Big Sky, Big Mind: A Contemplative Astronomy Workshop

Andrea Schweitzer and Jim Tolstrup

September 8–10, 2017

Tuition $185 + 2 nights
Andrea Schweitzer

Andrea Schweitzer

Jim Tolstrup

Jim Tolstrup

Come and experience a personal connection with the universe under the sparkling, starry skies of the Rocky Mountains. Throughout history, human beings have looked to the skies to follow the rhythm of the seasons and to ponder life’s mysteries.

This workshop will reignite our passion for the beauty of the universe through:

• interactive astronomy activities
• time outdoors with guided tours of the constellations
• periods of contemplation
• presentations of the astronomical lore from Celtic, Tibetan and Native American traditions
• a walk to observe the interplay of the sun and seasons with the land of Shambhala Mountain Center

—all within a relaxed and rejuvenating atmosphere. We will close each evening with a peaceful night sky meditation before bed.

Begin or deepen your meditation practice, and take home a meaningful connection to the night sky. A few minutes each evening or early morning spent stargazing, in awareness of the moon’s phase and the seasonal patterns of the stars, can be a wonderful addition to your contemplative practice!

No previous astronomy background is expected; you need only to appreciate looking up at the universe.

“Who has not felt a sense of awe while looking deep into the skies lit with countless stars on a clear night?” –His Holiness the Dalai Lama




Andrea Schweitzer

Andrea Schweitzer, PhD, is an astronomer with the Little Thompson Observatory in Colorado and a professor of physical sciences for Western Governors University. Having collaborated with NASA on programs such as the Hubble Space Telescope and the Voyager missions, she balances her work with her personal practices of stargazing, yoga, and meditation.

Jim Tolstrup

Jim Tolstrup, a director of Shambhala Training, has been a practitioner of indigenous wisdom traditions since 1977. He is a co-founder and the past president of Cankatola Ti Ospaye, a non-profit supporting Native American elders. Jim is the executive director of the High Plains Environmental Center in Loveland, Colorado, and author of SUBURBITAT – A guide to restoring nature where we live, work and play.

Program Details

Registration takes place from 2– 5 pm on your program start date. All participants and volunteer staff must check in at our Guest Registration house. Please arrive before 5 pm to check-in and settle into your accommodations. Your program begins with dinner, followed by an orientation. The Guest Registration house closes at 5 pm after which no one is available to provide information or orient you to your accommodations. All programs usually end at 12:30 pm on the program's departure date, followed by lunch. Further specifics regarding your program's schedule will be available upon arrival. If applicable, you will receive an email from the program coordinator in the week prior to your program with any additional information you may need.