Taos, New Mexico is the southwest dreamscape that we always fantasize of and may forever long for. These are the landscapes of rich red dirt in Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings, the Long Quiet Highway of Natalie Goldberg’s books, and that which inspires hundreds of artists, creators, mystics, and nature lovers every year.
Taos is an artistic goldmine within a small and evolving population of 6,000. Home of Unesco World Heritage Site Taos Pueblo – a living Native American community that has been inhabited for over 1,000 years – this landscape is rich with tradition, sacred mystery, reverence, and (maybe quite literally) humming with creativity.
Explore how a sacred landscape can inspire lasting, incredibly unique, and awe-inspiring beauty. Explore how a landscape within can reveal the same. In this retreat, we will venture to internal depths and gaze into literal external depths (deep into the Rio Grande river gorge!). We’ll learn about how sustainable, creative, and adaptable humans can be. We’ll bask in our own deep pools of unending bliss while soaking in fabulous mineral hot springs for a luxurious day trip.
This retreat will be a fairly active one, with day trips and a fair amount of walking. Please remember that this is YOUR time to carve out how you wish and everything is optional.
We will visit living structures and communities both ancient and new whose dreams are ALIVE. We’ll luxuriate in mineral springs under the full Sagittarius moon. We will hike along the Rio Grande River Gorge, the silent mesa home to blooming cacti, jackrabbits, coyote, and big horned sheep with the winding river echoing below. We’ll visit The Earthship Biotecture eco-community, experience a colorful and delicious cooking class with a Chef who has cooked for the Dalai Lama, view the powerful rock formations and wide skies that Georgia O’Keeffe slept under, and wander the winding streets for a Saturday afternoon’s open galleries. We’ll weave in yoga practices & mindful movement to unwind tension and prepare the body-mind to settle into inner landscapes through creative writing practice, dream work, and reverent (or, irreverent!) group sharing.
“Among past Taos landscapes are mighty Precambrian mountain belts, shallow tropical seas, vast sand-duned deserts, extensive white sand beaches, and muddy meandering rivers bordered by lush fern forests. Most recently, the Rio Grande valley and its youthful volcanoes attest to an Earth history punctuated by violent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.”
Devisidero Trail. Sacred Mountain. Sage. Labyrinths. Gorge. Sunset. Ojo Spa. Hot Springs. Rio Grande. Ghosts. Hikes. Galleries. Pinón. Silence. Magpies. Cactus blossoms. Mesa. Open space. Big Sky. Mountains. Artists. Peace. Wonder. Mystery. Magic. Vortex. Holy. Pilgrims. Faith. Sacred. Full Moon. Community. Rest. Ancient Beauty.
During our 5 nights / almost 6 days together, we’ll settle into a mix of togetherness and optional “choose your own adventure” time. At the retreat center, we’ll have daily yoga & writing practice (except for our full day excursion) in the yurt, as well as group check-ins & sharing (everything is optional, and sharing is treated in a most sacred way)!
We’ll be taking a few half and full day excursions. Included in your investment fee is transportation for our excursions – however, if you would prefer to drive yourself for the sake of freedom, or as a precautionary measure during COVID-19 time, OR if you bring a pet (dogs are welcome at the lodge for an additional fee!), that is perfectly fine! We will be inquiring about your communal transportation preferences. Please note that some may be allergic or sensitive to doggies (the dog-friendly rooms are in a different part of the lodge), and they are not allowed at the Earthships or the Ojo Spa for our excursions.
- Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs
- Creative Cooking Class & Culinary Travel Experience with Chef Chris Maher
- Earthship Biotecture Headquarters
- Rio Grande Gorge Ceremony Walk
- Georgia O’Keeffe Ghost Ranch
- Art Walk & Shopping in Taos
- Yoga Nidra & Energetic Self-Practice Workshops with Emily Ann Schmidt Nesheim
- The Art & Nourishment of Daily Practice
- Musical Performance with Mary Bue
- Additional add-ons include Sweat Lodge Ceremony (if available) and Reiki Sessions with Emily
- *Tentative* Pop Up Trunk Show for clothes, jewelry, herbal goodies, and more at our retreat center!
Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs
Prepare to surrender to some heavy duty bliss time as we find our own way throughout this gorgeous spa. Bring a book, a journal, your suit, towel, and flip flops and settle in for this luxurious day. Multiple outdoor and indoor mineral springs to choose from, including a mud bath. Schedule a massage if you like and enjoy lunch on your own schedule.
Ojo Caliente’s tradition runs as deep as our mineral springs. We became the country’s first health spa when we opened the doors of our bathhouse in 1868, and since then, people have traveled from near and far to absorb the mental and physical health benefits of soaking in pools rich in healing minerals, built out of the landscape. Each of our pools is naturally sulfur-free and rich in four elements: iron, arsenic, soda, and lithia.
“The Ojo experience is customized for each guest to create harmony amongst the four aspects of wellbeing: mental, emotional, physical and spiritual. We blend fitness, nutrition, spa therapies and wellness services with ancient wisdom and healing traditions.”
Creative Cooking Class & Culinary Travel Experience with Chef Chris Maher
We will enjoy cooking (and devouring) a delicious plant based meal with wine & N/A beverage pairings at the Taos home of award winning Chef Chris Maher who has cooked for the Dalai Lama, Bill Clinton, and many more!
Chef Chris Maher is a nationally acclaimed, James Beard recognized chef and his most recent restaurant, which he sold five years ago, was awarded the AAA Four Diamond award of excellence 7 consecutive rows, prior to its’s sale. In addition, he has owned and operated restaurants in Los Angeles for many years before he moved full time to Taos in 1999. Chris has been teaching cooking classes for many, many years first in Los Angeles and now in Taos. He has cooked for the Dalai Lama and President Clinton, among others. He also travels and teaches in private homes, most recently in San Luis Obispo and Beverly Hills, Dallas and Santa Fe last month. Some of the cities he visits regularly include Dallas, Houston, Austin, Chicago, New York, Portland, L.A., San Francisco, San Diego and others and each year he teaches a week long in different homes and wineries in Napa Valley. In addition, Chris consults for restaurants and culinary projects and speaking engagements.
Earthship Biotecture Headquarters
On Thursday we’ll luxuriate in the morning and head out to tour the wondrous, bizarre, fantastical, and utopian Earthship community.
“An Earthship is a brand of passive solar earth shelter that is made of both natural and upcycled materials such as earth-packed tires, pioneered by architect Michael Reynolds. Earthships are predicated upon the idea that there are six human needs which can be addressed through environmentally sustainable building design:
- Energy: Thermal and/or solar heating and cooling, solar and wind electricity
- Garbage Management: Reuse and recycling built into construction and daily living
- Sewage Treatment: Self-contained sewage treatment and water recycling
- Shelter: Building with natural and recycled materials
- Clean Water: Water harvesting and long term storage
- Food: In-home organic food production capability
“Earthship structures are intended to be “off-the-grid-ready” homes, with minimal reliance on public utilities and fossil fuels. They are constructed to use available natural resources, especially energy from the sun and rain water. – Wikipedia. Watch the video below to learn more about these amazing structures and the philosophy of their creator.
After our Earthship Tours, we’ll enjoy take out lunch at the Rio Grande Gorge overlook with expansive views of the mountains and mesa … followed by a 2-3 mile mindful hike along the Rio Grande River Gorge. We’ll watch for those bighorn sheep and jackrabbits, smell the sage and dust, and stare (safely) into the void at the snake=like river below …
Rio Grande Gorge Ceremony Walk
An epic and mindful walk safely along the rim of the Rio Grande River Gorge to perform a simple ceremony at a peace spiral. A deep and self reflective journey peering into into the depths of Mother Earth along this tectonic chasm 800 feet deep and 50 miles long. Silence optional but encouraged.
Georgia O’Keeffe Ghost Ranch
Visit the powerful landscapes and wide open sky full of stars under which Georgia O’Keeffe drew much inspiration for her paintings and dreamtime as she slept on the roof. Witness the sacred geometry in the stone striations – yonis and phalluses galore.
