Creative. Sustaining. Spiritual. Purpose filled Adventures!


The mission of Dakinis Ascending Writing Adventures is to go beyond; to accompany people as they continue to explore, grow, thrive, gain merit, and create— forming community, and connecting to self and others around the world. The goal of D.A.W.A is to go beyond a narrowly focused retreat to incorporate the three fundamentals of the wisdom path, Mantra, Mudra, and Mediation in creative, energizing, and transformative ways through writing and creative word-centric art forms, fun physical movement, and Vajrayana meditation practices, focused on the divine feminine aspect of wisdom. 

A Lama once explained to me how karma comes to fruition with the analogy of a road and a traffic signal. Karma has its own timing, its own synchronistic way of unfolding. No matter how fast we barrel down the road to where we think we want to go when we get to the signal, if it is not green, we can not go any further. We must have patience, keep the engine running, wait for things to change. I have always wanted to have a writing life, and I have always wandered. As a child with my brothers we played outdoors and imagined ourselves on great travel adventures by the shoreline in summer, in the winter's snow drifts. As a pre-teen, I wandered Chicago's streets like a Flanure even before I learned what a Flanure was during a MFA writing seminar in the South of France nearly twenty years later. And, it wasn't until nearly fifteen years after that, on a much needed break from work as a Buddhist Hospice Chaplain, that I went to a yoga retreat at Villa Gaia in Ubud (Medicine) Bali (Offering) that everything around me turned green. All the signals aligned, all the obstacles in the roads cleared. Dakinis Ascending Writing Adventures lifted out of mere wishful thinking and wondering how and when. Wheels turned, the clutch let out with ease...

It is my wish that D.A.W.A be a vehicle for creating beauty through art; healing and vitality through engaging the body in exhilarating activities as wells as ancient healing arts; and moving the mind toward clarity, compassion, and abiding calm, and transformation through meditation practices. Every D.A.W.A experience includes literary arts workshops, meditation, and physical engagement by way of yoga, hiking, surfing, biking, dancing... the sky is the limit (but, we can go beyond that too with skydiving for whomever is up to it!) 


At present we are:

Kathleen (Katie) Willis ~ Creative Arts & Meditation Dakini ~ holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing, and is the author of, The Blue Poppy and the Mustard Seed; a Memoir of Loss and Hope, published by Wisdom Publications Her work was anthologized in Best Buddhist Writing 2009, published by Shambhala; Random House. She has been a manuscript consultant and instructor of creative writing for the U.S’ leading writing center Grub St. in Boston for nearly 10 years. Kathleen also holds a Master of Divinity in Theological studies. She has been a practicing Buddhist in the Tibetan Vajrayana tradition for thirty years. She is authorized by Lama Migmar Tseten of the Sakya Institute for Buddhist Studies to lead Green Tara and other Tibetan Buddhist meditation practices. She is also a Level II Reiki practitioner. Kathleen is also a full-time Buddhist Hospice Chaplain, and mother to two teenagers.

Kasha Rigby ~ Movement/Athletics & Travel Dakini ~ Kasha was raised in the green hills of Vermont, but was lured to the west for university, falling in love with the broad landscapes as a dedicated skier and mountain climber. Devoted to climbing and skiing, combined with humanitarian and disaster relief work, the list of wild places she has explored is vast and growing. She has traveled the world as a sponsored athlete with The North Face. Her work as a wilderness guide provides opportunity to share her love of untamed landscapes and diverse cultures with others. She documents her travels with photography, art, and writing and has published with magazines and multiple anthologies. Kasha credits yoga as one of the sources of her strength and endurance while skiing the world’s most extreme mountains and adventuring around the globe. She has been practicing yoga for over twenty years and is a certified instructor of Baptiste Yoga, and Kundalini Yoga under Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa.