*Class open to all, no registration required*

The Four Agreements - A Discussion

Join our "retreat book club" for a brief look at the life-changing book The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz.

 The Four Agreements help reveal the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.  We will explore these agreements and see how they are applied in everyday life.

Please read before the retreat so you can bring your own experiences to the discussion.  

*Class size is limited, pre-registration is required*

Inspired Mala Bead Making

Mala beads have been used by yogis and spiritual seekers for thousands of years to help keep their minds focused during prayer and meditation. Join artisan and craftsperson, Maryse, as she shows you how to design your own special jewelry inspired by the ancient practice of mala bead making. 

*Class size is limited; pre-registration is required*

Abhyanga and Ayurveda

For centuries, people all over the world have used massage for therapeutic healing, to destress, or to simply feel good in their own skin. Massage doesn’t have to be expensive or inconvenient when you know the self-massage technique called Abhyanga (Ah-be-hyang-ga).  During this session, you will be guided through gentle movement to prepare your body and mind for learning this powerful yet simple self-massage technique. While we soothe ourselves, we will discuss a brief overview of the 5,000-year-old holistic health system called Ayurveda (Eye-yur-vay-da), in which this technique is rooted. You will leave empowered with this simple technique that will have you glowing from the inside out.

*Class size is limited; pre-registration required*

Afternoon Tea Time

Take a break to relax and reflect with your fellow retreat mates while sharing teas from all over the world.

Enjoy some homemade goodies too!

*Open to all, no registration needed*

Walking Meditations

Take a sunrise or sunset (or both) walking meditation on the beautiful 112 acres of Mandala Springs.  Meander down to the rolling stream and dip your feet in the cool waters or hike up the side of the mountain and sit in meditation on one of the many platforms overlooking the lush mountainside. 

*Open to all, no registration needed*

Yoga Nidra

Come lie down in a comfy nest to be guided in a deeply relaxing and rejuvenating practice called Yoga Nidra (Nid-ra), or Yogic Rest.  When we rest in stillness, we allow the body, mind, and spirit to digest, process, and integrate all that we’ve taken in during the day, through all of our senses. You’ll be given a brief overview of the practice and its benefits before you settle into your nest to receive the potent medicine of Yoga Nidra.

Sacred Circle Ceremonies

The circle is a universal symbol that represents the notions of totality, wholeness,  the Self, the infinite, eternity, timelessness, and all cyclic movement.  We gather in a sacred circle to ground ourselves in togetherness and solidify our fellowship. 

In our morning circle, we will gather to set our intentions for the day and motivate each other with love and community.  In the evening circle, we will come together to collectively process and let go of our day, ask questions, tell stories, laugh, cry, or maybe just listen.  

Cancellation Policy

Due to the small nature of this retreat and our pre-registration requirements, we can not offer refunds, but are happy to work with you to the best of our abilities if an emergency occurs.

Note about COVID-19:  If we are not able to run the retreat due to COVID concerns, we will cancel 30 days in advance and provide refunds. 

Meet Your Team

Leslie Barker is a Reiki Master/Teacher living and practicing in the Bay Area.  She started

Blue Heron Reiki & Wellness in SanFrancisco 3 years ago after moving there from Atlanta, GA.  She has been a Reiki/Master Teacher since 2012 and will tell anyone who will listen that Reiki transformed her life and was the catalyst to her own spiritual and personal healing journey.   She has studied many different spiritual and wellness modalities but she credits her study of 'A Course in Miracles' as her bedrock.  She believes that the greatest  "miracle" is the act of simply gaining a full awareness of love's presence in one's own life. She has enjoyed getting to know and experience California and feels it is a privilege to live in such beauty and natural wonder every day.  

Nicky Lucero-Tenney began her journey on the medicine path at the age of 12 when her interest and affinity for the invisible realms of the occult drew her to contact those on the other side and in other realms.  In 1998, she met a shamanic teacher, Moonhawk, who trained her to ground herself in ancient indigenous North American teachings, focusing her skills for self-empowerment and healing of herself and others. Nicky is an initiated pipe carrier and ceremonial guide and is thrilled to be able to share these very special teachings with you.

Doreen O’Brien grew up with the teachings of Religious Science, which gave her a foundational understanding that she is responsible for her own life creations through her thinking and choices. She innately knows all things are energy and the most powerful modalities come from within yourself. Throughout her life Doreen has studied the teachings of Holographic Repatterning, Jin Shin Jitsu, Reiki, Pranic Healing, Family Constellations, Thai Chi, and Qigong, to name a few. Doreen sees the interconnectedness of all these techniques as well as their uniqueness. At various times in her life, Doreen’s journey may or may not include elements from traditions built by others. Ultimately it is for Doreen alone to forge her unique path. In our current world, forming your own way can be lonely. Doreen wants to be a touchstone for other souls doing it their way, offering connection and affirmation that it is okay to Be Your Own Guru.

