Instructions for Life: A Mindfulness Retreat for Women


“Instructions for Life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”

~ Mary Oliver

February 23 – February 26, 2017

Dharma Teachers Peggy Rowe Ward and Terry Cortés Vega

Ancient Yoga Center

400 Barsana Road | Austin, Texas 78737

Sponsored by Plum Blossom Sangha

Registration for this retreat is now closed! If you have already registered and need to make an online payment, please go to the Online Payment Page for instructions.

We are gathering wise women of diverse ages, backgrounds and experience to connect in community. We offer you a mindfulness retreat in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh with sitting meditation, outdoor walking meditation, dharma talks, total relaxation, and dharma sharing.  We will also offer experiences with such expressive arts as movement, music, yoga, art and dance as well as opportunities to deepen in the crucible of noble silence.

You will leave with a refreshed heart, renewed inspiration, and insight for your spiritual journey. (Not to mention a heart full of new friends.)

Peggy Rowe Ward and Terry Cortés Vega are dear friends and share passions in working with children, art, yoga and teaching.

Peggy has authored “Making Friends with Time” and “Love’s Garden.“ She has a Doctorate in adult education and is a much loved Senior Dharma Teacher with the Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh.

Terry is the funniest dharma teacher ever and one of the wisest ones. She is the founder of MasterSchool, a summer program for gifted youngsters, and has been one of Thich Nhat Hanh’s Dharma Teachers for 5 years.

Peggy and Terry will be assisted by other movement teachers, artists, and devoted Sangha leaders who will contribute their gifts and talents, including Margit Sereny, Rhonda Gudewich, Gale Spear, and Erin Ray.

Location: Our retreat will take place at the Ancient Yoga Center (400 Barsana Road, Austin, TX 78737), a short drive from downtown Austin yet a world away from the demands of day-to-day life. AYC is located at the beautiful Radha Madhav Dham Ashram, the home of one of the largest Hindu Temples in the U.S.A. Situated on 200 acres of picturesque grounds, the setting is beautiful and serene, a distinctive gathering place and supportive environment for spiritual reflection and meditation.

Arrival/Departure Information: Retreat check-in will be from 3:00-6:00 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23. The retreat begins with dinner at 6:00 and an evening program that will end by 9:00 p.m. Please plan to arrive no later than 9:00 p.m. The retreat will end after lunch on Sunday, Feb. 26. Departure from the retreat center will be around 1:00 p.m. Sunday.

Food: Meals will be provided and will consist of freshly prepared vegan dishes. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the retreat, we are unable to accommodate other special diets.

Accommodation: The Ancient Yoga Center offers a wide range of housing options. Overnight accommodations include a choice of private or shared rooms with an attached bath, or private or shared rooms with a shared bath just down the hall. Shared bath facilities are complete with showers that each include a small private dressing area. Click here to learn more about accommodation options.

Retreat Fees: Retreat fees vary based on the accommodation that you choose. Below is the TOTAL RETREAT FEE/person based on meals and a stay of 3 nights, 4 days (Thursday – Sunday, February 23 – 26).

  • Accommodations with a shared bath down the hallway
    • Room with 3+ single beds: $331 total retreat fee/person
    • Room with 2 single beds: $376 total retreat fee/person
    • Room with 1 single bed: $436 total retreat fee/person
  • Accommodations with a private bath attached – Note: all rooms with a private bath are now reserved; please choose a room with shared bath option.
    • Room with 3+ single beds: $361 total retreat fee/person
    • Room with 2 single beds: $391 total retreat fee/person
    • Room with 1 single bed: $466 total retreat fee/person
  • Commuter Rate (not staying overnight): $256 total retreat fee/person

Registration is now open! Scholarships may be available for this retreat. We’re trying to raise scholarship funds for this first-time women’s retreat. We’ll know by February 1st if we’ll be able to provide scholarship assistance. For questions about registration, please contact our registrar, Gale Spear, at