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Will Johnson

Will Johnson received his B.A., magna cum laude, in Art and Archaeology from Princeton University in 1968.  After graduation, he worked for several years as an art critic in New York before moving to the west coast of North America where he began actively exploring gazing, moving, and sitting meditations.  He became a Buddhist practitioner in 1972 and was trained as a Rolfer™ in 1976.   He began the formal sharing of the practices of Embodiment Training in 1995.  

      He and his wife (and partner in the practices) Coco live in Delicias, Costa Rica, just outside the little bohemian town of Montezuma at the southern tip of the Nicoya peninsula where they have created Bambu Hueco, the Hollow Bamboo Retreat Center where they welcome serious meditation students to enter into intensive 7-21 day self retreat. During these retreats, people have the opportunity to work closely with Will in their meditation practices and receive deep bodywork and dream sessions as support for their intensive practice.  

      He is the author of several books which can be ordered through your local bookseller or online at

  • Balance of Body, Balance of Mind (Humanics, 1993)

  • The Posture of Meditation (Shambhala, 1996; also available in German translation as Meditieren in der richtigen   Haltung through Herder/Spectrum, in Italian translation as La Postura di Meditazione through Ubaldini Editore, and in Spanish translation as La postura de meditacion through Herder)

  • Aligned, Relaxed, Resilient:  The Physical Foundations of Mindfulness (Shambhala, 2000)

  • Rumi, Gazing at the Beloved:  The Radical Practice of Beholding the Divine (Inner Traditions, 2003; also available in French translation as Rumi:  Union des regards, fusion des âmes through Gange Editions)

  • The Sailfish and the Sacred Mountain:  Passages in the Lives of a Father and Son (Inner Traditions, 2004; also available in Russian translation as Terra Mystica through MockBa)

  • Yoga of the Mahamudra:  The Mystical Way of Balance (Inner Traditions, 2005)

  • The Forbidden Rumi:  The Suppressed Poems of Rumi on Love, Heresy, and Intoxication (Inner traditions, 2006, commentaries and translations by Will Johnson and Nevit O. Ergin; also available in Bahasa translation as Rubaiyat Terlarang Rumi from PT Elex Media and in Russian translation)

  • The Rubais of Rumi:  Insane with Love (Inner Traditions, 2007; commentaries and translations by Will Johnson and Nevit O. Ergin)

  • The Spiritual Practices of Rumi:  Radical Techniques for Beholding the Divine (Inner Traditions, 2007; this is a softcover republication of Rumi, Gazing at the Beloved)

  • Rumi’s Four Essential Practices:  Ecstatic Body, Awakened Soul (Inner Traditions, 2010)

  • Breathing Through the Whole Body:  The Buddha’s Instructions on Integrating Mind, Body, and Breath (Inner Traditions, 2012; also available in French translation as Respirer de Tout Son Corps through Octave Editions)

  • Eyes Wide Open:  Buddhist Instructions on Merging Body and Vision (Inner Traditions, 2016) 

  • Cannabis in Spiritual Practice:  The Ecstasy of Shiva, The Calm of Buddha (Inner Traditions, 2018)

  • Breathing as Spiritual Practice:  Experiencing the Presence of God (Inner Traditions, 2019)

  • The Posture of Meditation 2nd edition with an additional 16,000 word section on The Path of Somatic Dharma  (Shambhala Publications, 2020)


His magazine articles include:

  • The Balanced Body and the Middle Way (Shambhala Sun, July 2001)

  • Full Body, Empty Mind (Tricycle, Fall 2007)

  • Bringing Breath to Life (Watkins Mind Body Spirit, Issue 64)  

Audios and Videos:

  • Awakening the Body:  The Path of Somatic Surrender  (Sounds True, 2011)

  • Urban Retreat (three evenings of audio instruction available through the website Store)

  • 7 Day Retreat (seven instructional videos of between two and three hours each of a seven day retreat led by Will Johnson, also available through the website Store)

  • The Posture of Meditation.  A six-video Tricycle series on the basic principles of sitting meditation available through 

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