Pointing Out Way Level 1 Retreat

This page is to provide information to registered participants of the Pointing Out Way, Level 1 Retreat, October 12-19, 2018.


About the Retreat

The “pointing out” style of instruction is a relationally-based approach, emphasizing repeated short guided meditation sessions, with detailed instructions given before, during, and after each session. The teacher points out the desired state, the way to attain it, and how to correct the problems that typically occur. The instructions are individualized for each student, and allow for a rapid learning experience and progression along the path.

In this retreat you will have the precious opportunity to learn, practice and realize a complete set of teachings from the heart of the Tibetan Buddhist Wisdom tradition known as ‘Mahamudra’, or the Great Embrace. It is a profound, easy to follow, and user-friendly path, designed for both those new to meditation and experienced meditators.

Mahamudra meditation is not about learning a technique to just calm the mind and body. It is a process of awakening to the wisdom mind, the human essence of unconditional non-dual love and spaciousness awareness.

The retreat begins with an emphasis on intensive concentration training to develop a focused attention and to calm the mind of thought. This is followed by the practice of insight meditations to investigate how the mind constructs the every day experience of self, body, external reality and time. The outcome of these practices opens a timeless spacious ocean of loving awareness that serves as a foundation for the essence meditation practices. 

The Essence meditations of Mahamudra, that are unique to this Buddhist tradition, assume that awakened wisdom is the inherent basis of the everyday mind, which has become mistakenly obscured. These meditations are designed to reveal an effortless, continuous, uninterrupted mindfulness of the natural state of “awakened wisdom”, a non-dual ocean of lucid awareness, joy and love.  Mahamudra practice then develops into a new way of being and living that profoundly engages us in the ongoing transformation and healing of humanity.

Meet John

Born in London, England, Dr. John Churchill's interest in meditative and contemplative studies began as a teenager. After leaving high school, he joined Samye Ling Kagyu Monastery in Scotland where he began his studies in the Mahayana and Mahamudra. He came to the United States to study at Naropa, a Buddhist University where he majored in Contemplative Psychology with a specialization in mind/body health. During his time at Naropa, he studied with American philosopher, Ken Wilber, and was a founding member of Integral Institute. John holds two Master’s Degrees in Chinese Medicine and Professional Psychology. He completed his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in June, 2018 from William James College in Massachusetts.

Additionally, John has been a practitioner of meditation and hatha yoga for 25 years and has taught embodied yoga and meditation for the last decade. He co-founded, with his wife Nicole, Samadhi Integral, a center built on philosophical principles that embrace the cutting edge of contemporary culture and the deep wisdom of humanity. Samadhi is part of a worldwide network that spans traditions with a collective commitment to the spiritual evolution of humanity.

Dr. Churchill has been a Mahamudra student of Dr. Daniel Brown since 2005, and began to study Dzogchen with the Venerable Rahob Rinpoche in 2007. John's mentoring relationship with Dr. Brown led to his authorization as a teacher of Mahamudra in 2012, and he continues to work closely with Dr. Brown. He is deeply interested in the relationship between psychological and contemplative development, the emergence of an awakened sangha, and use of technology to support the teaching of the dharma. Through his work, John assists students in developing a new path into the future which embraces the preciousness of human birth, physical embodiment, the earth, our relationships with others, and ultimately guiding them towards living a fully awakened life.



Please note that the instructions are sequential and therefore you must attend all sessions.

Please arrange your schedule to accommodate this.

Friday, October 12th, 2018

Registration: 5:00 - 5:45pm

Training: 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Saturday, October 13th - Thursday, October 18th

House Opens: 8:30 am

Training: 9:00am - 6:00pm

Lunch: 12:30-2:30pm

Friday, October 19th

House Opens: 8:30am

Training: 9:00am-12:00pm

What to Bring

Closed water bottle/thermos for water or tea/coffee in the room.

Lunch if you prefer not to eat the catered lunches.

Snacks: we encourage the sangha to share in providing snacks. Typically students bring in nuts, dried fruit, fruit, cheese, crackers, etc. This process of giving is organic…and we always seem to have enough.

Notebook and pen if you want to take notes. Notes are optional. There will be space in the retreat handouts for some note taking. No computers/Ipads in the meditation room.

Shoes you enjoy walking in.

Seating Supplies

We will have chairs, back jacks, zabutons (floor mats).

We will have some zafus,(meditation cushions), and support cushions for those of you who request them.

If you are local please supply your own cushions or bench. And bring any additional blankets or cushions for under your feet.

Please bring your own eating utensils, plate, bowl and napkin if you are able.

General Information

This is not a silent retreat, but we will keep the mediation room and one of the outdoor areas silent during breaks. There is great walking right from the house. All personal items and shoes will be left outside the meditation hall. Covered drinks and notebooks are fine in the hall.

Location & Contact

The Home of Margo King & John Steiner: 3286 Plateau Road, Longmont, CO 8050

Take Broadway or 28th Street North to the juncture of I-36 (the last light).

Continue north for 4.5 miles to PLATEAU ROAD (on Right)

Turn Right on Plateau (East), Driveway is on the Right down a gentle slope to an open grassy area for parking.

Shana: 303-550-7692

Nicole: 339-222-0736