The Theosophical Society in America

Events, Workshops, and Retreats

presented at the National Center

The Theosophical Society in America National Headquarters These events, workshops and retreats are offered at our National Center, 1926 N. Main St., Wheaton, IL.

 Pre-register online by clicking on the highlighted link, or by phone: 630-668-1571, ext. 315; or by e-mail

Fire Pit ceremony and Native American Drumming Circle

 Saturday, July 28, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

drumHelp us honor the completion of our beautiful fire circle with a Native American blessing ceremony! The ceremony will be led by Marilyn Johnston, of Cherokee heritage, and will include drumming and storytelling. There will also be a Giveaway blanket, where participants can bring a small item that is meaningful to them in exchange for a different item on the blanket.

Bring your drum or rattle and join in this special time!

Donations are appreciated. (Free-will donations.)

A Day of Mindfulness and Meditation

Saturday, August 25, 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Santikarro__F.jpgOn this daylong silent retreat we mindfully take pause from busy lives and concerns in order to explore our capacity to be awake, grounded, and open to life's realities. Grounding practices include deep, mindful breathing with fully released exhalations; the enjoyment of gratitude; and gracefully bearing under the flow of uncertain conditions. The grounds and sacred space of the Theosophical Society invite us to slow down and be present with the inner spaces to which we have privileged access and for which we have most responsibility.

Please bring your own vegetarian lunch.

Santikaro is the founder of Liberation Park, a Buddhist retreat center in Wisconsin. There he teaches Buddhism and meditation with an emphasis on the early Pali sources. He was a Buddhist monk for 19 years and a disciple of the renowned Thai meditation master Buddhadasa Bhikkhu.

$60 nonmembers $50 members $70 at the door

Register here

Extended Gong Bath: Magic and Rebirth

Saturday, September 1, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Richard Rudis

Enjoy this special opportunity to deepen your experience of Richard Rudis’s signature gong bath. Using principles of Vajrayana Buddhism, specific sacred geometry, mathematics such as the Fibonacci sequence, and instrumentation, Richard creates a dynamic meditative and transformative space where each participant is acoustically guided, via harmonic overtones, into realms of physical wellbeing, emotional balance, cellular healing, and spiritual awareness. Carefully designed vibrational constructs are used to further entice the brain into Alpha/Theta/Delta wave-scapes of creativity, relaxation and enrichment. 

Richard Rudis (Sonam Dorje) is a published writer, musician, and lecturer on the subject of vibrational sound healing as it is reflected within Tibetan Buddhism. An American practitioner of the Vajrayana path and a sound pioneer, he has studied sacred instruments and their playing techniques across Asia, conducting transformational sound mandala concerts internationally. To learn more, visit

Please bring a pillow and mat or blanket to lie on.

$30 per person (pre-registered) $35 at the door

Register here

Registration is limited to 60 people.


theosofest 2018

TheosoFEST is an annual open-house mind, body, spirit, festival celebrating the wisdom of the ages, the unity of all life, and spiritual self-transformation. We invite you to join us for this free event exploring spirituality and community! Bring your friends and family!

Read more: TheosoFEST

Imagining Nature: A Poetry Writing Workshop

Special poetry and music event!
Saturday, September 15, 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

In this workshop, poet and philosopher Luke Fischer will guide participants through writing exercises and techniques that can help us understand and connect to the natural environment. The afternoon will also include discussion of selected poems that engage with the natural world in striking ways. The workshop is suitable for beginners as well as experienced writers.

Participants attending the recital will be served refreshments from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Poetry Reading and Piano Recital
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Luke FischerLuke Fischer will share poems from his poetry collections A Personal History of Vision (UWAP Poetry, 2017) and Paths of Flight (Black Pepper, 2013). American classical pianist Ryan Senger, who specializes in bringing deserving, yet under-performed masterworks to public attention, will perform after the poetry reading.

Luke Fischer is a prize-winning poet, philosopher, and writer. His books include the poetry collections A Personal History of Vision and Paths of Flight, the monograph The Poet as Phenomenologist: Rilke and the New Poem, and the children’s book The Blue Forest. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy, has taught at universities in Australia, Germany, and the USA, and is an honorary associate of the University of Sydney. For more information visit

Workshop: $30 nonmembers, $25 members, $35 at the door
Recital: $10 nonmembers, $5 members
Workshop and recital: $35 nonmembers, $30 members, $40 at the door


Interfaith Prayers for Peace

Saturday, September 15, 11:30 a.m.

