ONLINE – AWAKE MIND: Write • Draw • Contemplate

Barbara Bash & Victress Hitchcock

October 8–9, 2022

  • $100.00 – subsidized
  • $175.00 – standard
  • $250.00 – supporting
We spend so much time checking off the tasks on our to-do list, caught up in all that has to be taken care of in our daily lives, forgetting to allow time to play, to create, to just be.  On this weekend virtual adventure with artist/calligrapher Barbara Bash and writer/filmmaker Victress Hitchcock we will come together to play with pen and ink, color and words, and explore the rich world of natural creativity we all share.
Each day of the retreat we will interweave sessions of free and prompted writing, blind contour drawing, embodied handwriting, and three line expressions. Throughout the weekend we will include contemplations to deepen our awareness and find ways to connect with the natural world around us. In daily small groups we will share our experiences and engage in a lively dialogue.
On the final afternoon, Barbara and Victress will bring together haiku poetry and images guided by heaven, earth and human principles in a spontaneous experience of natural creativity.
No experience in writing or drawing (or haiku) is needed to join AWAKE MIND.  The weekend is a time to play with expressions of our innate creativity and see what emerges. In this space of open awareness a brave exploration is possible where we can deepen our trust in our experience and express it with words and images. This connection with our own and each other’s authentic creativity can build a wise community that radiates out into the world.


About the Presenters

Barbara Bash

Victress Hitchcock

Artist/calligrapher Barbara Bash and filmmaker/writer Victress Hitchcock met as students of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche during the early years of the Vajradhatu sangha in Boulder. Victress was a founding member of Centre Productions, the film company Rinpoche started in 1975. Barbara was a teacher of calligraphy and contemplative art practices at Naropa University. After years of friendship, in 2021 Barbara and Victress collaborated on their first virtual AWAKE MIND: Writing / Drawing / Contemplating retreat.
Both Barbara and Victress have a long connection with the Drala Mountain Center land where Barbara has taught Brush Spirit and Contemplative Drawing workshops over the years and Victress has been a meditation instructor and discussion leader at programs including the 1998 Pema Chödron retreat, When Things Fall Apart.
For more information on Barbara’s work as a teacher, a calligrapher, an artist and writer/illustrator of books including her most recent True Nature: An Illustrated Journal of Four Seasons in Solitude, go to:
For more information on Victress’ films including – When the Iron Bird Flies and Blessings, as well her recent poetry collections and Writing and Contemplation retreats, go to:



Registrations are accepted up to one hour before the start of the program. However, please register by October 4th as a courtesy to allow for ample program planning time. Click the “Register Now” button at the top of the page.

Program Schedule

All times listed are in the Mountain Time Zone. Use this time zone converter to verify times in your time zone.

Saturday, October 8th

8:30 – 9:00am  – Sitting Practice
9:15 – 9:30 – Slideshow, Orientation & Teacher Introduction
9:30 – 10:50 – Writing Session
Break – 10 minutes
11:00 – 12:10 Drawing Session
12:10 – 12:30 Breakout groups
Lunch break 12:30 – 2:00 pm
2:00 – 3:10 pm – Drawing Session
Break – 10 minutes
3:20 – 4:30 – Writing Session
4:30 – 4:50 Breakout groups – share writing
4:50 – 5:00 Check in
5:00 – Close of Day One

Sunday, October 9th

8:30 – 9:00 am – Sitting Practice
9:15 – 10:50 – Drawing Session
Break – 10 minutes
11:00 – 12:10 – Writing Session
12:10 – 12:30 Breakout groups
Lunch break 12:30 – 2:00 pm
2:00 – 3:15 – Writing Session
Break – 10 minutes
3:25 – 4:30 – Drawing Session
4:30 – 4:50 – Breakout groups
4:50 – 5:30 – Closing Harvest

Supplies You Will Need

  • An unlined notebook – Notebook – 8.5 x 11
  • Your favorite pen for writing.
  • A pencil for drawing – 2B or 3B if possible.

Optional – Colored brush pens – Set of brush pens (or a collection of markers or colored pencils)


Program sessions (excluding breakout groups) will be recorded and accessible for 30 days following the program. 

Heart Gift

Toward the end of your retreat you will be asked if you would like to make a heart gift to the teachers. In Shambhala and other wisdom cultures, people often make heart gifts to those who have made receiving precious teachings possible. The heart gift is purely optional and based on personal inspiration and gratitude. The amount is not important, just your inspiration to give, connect, and explore the cycles of generosity and offering.

A Paypal link will be provided to make a heart gift to the teachers directly.


Drala Mountain Center and our presenters are working together to make online program scholarships available. Our hope is that through our scholarship program, those who would not otherwise be able to participate can benefit. We do not want finances to be a barrier. At the same time, these are challenging times for non-profits, and Drala Mountain Center is no exception. Every dollar helps us to weather the pandemic and to support the well-being of our teachers, staff and the land that our retreat center rests on. Thank you for supporting our mission to bring people together to experience wisdom through your presence in our programming and by contributing at the highest level that you are able to. We are in this together.

For individuals who would not otherwise be able to attend this program, we warmly encourage you to apply for a scholarship here. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Thank you for your interest in this program.

The deadline for scholarship applications is Sept. 30.

Program Details

This online program will be conducted on Zoom. After registration, you will receive an email with simple instructions for downloading and using Zoom on your computer, laptop, or other device. At least 24 hours before the start time of the program, a link to join will be sent to you via email.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Please be sure to add "" to your email address book, to ensure that these emails don't get blocked as spam.