Ghost Ranch gave her the freedom to paint what she saw and felt. Knowledgeable visitors can look around and identify many of the scenes she painted. Red and gray hills like those across from the roadside park south of the ranch headquarters were frequent subjects. Kitchen Mesa at the upper end of the valley is an example of the red and yellow cliffs she painted many times. Pedernal, the flat-topped mountain to the south, was probably her favorite subject. “It’s my private mountain,” she said. “God told me if I painted it often enough I could have it.” – ghostranch.org/
Taos Shopping & Art Walk
Taos center has many wonderful art galleries and unique shops to explore. On each first Saturday, galleries and studios in Taos feature demos, receptions with new works, and meet the artist events. In a city of this size, the amount of art is phenomenal. And you can probably understand why after our last few days of exploring. Learn about the galleries and what they have to offer here (of course new exhibits will be coming through in August 2022). Shop for art, jewelry, clothes, crystals, food stuffs, herbal remedies, and so much more.
SPECIAL WORKSHOPS with Guest Presenter Emily Ann Schmidt Nesheim
Enter a mystical experience, soaking up starlight, and be guided through a series of sweet stretches and gentle movements to awaken the body and mind for meditation. The experience is like being on a magical carpet ride among the constellations to get in touch with universal forces within you. You will be welcomed with an open heart and an open altar with special elements and divination cards to enjoy. You’ll also receive 30 minutes of pure, dreamy bliss in prolonged savasana where you can drift off and explore the unknown corners of your consciousness. Perfect for any body, experienced yogis or beginners. Everyone deserves peace and stillness in their life.
Energetic Self Practice Workshop
Intentionally organize, protect, and contain your personal energy in a way that makes you feel present, open, grounded, and heart centered. This practice pulls from yoga energy work, energy healing modalities, shamanic practices, and even occupational therapy – deep and practical wisdom and guidance! Simple, gentle movements and breathing techniques, accessible to any body, will collect your energy into a sustainable state so that you don’t give out what you don’t want to and so that you do walk this Earth with peace in every step.
Some benefits of this energetic self practice includes connecting, opening, and balancing the energy centers to enhance the flow of energy in your body; promotes relaxation, diminishes pain, reduces anxiety; support wellbeing, and nurture health preventatively.
The Art and Nourishment of Daily Practice
In this workshop we will explore ways to craft beautiful, holistic daily (or near daily) practices to invite more beauty, creativity, pleasure, and fun into our lives.
Performance with Mary Bue
Your guide Mary Bue will offer an evening performance in the yurt of original music both newly written songs as well as offerings from her 8 albums. Prolific, lyrical, and sometimes crass, Mary’s performances are warm and laced with quirky humor and stories of her adventures (and mis-adventures). Mary plays piano, guitar and a little bit of sitar, ukulele, harmonium, dulcimer. She was named “Best Songwriter” 2020 in the Minneapolis City Pages.
For an additional cost, you are invited to experience the following:
THE NATIVE AMERICAN SWEAT LODGE CEREMONY
The Taos Pueblo People have built a traditional Native American Sweat Lodge on the property of Blue Sky. The sweat lodge ceremony is an intense process of cleansing, healing and connection to your ancestors, your community and God. It is hot, dark, loud and in close proximity with others. Please allow at least 3 hours for the experience and the time to rest up. To schedule a sweat lodge, we must have a minimum of 10 people — will inquire with everyone pre-retreat to see if we have met the quota.
Master 60 min Reiki Session with Emily Ann Schmidt Nesheim
In Room or Yurt: $100
Reiki for You
Receive healing and loving energy to balance on physical, mental/emotional, and energetic levels. Increase awareness, insights, and personal growth. Every cell in our body and every atom in the universe is in a constant state of vibration. Energies needing to be healed will adjust to the higher vibration of Reiki energy. Sessions can incorporate gentle hands-on touch or be without touch as you are comfortable. In person or distance based. Distance healing transcends time and space, will use hands off approach, and is practiced over Zoom or phone or at a designated time according to your preference. You may settle into a comfortable position with support for your body. Relaxing music may enhance your experience. Music/sounding, crystals/stones may be used. Your intentions for healing will guide the energy to go where it is needed most.
Some benefits of Reiki includes helping to relax, bringing clarity, energizing, providing calm, relieving pain, accelerating natural healing, detoxifying the body, releasing blockages, acting as a preventative for your health, changing negative conditioning and behavior.
