Awaken to Your True Potential: A Yogananda Retreat

Led by Makara (Stephen J. Hopson), a spiritual way-shower, bestselling author and Dolphin Ambassador, this powerful weekend retreat will offer spiritual seekers tools to expand and deepen awareness of their divine purpose in life through universal spiritual principles based on a combination of spiritual teachings from Yogananda, Makara and wild dolphins/whales.

The teachings are partially based on his best-selling book, “Obstacle Illusions,” Yogananda’s “How to Awaken Your True Potential,” as well as from Makara’s life-changing experience with wild dolphins in Hawaii.   From these teachings, participants will dramatically alter their perceptions of their life’s challenges and transcend 3rd dimensional limiting beliefs.

We are in a period of massive global awakening where millions are waking up – you are probably one of them.  Do any of these characteristics of awakening apply to you?

Possible Awakening Characteristics:

  • No longer watch or read negative-fear based news
  • Strong desire to swim with wild dolphins/whales
  • Recognize that “horrific events” that have happened to you actually have a divine purpose
  • Difficulty doing things you don’t want to do or don’t enjoy
  • Require more solitude than the average person
  • Move with the flow of life rather than force your hand at “making things happen”
  • Strong desire to help raise the Planet’s vibration and those of your own
  • Laugh and smile a lot more

Some Things You May Experience:

  • Accelerate your spiritual growth by bringing in more authenticity/truth
  • Contact the Divine Playwright through guided mediation
  • Rediscover the Role You Were Born To Play
  • Expand Your Divine Gifts and Infinite Potential
  • Remember how to hear with your heart versus your physical ears
  • Ah-Ha! Moments/Revelations
  • Review personal life lessons learned
  • Experience more clarity and inner peace with who you really are
  • Strengthen and increase your magnetism to attract what you want
  • Deepen your perception through introspection
  • Understand how obstacles have helped you learn your life lessons


Makara connecting with a wild dolphin in Kona, Hawaii

We are looking forward to seeing you soon!


Dates Retreats Details Register

Makara’s Bio

Makara is Stephen’s spiritual name.  It means 1/2 sea creature (dolphin!) and 1/2 terrestial (not from this world!).  He is a former Wall Street stockbroker, bestselling author of “Obstacle Illusions,” the first deaf instrument rated pilot in the world (2006), and now on a quest to help awaken others to their true spiritual potential.  Makara is a Dolphin Ambassador, spiritual way-shower, Reiki Practitioner and a Shamanic healer.   He also leads retreats in Hawaii with wild dolphins.   When people spend time with him, they strongly resonate with his powerful vibration, which has been known to uplift, empower and inspire them to deepen their spirituality.

Visit for more information about his book “Obstacle Illusions.”



Ananda Boutique Book Table for Retreat


NOTE:   Since the book “Obstacle Illusions” is NOT included in the retreat price but is required for the program, copies of Stephen’s book are available for purchase at Laurelwood’s boutique.  You may purchase a copy upon arrival at Laurelwood.

We are looking forward to seeing you soon!


Read testimonials/reviews for Makara/Stephen J. Hopson here!



Guest Registration Fri Night3:30 – 6:00 pm Registration at Harmony Hall

4:30 – 6:00 pm Introduction to Yoga, Energization and Meditation (optional)

6:00 – 6:45 pm  Dinner at Green Hill Cafe

7:00 -8:45 pm  An Introduction to the Course

  • Hear Makara’s inspirational story:  “From Wall Street to a Spiritual Pilgrim”
  • What we’ll be doing this weekend
  • Attributes and meaning of awakening

9:00 pm Stargazing or Walk the Labyrinth  (weather depending)


6:30 am-8:00 am Yoga, Energization and Guided Meditation

8:00 am-8:45 am Breakfast in Silence (no talking from 8 to 8:30 am!)

8:45 am “Day Only” Registrations (Harmony Hall, 1st Floor)

David Photo 79:15 am-11:15 am   Workshop #1:  “Life is One Big Cosmic Play”

11:15 am Short Break

11:30 am-12:15 pm Workshop #2:  “Ten Ways to Deal with Family and Friends Who Do Not Understand the Unfoldment of Your Awakening”

12:15 pm-12:45 pm Guided Meditation

12:45 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch (Green Hill Cafe)

1:45 pm-3:00 pm Workshop #3:  “12 Life Lessons From Makara and the Wild Dolphins”

3:00 pm   Personal Time – Journal, Rest, Hike, Labyrinth, Explore campus, etc.

4:30 pm-6:00 pm Yoga, Energization and Guided Meditation

6:00 pm-6:45 pm Dinner (Green Hill Cafe)

7:00 pm -8:45 pm Group Session:  Discuss revelations, insights, ideas, etc.


6:30 am-8:00 am Yoga, Energization and Guided Meditation

8:00 am-8:45 am Breakfast in Silence (no talking from 8 to 8:30 am!)

Saturday Day Only Group Session9:00 am-11:30 am Workshop #4:  “Raising Your Divine Magnetism with More Confidence, Courage and Inner Calmness”

11:30 am-12:15 pm  Personal Time:  Check out of room, pack up in addition to free healing sessions for those who stayed over the full weekend.

12:15 pm – 12:45 pm Meditation

12:45 pm -1:15 pm Lunch (Green Hill Cafe)

1:30 pm  – 2:00 pm Workshop #5:  “Next 30 Days – What Will You Do Differently with your Life?”


Dates Retreats Details Register

Additional Notes:

Full weekend (lodging from Fri to Sun) includes Friday dinner, Saturday breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday breakfast and lunch.   All meals are freshly prepared, vegetarian and delicious!!

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