Mazher AhmedJoin us for an event devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. Our speakers come from the ecumenical community to offer prayers and blessings of peace. With open hearts and minds, reach out and share your expertise and ideas in this global movement. Discussion over a light lunch follows. If you plan to attend or would like to represent your tradition by speaking, please RSVP to

Mazher Ahmed, born and educated in India, is involved in a number of interfaith endeavors. She is vice president of the Batavia Islamic Center in Illinois, an emeritus trustee for the Council of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, and founder of Interfaith Prayers for Peace.

Donations are appreciated.

Autumnal Equinox: Abundance Meditation Celebration

Friday, September 21, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Samadhi BanksCelebrate abundance and cultivate gratitude for all the blessings in your life with a special meditation on the Autumnal Equinox. Rejoice in community and appreciation for the gifts within and around you, and prepare for the new season ahead with spiritual intention. Enjoy affirmations, uplifting mantras (chanting), mudras (gestures), gently freeing movement, and a variety of other meditation techniques. Allow yourself this opportunity to be bountiful and blissful!

Samadhi Banks has been dedicated to holistic wellness, yoga and meditation for nearly 20 years. She brings her breadth of experience and dynamic teaching style to in-depth studies and teacher training programs in the philosophy and practices of Kundalini, classical yoga and meditation, Reiki, and crystal and gemstone therapy. She also offers The Indigo Project, a course for understanding and supporting the unique needs of today's children from an energetic and chakra-based perspective.

Bring a meditation cushion and/or yoga mat for floor seating and relaxation, if desired. Chairs also available.

$15 nonmembers, $10 members, $20 at the door


Autumnal Equinox Family Celebration

Saturday, September 22, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Let us join together in celebrating the Autumnal Equinox. Autumn is a time of preparation, the time when we finish harvesting the crops and get ready for the cold months ahead.

This celebration is designed for families with children but is open to all. The event will begin by inviting the Four Directions to join us. Then we will sing, dance, create, share, and make music. We will also eat* to bring the energy from the celebration into ourselves. This celebration is a time to share our personal traditions and spirituality. If you would like, please bring something that represents autumn to you such as a story, poem, or artwork.

Genis Schmidt has been leading seasonal celebrations for over seven years and has taught outdoor education and nature-based spirituality to children. She is mentored in the Dances of Universal Peace (DUP) and has been trained in teaching DUP to children. She has two daughters and loves witnessing their sense of wonder about nature and spirituality.

Registration is required. Parents are required to stay with their children at all times. *Please let us know if anyone has food allergies at the time of registration.

$30 (per family) for nonmembers, $25 (per family) for members

Encountering Sufism

Saturday, September 22, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Marcia HermansenSufism, the mystical tradition of Islam, is a path to transformation through love and knowledge of the divine. Sufi practices such as dhikr (remembrance of God) include breathing, chanting, and contemplation that invite shifts in awareness and access to higher realms of experience. Workshop participants will be introduced to Sufism in classical and contemporary contexts and will have the opportunity to participate in Sufi breathing, dhikr, and contemplative exercises in the Chishti tradition.

Dr. Marcia Hermansen is the director of the Islamic World Studies Program and professor in the Theology department at Loyola University Chicago, where she teaches courses in Islamic Studies, mysticism, and world religions. She is the author of numerous books and articles in the fields of Islamic thought and life, Sufism, and women in Islam. In addition to translating and interpreting original Sufi writings from Arabic, Persian, and Urdu, she has been a long term participant in Western and traditional Islamic Sufi movements, including the Inayati Order and the Chishti Nizami path.

$30 nonmembers, $25 members, $35 at the door

Contemplation in the Age of Twitter

Saturday, September 29, 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Judith ValenteFeeling as though there is never enough time to engage in the things that are important? Do the days seem to pass without a sense of context or meaning? How can we identify what really matters to our lives? Once a hard-charging professional working for The Wall Street Journal and PBS-TV, Judith Valente will describe how spending extended periods of time in a Midwest monastery helped her shed a "dual diagnosis" of workaholism and over-achieverism. For all of us, the ancient monastic values of listening, hospitality, simplicity, silence, prayer, and praise can offer a way forward from the distractions that keep us from being truly mindful in our daily lives and from who we truly are. We can become "everyday contemplatives."

Judith Valente is an award-winning journalist, poet, and essayist and has won two Edward R. Murrow Awards for her broadcast work. She has also been a finalist twice for the Pulitzer Prize in journalism. Judith is the senior correspondent at WGLT Radio, a National Public Radio station, and is author of How to Live, The Art of Pausing, Twenty Poems to Nourish Your Soul, and Atchinson Blue.

Please bring your own vegetarian lunch.

