Beyond space and time there exists a secret oasis. A magical healing garden grows in the shade of the ancient pyramids of Angkor, maintained and passed down through the ages by the keepers of Wisdom. Here you will find an authentic community of teachers, artists and healers committed to living joyfully in the present moment. Here you will find the medicine to awaken your body, heart and mind and reconnect with your creativity and joy.
While on a silent retreat in 2010 in Cambodia, Joel was struck by an unexpected and unmistakable vision to set up a center for awakening by the Angkor temples. With less than $500 to his name and a dream, Hariharalaya was born. Over the last 13 years Hariharalaya has reached more than 11,000 people from all over the world with our simple and transformational program of yoga, meditation, breath, silence, creativity, community and nature. To date, we have hosted more than 350 of our own retreat programs and we continue to evolve and grow in our path of dharma as a center for awakening.
musician – poet – mystic – polyglot – healer – chef – dancer
Joel was introduced to the teachings of the sages and mystics from a young age and always felt a strong pull towards the inner path. For the last 24 years he has dedicated his life to the path of awakening (Sanatana Dharma). For the last 13 years Joel has been sharing his joy and wisdom on retreat at Hariharalaya.
Joel was born in the suburbs of the Northeast United States in 1980. As a young boy Joel played sports and studied classical music, which gave him the opportunity travel the world and see beyond. In 1998 Joel moved to Quebec to pursue his passion for language and translation. The following year he was initiated in a traditional path of Kriya Yoga and introduced to the teachings of sages and enlightened masters. Within a few weeks of practice, Joel’s breath would become very slow and subtle and then disappear. He would enter into mystical states of super consciousness beyond mind. This sparked a 10 year journey of intense purification through the different paths and modalities of yoga.
In 2002 Joel moved in Brazil where he apprenticed as a jeweler and started to explore the healing arts of Reiki, acupuncture, fasting, massage & plant medicine. Back in United States he spent 3 years studying and working at Pendle Hill, a contemplative Quaker community. First as a gardener and then as a community chef, Joel spent endless days diving deep into living the teachings of yoga, simplicity, deep listening and nature. His time at Pendle Hill strongly influenced his approach towards experiential education, community and present moment awareness.
After leaving Pendle Hill, Joel spent 6 winter months in silence at the Babaji Kriya Yoga Ashram in Quebec, translating works on yoga philosophy and practicing intensive meditation and purification. From there he set out on the open road in search of enlightenment. Joel travelled through the United States and India to spend time at the feet of many great living sages, absorbing the wisdom, guidance and the essence of yoga. To this day Joel regularly travels to India to continue his immersion in the living path of yoga.
Joel’s teachings are simple yet profound. He is passionate about transmitting the experience of peace and awareness in practical language, providing simple tools to grow a beautiful garden. Joel pours his heart and soul into maintaining this sacred healing garden and offering an authentic approach to yoga as a way of life. His mission is to provide the tools, experience and understanding to live a happy, healthy and creative life.