ABOUT OUR LODGING
Blue Sky Retreat Center at the Historic San Geronimo Lodge is a historic property that was built in 1925. “… a signature New Mexico style adobe construction with a chili pepper-shaped swimming pool, a hot tub, a meditation path, a garden and a labyrinth. It has been a farm house, a sanatorium, a boarding school and now a bed & breakfast and a retreat center. The San Geronimo Lodge was built in the style of a Grand Lodge, with vast common rooms high ceiling with traditional vigas, rambling verandas and winding portals-all situated on the 3.5 acres of natural serenity. Fruit tree abound the banks of the Acequia Madre which rambles through the grounds and many miles of the Carson National Forest are just a short walk away. Built in native adobe, the San Geronimo Lodge truly offers the best of both worlds – historic ambiance and charm with all the comfort and convenience of modern day accommodations.” Choose from private rooms, doubles, or triples. Please note this is a quirky, rustic lodge with some imperfections, and also very charming!
WHAT IS INCLUDED:
- Five nights at Blue Sky Retreat (single, double, triple guest rooms available)
- All meals except during excursions (meal at Ojo Caliente, Saturday Taos Art Walk) – Vegetarian home-cooked goodness
- Coffee / Tea / fresh juices during breakfast
- Daily yoga practice (Slow flow, Yoga Nidra)
- Sadhana on Creativity & Self-Care / Self-Love
- Creative writing practice
- All excursions
- Welcome gift package
- Transportation during retreat for our field trips*** Due to Covid-19, you may like to drive yourself on our excursions. We will most definitely check in with you for your preferences and coordinate to keep us safe and comfortable!
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED:
- Flights / transportation to New Mexico
- Transportation from airport to and from Taos
- Car Rental or Shuttle Fee
- Travel insurance
- Medical care
- Meals during our excursions (one lunch and one dinner)
- Spa treatments at Ojo Caliente (massage, etc)
- Reiki sessions on site with Emily Ann Schmidt Nesheim
- Optional Sweat Lodge experience
- Fancy coffees / alcohol not included (BYOB)
GETTING TO TAOS / BLUE SKY RETREAT
Taos is 2.5 hours from Albuquerque and 1.5 hours from Santa Fe. There is also the San Luis Valley Regional Airport in Alamosa, CO (1.5 hours). Gratitude to Blue Sky Retreat for these travel tips:
Blue Sky Retreat Center is located at 1101 Witt Road, two miles from Taos Plaza, off of Highway 64 (aka Kit Carson Highway). The road to take is Witt Road, which intersects with both Highway 64 and Paseo del Canon East (585). DO NOT TAKE SAN GERONIMO ROAD as it is 4 wheel drive only and not paved and not in good repair. If your GPS takes you down San Geronimo Road, please go on Witt Road instead.
BY AIR & CAR
From ABQ (Albuquerque Sunport) airport by car take I-25N to I-84N to I-68N to Taos. Once in Taos, it is a very short drive to 1101 Witt Road.
There is also a shuttle organized by Taos Ski Valley that will bring you right to the door of Blue Sky Retreat Center, which must be arranged at least 24 hours prior to your arrival at ABQ or SAF (Santa Fe) airports. They can be reached here: http://www.skitaos.com/discover-taos/airport-shuttle/ or call 800-776-1111.
There are also other shuttles – a quick google search should find them!
I am a lifelong musician, traveler, poet, journal writer, vegan, Nada Yogi, adventure seeker, retreat guide, solitude craver, and yoga instructor of 11+ years. I’m based out of Minneapolis, roaming this beautiful world as much as possible. I am grateful to be named “Best Songwriter” of 2020 by City Pages and have been writing music and performing since 1998, with 8 albums out now! I believe deeply in the richness of a creative life that is ever unfolding. One doesn’t have to play an instrument, write a novel, paint like Frida, or write like Mary Oliver to live a creative life. Every moment that unfolds offers opportunities to make something beautiful. While this may seem like a lot of pressure, rest in knowing that potential is ever unfolding, even in the silent and restorative times (like sleeping!). I look forward to sharing this beautiful & inspiring place with you in 2022. Please let me know if you have ANY questions. I am pretty much an open book (most of which can be discovered in this website or listening to my music!). Contact me via the contact link here or at marybue @ gmail.com
“I am a yoga, meditation, and energy healing practitioner as well as a student of astrology, plant medicine, and shamanic practices.
“Taurus sun in the 10th house/Scorpio moon in the 3rd/Virgo rising with Sappho in the 1st.
“I believe that we evolve over time, spiritually, philosophically, with our relationships. We are transformational beings. And, as such, are on journeys of self discovery and growth. This is the alchemy, this is the magic: That everything is alive and has spirit, or consciousness, and we are continually in process of being extraordinary.”
$1,249 Single room
$1,099 Shared double room (two twin beds)
$949 Shared triple room (three twin beds)
$200 Deposit (non-refundable*)
Please note that preferred payment options are check, Apple Pay, or Zelle. A small fee will be added for PayPal or Venmo due to their admin charges.
Full payment is due by June 15th, 2022
HOW TO PAY
Email Mary at marybue @gmail.com (no spaces) to claim your spot and include the following:
- Preferred room (single, double, triple)
- Name of preferred roommate(s) if you have one in mind
- Agreement to pay deposit or in full within 24 hours of email confirmation
As the retreat approaches, you will receive emails over the coming months with more information about our time together, getting there, what to pack, etc. You’ll also receive a waiver of liability to sign, knowing that you choosing to participate in this experience at your own risk.
Full refund (minus deposit) before March 31st 2022
50% refund (minus deposit) between April 1st to June 15th 2022*
No refunds after June 15th 2022
*In the case of domestic travel prohibited in August 2022 your deposit / payments will be refunded less a small administration fee OR, if you choose, pushed forward to a determined rescheduled date.
** Foreign & Domestic travel may require vaccinations for COVID-19. Please take into consideration before registering for this retreat that there will be no refunds for anyone who doesn’t get the potentially required vaccination for foreign or domestic air travel.
We are requiring proof of vaccine before this retreat to attend, as all of our international retreats require as such, as well as esteemed retreat venues such as Esalen in Big Sur. We may also require a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the retreat. Mary will reach out with information on how to share this info (photo of vaccination card, screen shot of negative test, email, etc). We encourage all guests and instructors to participate in regular COVID-19 testing.
We will be monitoring the weekly guidelines from the CDC, state and local health departments to be in tune with New Mexico’s Pandemic response.
Blue Sky is takes standards for hygiene and cleanliness seriously and monitors and adjusts services and offerings based on industry and regulatory directives (self check in, take out food to avoid buffet meals if necessary, masking).
As of early 2022, Housekeeping will not enter your room during your stay so if you need any toiletries or linens, please let the front desk know. This may change by August – will keep you posted!
Thank you so much for understanding and wishing you all vibrant health!
From Taos Creativity + Yoga Retreat 2021:
This retreat was transformative for me. From the moment Mary welcomed me to the Blue Sky Retreat Center to the moment we left, I felt loved, supported, and surrounded by new friends. Doing yoga in a circle in the yurt was especially spiritual and created meaningful connections between us. There was a great balance between time together, organized excursions and time to be alone, with everything being optional to fit our personal needs. Mary’s energy and radiance was evident in every aspect of the retreat and the concert in the yurt was amazing! I feel incredibly blessed to have had this experience and hope to make it to the next retreat. – Mary Z.
Mary Bue is truly an inspiration. I could not be happier with my first experience on a yoga retreat. I felt heard, cared for, and elevated. This retreat is suited for any and all experience levels with yoga. The friendships and connections I made with myself and others will last a lifetime!! So grateful!! – Melissa R.
The most calming, nourishing, peaceful time of my life – Maren L.
This was my first retreat with Mary Bue, and it won’t be my last. Mary did an awesome job crafting an interesting itinerary, and making changes as needed due to COVID restrictions. It was very obvious that she cared that each of us had the best experience possible. Our retreat allowed for time to bond with other retreaters as well as exploring the beautiful Taos town and culture. I recommend Mary and her retreats to anyone looking to enrich their life and make life long connections and memories. – Lisa P.