Embodying the Open Ground: A Body-Based Meditation Retreat



Join Dr. John Churchill for a deeply transformative weekend of body-based teachings and experiences.


Offering You A Fully Guided, Body-Based Meditation Experience

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Embodying The Open Ground is a path of practice developed by Dr. John Churchill over the last two and a half decades, inspired by the embodied meditative approaches of the Indo-Tibetan traditions.

It is a contemporary approach to realization and the heroic altruism of the bodhisattva path that integrates Western psychological, somatic, and esoteric understanding with contemplative Mahayana essence psychology, offered in a guided path that reveals the fundamental embodied truth of interconnectedness, openness, non-duality, and the wholeness of experience.

Designed specifically for the psychosomatic and cultural conditioning of Western aspirants, whilst deeply grounded in Buddhist psychology, the practices work with the deep underlying life intelligence of the body and matter so as to allow the path of practice to reveal itself through the relaxation and release into the unborn.

Grounded in a non-dual yogic understanding of body, breath and consciousness, this approach to practice calms the mind, and opens one to the heartfelt ground of being while simultaneously healing the deep split between mind and body that makes stabilization of recognition easier. This practice leads us from identification with the reactivity of the personality to the realization of our essence as a vast ocean of awareness; love that transcends and includes this body and mind. 

Meditation then becomes not only a formal practice but also a way of living and viewing the world, which informs the whole of how we live, work, and love. 

Somatic-based meditations are potent. They help calm minds, open hearts, and reveal awareness, yet they also heal the deep split between mind and body and the conscious and unconscious mind, allowing you to “ground” back into the present moment. All these practices are offered to support revealing the natural awareness that is the essence of being human.

You will learn to:

  • calm your thoughts through heart-centered practice

  • rest into the ground and earth as doors into open awareness and planetary consciousness

  • attune with gravity as a guide to freedom

  • experience bodily sensation and the senses as the effortless door to healing and non-dual recognition

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Sound Healing

Special guest, Nicole Churchill, will offer sound healing during your final guided meditation. The practice will include chanting and sound healing, also known as vibrational medicine, utilizing the vibrations of the human voice as well as instruments or objects that resonate such as crystal alchemy bowls, gongs, Tibetan singing bowls, kochi bells, ocean drums and more to lead you into a final deep state of meditation, gratitude, and peace.

Nicole is a board certified Music Therapist and Transpersonal Psychotherapist. She is a mid-wife for transformation and has expertise in human development, holding ritual space, and creating dynamic learning environments that foster growth through expressive arts. She believes that growth is our birthright, and that every human being should be given the opportunity to learn about the anatomy of the psyche and soul. Nicole is a long-time meditation practitioner in the Tibetan Buddhist Mahamudra & Dzogchen traditions and weaves the dharma into all aspects of the therapeutic experience. 

What to expect

Your experience begins Friday night with movement, healing sound, and an invocation of the spiritual ancestors. The weekend will continue on Saturday morning with energizing breathwork, followed by initially shorter sessions of resting into the practice and teachings of Embodying The Open Ground. As the day progresses, sessions will lengthen, bringing you into deeper states of embodiment and awareness. The final day will include a closing sound healing with guided mediation.

Daily Schedule

Friday 6-9pm | Saturday & Sunday 9am-6pm

Lunch 12-2pm on Saturday & Sunday, with shorter breaks offered throughout.

Participants must provide their own lunches and snacks in small bags or coolers.

Cost: $295

You will be re-directed to our registration page in Mindbody.

Sacred Boulder Beauty

Boulder's dramatic landscape is on full display in the fall with crisp, sunny days and stunning views of the Flatirons. This setting will engage all of the senses, allowing Nature to soften the spirit and shift your consciousness.


The mission of The StarHouse is to provide sacred ground for spiritual and ceremonial practice based on a love of the Divine, honor for all beings, earth stewardship and seasonal and celestial community celebrations.

The StarHouse Retreat Center

StarHouse is minutes from Boulder on a vast expanse of calm and quiet land at 7000 feet altitude.  This property is certified organic and biodynamic practices are used on the land. Much attention has been given to stewarding sacred sites throughout the property which offers visitors a unique opportunity to connect with nature, self, and source. Built with sacred geometric and esoteric design principles, StarHouse is truly unique.


The world needs you to awaken...

Now more than ever, the world needs us to wake up and recognize the precious opportunity in this lifetime to elevate human consciousness.  The teachings of the Buddha reveal a path to escaping the noise and suffering of attachments. Embodying the Open Ground honors the Western scientific study of the contemplative experience, the ancient Indian and Tibetan spiritual traditions, and the deep wisdom of the body. This weekend is the perfect opportunity to experience the expansion of the heart and exploration of the mind in a fully supported setting.

Retreat Terms & Conditions:

25% of the tuition is a non-refundable deposit. If you cancel more than 30 days prior to the retreat, you will receive a 75% refund.

If you cancel less than 30 days prior to the retreat, you may put your tuition minus the 25% non-refundable deposit toward another upcoming retreat with Dr. John Churchill within 1 calendar year of the date of credit being issued.