Teacher Profiles

Joy Fox

Joy Fox

Creator of Wattle Hollow Retreat Center

freedom-from-bondageJoy 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.



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.

Kim McCluskey

Kim McCluskey

Tibetan Buddhist teachings of Dzog Chen

kim-mccluskeyI was raised in Detroit, it seems I spent as much time on the street as I did in school. I enlisted to go to Vietnam and get away from home. In 1965-1966 I did a combat tour in Vietnam. The atrocities I participated in turned me against the war and myself. When I was discharged I let my hair grow and turned to alcohol and drugs to hide the pain. I do not remember the term PTSD back then. I finally ended up in prison in the early 70’s which was a blessing in disguise. I asked friends to send me spiritual books and it is here I learned about many religions and taught myself to meditate. When I got out I bounced in and out of drug use but there was always a feeling that there was more, something I could feel but not explain. I followed a couple Indian guru’s, tried Zen for several years and finally settled into Tibetan Buddhism. Eventually I was led to Dzogchen,about 10 years ago, which is considered to contain the highest teachings. My practice now involves Dzogchen, Advaita and some Sufism. I have come to believe that each one of us is  our own holy mystery. We each have within us the answers, all of what is needed to free ourselves from the illusory bonds we have created.

Sara Ledbetter

Sara Ledbetter

Multi-disciplinary Movement Artist & Co-Founder of Dance Makers Workshop

Sarah Ledbetter is a multidisciplinary movement artist whose primary aim is to open spaces for embodied conversation and experience. Her vocabulary of movement includes: dances of West Africa, vinyasa yoga, studies in Contact Improvisation, Axis Syllabus, and Classical Ballet, https://www.facebook.com/groups/memphisdance/. She is currently completing her Masters in Clinical Mental Health with a specialization in Somatic Psychology.

Sarah’s work has been presented nationally and internationally at the Berlin Festival of Black Cinema, Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema in Boulder Colorado, at Earthdance’s E|MERGE Interdisciplinary Arts Residency, on the streets of Memphis for the Second Line Funeral for Reproductive Rights, and this summer at the Body Mind Centering Association’s North American Conference at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. She is the co-founder alongside Bethany Wells Bak of the Dance Makers Workshop, a vehicle for the generation, development, and support of new dance material in a community setting.

Sarah’s creative process has been largely influenced by time spent studying improvisational Butoh with Min Tanaka at the Body Weather Farm. She is a graduate summa cum laude in Performance Studies from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois where she was the recipient of the Struble Scholarship for Excellence in Performance Studies.

Vivian Rice

Vivian Rice

Traditional healer and a walker of the Red Road/Native American tradition.

VivianVivian’s path is as a traditional healer and a walker of the Red Road/Native American tradition.

Focusing on nutrition, Vivian began her professional healing career in the 50’s, studying with Norman.W. Walker, Ph.D in California, Paavo Airola, N.D. in Arizona, Dr. Shelton’s Health School in Texas, and the American Hygienic Society in Chicago. In the early 70’s she began studying various aspects of astrology and subsequently developed her own system of Spiritual Astrology, teaching both Level I and Level II classes. In 1979, she became a Certified Hypnotherapist and later added massage therapy and foot reflexology to her list of healing modalities.

In 1980, after 16 years as a medical LPN, working with hospital patients and being highly motivated from her own healing experience with severe allergies, she opened Wild Rice Nutrition, her holistic nutrition practice in Colorado Springs.

Rounding out 50 years of experience in natural healing with nutrition, herbology, and applied kinesiology, and supporting her life-long love of learning, she most recently has become a Certified GAPS practitioner.

bristle-thistle-lgVivian lives what she teaches. In 1983, she honored her Seminole/Creek Indian blood by going to SunBear’s Bear Tribe on Vision Mountain near Spokane, to learn and remember the sacred ways of the First Nations on this continent. Along with her clairvoyant gifts, Vivian has developed a ghost busting talent.She is totally connected to the Four Directions: Air, Earth, Fire and Water, accepting those energies as her guides in ceremonies and in her daily life. Vivian walks the Spirit Road that honors all of the Creator’s life forms and their synergistic purpose.She was adopted by the Lakota White Hawk family in South Dakota in 1987. A nationally known ceremonialist, educator and speaker, Vivian is an active member of the American Holistic Nurses Association, The American Herb Guild, and the Pikes Peak Herb Association, and an advocate for organic, whole foods for everyone.

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.

Susan Drouilhet, MS, LMT

Susan Drouilhet, MS, LMT

'Becoming Transparent' (QiGong plus yoga/mediations with Joy)

Susan Drouilhet, owner of New Paradigms Coaching in Fayetteville, AR, is a Professional Life and Wellness Coach with a background in Integrative Health and Energy Medicine.

In addition to offering individual and group coaching to a national audience, Susan teaches ongoing Qigong classes in her Ozark urban and rural communities. She also teaches yoga, stress management, and offers wellness coaching at her local hospital.

A published author in the field of Integrative
 Medicine, Susan is currently collaborating on a book of 
Qigong healing stories with her Qigong teacher, Master Mingtong Gu (The
Chi Center). She is also faculty-in-training at Wisdom of the Whole Coaching Academy. In wintertime, Susan enjoys leading international wellness retreats; 2015 will mark her fourth annual wellness retreat to Costa Rica.

Susan Drouilhet and Joy Fox offer a spring Qigong and Vipassana weekend intensive. See Schedule for upcoming 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.