Catie Butler Lasich  was first drawn to yoga 20 years ago to build strength and flexibility, and quickly fell in love with how the postures and breathwork helped her harness her rambunctious, playful nature.  Seeing the benefits off the mat, like increased focus, sense of calm and more self awareness, led her to deepen her practice and studies in Yoga and Ayurveda by completing various teacher trainings: 200-hour RYT (Yoga Loft), 500-hr RYT (Sri Yoga), Yoga Nidra (Uma Dinsmore-Tuli), Yin Yoga (Sarah Powers), 20-hour Restorative Yoga, Pre and Post Natal (Yoga Garden) and 600-hour Ayurvedic Health Counselor (Shakti School).  Drawing from her vast life experiences as a traveler and HR Professional, and from Yoga and Ayurveda philosophies, Catie creates experiences to support her students where they are in their journey and to encourage them to explore their boundaries. Forever a student, she is always seeking experiences that enable a deeper connection to self and to the world.

Maryse  Frivold

What’s included

  • All Meals
    Enjoy delicious vegetarian (vegan, gluten free available upon request) meals prepared by the chefs at Mandala Springs with bounty from their organic garden.
  • All Activities/Events
    You will have access to all activities we offer but you must be registered in advance for some. More information on the schedule and registration process will ne in your "welcome package" coming soon!
  • Accomodations
    4 days and 3 nights in your choice of single, double or dorm-style occupancy.
  • Pool
    Enjoy a dip in the pool or an afternoon nap under the canopies. Towels provided.
  • Biking
    Bikes available to enjoy treking around the beautiful Mandala Springs property.
  • Hiking
    Hike to your heart's content and discover hidden treasures throughout the Mandala Springs property.
  • Paddle Boats/Boards
    Paddle in the Mandala Springs pond for a little fun and gentle exercise.
  • Miniature Golf
    Take a break and lazily putt-putt your way through the course.
  • Fire Pit
    Gather in the evening for communal time around the fire.
  • Lawn Sports
    Get up a vigorous game of volleyball or Frisbee. Or enjoy a leisurely round of croquet or horse shoes.
  • Yoga Props
    Bring your own mat or use one of theirs. Blocks, straps and bolsters provided.
  • Free Time
    It's your retreat so you get to take as much free time as you'd like.
  • Wi-Fi
    Free Wi-Fi available
  • Transportation
    Travel to and from Mandala Springs is not included.
  • Massage
    Individual massage is availble for an extra charge and limited to availability
  • Snacks
    Snacks and beverages can be purchased at the general store onsite or you can bring your own. Please keep in mind Mandala Springs is a vegetarian and substance-free event center.

Available Packages

Kelsey Lodge Dorm Style
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Newly remodeled, and renovated, dorm-style lodging offers 2 connected air-conditioned bedrooms with 1 shared bathroom.  Full kitchen with all new appliances available for all to enjoy. Relax in the open yet comfy living area overlooking Kelsey Creek or enjoy the outdoors on the newly constructed deck under the redwoods. 

*This accommodation is not ADA approved*

Deposit: $200
Kelsey Lodge-Private Room (shared bath)
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Enjoy a private room (twin bed) in the newly renovated Kelsey Lodge.   1 full bathroom and kitchen are shared with other lodgers.  Relax in the open and comfy living area overlooking Kelsey creek or enjoy the outdoors on the newly constructed deck under the redwoods. 

*This accommodation is not ADA approved*

Deposit: $200
Double Luxury Cottage
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Enjoy a  charming and fully furnished cottage that you can share with a friend or possibly your new best friend.  These 400 square foot cottages have an open floor plan with  2 co-joined bedrooms. Each room has a queen bed, nightstands, lamps, and a dresser. Adjoining is an ensuite bathroom with a tiled walk-in shower and vanity (towels provided). Equipped with a kitchenette, mini-fridge, small dining table, stovetop, and cooking necessities, each cottage is supplied with all of the modern comforts of city life in a rural, forested setting. 

*If you wish to share a cottage  with a friend who is attending,  please make sure to note this in your registration*

Deposit: $200
Single Luxury Cottage
only 3 left

Enjoy one of the new and charming luxury cottages all to yourself.  Each 400 square foot cottage has an open floor plan. The master bedroom, has a queen bed, nightstands, lamps, and a dresser. Adjoining the master bedroom is an ensuite bathroom with a tiled walk-in shower and vanity. The secondary room doubles as either a living area or a secondary bedroom. We offer cottage models that have a pull-out couch, or two twin beds. Equipped with a kitchenette, mini-fridge, small dining table, stovetop, and cooking necessities, each cottage is supplied with all of the must-haves for a comfortable and unforgettable stay. 

*Only 1 ADA approved cottage available*

Deposit: $200

Your Organizer

Leslie Barker
Leslie is a Reiki/Master Teacher in San Francisco, California. Her passion in life is to help others uncover their inner beautiful selves so they can live a happy and peaceful life. When not teaching or practicing at her business, Blue Heron Reiki, she and her husband love to travel with their crazy Boston Terrier named Holden whenever they can.