Fall LILA Retreat Just Announced!
Doe Bay Spa & Resort, Nov 14-16th.
Fall Theme “The Art of the Heart”.

“Without first establishing a deep sense of connection to yourself, to your soul’s purpose and to Spirit, everything else in life tends to feel shallow, unfulfilling, boring -like we secretly know we’re avoiding something vital. Our goal with LILA events is to help playfully reconnect you to that core vitality & to provide you with practices that help sustain that relationship.” -Leif Hansen, LILA Founder

Full Day, Weekend & Extended Retreats
Playfully Empowering Participants to Live More
Inspired, Creative, Fun and Love-Filled Lives

Creativity. Consciousness. Playformation.

Why can it be so hard to maintain a joyful, meaningful and inspiring connection to the ‘Divine’?  

What if you woke up each morning excited to receive the inspiration, guidance and power you need to have a day filled with confident, joyful creative flow and connection?  How might that improve your relationships, productivity & overall sense of life satisfaction?

Read on or watch our event trailer video above  to learn how a Lila Retreat can bring new vitality, connection and transformation to your life!

I n s p i r e d,  E m p o w e r e d,  H e a r t – L e d   L i v i n g

  Doe Bay Resort Fall LILA! “The Art of the Heart” |  Customized Retreats   |   Wknd Reservations

“We all want to be extraordinary, and we all just want to fit in. 
Unfortunately, extraordinary people rarely fit in.” ― Sebastyne Young

Past Participant’s Stories…

Zoe Lassen-Purser

“I was completely blown away. I opened up, dug down deep, made friends with my vulnerability, and began to accept myself and my growth process. I discovered new ways of playing with my challenges and my relationship to the Divine… Lila transformed my life.”

Zoe Lassen-PurserRead Zoe’s Full Story
Michelle Howard

“I wasn’t going to go for anxiety reasons, but I’m so glad I went!  I ended up feeling soooo comfortable that I participated in everything. Our higher selves just took over and gave us each exactly what we needed. I loved the energy and spirit of the group, it was very safe. The message I received from myself was: “If I show up and say YES to life, the Divine always has my back!”

Michelle HowardMore Stories
V Calvez

“I love this exploration of the divine through play.  This is the kind of supreme being I want to be around!  Leif has a natural ability to lead people into the joyful depths.  I noticed how much fun we were all having, is there anything much more divine than this?”

V CalvezMore Stories
Annika Knepper

“Leif is a passionate and high energy instructor. He helped me access the part of myself that wants to “”hold back”” and unleash my authentic expression. The group was supportive and encouraging which really helped me. Most importantly I saw how i could take what i learned and apply it to the real world. I am more playful at my work place, with strangers, and in my pursuits.”

Annika KnepperRead More Stories

What’s LILA All About? In Pictures…









What’s LILA All About? In Words…

Next Steps

Giving yourself the time and space to safely & playfully explore your deepest desires, to reconnect to that which you consider most sacred and to remember the wonder, weirdness and gift of getting to exist at all, is so essential. Without that core vitality, everything else in life seems a bit dull and pointless.  Yet with it, you will wake up inspired & intrinsically motivated to connect to all that matters most to you. You will feel connected & empowered to live from a heart of love, a purposeful vision and to explore & express limitless creative possibilities.  Sound good?

Five Challenges to Divine Vitality

There are a variety of potential reasons many of us don’t have a consistent, dynamic, inspiring, joy-filled relationship to the ‘Divine’.  The following slides briefly describe 5 common challenges . Click the arrows above to explore…

Challenge #1 Fear & Resistance

Though it’s somewhat mysterious why, many people fear change and cling to whatever  security and comfort they can find.  Whether it’s a fear  of being disappointed, of failing, of looking foolish, of rejection, of being deceived, etc…there are a thousand fears that seem to bolster our resistance.  Choosing to be courageous, trusting deeper sources of safety & getting support can help you face your fears.

Challenge #2 Limiting Beliefs & Stories

We often hold onto unhelpful / limiting beliefs, judgments & assumptions out of fear or ignorance of other possibilities. Exploring alternative paradigms can help let in new light.

Challenge #3 Lack of Freedom

Many people have often sold their freedom for the seeming security of depending on another person, group, system of set of rules.  Yet ultimately it is YOU who gets to explore the nature of reality, experiment with Life and even play with consciousness to choose what is true, helpful and VITALIZING for your unique and wonderful self!

