Tai Chi Qigong

Silk Reeling Qigong comes from Chen Style Tai Chi. It was developed by Chen Fa-ke who described is as feeling like his body was full of tornados. It emphasizes spiral whole body movements the teach the fundamental principles of Tai Chi while promoting health in the body as well as the mind. 

Aaron Dison is the head instructor at Dragon Phoenix Kung Fu. He has studied many styles of martial arts since 1998, but gravitated towards the Internal Tai Chi based styles as he saw how it is more in harmony with the natural movements of the body and promotes health along with being very effective as a martial art. He teaches Kung Fu for kids and teenagers as well as Tai Chi for adults in North Asheville.

The Magic and Mystery of the Natural World: Exploring Core Routines of Deep Nature Connection

In this day and age, an understanding of the human impact on the environment is virtually impossible to ignore. Likewise, these environmental problems impact our daily lives and will continue to do so for generations. We know that human impact on the environment can be curbed through increased education, making thoughtful choices, acts of stewardship, and developing deeper connections with nature. At Rainbow Community School (RCS) we believe that environmental stewards are birthed from a learning atmosphere that sees nature as sacred and divine. The culture, climate and programming at RCS aims to nurture an intimate and empathetic bond with the natural world, specifically, during the formative years of childhood that will grow over time into meaningful and enduring environmental action. In this workshop, we will investigate rituals and activities that help infuse a love and appreciation of the natural world into our lesson plans and classroom culture, setting a primary stage of development for lifelong environmental stewards. Suggested Audience: Educators and parents

West Willmore has been teaching in alternative educational settings for 14 years- from environmental education centers, nature’s classroom and for the last 9 years- at Rainbow Community School (RCS), a holistic school in Asheville, NC. She has served RCS as teacher, teacher leader and coach, and professional development coordinator. She is currently the RCS Curriculum Director, Marketing Coordinator and resident naturalist. She is also the co-founder of Rainbow Institute, an arm of RCS with a mission to inspire a holistic education movement through transformative learning experiences, resources, and research. West holds a B.S. in Natural Resources and Environmental Science from the University of the South, a M.Ed from Montana State University, a graduate certificate in Environmental Education from the Teton Science Schools and is a North Carolina certified teacher and administrator. West also has extensive experience in social, emotional and spiritual curriculum development and implementation and is passionate about sharing the ways to invite soul in the classroom and school.


The Mandala as Meditation

Join us for a session of guided meditation and mandala drawing.  Circles have long been used a a way to invite relaxation, clarity, and focus.  This is an opportunity to go deep within and connect to your intuition. No art experience is needed. It’s about the process, not the product.

Kara Ashley-Gilmore is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate, Art Therapist, and mixed-media artist at Mountain Creative Arts Counseling, located in downtown Hendersonville. Her life’s work is about helping people be more creative, use their creativity for personal growth, and incorporate creativity into their daily lives. Kara provides individual and group counseling and art therapy to adolescents and adults who feel crushed by the weight of their anxieties, and want to live more present lives. She also leads art therapy groups at local assisted living facilities and teaches art workshops and classes at her studio, which has been described as, “like visiting an art spa.” Learn more about art therapy and Kara’s mission at www.mountaincreativearts.com.

Mindfulness Beyond Meditation

Originally an element embedded within the Buddhist spiritual path, mindfulness meditation has in recent years emerged as an effective method with a range of purposes ranging from stress and pain reduction, to enhancing artistic creativity, to managing anxiety disorder, to improving focus. As important as regular seated meditation is to reach these goals, Dr. Lye will present ways of enhancing one's mindfulness practice by extending mindfulness beyond the technique and context of meditation. This program will look at some of the other  elements that worked together with mindfulness meditation in the original context of Buddhist spirituality - elements that Dr. Lye believes can be adapted to secular audiences and those of other religious commitments.

