Teacher Profiles

Joy Fox

Joy Fox

Creator of Wattle Hollow Retreat Center

Joy is the creator of Wattle Hollow Retreat Center, which she has been developing for over thirty-five years. She has been a fruit picker, homesteader, a world-wide hitch-hiker, baker, grief therapist, bereavement coordinator for Hospice, meditation and yoga teacher, and mud builder. Her root teachers, in the world of meditation, have been: S.M. Goenka, Jack Kornfield, Ruth Dennison, Soen Sa Nim, Mae chee Sansanee, and L.P. Pramote (the latter two are from Joy’s twelve winters in Thailand at a Buddhist retreat center).

Joy spent winter 2015 in a small village in Tanzania, at a sanctuary for (endangered) albino children and infants (Mary Mother of God Perpetual Help Center) and this past winter 2016 Joy was led to Capetown, South Africa, to again work with kids, in St. Helena’s Bay.

Her final report: This entire winter has been a study of freedom within bondage.

Life continues to fascinate and mystify her.



Jimmye Whitfield

Jimmye Whitfield

VariYoga & Kundalini Instructor

Jimmye is a certified VariYoga and Kundalini instructor, and she has attained her RYT500 with the Yoga Alliance through AYC’S teacher mentor program with Andrea Fournet.

Jimmye has been practicing hatha yoga and Siddha Yoga Meditation for over three decades. Having lived in several African countries as a missionary as well as extensive studies in India since 1971, she has shared her experiences with others all along the way. Her teaching continues to excite and inspire her students each and every day.

Mark Cain

Mark Cain

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga

Mark Cain, of Dripping Springs Garden, has been practicing ashtanga vinyasa yoga for 12 years, weaving the practice into his full time work as an organic market gardener.

Mark has studied extensively with certified teacher Louise Ellis; with senior teacher Richard Freeman; and with root teacher Sri K.Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India.

Once a year Mark and Joy Fox team up for an annual confluence of Ashtanga yoga, taught by Mark, within the container of Vipassana meditation and silence, guided by Joy.

T J Dorjee (Geshe-la)

T J Dorjee (Geshe-la)

Vajrayana Study/Meditation Retreats

Geshe in Castle - weekend retreatGeshe Thupten Dorjee was born Sonam Palden in Tibet just before the Chinese Communist invasion of 1959. He and his family escaped occupied Tibet and headed southward when he was three years old. The journey through the mountains to Bhutan was a long, arduous one for the family. On many cold Himalayan nights, they sought refuge in shelters created for animals. Much of Geshe’s early life was spent in a refugee camp in Bhutan with other Tibetan exiles. Unfortunately, most members of his family died while there due to the poor living conditions and lack of medical care.

After 8 years of these difficult living conditions, Geshe and his surviving family journeyed south and settled in Southern India. At the age of 13, Geshe entered Drepung Loseling Monastery in Karnataka, South India.

Over the next 22 years, Geshe made a thorough study of the vast scriptures, principally the five foremost Buddhist philosophical subjects, i.e., Pramana (Valid Cognition), Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom), Madhyamaka (Middle Way Philosophy), Vinaya (Buddhist Ethics), and Abhidharma (Buddhist Metaphysics). Geshe was ordained a Buddhist monk by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 1986. In 1994, Geshe received the degree of Geshe Lharampa (meaning “Spiritual Guide”), the highest scholastic honor offered by a Buddhist monastic university. It is roughly equivalent to the Doctor of Philosophy, although its course of study and examination schedules are far more rigorous than the Western degree.

During his years at Drepung Loseling, Geshe taught scriptures and Tibetan grammar to the lower classes while pursuing his advanced course of study. For four years, he was supervisor of agricultural projects at the Monastery.

Geshe presents an annual retreat usually in November – check Schedule for 2015 events.

Joe Neal

Joe Neal

Spring Nature Walk / Bird watch

Joe Neal is known in the Ozarks as well as nationally for his expertise in and passion for birds. He is the author of many articles and books on birds, including Birds of Northwest Arkansas: An Ecological Perspective and In the Province of Birds. He can also be heard regularly on KUAF’s Ozarks at Large with his recordings of birds. He is active with the Northwest Arkansas Audubon Society.

Each spring Joe leads us on more hikes into the Wattle Hollow creek-bed, down the Wattle driveway through various eco-systems along the way. A free event, all welcome – bring your binoculars! Find 2015 events on the Schedule page.

Jack Williams & Still on the Hill (Donna  & Kelly)

Jack Williams & Still on the Hill (Donna & Kelly)

Creativity / Music Retreat

Each Fall and Spring, Jack Williams and Still on the Hill’s duo, Donna Stjerna and Kelly Mulhollan, bring a weekend music workshop/creativity retreat to Wattle Hollow to guide us to the inner muse and polish our styles.

The loving, family-like atmosphere that forms around these retreats is quite contagious and habit-forming. Who wouldn’t enjoy spending three days in the Heart of the Ozarks, experiencing an eclectic, organic approach to creating music in a provocatively creative atmosphere? This weekend of musical exploration and growth fills early.

Learn more at Jack’s website or Still on the Hill website.