Challenge #4 Tripped Up on Semantics

Many people get tripped up on ‘spiritual language’ due to previous unpleasant conversations, manipulations or misunderstanding.  They mistakenly believe that rational/verbal language is the only or best mode of communicating spiritual realities. Yet Ultimate Reality can no more be captured by words than the color blue.  The realm of the Divine is something to experience and express with all of one’s senses and faculties. Check out this blog post for more…

Challenge #5 Lack of Support

Typical of our western attitude, many tend to think they have to figure things out on their own (lone-ranger style), engage in spiritual practices alone, etc. As a result they sadly fail to receive the abundant support that’s actually available. And there’s a LOT out there.  Why not join a group of other ‘Lilanauts’ on one of our upcoming retreats?

Go ahead, pick my nose. (Press Play)

Oleana Perry

In one afternoon you changed my life. You are doing amazing work and I am a true believer. You push boundaries but only with permission…We all want to be free but we need leaders to create those safe spaces…. I did crazy things but am not embarrassed due to the safe space you provided. I have never done anything like this but am better for it. It comes into play everyday for me. You have touched my self esteem and as a working adult no one ever works on that. Thank you!” 

Oleana PerryVolunteer Coordinator at Nature Consortium

Whidbey Institute Wknd Retreat! |  Customized Retreats   |   Wknd Reservations

Take the “Lila Wheel” Quiz & Assess Your Spiritual Health!

A Few Words From Lila Founder, Leif Hansen

Screen Shot 2013-10-09 at 3.30.20 PM

The Lila Retreat is a worthwhile experience in itself, one you will always remember as a peak life experience.  In addition, you will feel a deeper, fuller, more playfully dynamic relationship to your own creativity & to the Spirit of Life. And as we provide you with tools to co-create a supportive group back home, you can continue the playful work of deepening creatively & spiritually. 

I strongly encourage you to consider the importance of giving special attention to nurturing your relationship to the Source of your personal creativity and inspiration. How the quality of this dimension effects your daily happiness, relationships, sense of purpose, ultimately everything, cannot be understated.  And who wouldn’t want to live their life with more purpose, spiritual connection, joy, creativity and playfulness?  I look forward to introducing you to Lila!”  -Leif Hansen, Master/Servant of Divine Play

Frequently Asked Questions

Click the “+” to Expand Answers
or go to the FAQ Page

What in the world IS Lila?

Lila (Sankrit लीला, līlā, pronounced Leela) means “Divine Play”. It is both a way of seeing all of reality as a grand Creative Play of the Divine, as well as the playful attitude and activities essential for authentic spirituality.

When you give yourself permission to creatively play and explore the wonder of consciousness (alone or with others), spiritual practices become totally revitalized.  You wake up excited and intrinsically motivated to connect to that which matters most to you and to stay connected throughout the day.  And when you play with purpose and presence it allows a deeper part of yourself to awaken and invites an exploration of the edge where the Divine interacts with the human – a place where you can learn how to fly.

Every interpretation of what is “Divine”, how She/He/It is accessed, named and known (or unknown), as well as each perspective and paradigm is welcome and respected for the truth it contains and the value it gives you. The richness of differences helps shape the personal and collective experience which gives life and meaning to the exploration of how to play with purpose and honor the Mystery of the moment.

What if those unknown moments in life, sometimes scary, can actually become opportunities to connect with the Divine? What if those moments were actually your invitation to freely enter the Divine’s Playground, a portal to limitless possibilities?

How Might I Benefit from a LILA Event?

Lila invites you to greet your ‘Divine Edge’ with wings on!
The edge is the place where connection and expansion happens…the wings are the creative, enlivening, playful practices.

  • Have one of the most unique and memorable experiences of your life.
  • Learn playful practices for connecting to the divine that you can continue on your own or in community.
  • Grow in love for yourself, others & the Divine.  Serve the world with more vitality & creativity!
  • Expand your vision for what’s possible and be more ‘game’ to say “Yes!” to the opportunities life brings your way.
  • Increase the ease and flow of your confident, creative self-expression in the world.
  • Transform fears of failure, rejection and the unknown into playful opportunities.
  • Meet wonder-full new people and revitalize your connection to your amazing self.

What Challenges & Needs Will LILA Address?

