Meditation and Exploration
on the trails of the East Bay wild
for guys 14-18

7 Saturdays
Nov 2 to Dec 14

A series of 7 journeys in nature

Heart of the Warrior is a powerful, transformative rite-of-passage experience for young men, ages 14-18 —
who will embark on seven journeys into the Great Unknown.



The experience

Leaving behind the confines and noise of cement and city, we will venture on trails into the heart of the East Bay back-country. In pristine tucked-away groves, we will gather — and be guided and initiated into the ancient wisdom practice of meditation.

Through this practice, we will traverse together into the deep inner territory of heart and mind. You will be empowered with vital techniques of self-mastery — cutting through old negative thinking patterns, limiting beliefs, and destructive emotions... alchemically transforming doubt, anger, and fear into confidence, clarity, and kindness.

You will then sit as a respected member of the circle, engaging in the age-old practice of Council. We will share openly and honestly, reflect, and support each other — as we explore a different quality of warriorship on each journey:

Self-Knowledge       ·       Courage       ·       Love       ·       Creativity       ·       Integrity       ·       Relationship       ·       Community

Together we will grow, laugh, and discover new aspects of ourselves — opening into the unique, uncharted depths of our own potential. It will be an experience of a lifetime.

"To open deeply, we need tremendous courage and strength — a kind of warrior spirit.

But the place for this warrior strength is in the heart."

— Jack Kornfield

About Us

Andrew Chaikin

A meditator since 2001, Andrew is a graduate of Spirit Rock's Dedicated Practitioners' Program, and has studied with Jack Kornfield, Eugene Cash, Phillip Moffitt, Bhikkhu Bodhi, Richard Shankman, Sally Armstrong, Venerable Analayo, S.N. Goenka, Lama Tsultrim Allione, and Ajahn Po of Thailand's Wat Suan Mokkh.

He now teaches meditation in the SF County Jail, as part of the SF Sheriff's Department's Resolve to Stop the Violence Project (RSVP), and is the Coordinating Teacher of the jail's Yoga + Meditation program.

He also leads meditation at music festivals and other events, has taught groups of young meditators at Spirit Rock, and works privately with adults, individually and in small groups. He is part of Noah Levine's newest instructor-training cohort, at Against the Stream.

He's toured the world as singer / songwriter / beatboxer Kid Beyond — opening for James Brown, Ray Charles, Keane, Lupe Fiasco, Bassnectar, Imogen Heap, Amon Tobin, Buckethead, Michael Franti, and many more. (Peep him rocking Coachella, or see some mind-blowing live-looping, some straight-up beatboxing, or some sick b-boys dancing to his music.)

Since 1993, Andrew has led workshops in improvisation, performance, creativity and play, music technology, and game design — at venues such as Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Tufts, Mills College, Manchester College (UK), Musik-Messe (Frankfurt), the Jazzschool, and Jazz Camp West.

In 2003, he co-founded a hip-hop arts collective, working with teenagers from all walks of life — mentoring them in performance skills, finding their voice, nurturing their art forms, the business side of performing, and ultimately in how to carry themselves as young adults with integrity.

Andrew graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Brown University in Providence, RI, with a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies.

Adam Baraz

Raised by a Spirit Rock meditation teacher, Adam Baraz embarked on the path of spirituality at an early age. At age 15, Adam participated in his first formal rite-of-passage: A three-day fast / two-night solo vision quest, which culminated with lightning and a hailstorm on the third day of fasting.

Inspired and transformed by the power of this quest, Adam continued to practice and study nature-based rite-of-passage rituals and council practice with several guides and mentors, including Native American elder Fred Wahpehpah.

In 2006, in college he spent a semester living in a monastery in Bodh Gaya, India, studying Vipassana, Zen, and Vajrayana Buddhist meditation with the renowned Tibetan master Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche. Since then he has spent a full nine months sitting intensive / silent meditation retreat.

One of Adam's greatest joys in life is spending time connecting with youth and teens. He has had significant experience as a middle-school substitute teacher, an after-school chess teacher, and is currently one of the main teachers of the Teen Program at Spirit Rock.

In this regard, Adam's main inspiration is holding space for them to awaken confidence, embody respect, deepen empathy, and discover their own inner wisdom.