$60 nonmembers, $50 members, $70 at the door

How to Build a Fruit Tree Guild

Sunday, September 30, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Grow a fruit tree guild and begin enjoying fresh, delicious, and nutritious fruits, vegetables, and herbs from your own garden. Growing a fruit tree with companion plants minimizes maintenance, increases nutrition, and manages diseases and pests naturally. Learn how to grow your favorite fruit – peaches, nectarines, pears, Asian pears, plums, cherries, apples, serviceberries, paw paws, or persimmons – and learn how plants work harmoniously to create a mini-ecosystem designed to be self-maintaining.

In order to grow a fruit tree guild, you will need a full sun location (6+ hours daily) with a minimum of 100 square feet (10'x10'). Most edible plants require full or partial sun to be productive, so we will focus on these plants only. This will be an information-packed discussion, so bring a notebook and pencil. Handouts will be distributed.

Jodi Trendler is the executive director and co-founder of The Resiliency Institute, a nonprofit organization using permaculture education and design to foster nature and human connection, grow food security, and build resilient communities.

$20 nonmembers, $15 members

Sound Healing with Tibetan and Crystal Bowls

Friday, October 5, 7:00 p.m.

Yolanda LozanotRelax and bathe in the sounds and frequency of the bowls. Their vibration brings harmony to the etheric, emotional and physical bodies, shifting the brain into higher states of consciousness, slowing down thoughts, and opening the heart to healing. Deeksha, or the Oneness Blessing, creates balance in the hemispheres of the brain, releases fear, and invites the higher frequency of love to enter, allowing us to reconnect with our spiritual essence.

Yolanda Lozano has over 20 years of extensive bicultural training in the healing arts from master teachers in India, China, and the United States. She integrates breathing techniques, toning and chanting, meditation, movement, vibrational energy healing, and self-care while listening to the True Self within. For more, visit

Wear loose, comfortable clothing and bring a mat and/or blanket to lie on.

$25 per person (pre-registered), $30 at the door

Inner Life Safari: The Workshop

Saturday, October 13, 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Kurt LelandThere’s nothing more exciting and potentially life-changing than a journey to the outback of distant lands to observe and learn the ways of unfamiliar plants, animals, and peoples. Yet the investigations of Theosophical clairvoyant Charles Webster Leadbeater demonstrate that there are equally exciting and life-changing adventures to be had by journeying within ourselves. For the last 18 years, Kurt Leland has conducted classes in psychic and spiritual development based on principles derived from Leadbeater’s teachings. In this experiential workshop, he’ll present some of his findings and show us how to conduct our own inner life safari.

Please bring your own vegetarian lunch.

Kurt Leland is a national lecturer for the Theosophical Society in America. He is also an award-winning composer and the author of eight books dealing with subjects such as astral projection, near-death experiences, and mystical experiences associated with music. His latest books are a revised and expanded edition of Otherwhere: A Field Guide to Nonphysical Reality for the Out-of-Body Traveler (2018) and Rainbow Body: A History of the Western Chakra System from Blavatsky to Brennan (2016). An internationally known expert on the life and writings of Theosophical leaders and clairvoyants Annie Besant and Charles W. Leadbeater, Mr. Leland has also compiled and annotated Invisible Worlds: Annie Besant on Psychic and Spiritual Development (2013) and an authoritative edition of Leadbeater's classic, The Chakras (2013).

$60 nonmembers, $50 members, $70 at the door

Finding Peace and Contentment in a Distracted World

Meditation Retreat!

Friday, October 19, 7:00 p.m. – Sunday, October 21, 3:30 p.m.

Bhante SujathaMost of us are living busy, distracted lives much of the time, overwhelmed with work, family and other issues. We are so distracted we have no time to think about how we feel or how we are doing in our inner lives. As a result, we have become robotic in many ways and are losing our health and mental well-being. We cannot focus or concentrate and we become sad, mad, and angry easily and often. Bhante Sujatha will help you find your inner Buddha nature for inner peace, happiness, contentment, and joy.

This retreat will include personal time with Bhante Sujatha, sitting meditation, walking meditation, group meditation and discussions, labyrinth walking meditation, mindful eating, sutra study, and more.

Bhante Sujatha, a Buddhist monk for over 35 years, is singularly focused on adding more love in the world. Bhante teaches loving-kindness meditation to people around the globe for all those seeking the art of happiness and contentment. His approach to meditation is deep and simple, bringing core Buddhist teachings to everyone in a way that is practical and easy to understand.  A joyful, radiant, funny, and wildly energetic monk, Bhante will help you obtain peace that can only be found in deep silence. Originally from Sri Lanka, he is the head monk/abbot of the Blue Lotus Buddhist Temple and Meditation Center in Woodstock, Ill.