Due to it’s emphasis on the improvisational arts and as well as relating to the Divine Mystery, just about anything can happen at a Lila retreat.  That said, here are some typical struggles and challenges that are addressed:

  • The disconnect between one’s heart and Divine Presence
  • Dryness, boredom or the absence of a Spiritual practice
  • Feeling creatively blocked or unfulfilled/unexpressed
  • Unhelpful dualisms –Spirituality/Play; Work/Play; Loving Others/Self-Care; Etc.
  • Missing, unclear or an uninspiring life purpose/mission
  • Existential anxiety/nervousness -lacking a deep experience of unconditional love

Would I Be a Good Fit for a LILA Event?

You’re an ideal participant if you are:

  • Wanting increased vitality, creativity & spiritual depth
  • Spiritually curious & open-minded
  • Open to experimenting with creative, playful methods
  • 16-100 years old, male or female
  • Hearing a little whisper inside for ‘something more’ from Life

We’d suggest you probably not come if:

  • Looking and acting ‘cool’ is a high priority for you
  • You want to stay 100% safe, comfortable and not stretch yourself to some degree
  • You’re uninterested in personal or spiritual development (no matter how it’s described.)
  • You plan to remain aloof, critical or uninvolved in the opportunities offered

What Tools & Practices Do You Use?

The Lila Retreat draws on a rich variety of creative approaches and invites each person to explore expressive possibilities to welcome and enter into the ‘Mystery of the Moment.’ The combination of our different approaches provide multiple entry points for connection and discovery – offering each person a way to find their own unique rhythm and style of “Divine Play”.

Almost all activities have one piece in common –they are almost always from the improvisational arts. Since the goal is authenticity and real connection moment by moment, there is less interest and emphasis in preparing and skillfully crafting our creativity.

To reach a variety of personality types, as well as to delight and stretch each person, we use a mix of practices that engage creative writing, vocal and  musical, movement, dance, acting and visual arts.  Sometimes they are in a context of game, sometimes ritual, sometimes simple experiment.  A mix of solo, small group and large group experiences.

Each of the below approaches is a massive body of work and is taught separately in other settings; the LILA facilitators respectfully offer “golden nuggets” from some areas, while other areas have many years of skillful expertise.

Descriptions are in context to their application to the Lila Retreat.   

  • Applied Improvisation
  • Authentic Movement & Movement Meditations
  • Sound Healing
  • Contact Improvisation
  • Theater of the Oppressed
  • Journaling
  • Meditation
  • Sensory Adventures
  • Playback Theatre
  • PsoloDrama & DramaTherapy
  • Group Games & Interactivities
  • Prayerformance
  • Playformation

How Is an Event Structured? What Themes & Topics Are Addressed??

Every LILA event is totally, wonderfully and intentionally unique.  The improvisational exploring the “miracle of the moment” is such a high priority… Lila is about discovering what is real, authentic & alive -I’m sure you’ve had enough of ‘programmed’ reality and experiences that can be ‘downloaded’ online.   In addition, the environment, number of people, specific needs, group vibe, promptings of the Spirit, unexpected surprised and challenges, and even the mood of your facilitator(!) will ensure each event is it’s own creature.

Structure-wise, what is predictable?  We will spend a good chunk of time in the beginning establishing safety through facilitating connection and group trust, learning basics and playfully melting the ice of our fears and egos.  From there, anything can happen…

That said, there are a number of themes that are explored, and I understand the need for “L-brain” candy:

  • CONNECTION TO: Self, Others, Spirit, Nature/Environment, Our Tools/Objects/Things
  • STAGES: Arriving, Releasing/Clearing/Emptying, Grounding, Opening/Invoking, Aligning/Remembering, Connecting/Communion, Recharging/Inspiring, Discovering, Fear-Facing, Expressing/Creating, Celebrating/Worshipping
  • CHALLENGES: Ego Needs, Distraction, Mentalism, Disembodiment, Attachment, Fear/Mistrust, Isolation, Forgetting, Ignorance, Integrity, Creative Constipation, Etc.
  • GOALS: Vitality, Inspiration, Connection, Deep Purpose, Transformation, Fun/Joy, Freedom, Creative/Playful Flow, Self-Trust & Confidence, New Friends & Support for Continued Growth

Why/How Should I Trust You?

