Second Annual Courageous Women, Fearless Living: A Retreat for Women Touched by Cancer with Acharya Judith Lief, Tulku Thondup Rinpoche, Dr. Victoria Maizes, Linda Sparrowe & Sofia Diaz

Tulku Thondup Rinpoche, Acharya Emeritus Judith Lief, Linda Sparrowe, Victoria Maizes and Sofia Diaz

August 21–26, 2007

Tuition $295 + 5 nights

Grappling with cancer is one of life’s greatest challenges. We may become quite ill, lose our ability to function normally, or lack sufficient emotional or financial support. We may lose a breast, our uterus and most certainly our hair—causing us to reflect on how we identify as women, mothers, lovers or nurturers. However, when gently and skillfully embraced, facing our mortality and the fragility of life can be a vehicle for profound healing and awakening, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. The question is, how can we navigate this potentially confusing and often heartbreaking terrain in the most empowering way? And how can we face our fears directly so that we may live our lives more fully?

Courageous Women, Fearless Living will provide you with the guidance and companionship you need to assist you on your way. Integrating body, mind and heart, we will discover ways to meet all of our experience directly and courageously: our pain, fear, sorrow, anger, joy and gratitude. Led by an extraordinary team of experts in the field, this program will include meditation instruction, healing visualization practice, yoga sessions, whole-being healthcare and nutrition tips, small group discussions, art therapy, ritual, sacred dance and community building.

Tulku Thondup will share healing visualizations and meditation practices from the wisdom tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. These powerful and transformative techniques awaken healing energies in body and mind. While based in Buddhist principles, these practices are designed to be accessible to those of all faiths or traditions.

Dr. Victoria Maizes is the Executive Director of Dr Andrew Weil’s Integrative Medicine Program (at the University of Arizona.). Dr. Maizes, who has worked with hundreds of cancer patients over the years, offers her rich experience and practical knowledge on the latest in integrative care. She’ll give four workshops on integrative approaches to cancer, including nutrition, supplements, mind-body connection, and spirituality, as well as strategies for dealing with side effects of treatment such as fatigue, hot flashes, and peripheral neuropathy.

Providing instruction in mindfulness meditation practice, Shambhala senior teacher Judith Lief will show us how to meet and hold all of our experience—moment by moment and breath by breath. Drawing on more than thirty years of experience in meditation and hospice work, Judith will demystify meditation and introduce us the healing power of presence.

In her commitment to women’s health and well-being, yoga instructor Linda Sparrowe will lead gentle, transformative yoga sessions throughout the retreat. She will show us how to relate to ourselves on and off with mat with kindness, spaciousness and grace.

Celebrating and appreciating the feminine spirit, Sofia Diaz, a long-time student of sacred movement, will offer South Indian temple dancing performances and will lead us in fully expressing our feminine beauty and power.

Click here for a photo of last year’s retreat.

Click here for an article written by one of last year’s participants.

Acharya Judith Lief is a contemplative hospice pioneer, meditation instructor and former dean of Naropa University. A close student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Judith is the author of Making Friends with Death, available from Shambhala Publications.

Tulku Thondup Rinpoche was born in Tibet and trained at the Dodrupchen Monastery. He fled to India in 1958 and came to the United States in 1980 as a visiting scholar at Harvard University. Author of Boundless Healing, Masters of Meditation and Miracles and Peaceful Death, Joyful Rebirth: A Tibetan Buddhist Guidebook, Tulku Thondup teaches throughout the United States and Europe.

Victoria Maizes, MD, is executive director of of Dr Andrew Weil’s Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona and an associate professor of Medicine, Family and Community Medicine, and Public Health. Dr. Maizes lectures nationally on integrative medicine, women’s health, wellness, aging, communication skills, mind-body medicine, nutrition and herbal medicine.

Linda Sparrowe is a writer, yoga teacher, mentor and practitioner with deep roots in yoga, the Vedas, Sanskrit and women’s health. Editor-in-chief of Alternative Medicine magazine, she is also the author of several books, including The Woman’s Book of Yoga and Health and Yoga: A Yoga Journal Book.

Sofia Diaz offers a unique approach to Hatha Yoga, sacred movement and feminine spiritual practice, deriving her style of teaching and body philosophy from the South Indian temple arts. She lectures at Naropa University and teaches throughout North America.


The schedule may vary slightly from day to day. We invite you to participate in as many activities as you like and we encourage you to take ample time to rest.

7:00am – 8:00am
with Linda Sparrowe

7:30am – 8:30am

9:00am – 11:00am
with Judith Lief & Linda Sparrowe

11:00am – 11:15am

11:15am – 12:30pm
with Tulku Thondup Rinpoche

12:30pm – 3:00pm

3:00pm – 4:30pm
with Victoria Maizes, MD

4:30pm – 5:00pm

5:00pm – 6:30pm
with presenters & special guests

6:30pm – 7:30pm

7:30pm – 9:00pm
with Sofia Diaz


Since living with cancer often involves considerable medical expense, Shambhala Mountain Center would like to offer as many partial scholarships as possible to those in need who would like to attend this program. Here is our scholarship application. If you would like to be considered for a scholarship, please register for a cabin-tent double. We cannot guarantee indoor housing for scholarship applicants at this time.

Also, please note we are offering a deep discount for shared bath & semi-private bath lodge housing. This is reflected in the prices below.

Acharya Emeritus Judith Lief

Acharya Emeritus Judith Lief is a contemplative hospice pioneer, a senior meditation instructor, the former Dean of Naropa University and author of Making Friends With Death, among others.

Linda Sparrowe

Linda Sparrowe is a writer, yoga instructor, mentor and practitioner with deep roots in the Vedas, Sanskrit and women’s health. She is editor-in-chief of Yoga International magazine and author of several books, including The Woman’s Book of Yoga & Health.

Victoria Maizes

Victoria Maizes, MD, is executive director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, founded by Dr. Andrew Weil and Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Arizona. She is an internationally recognized leader in integrative medicine.

Sofia Diaz

Sofia Diaz offers a unique approach to Hatha Yoga, sacred movement and feminine spiritual practice, deriving her style of teaching and body philosophy from the South Indian temple arts. She lectures at Naropa University and teaches throughout North America.

Program Details

Financial aid is available for this program.