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Workshops, Retreats, Private Sessions









Hollow Bamboo Dharma:  Embracing the Nagas.

Eight Intensive Days of Radiant Awakening with Will Johnson. August 22 - 31, Playa Coyote, Costa Rica


     The Nagas were pliant and fluid creatures whose bodies undulated as they moved through space.  Often depicted as snakelike, their watery nature gave them great powers as they ventured forth from their natural habitat in oceans, rivers, and lakes to interact with humans on dry land.  They were also a thorn in the side of traditional Buddhism who viewed their inherent motility as distracting to the aims of dharma practice.

     It's time to restore the good name of the Nagas  and acknowledge that they hold a missing key to the explosive liberation that the Buddhists tout as all our birthrights, and I want to invite you to the most transformational gathering I have ever offered.


     The gathering will be taught in the format of a traditional meditation retreat but the approach to sitting practice will replace the stone-garden-statue-of-the-Buddha posture with one in which, much like the Nagas, everything can spontaneously move. Together we will explore three primary somatic koans—or physiological hacks—that liberate the radiant enlightened state:


     Exploring sitting and standing practice as a surrendered dance of balancing


     Awakening the felt sensations of the body and immediately greeting their                  awakening with a gesture of relaxation 


     Experiencing how in deepest relaxation everything keeps subtly moving in                response to both breath and life force


     We will come together as a silent sangha at the wonderful Salvatierra Retreat Center (, situated on a beautiful, little populated, beach in Playa Coyote, Costa Rica.  We will meet in the meditation hall for three hours in the morning, three hours in the afternoon, and two hours every evening for sitting, standing, and lying down practice.  During that time we will give ourselves permission to release ourselves from the straight jacket of traditional dharma’s orientation to sitting and let go to our Naga nature with its impulse to move.  Liberating the Naga currents of breath and body, we surrender to our innate radiant state, what I call The Great Wide Open. 


     I have chosen Salvatierra because we will be exploring some of our practices in the ocean and the pool.  In addition, everyone will receive four sessions of Rolfing® Structural Integration.  Because intensive retreat can powerfully spark dream life, my wife Coco—who received her dreamwork training as an apprentice to the chief of the Malaysian Senoi dream people—will be available to work with your dreams.  Between two and four weeks after the retreat ends you will be invited to schedule a private one hour followup Zoom call with Will.


     I want to make this discovery of our inherent Naga energy available to everyone, and so the retreat is open to both what I call my Pure Land students and my Ganjasangha students.  My Pure Land students generally abstain from any mind altering substance:  unhealthy foods, caffeine, alcohol, entheogenic medicines, and they do this because this is what supports them to go deep in the practices.  My Ganjasangha students have found that small amounts of cannabis help catalyze the radiant awakening of the three somatic koans, and they do this because this is what supports them to go deep in the practice.  We will begin every practice session with a ritual sharing of cannabis but it is not mandatory that you participate.  To all my brothers-and-sisters-in-meditation from the Zen, Vipassana, and Vajrayana traditions, whether you choose to use cannabis or not this literally ex-static gathering will be unlike any retreat you’ve ever attended and will radically transform your understanding and experience of meditation.  If you’ve been meditating for years but still don’t feel you’ve experienced what the teachings promise, the practices in this retreat will both show you why and set you free to dance with the dharma.


     The price of the retreat is $3000 for a shared room and, based on availability, $3800 for a private room and is due upon registration.  If you register before May 1st, the price is $2500 for a shared room and $3300 for a private room.  Your payment includes your room, all meals, teachings, and transportation to and from the Liberia airport and Salvatierra.  All payment can be made through PayPal to     


     Please email Will at and describe your meditation and plant medicine experience and reasons for wanting to attend the retreat.  The retreat is not appropriate for anyone who is currently undergoing psychiatric treatment, and Will reserves the right to refuse admission to anyone for whom he feels the practice is not a proper fit.  The ideal participant is someone ready to explore an approach to meditation practice that powerfully awakens felt presence, liberates the breath, and looks to the future—not the past—of Buddhist dharma.  Upon receiving payment, Will will email you information about traveling to Costa Rica with a suggested list of items you will want to bring with you.  Salvatierra is a small retreat center, and enrollment is limited so please register as early as possible.


     The easiest way to get to Playa Coyote is to fly in to the international airport in Liberia and transfer to a shared private shuttle or taxi for the drive to Salvatierra.  The team at Salvatierra will help coordinate reserving shared transportation from and back to Liberia, and the transfer fee is included in your enrollment. When we get closer to the starting date and we receive your flight information, we will coordinate transportation from the Liberia airport to Salvatierra.



Shimmering Seahorse Yearlong Sangha 2024.  $2500 - $3000    

        At this point in my life I'm primarily wanting to work closely with those of you who are ready to commit to intensive practice of Hollow Bamboo Dharma over the course of an entire year.  This year I'm going to split the sangha between those new to the practice and seasoned seahorses who've already completed at least one year long sangha.  For those of you new to the sangha we will be meeting via Zoom once a month on Sunday mornings.  For those of you seasoned seahorses wanting to continue your participation in the sangha we will be meeting via Zoom once a month on Saturday mornings.  All sessions will be recorded so, if you need to miss a session or live in a part of the world whose time difference makes it difficult for you to attend the gatherings in person, a recording will be emailed to you (if there are enough people from Australia and Asia who would like to join the sangha, I'm also willing to consider hosting a separate sangha for you that will go live during your morning hours).  


