.20th Annual New Living Expo Comes to Marin

3-day event frontlines wellness

Prioritizing wellness and learning to balance mind, body and spirit is a lifelong journey—one full of twists, turns and unexpected elephant-sized potholes along the way.

For the past 20 years, New Living Expo has provided a space for like-minded individuals interested in the pursuit of holistic health and wellness, to gather, share wisdom and celebrate together in the collective human experience. This year, New Living Expo is coming to Marin and is set to take place on April 14, 15 and 16 at the Marin Center in San Rafael.

The founder of New Living Expo, Ken Kaufman, is excited to bring his passion project so close to his home in Novato, where he has lived for the past 35 years. Kaufman’s interest in health and wellness, which led to him beginning the New Life Expo, took place during his formative years growing up in Los Angeles—specifically beginning when he traded a garbage bag full of mint he had gathered for a book at a health food store.

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“I got a book called Herbs and Things, and it awoke something inside of me,” said Kaufman. “I got really into the healing arts, got my massage license, and that’s what led me to become the owner of [New Living Expo]. The expo has been my baby ever since, and hosting it here in Marin is so exciting; it feels like I’m bringing it back home.”

New Living Expo is a three-day event offering a wide array of experiences, such as the free and open-to-the-public outdoor Mind, Body and Spirit Village. There, guests may sample exotic teas from across the globe in the crystal tea garden, practice yoga and movement classes such as Tai Chi and Chi Gong at the yoga pavilion and appreciate visual arts on display along the art walk. Attendees will also have the opportunity to partake in various natural food selections at the food court and visit the meditation center and healing arts pavilion.

“Everyone walks away with a wealth of information and new connections,” said Kaufman. “A lot of people tell me they met their soulmate at the expo and got married—it happens so often I’m thinking we should start a wedding chapel segment at the expo!”

Those interested in a more involved expo experience may purchase a day pass for just $23. This general admission ticket grants attendees access to exhibits, lectures, panels and more. