The leader of the retreat is Sylvia Bercovici, Ph.D., an anthropologist, psychotherapist, and longtime Buddhist practitioner. Formerly a student of the late Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, she currently studies with the  Ven. Thrangu Rinpoche. She has conducted Buddhist workshops and retreats and has taught Buddhist psychology at Antioch University, Los Angeles. Sylvia is currently the coordinator of Los Angeles Vajra Vidya, a Buddhist practice and study group. Sylvia led the 2017 and 2019 Footsteps retreats in Assisi, Italy.

A portion of the proceeds from this retreat will be donated to the Himalayan Children’s Fund, a nonprofit philanthropic organization; and to the Vajra Vidya Retreat Center in Crestone, Colorado.  To inquire about participating in the retreat, contact Sylvia, click HERE.

June 6 - 12, 2021

Presented by

Sylvia Bercovici​, Ph.D.




This six-day retreat program will take place at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Retreat Center, Santa Fe, New Mexico, located in the peaceful foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.  The retreat will provide participants with an opportunity to connect with the heart of the bodhisattva as we nurture our relationship with the natural world. We will be drawing from the teachings of Shantideva and St. Francis of Assisi. We consider the spirit of the bodhisattva to be universal, transcending time and culture. With this view, we can find individuals from all traditions who inspire us and teach us love and compassion for all the beings who share with us the earth as home.  Therefore, we will also be connecting with the wisdom of Native Americans whose words and traditions express their heart connection to the natural world.  




Immaculate Heart of Mary Residential Facility

     In this retreat we will be engaging in the practice of Attending, a profound way of accessing our intimacy with the creatures, waters, and stones that share with us the earth as home. St. Francis captured the essence of this kinship with the terms in his poem, The Canticle of Brother Sun (see Contemplations) and our program will include a film on the life of St. Francis made by Roberto Rossellini. 

     Santa Fe, New Mexico, is an exceptional place to hold this retreat. The Immaculate Heart Retreat Center will provide an ideal setting for our study and practice. The program will consist of short talks, sitting and walking meditation, contemplation practices and discussion. We will also be accessing the natural environment, in all its wonder and beauty, as our teacher and as an object of our contemplations. The retreat will mainly be held in noble silence, with mindful conversation during evening meals.