Photo on 10-9-13 at 2.22 PM #4What, you don’t trust ME!? Just kidding, that’s a totally valid, and important, question.  Investing your time, money and energy into an event –and then likely opening up the deepest parts of yourself to someone you don’t know, or know not very well, can be quite risky.  I think it’s super important that you honor your intuition/gut and do whatever you need to feel “safe enough” to trust.

On that note, here are a few things that might help:

  • I do everything I can do to make sure our ‘container’ is safe.  You can opt out of or modify any activity, you can even make a suggestion or challenge me if it feels appropriate and not only self-serving.
  • You can know that I’ve been facilitating groups for most of my adult life, around 25 years , and have had my events featured on national media (PBS, NBC Today Show, LA Times) as well as receiving plenty of praise.
  • Speaking of praise -you can always read the testimonials from past participants on the main page on on the “past events” link.  There’s also a good collection of even more verifiable testimonials, though more business focused, here on Biznik.com
  • You can always send me an email via the contact form in the menu, or even call me directly 206-428-7626
  • You can know that when I invite special guest teachers, they are always people whom I trust & respect deeply.
  • You could invite me to give a lecture, sample workshop or even team training for your organization to get to know me.
  • You can watch videos from me that will be growing here on this site, as well as on Vimeo or Youtube.

Apart from that, you’re going to have to listen to your heart and then stretch those trust muscles and learn from Life & Lila!

Upcoming Lila Events!

Whidbey Island, WA

February 28th-March 2nd, 2014

Whidbey Island, WAThe Whidbey Institute
Weekend Retreat Info


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Be the first to see the new 'Lila-Divine Play' Video!

January 21, 2014
While we still may make a few more edits, we think you're going to love this peek into live Lila retreats,…
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Why? Simply Be-Cause. Alan Watts on "The Playful Universe"

January 16, 2014
"Existence, the physical universe, is basically playful. There is no necessity for it whatsoever. It…
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The trouble with words like 'divine' and 'play'...

November 6, 2013
How often do you let a deep sense of delight guide how you live your life? One of the challenges with…

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About Leif

Leif Hansen is a nationally recognized group facilitator, trainer & teacher.  His workshops have been featured on a variety of media including NBC’s Today Show, PBS Online & the LA Times. Leif is known for using highly engaging, playful and innovative processes to accelerate personal growth, catalyze communities and transform organizations.


We Believe in Pronoia -Divine Recycling

Pronoia is a word you’ll hear a lot about from me.  It’s the “Sneaking suspicion that the Universe is conspiring to bless you.”  All that crappy stuff? Compost.  Call it radical optimism. Call it a deep trust in the Divine Grace Embrace. Call it Unconditional Love.  It’s the closest I can come to rock bottom spiritual foundation…

Kick Ass Quotes

Julie Cameron, Author of ‘The Artist Way’

“The heart of creativity is an experience of the mystical union; the heart of the mystical union is an experience of creativity.”

Daphne Rose Kingma

“Aliveness is energy. It’s the juice,the vitality, and the passion that wakes up our cells every morning. It’s what makes us want to dance. It’s the energy that moves a relationship from the status quo to something grander and much more expansive, something that makes our hearts beat faster, our minds, and our eyes open wider than ever before.

Bobby Mcferrin

Asked “What inspires your music?” Bobby Mcferrin answered -”I like the mystery of creativity, not knowing where I’m going, or what’s going to happen when I get to wherever I’m going–that to me is incredibly beautiful.”

Joseph Chilton Pearce

“Play is the only way the highest intelligence of humankind can unfold.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes

“People do not quit playing because they grow old, they grow old because they quit playing.”  

Don Shula

A sense of humor is simply a sense of who you are.” 

Martin Buber

“Play is the exultation of the possible” 

Martha Graham

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it.” 

  • Lila: Playful Practices for Connecting to Your Divine Delight

  • Lila: To Pray is Human, to Play is Divine

  • Lila: Divine Creativity at Play

  • Lila: (Sankrit लीला, līlā, pronounced ‘Leela’) means “Divine Play”.

  • Lila: Prayerful Playfulness

  • Lila: Playful Prayerfulness

  • "That’s Why We Play. Plaaaaayyy!" -MC Hammer

  • Lila: Playful Devotion

  • Lila: Inspired Creativity

  • Lila: On a Wing and a Player

  • Lila: Play Without Ceasing