Bhante believes his purpose is not only to teach meditation, but also, “teaching people how to be happy.”

As space is limited, early registration is encouraged.

Retreat sessions, meals, private lodging—$350

Retreat sessions, meals, shared lodging—$250

Retreat sessions, meals—$150

The Art of Staying Calm in Chaos

Saturday, October 27, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Leslie SannlWe all strive for calmness and equanimity, but it can be challenging at times, especially in the midst of chaos or when we feel we’ve been hurt or wronged. Learn some vital tools to achieve more peace and joy in your life in the form of creative play followed by 30 minutes of focused breathwork that will lead to an exploration of forgiveness, and, finally, a release into peace. This experiential workshop provides the opportunity to free yourself from self-created suffering and expand your consciousness so you can more easily calm down, stay calm, and move through life with greater ease.

Please bring your own vegetarian lunch.

Leslie Sann, MA, LCPC, is the author of the award-winning book Life Happens: What Are YOU Going to Do About It? She is also a mentor, coach and founder of The Living by Design School. For over 30 years Leslie has been helping people create a joyful life, personally, professionally and in their relationships, guiding them to live by design rather than by default. For more visit

$30 nonmembers, $25 members, $35 at the door

Triple Gong Experience

Friday, November 2, 7:00 p.m.

Become immersed in the rich tonal vibrations of three harmonious gongs as you detach from the pressure and content of the mind. Evoking physical, emotional, and spiritual responses, the vibrations of the gongs work on multiple levels to stimulate, heal and transform. After a gentle, seated yogic warm-up and meditation to prepare the mind and body, relax and be embraced by sound.

Ela Geske received her Kundalini Yoga instructor and gong training through the 3HO Foundation (KRI). Maureen Milliken is a yoga instructor, sound practitioner, Reiki Master Teacher, and shamanic facilitator. Rosa Guidarelli is a yoga instructor, Reiki Master, and Cranial Sacral Therapist. They are all honored to help you become more bountiful, blissful, and beautiful through Kundalini Yoga and this triple gong event.

Wear loose, comfortable clothing and bring a mat and/or blanket. In the communal spirit, we'll share a cup of homemade Yogi Tea afterward.

$25 per person (pre-registered), $30 at the door

Basics of Mala Meditation + Make Your Own Mala

Saturday, November 3, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Samadhi Banks Enjoy a fun, crafty afternoon making your own japa mala!

In this session, you'll learn about malas and the basics of mala meditation, including how and why to use the mala as a tool to help you focus in meditation and deepen your spirituality, and the many fascinating symbolic meanings associated with malas that you can bring into your own practice.

Choosing from a selection of beautiful beads, you'll then create a special mala to begin your own journey in this tradition and learn the basic techniques for mala bead stringing, knotting, and creating a tassel. In addition to instruction in the craft of mala making, you will also learn how to infuse your mala with spiritual energy and intention through meditation during its creation. Leave with a beautiful piece to wear and treasure for years to come.

Instruction and basic materials are included in the cost of the workshop.  You are welcome to bring your own beads or other components to personalize your mala.  Additional materials to customize your mala will be available to purchase on-site the day of the workshop.

Samadhi Banks has been dedicated to holistic wellness, yoga and meditation for nearly 20 years. She brings her breadth of experience and dynamic teaching style to in-depth studies and teacher training programs in the philosophy and practices of Kundalini, classical yoga and meditation, Reiki, and crystal and gemstone therapy. She also offers The Indigo Project, a course for understanding and supporting the unique needs of today's children from an energetic and chakra-based perspective.

$45 if registered before October 27, $55 after (includes materials)

The Miracle Club: Exploring Methods of Mind Power Workshop

Saturday, November 10, 10:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Mitch HorowitzJoin Mitch for a serious, hands-on workshop to explore methods in mind power. In an intimate setting, Mitch will explore topics including:

  • The imperative of finding and possessing a definite chief aim.
  • How to use meditations and affirmations in a truly transforming manner.
  • Why prayer is a neglected and misunderstood practice.
  • The radical and simple visualization ideas of Neville Goddard, and how to use them.
  • Guided meditations to attain your fullest potential.
  • Metaphysical steps that can help with depression and anxiety—and why the spiritual path is not always helpful in these areas.

Mitch will also leave time for questions and exchange. This is an up-close master class in exploring the metaphysics of thought.

Please bring your own vegetarian lunch.

