Touching the Earth: A Miksang Contemplative Photography Retreat

with Jake Lorfing, Melinda Rothouse, Patrick Larson

October 1st—October 7th

Date details +
    Price:
  • $455 Pay-It-Forward Tuition
  • $395 Full Program Tuition
  • $275 Subsidized Tuition
Room: El Solarium
Program Registration is Closed.

Currently, registration for this program is closed as we have reached the maximum participant numbers we can accommodate. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list, please email Casa Werma or Jake Lorfing.

Thank you for understanding.


Touching the Earth is a gathering for photographers of all skill levels, beginners to professionals, seeking a fresh approach to connecting to themselves and the world. Miksang Contemplative Photography is the art and practice of visual awareness, dropping our agendas and allowing the world to touch our hearts directly. The program will use meditations, contemplations, and simple exercises to assist participants to access their wisdom, strength, and confidence as they travel beyond the grounds of Casa Werma, into Pátzcuaro and the surrounding countryside.

The program will teach the basic visual elements of Miksang Level I before deepening into the heart of Miksang Level II, photographing plants, people and sentient beings, and the aliveness that is Mexico. A relaxed schedule will allow time for hiking, explorations, shopping, lunch on your own, photography, and siestas. Individual Miksang and meditation interviews may also be scheduled.

Each day will begin with breakfast at Casa Werma, followed by meditations, talks, photo reviews, and outings. We will gather in the evenings over dinner to review, discuss, and deepen further into Miksang Photography.

There are no prerequisites for the program. A digital camera is required, and it is helpful to have a laptop computer to download images.  


Pay-It-Forward program tuition not including accommodations: $455 usd We invite all who are able to do so to consider paying the Pay-It-Forward tuition rate. By doing so, you make it possible for us to offer scholarships to others, particularly our Mexico sangha, while also covering the direct cost of your stay here and contributing to our year-round operations.  

Full program tuition not including accommodations: $395 usd   We invite all who are able to do so to pay the full tuition rate.  By doing so, you cover the direct cost of your stay here and contribute to our year-round operating expenses.  

Subsidized program tuition not including accommodations: $275 usd  If the full tuition is unworkable for you, please pay the subsidized rate if you can.  By doing so you contribute towards the cost of your being here and everything it takes to keep Casa Werma operating year-round.


The first and last program dates for any program at Casa Werma are considered primarily travel days. We start with dinner on the first listed program day, followed by orientation and opening remarks by the teacher. On the final listed program day, there will be no program activities and a light, continental breakfast will be available to all participants.

Please visit our Accommodations page for more info about housing (not included in tuition).

We recommend flights into Morelia airport (90 minutes away by car). We can help with travel arrangements, please inquire about options. Please visit our How to Get Here  page for more info.


About the teachers:

Jake Lorfing, Melinda Rothouse, and Patrick Larson are certified instructors in the Shambhala Nalanda Miksang tradition. Supportive and experienced teachers, they cumulatively offer a wealth of photographic, artistic, technological, creative and meditative skillsets. 

Jake Lorfing has been active in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition for over 30 years as a student, teacher, administrator, and meditation instructor. Following a career in psychiatric nursing, he now spends more time teaching contemplative photography and end of life issues, teaching others to live more fully and joyfully. Jake has taught Miksang around the states and Canada in a variety of formats. He travels extensively for photography and his photos are on display in private and public venues. 

Melinda Rothouse is a professional creativity coach, consultant, and educator, as well as a meditation and contemplative arts teacher, based in Austin, Texas. She is also a singer/songwriter/bass player. Her creative and professional work embrace a lifelong love of learning with an emphasis on journey and process. A former teacher of comparative religions, she is currently working on her Ph.D. in psychology with a specialization in creativity studies at Saybrook University; her doctoral work focuses on mindfulness and creativity in organizational settings. 

Patrick Larson is an Austin, Texas based photographer with a unique blend of style developed from a broad range of artistic and photographic experience. He is comfortable and relaxed in both the studio and on location. A photographer since 1980 and now a software developer, he specializes in portraiture, landscapes, weddings, and fine art photography. He is the father of two beautiful girls, his photo subjects for many years.

Both Jake and Patrick have volunteered extensively teaching contemplative photography to at-risk teens in schools, half-way houses, and detention facilities.