Summer Retreat with Julie Püttgen

  • 18 Jun 2021
  • 6:00 PM
  • 20 Jun 2021
  • 11:30 AM
  • Zoom
  • 13


(depends on selected options)

Base fee:


Registration opens for Members May 12th and Public May 19th
Registration is closed

FINDING NEW MUD: The Five Buddha Families as Map and Mandala

A Retreat with Julie Püttgen
on Zoom

June 18-20, 2021
Red Clay Sangha, Atlanta GA

In 1995, Julie Püttgen began her studies of Vipassana meditation with Steve & Rosemary Weissman, then resident teachers at Wat Khao Tham, a small nunnery on an island in the south of Thailand. Having decided on the basis of that experience to explore monastic life for herself, she lived and trained at Plum Village, Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hahn's monastery in the south of France, before joining the Thai-tradition English Forest Sangha as a resident laywoman and novice nun for three years. Since then, her Buddhist training has extended into the Soto and Rinzai Zen schools, and into the embodied Tibetan-tradition Mahamudra practices.

Julie is an artist, expressive arts and somatic psychotherapist, writer, mover, and arts facilitator living and practicing in New Hampshire. As a meditation teacher, she is passionate about the intersections of contemplative and creative practices, and how these can inform one another. She is the founder and facilitator of the Old Dragons’ Club, a non-sectarian women’s group in the Buddhist traditions; and the Dharmartists, a co-facilitated peer community of women Art/Dharma practitioners. Julie has facilitated and designed retreats and programs in the new Art/Dharma track at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies.

You can see her projects online at and

Finding New Mud: The Five Buddha Families as Map & Mandala

Where we must look for help

The dove returns; it found no resting place;

It was in flight all night above the shaken seas.

Beneath Ark eaves

The dove shall magnify the tiger's bed;

Give the dove peace.

The split-tail swallows leave the sill at dawn;

At dusk blue swallows shall return.

On the third day the crow shall fly;

The crow, the crow, the spider-colored crow,

The crow shall find new mud to walk upon.

[Robert Bly, from Eating the Honey of Words: New and Selected Poems]

Five Buddha Families:

Blue: east / water / reflection / anger

Yellow: south / earth / abundance / insecurity

Red: west / fire / discernment / craving

Green: north / air / accomplishment / neurotic speed

Black/White: center / space / acceptance / numbness 

Description: Drawing from the Buddhist framework of the Five Buddha Families and other meaning-making systems, we will invoke contemplative and expressive practices to explore distinctive red, yellow, green, blue, and black/white energies as they show up in their liberated and obstructed forms in our embodied experience. Participants will create their own Five Buddha Families maps and imagery, as frameworks for awareness and transformation.

Optional Exploration: Some of the ideas we will explore together are presented in depth in Lama Tsultrim Allione's book, Wisdom Rising. If you're drawn to this retreat, you might enjoy reading it. She's also created a Five Buddha Families Quiz that will delight anyone who's ever been secretly or not-so-secretly thrilled by Cosmo quizzes. It offers a quick and satisfying introduction to this system. We will be using SoulCollage® as a medium. If you’d like to learn more about this practice before the retreat, resources are available here: 


• Card stock/mat board/cereal boxes/other packaging, cut to a consistent size. 5x8" is a standard SoulCollage® size. You can also choose another size that feels good in your hands and gives you room to collage elements together. You'll need about 20 pieces, maybe more, maybe less.

• Glue stick

• Scissors with a good tip

• Old magazines and books for collaging

• You may want to look through the photographs on your phone / computer and choose some that feel saturated with a particular color energy. Either print them yourself or have them printed in SoulCollage®-friendly 5x7" format.

• You may be drawn to create cards that incorporate stitching, textiles, painting, drawing, and other colored materials. All of this is welcome. Let your intuition guide you.

• A notebook, loose paper, and a pen

• If you like, you can buy clear plastic sleeves for your cards. This makes them easier to shuffle and protects them. The SoulCollage® website offers these and other prepackaged supplies for making cards.

• If you like, you can prepare backing papers for your cards, to unify them as a deck and/or to identify your Suits. For supply purposes this means you might like to have some decorative / wrapping papers cut to the same size as your cards. 

Location  The retreat will be online via Zoom. Zoom link will be provided to the registrants in advance to the event.

  June 18  Friday  6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  June 19 Saturday  9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  June 20 Sunday
Dharma Talk, 10:30 am

Partial Attendance  Friday night and Sunday morning are open to all.

Saturday all attendees should plan on full attendance. 

Cost and Dana To secure a place on the retreat, we ask you to make a donation of $25, 100% of which will be directed as dana (generosity) to the teacher. While this will not be a significant amount for the teacher and we ask you to consider a more substantial donation at the retreat, personal finances and dana are never a barrier to receiving the dharma with Red Clay Sangha, and full scholarships are available from our accumulated fund. Please contact Sally Landrum for the scholarship.

Financial Assistance  We would like for every one to be able to attend regardless of ability to pay. To achieve this goal, we need those who are able to contribute into a fund to help pay for those who are unable. This gives everyone the opportunity to practice generosity together.

All funds collected for this purpose will be divided equally between those who have requested them. You will be notified no later than 1 week prior to the retreat if there are insufficient funds to meet your request.

Payment and Cancellation Full payment is required two weeks prior to the retreat to guarantee your spot. If payment or scholarship request has not been received, RCS reserves the right to fill spaces from any waiting list.

Cancellations at least two weeks prior to the retreat will be fully refunded. After this date, full refunds will be given only if the spot can be filled from the waiting list. No refunds will be made for cancellations less than two days prior to the retreat.

Questions or More Information? please contact Sally Landrum
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