Santa Cruz - Fall 2008



Join Mark Allen, Ironman Triathlon World Champion, and Brant Secunda, world famous shaman and healer for Fit Soul, Fit Body. Experience the extraordinary worlds of fitness, health and spirituality.

Mark Allen is the six time Ironman Triathlon World Champion. He has been called "The Greatest Triathlete of All Time," and Outside Magazine pronounced him "The Fittest Man on Earth." His races have been featured numerous times on television and in various magazines. Currently, Mark works as a sports commentator for NBC and has developed "Forever Fit," a special program designed to help people live a healthy life. Mark is the author of "Workouts for Working People."

Brant Secunda is a shaman, healer and ceremonial leader in the Huichol Indian tradition of Mexico. He completed a twelve-year apprenticeship with Don Jose Matuswa, the renowned Huichol Shaman. Brant is the adopted grandson of Don Jose. Since 1979, Brant has been the director of the Dance of the Deer Foundation Center for Shamanic Studies in California. He leads seminars worldwide, and his work has been documented on television, radio, and in articles and books throughout the USA and Europe.


The Experience

The workshop will begin on Friday evening with with check in, an introductory talk by Mark Allen and Brant Secunda, and often an Huichol Indian Deer Dance ceremony or slideshow of the Huichol Indians in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico.

Mark Allen will present the latest research on health, physical fitness, and nutrition. He will explain the essentials of an effective strength program, and how to eat for lifelong health. You will hear Mark’s personal story of how he integrates fitness and spirituality. We will have the opportunity to train, run, or walk with Mark Allen.

Brant Secunda will present the ancient traditions of Huichol Shamanism and the spiritual world of nature. Huichol myths and legends encourage healing and empowerment through direct experience and a balanced relationship with the natural world. Brant will teach shamanic practices of health and healing, dream exercises and how to approach sacred places of power.

The sessions are a nice blend of lecture and experiential shamanic exercises. Many of the exercises are done outdoors, giving participants a chance to become familiar with the beach and the Monterey Bay immediately next to the retreat center. During the breaks you can explore the park surrounds or the beach, or take time to enjoy the exception exhibit of Huichol Indian artwork. Refreshments are served and include coffee, tea, fruit and nuts and of course, water. We ask you to bring a picnic-style lunch on Saturday and Sunday. We will all picnic together during the lunch break. Each day will culminate with a Dance of the Deer Ceremony, an ancient Huichol ceremony that re-enacts creation. Everyone may participate in the ceremony, dancing this ages-old dance and rattling with traditional Huichol rattles.

Don José Matsuwa trained Brant to have the special ability to lead people to sacred places of power, and to transfer the blessings of these places to the hearts of the people. On the final day, Brant will take the group on a pilgrimage to Grandmother Ocean. Here we will leave our offerings and prayers in exchange for the blessings of the ocean transferred to each participant by Brant Secunda.

The workshop has plenty of time forquestions, and to get to know the people who sit with you in our sacred circle around the fire. Community is very important to the Huichols, this circle quickly becomes our community for the weekend.


The Environment

Our retreat center is located at the edge of the Monterey Bay nestled between the grassy dunes overlooking the ocean and a lagoon that is home to osprey, egrets and a myriad of other shore birds. The ocean here is expansive and full of power, the sunsets are magnificent, filling the sky with colors that speak directly to the soul as the sun drops below the waves. The broad beach extends to infinity in either direction. It is just a few steps from our meeting center and is a wonderful and tranquil place to sit while doing the Huichol shamanic exercises taught during the workshop. At other times, we congregate in the beautiful center with its inviting fireplace and an outstanding exhibition of Huichol Indian artwork.



Our workshop hours are 7pm to 9pm Friday evening, 10am to 5pm Saturday and 10am to 5pm Sunday. The center itself has no over night accommodations. There are many beautiful hotels nearby in a range of prices for every budget. Following are a few of the hotels and campgrounds with in a 5 to 10 minute drive of the center.


Pajaro Dunes on Monterey Bay 831-768-7285 Beautiful ocean view houses or condos
Seascape Resort 831-688-6800 Very beautiful ocean view rooms, Aptos, CA.
Sea Cliff Best Western 831-688-7300 A chain motel in Aptos, CA.
Motel 6 831-728-4144 A chain motel in Watsonville, close to the retreat
Red Roof Inn 831-740-4520 A chain motel in Watsonville, very close to the retreat
Comfort Inn 728-2300 A chain motel in Watsonville, very close to the retreat

CAMPGROUNDS          800-444-7275

Manresa State Beach, local 831-761-1795,    tent camping only in La Selva Beach
Sunset State Beach Park, local 831-763-7063,    tent camping only in Watsonville



Name Sales End Price
Base Rate Ended $299

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