        In addition to our group gatherings I will want to hold a private Zoom session with you once a month.  Because we all resonate with different pieces of the practice, the private sessions will be a guided meditation reflecting your needs and development.  Included in your enrollment fee will be a 20” x 20” kasina (for new seahorses) and entrance into any of the special online events I might offer during the year (for everyone).  I also ask that you purchase each of the following books:


        The Posture of Meditation 2nd Edition

        Breathing Through the Whole Body

        Eyes Wide Open


        I will expect you to commit to at least two sessions of personal practice every week of the training.  In addition to the meditation practices, I will ask that you bring some form of physical practice into your life at least two or three times a week: yoga, martial arts, Pilates, resistance training, aerobics, spontaneous movement, The Five Tibetan Rites, Five Rhythms, 10,000 daily steps, ecstatic dance, etc.  I will also encourage you to receive one session a month of deep bodywork over the course of the year.


        My intention for this yearlong intensive is for you to experience how this approach to practice can so awaken that which is ordinarily so asleep in your body and mind that you naturally gain a direct experience of your ultimate nature:  The Great Wide Open.  The focus of the practice is threefold:  spiritual evolution as well as real physical and emotional healing, all three of which occur together through the orientation of Hollow Bamboo Dharma.  


        Please email me at and let me know of your interest in joining our sangha and your background in sitting meditation practices.  The price for returning sangha members is $2500.  The price for new seahorses is $3000.  An installment schedule is also available if you need to pay in segments.  Once you're accepted into the sangha I'll send you information about how to pay through PayPal.  


Private Retreats at Bambu Hueco

        I'm pleased to announce that we have reopened Bambu Hueco, the Hollow Bamboo Retreat Cottage in Montezuma, Costa Rica, and will once again start inviting serious meditation students to enter into intensive private retreat.  I enjoy working with students intensively one-on-one, and I'm tweaking the retreat format to spend much longer periods of personal instruction during your retreat.  For the foreseeable future we will be offering both a seven and ten day intensive retreat format although longer retreats may be available depending on your meditation experience.                    


        Your retreat will be a mix of exploration on your own coupled with intensive personal instruction, deep bodywork, and dreamwork.  Starting with a sunrise meditation and morning practice at the cottage, you will then walk over to the outdoor meditation hall and sit with me for three hours of personal meditation instruction and sobhet (spiritual instruction).  In the afternoons we will spend another two hours of meditation and instruction together, and you will either receive a deep bodywork session from me or do a dreamwork session with my wife Coco. There will be ample time to take walks on the path around our property, do your preferred form of exercise, enjoy the swimming pool, and create your own magical music at the chime arch.


        Bambu Hueco is situated at the southern tip of the Nicoya peninsula, one of the five Blue Zones in the world where people not uncommonly live past 100 and remain active.  One of the features of Blue Zone longevity is a diet rich in legumes  vegetables, fruits, and grains, and we will serve you light but nutritious vegetarian Blue Zone meals:  a breakfast of fruits and grains, a main meal at lunchtime, a light salad for dinner.


       To book a retreat please email me directly ( and let me know of your meditational background, why you're drawn to an intensive retreat at Bambu Hueco, and when ideally you'd like to come.  I will then be able to determine if a retreat here is appropriate for you and will get back to you.  To support the work at Bambu Hueco suggested dana for the Seven Day Retreat is $7500.  Suggested dana for the Ten Day Retreat is $9500.  If you want to enter into retreat with your spouse/partner/friend in the practice, suggested dana for the Seven Day Retreat is $10,000 and suggested dana for the Ten Day Retreat is $12,000.  Once you're accepted into the retreat, you will need to send a non-refundable $2000 deposit, and I will send you detailed instructions on traveling to Bambu Hueco.  


        As with all the teaching I do, I want your experience, and the deepening of your meditational path, to be life-transforming.  I want everyone to have a direct experience of what I call The Great Wide Open by the time you leave, and I also want you to head back home with an understanding of how to continue the practice on your own.




Couples Gazing Intensive with Will and Coco Johnson      

     The gazing practice of Rumi and Shams and Radha and Krishna continues to be the most powerful and transformational practice that I have ever come across to deepen the bond between couples and reveal the directly experienced truth of the consciousness of union.  We gaze and become one.


     Entheogenic medicines dramatically accelerate the potency of the practice.  Exploring the practice on MDMA simply needs to be experienced to be believed.


    In this intensive four day retreat we will guide you in the full range of gazing practices. Meditating with kasinas prepares you for the explosive encounter that occurs when you and your partner lock eyes.  On day three we will radically increase the potency of the practice through ingesting a mild entheogenic dose of MDMA.  I repeat again:  exploring the practice on an entheogenic substance needs to be experienced to be believed.  The journey of unfolding is powerful and dramatic and gives you a direct enlightenment experience of The Great Wide Open out of which everything emerges.


     Cost of the four day retreat is $7500.  Email Will at, and let him know of the nature of your relationship with your partner and why you wish to explore this practice.   Once you're accepted into the retreat, you will need to send a non-refundable $2000 deposit, and I will send you detailed instructions on traveling to Bambu Hueco.  



Consultations with Will Johnson

        Will Johnson is available for hour long private Zoom consultations if you wish to speak to him personally about any issues you may be having with your meditation practice.  To schedule a Zoom consultation go to my website Store and select the Phone or Skype Consultation button. After you submit your payment of $150, email me at to schedule your consultation.  In that email list three possible times that will work for you, and I will get back to you and confirm which one works for me.  


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