Dr. Hun Lye was born into a Buddhist family in Malaysia and from a young age studied and practiced Buddhism with teachers from across traditions - Chinese, Sri Lankan, Burmese, and Thai. Though he was initially drawn to the Chan/Zen tradition, as an undergraduate student in the United States he met his first Tibetan teacher in the Drikung Kagyü lineage. After completing a doctorate degree in Buddhist Studies at the University of Virginia and teaching for ten years in American academic institutions, Dr. Lye left academia to devote his energy fully to Dharma work in 2013. Around that time, he was appointed a Dorjé Lopön ("vajra master") of the Drikung Kagyü lineage by His Holiness Drikung Kyabgön Chetsang Rinpoché and was formally enthroned. With this varied and rich background, Dr. Lye's teachings often bridge cultural and historical divides by placing Buddhist teachings and practices in context, and his scholasticism at once broadly covers the range of Buddhist lineages all while being firmly rooted in the Drikung tradition. When he's not leading retreats or serving the lineage in Asia and North and South America, Dr. Lye teaches in Asheville, North Carolina, where he is the founder and spiritual director of Urban Dharma NC.

UNCA Belly Dancing Club Performace

Belly dance is an expressive dance which emphasizes movements of the hips and torso. Originally a Middle Eastern dance, the art form has evolved depending on country and region.

The UNCA Belly Dance Club performs dances and strives to foster a passionate and friendly community around the art of Middle Eastern Dance. They seek inclusion of all individuals, regardless of skill level, and encourage the acceptance and appreciation of all gender identities and body types. Their dances are collaborative and encourage group participation to promote their ideals and values.


Mindful Intimacy

Accepting yourself on all levels opens the way for the intimacy and connection we all long for. No matter where you are on your path of mindfulness, there are always more layers to uncover, especially when it comes to the realm of human interaction. Often, we cannot see where we are defended against life until someone reflects that to us. In this workshop, participants will be gently and lovingly guided into opening a little deeper to themselves and to others through exercises that explore communication based in the present moment experience of relating.

Tess von Geczy is a long-time meditation/mindfulness practitioner in the the Vipassana tradition. Trained in Nonviolent Communication and the Connection Practice, she brings her skills of conflict resolution and heart connection to couples and individuals as her life's work.

Making Friends with Your Demons

This workshop will focus on how to make friends with difficult thoughts, emotions and body sensations, rather than fighting them or getting hooked by habitual habit patterns of reactivity. You will clearly understand how mindfulness meditation is so dramatically impactful, while directly experiencing practices you can continue to use in your daily life for balance and insight.

A meditation workshop with Eddie LeShure, CSAC-R, CPPS. Eddie is a Meditation Teacher and Registered Substance Abuse Counselor whose primary passion is bringing evidence-based mindfulness practices into the realms of addiction recovery, trauma relief, and self-care. He teaches in WNC at numerous treatment and aftercare facilities, series classes, workshops, webinars and retreats, plus co-hosts a weekly radio program on WPVM-FM/103.7 called “A Mindful Emergence”.


Principles of Wudang Taiji Qigong

Wudang Taiji is famous for its quiet, focused, and contemplative movements and meditations.  Monks and nuns for thousands of years cultivated their minds and bodies into unified beings in a long standing tradition of Taiji.  In this workshop participants will learn some of the fundamental principles of this timeless philosophy and practice.  Lessons will be experiential, basic, and simple.  Participants will walk away inspired to continue the simple teachings from the Wudang mountains in their own lives.

Richard Fabio has been studying inner arts for his entire adult life.  His path began with silent sitting meditation and has grown outward to include movement arts and mystical philosophy.  Richard teaches locally in Asheville and you can also find him on his youTube Channel, Richard Fabio.  He would like to thank his many teachers on the path, most notably his guru, Gary Weber.

Effortless Evolution - Learn the Surya Ram Meditation

The Surya Ram Meditation is an ancient technique from the Himalayas. This simple yet powerful meditation provides rest and renewal for the deepest aspects of your being, unwinding stress from the mind and physiology. This meditation is completely natural and effortless, enlivening the inner self-healing mechanism, and freeing the True Self to blossom.

Joy Anna Hodges lives at Mount Soma, a meditation retreat center in Clyde, NC. Joy Anna serves in Social Media, Marketing, and Outreach, as a participant in the Mount Soma Ashram program. She enjoys supporting the vision of Mount Soma to integrate Vedic wisdom of the East into modern Western mentality, and help evolve global consciousness. 

Tibetan Song Bowl

Join Matthew Barlow for a meditative practice of quieting the mind and relaxing the body as you bathe in the sounds of crystal & Tibetan singing bowls. His work with sound provides an experience that can open us to receive new insights into our lives and our selves, and bring peace into our being. It is a perfect opportunity to let go and relax, to simply BE and enjoy rest. Come with an open mind and an open heart. 

Matthew is a musician, producer, and sound practitioner based in Asheville, NC.