"All the world's roads lead to the heart of the warrior.

The warrior is free to choose his desires — with courage, detachment, and sometimes, just a touch of madness."

— Paulo Coelho

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a question to see the answer.

About the Journeys

When are the journeys?

7 Saturdays, from Nov 2 to Dec 14, 11am to 2pm.

...except for the last journey on Dec 14, which will be at night — from 6 to 9pm.

Where will the journeys be?

On various trails in East Bay Regional Parks: Tilden Park, Joaquin Miller Park, and others. We are currently finalizing the list of locations.

How many guys will there be?

8 to 12 guys, age 14 to 18 — plus Andrew and Adam.

We're limiting the series to 12 members to create a connected, powerful experience for everyone.

Will my parents be there with us?

No! They'll drop you off at a trailhead in the morning, and pick you up in the early afternoon.

Driving you all over the place is awesome of them to do. Thank them for it.

What should I wear? What should I bring?

  • Hiking clothes. T-shirt, shorts, whatever you'd go on a hike in.
  • Hiking shoes. Or sneakers you can tromp around the woods in.
  • Hat. It gets sunny.
  • Sweatshirt. Sweatshirt + shoes = guerrilla meditation cushion.
  • Water bottle. Stay hydrated, yo.
  • Lunch and a Snack. Mmm, snack.
  • Sunblock. We'll have some if you forget.

How hard will the hikes be?

Nothing too physically extreme. Hikes will include uphill walking and East Bay heat.

We won't be hiking more than 1.5 to 2 hours on any given day.

What if it's raining?

We'll text you and your folks that morning, with a backup location.

Can I skip some of the journeys?

We ask that you commit to the entire series.

If you can't attend at least 5 out of the 7 journeys, it will be harder for us to maintain the strength of the circle we're creating.

And a strong circle is a most wondrous and powerful thing indeed.

About Meditation

What's meditation? I've never done that before.

Cool! You're not alone. This is a beautiful place to be. Feel free to enjoy it.

There are lots of answers to this question, so we'll keep it simple:

We'll be sitting quietly, with our eyes closed, and observing. Observing what? Sounds, sensations in your body, your breathing, thoughts and feelings, the crazy movie that is your mind. And so on.

That sounds easy!

Yeah, it's pretty simple. Sometimes it's easy, sometimes it's not.

That sounds boring!

Yup, sometimes it is.

If you stick with it, you might find that things get really interesting.

That sounds awful!

We won't lie — sometimes it can be challenging. Thoughts or feelings might come up that feel strange or scary, or that you usually push away. Or it might just be frustrating or boring.

That's why you'll have the support of two rock-solid, open-hearted leaders, and a strong circle of guys all on the journey together.

Wait, so what am I supposed to do? What do I think about?

You don't have to do anything... just sit and watch the show unfold.

You don't have to think about anything... your mind will take care of that, all on its own.

Through this practice, you will discover the difference between thinking and awareness. (Trippy, huh?)

Is this some kind of religious thing?

Heart of the Warrior is not about religion.

The meditation we teach comes from the Buddhist tradition, but we're not asking you to adopt any belief system. It's about you connecting with your own experience.

People all over the world meditate — Christians, Jews, Muslims, atheists, agnostics, Rastafarians, Pastafarians...

"Great things are done when men and mountains meet."

— William Blake


Cost Structure


We're offering the series on a sliding scale, from $250 to $350. (That's $35 to $50 per workshop.)

We're hoping for an average payment of $300. Please pay at the highest level you can afford.

We will be offering some free scholarship slots, to low-income participants.


Payment is due by Monday, October 28.

Make the check out to "Andrew Chaikin" and send to:

Andrew Chaikin
4246 22nd St.
San Francisco, CA 94114

Payment is for the series as a whole, and is non-refundable.

"Real fearlessness is the product of tenderness.
You are willing to open up and face the world.
You are willing to share your heart with others."

— Chogyam Trungpa

Spread the Word

Download our flyer and spread it around.

PDF File (3 MB)
JPG File (230 KB)

Register now!

We're limiting the series to 12 members — to create a connected, powerful experience for everyone.
These slots will go fast — so register now!

To claim your slot — or to ask us a question — call or email us.