Contemplative and Wellness Practices

Daily contemplative and wellness practices rooted in Buddhist meditation, Taiji, Yoga, Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicines facilitated by serious practitioners of the fields are core of the daily curriculum that supports musicians' awareness, sensibility, and wellbeing. In addition, we offer a thoughtfully planned and prepared vegan diet, crafted by our holistic lifestyle counselor and chef, to better support both the environment and our wellbeing. 

Guided and Silent Meditation

Zenshin Dillon Balmaceda
Meditation Teacher

Music has the unique ability to help us express aspects of ourselves that words sometimes cannot. When we play an instrument or really tune into music, we can tap into a synergy that elevates our inner being and brings forth previously unseen parts of ourselves. This interconnection between listening and being listened to occurs when we truly integrate ourselves into the experience and learn to listen from the heart. By doing so, we take a step back and allow ourselves to be open to the music, learning to connect with it on a deeper level. In this way, music can become a tool for liberation, helping us to express ourselves in ways we never thought possible. 

Daily meditation at the summer program, designed to support participants' music journey, will consist two types of meditation: morning silent meditation and evening guided music meditation.

About Dillon

Zenshin Dillon Balmaceda studied music at Miami College and traveled for several years as a percussionist. He was ordained as a Zen Buddhist priest in 2018 at the San Francisco Zen Center. He practiced at various Zen monasteries for 15 years and during that time met his root teacher, Shohaku Okumura. He continues to practice and study with teachers in the Zen tradition.

Zenshin Dillon trained as an interfaith Buddhist chaplain at Sati Center for Buddhist Studies, and during that time worked in hospice settings and prisons. He is currently studying at Dharma Realm Buddhist University. He is interested in learning about the different Buddhist traditions and how they can develop an integrated person. Zenshin Dillon also holds the role of Assistant Chaplain at the Dharma Realm Buddhist University.

Taiji for Harmony and Balance 

Loc Huynh, L.Ac.
Taiji Instructor 

The Taiji course will discover the wisdom of ancient Chinese martial arts and explore the depths of harmony and balance. This beginner-friendly course focuses on three main aspects: stretching, standing meditation (zhan zhuang), and a short form of the Taiji set. Throughout this course, students will develop an understanding of the principles of Yin and Yang and how they apply to Taiji practice. They will learn how these principles contribute to physical and mental well-being, and help improve flexibility, strength, balance, and mental clarity.

Stretching - We will begin each session with gentle stretching exercises to increase flexibility, strengthen muscles, and prevent injury. These stretches will be tailored to complement Taiji movements and enhance overall body awareness.

Standing Meditation (zhan zhuang) - We will cultivate inner stillness, focus, and mental clarity through the practice of standing meditation. Students will learn to maintain proper posture, breath control, and body alignment to develop internal energy and improve overall health.

Short Form of Taiji Set - We will discover the beauty and grace of Taiji through a simplified version of the traditional Taiji set. Students will be guided step-by-step through each movement, with special emphasis on maintaining proper alignment, coordination, and flow. They will also learn the underlying principles that govern each movement and how they relate to the harmony and balance of Yin and Yang.

By the end of this course, students will have gained a foundation in Taiji and its core principles. They will have developed an appreciation for the benefits of Taiji practice on both physical and mental health, and will be equipped with the knowledge as well as skills to continue their journey toward harmony and balance. 

About Loc

Loc's fascination with Gongfu started at a very young age. When he was seven years old, he saw a Shaolin Temple movie that sparked his interest in this ancient Chinese practice. He began studying Shaolin Gongfu and Taiji at the age of sixteen and immediately fell in love with the practice. He found the movements beautiful and practical, and he loved how they made him feel.

Loc’s passion for Taiji led him to become a licensed acupuncturist and Chinese herbal practitioner. He believes that the principles of Taiji are deeply connected to the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and he uses this knowledge to help his patients achieve better health and wellbeing. He firmly believes that Taiji training can benefit all facets of daily life, from physical health, to mental clarity, to emotional balance. Loc is dedicated to his practice and continues to learn and grow in his training. He is always eager to share his experience with others.

Personal Wellness Techniques

Brandon Lannan
Licensed Massage Therapist

The series of workshop will lead participants through a combination of active isolated stretching, joint mobility exercises, self-massage techniques, myofascial release, and postural assessment. This course is designed to help attendees play their instruments at ease, relieve tension or discomfort resulted from practices or unhealthy body postures. 

Active-isolated stretching is a form of stretching that involves holding a stretch for only a few seconds, then releasing it and repeating for several reps, increasing the range of motion each time. Joint mobility exercises are a type of stretching that focuses on increasing the mobility of the joints, which can help improve range of motion and overall function. Self-massage techniques are techniques used to relieve muscle soreness, achiness and increase blood flow, and improve range of motion. Myofascial release is a massage technique that focuses on treating the connective tissue surrounding your muscles (fascia) to alleviate pain and relieve tension, deep tissue release. Lastly, postural assessment is the practice of assessing one's posture to identify potential issues, poor alignment, and other issues that could cause discomfort or pain, thereby helping treat and correct imbalances.

About Brandon

Brandon Lannan is a multifaceted individual who has spent 20 years in the wellness industry as a licensed massage therapist. Over the course of his career, he has worked in top-tier wellness centers and luxury resorts across Colorado, Hawaii, and Arizona. However, his thirst for knowledge and passion for well-being led him to pursue higher education.

Brandon left his established career to embark on a six-year journey at Dharma Realm Buddhist University, where he obtained his Bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts and Masters in Buddhist Classics. When not engrossed in academia, Brandon spends his free time exploring the hidden nooks of nature, savoring the Eastern art of tea, and cultivating inner wellness through mindfulness, healthy eating, and movement.

Brandon's extensive experience in movement therapy and his passion for well-being are an integral part of the program experience. Brandon's expertise in active-isolated stretching, joint mobility exercises, self-massage techniques, myofascial release, and postural assessment will be invaluable to participants. These modalities are essential for unlocking the body's potential and can have a significant impact on one's well-being.