Meditating with the Body®: Portland!

posted Feb 23, 2018, 8:17 AM by Dharma Ocean Portland   [ updated May 14, 2018, 5:34 PM ]

October 26, 2018 – March 13, 2019

Meditating with the Body® is a training program developed by the renowned Buddhist scholar, meditation teacher Dr. Reggie Ray. In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the body is considered to be the gateway to enlightenment - to discover the body is to discover awareness and our own most direct and effective path to profound spiritual transformation.

Designed for beginning and experienced meditators alike, this in-depth training focuses on a series of powerful body-based meditation practices drawn from Tibetan Yoga. The comprehensive five-month program cultivates learning and discovery through systematic study, intensive practice, and integration of the practices into daily life.  It is one of the prerequisite courses for entering the Vajrayana in the Dharma Ocean lineage.

Training begins and culminates with five-day residential retreats where participants are introduced to the practices within the depth of retreat and supported by the warmth of fellow retreatants, meditation instructors, and a beautiful Columbia River Gorge environment. Between retreats, practice deepens through an extensive at-home curriculum of readings and guided practices enriched by personalized guidance from a meditation instructor and a study group led by your meditation instructor.

 Curriculum Highlights

  • In-depth instruction in mindfulness-awareness meditation practice
  • Establishing strong inner and outer sitting posture based on the principles of alignment, relaxation and resilience
  • Extensive instruction in the Tibetan Yoga practices of: prana breathing, earth breathing, diagnostic breathing, and many more breath awareness exercises
  • Uncovering the genesis and nature of the “self,” including how and why it is created and maintained
  • Working directly with physical discomfort, illness and disease
  • Experiencing the body as the expression of your personal karmic history
  • Understanding how karma is created, stored and released in the body
  • Relating to the body as the manifestation of enlightenment itself
  • Teachings on the Four Noble Truths, the Five Skandhas, Spiritual Materialism, Buddha Nature, and more

During each retreat, you will strengthen your practice with:

  • Extensive daily instruction from Amy Stahl, Dharma Ocean Senior Teacher
  • A daily question and answer period
  • A private meeting with a personal meditation instructor
  • A meeting with your meditation study group to share your experiences within a small group context
  • A structured sitting schedule to apply your learning and further develop your practice

For the months In between the retreats, your practice will deepen with:

  • A substantial at-home curriculum created by Reggie Ray exclusively for Meditating with the Body including recorded lectures, readings, and guided exercises lead by Reggie to further your conceptual and experiential understanding of how the body is the gateway to enlightenment
  • A monthly private interview with your personal meditation instructor
  • A monthly meeting with your meditation study group

Reading List

During the 4-month home study, we will be using the following books as part of the curriculum:

“Cutting through Spiritual Materialism,” by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

“Indestructible Truth,” by Reginald Ray

“Secret of the Vajra World,” by Reginald Ray

“Touching Enlightenment,” by Reginald Ray

“The Posture of Meditation,” by Will Johnson 

You will need to purchase the above 5 books on your own.


5-day Opening and Closing Retreats:

Menucha Retreat and Conference Center, Corbett, Oregon 

Opening Retreat: October 26 – 31, 2018
Closing Retreat: March 8 – 13, 2019

Group meetings will be at our usual Portland location.  Individual meditation instruction meetings will be at agreed upon locations.

Retreat Cost

The total price of the program is $2100. (This includes tuition, food and lodging for the retreats, but not the books in the list above.)  Scholarships/workstudy may be available.  If you would like to make a contribution to a scholarship fund to support sangha members who may be unable to afford the program, please write. 


Please write to reserve your spot and make a deposit.  The program is limited to 12 and is offered only to members of the Portland sangha.

Program Staffing Opportunities

If you feel inspired and called to deepen your training by serving in a staff role (and if there are enough participants, a workstudy scholarship), please contact me.  


Teacher & Program Leader

Amy RM Stahl has been an ardent student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche's dharma for nearly twenty years. She became a student of Dr. Ray in 2002 while earning a Master of Divinity at Naropa University, and is a Chaplain in the Dharma Ocean lineage. She has been a meditation instructor since 2004, and works primarily with Vajrayana students.  She has been teaching since 2011 as Director of Dharma Ocean Portland. Amy recently edited a compendium of Dr. Ray’s teachings on Vajrayogini, and is a teacher in The Sogetsu School of Ikebana. 

Meditation Instructor

Kathryn McNeill has studied mindfulness and spirituality for 18 years, and became a student of Reggie Ray in 2002. She lives in the Pacific Northwest and works as an attorney to uphold the basic rights of low-income families. This work requires her to bear witness to the suffering, trauma and resiliency of her clients on a daily basis.  She engages her clients and students with humor, curiosity and deep reverence for the wisdom held within each body, each experience.  She is trained in the Hakomi method and as a life coach, and before my time as an attorney worked as an educator and advocate for healthy families.