Mitch Horowitz is the PEN Award-winning author of books including Occult America, One Simple Idea, Mind as Builder, and The Miracle Club. Mitch has discussed alternative spirituality on Dateline NBC, CBS Sunday Morning, and NPR’s All Things Considered, and written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time, and many other national publications. The Washington Post says Mitch “treats esoteric ideas and movements with an even-handed intellectual studiousness that is too often lost in today’s raised-voice discussions.” David Lynch says, “Mitch is solid gold.” The Chinese government has censored his work.

$60 nonmembers, $50 members, $70 at the door

The Shamanic Way of Living, Honoring, Growing, and Manifesting

Saturday, November 17, 10:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Christina PaterosStarting with love and gratitude, with the acknowledgment that worry is creating what we do not want, we will practice visioning and creating in a grounded circle, honoring and celebrating Mother Earth as our home. Through cleansing and clearing, ceremony, guided visioning, and practice of grounded rituals and techniques, we will actively embrace Creating. Intentions include both personal and collective/global work. All are welcome, whether brand new to shamanism or a seasoned practitioner. Come with a desire for a heart-opening and expanding experience. 

Christina Pateros, artisan, spiritual guide, and teacher, is in service as steward of spiritual journeys to sacred lands. She has a healing practice, and as artisan, she merges her healing with spiritual gifts creating powerfully pleasing art pieces. Her shamanic practice offers cleansing and clearing of beings and spaces while connecting to clients and their divine guidance and magnificence. For more information see: or 

Please bring your own vegetarian lunch. Dress in layers and bring a mat for inside work with possible outside time, weather permitting. 

$70 nonmembers, $60 members, $80 at the door. 

Go Within: Principles for the Spiritual Practice

Saturday, December 1, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Juli CesanoExperiencing the intangible requires a deep transformation of our outlook on life. The journey is steep, but it can be tread by anybody. It begins with simple daily decisions followed wholeheartedly, even amid life’s turmoil. During this experiential workshop we will consider and practice the teachings left by those who walk ahead of us. 

Juliana Cesano is a second generation Theosophist and has been actively involved with the Society’s work for over twenty years. She volunteered for two years at the international headquarters in Chennai, India, and has been part of the staff at the headquarters of the Theosophical Society in America for the last ten years. She is a certified yoga teacher, 200 CYT, and is currently the manager of the Quest Book Shop.

$20 nonmembers, $15 members

Flower of Life Gong Bath

Friday, December 7, 7:00 p.m.

Richard RudisThe Flower of Life Chakra Empowerment Tour comes to Wheaton! Experience a dynamic meditative gong bath with the rising and falling rhythms, tonalities, and vibrations of an Earth Gong tuned to the sound of the primordial AUM – the vibrational signature of our Mother Earth. Richard will use the ancient sacred geometry of the Flower of Life to empower each chakra point with healing chi.

Richard Rudis (Sonam Dorje) is a published writer, musician, and lecturer on the subject of vibrational sound healing as it is reflected within Tibetan Buddhism. An American practitioner of the Vajrayana path and a sound pioneer, he has studied sacred instruments and their playing techniques across Asia, conducting transformational sound mandala concerts internationally. For more, visit

Bring a pillow and mat or blanket to lie on.

  Registration is limited to 60 people.

$25 per person (pre-registered), $30 at the door

Accessing Inner Vitality: Practical Ways to Use Energy for Health and Contentment

Saturday, December 8, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. 

Marilyn MitchellLearn practical ways to shift your own energy for greater health and well-being. By accessing your inner source of vital energy and soothing fears that block this energy, you can experience more peace and presence. Inner vitality can be used to recover from physical, emotional and mental ailments, even in serious conditions. Join us to learn the key to unlocking your inner healing.

Dr. Marilyn Mitchell received her medical degree from Rush Medical College and completed her residency at the University of Chicago. She is certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine. She is an educator, speaker, and health visionary. A leader in the field of integrative medicine, Dr. Mitchell is also the founder of HealingSpace.

$25 nonmembers, $20 members, $30 at the door

Celebrate the Season

Friday, December 14, 7:00 p.m.

Paula FinneganCelebrate and welcome in the season with kindred spirits by sharing stories, ceremonies, songs, or poems from your faith tradition, family customs, or cultural heritage, followed by drumming! Please bring vegetarian, non-alcoholic holiday goodies to share as we close the evening in the festive holiday ambiance of Nicholson Hall!

Paula Finnegan will facilitate this seasonal celebration with everyone’s participation.

There is no charge for this event—however, all contributions (monetary or canned/paper goods) will be donated to the Humanitarian Service Project.

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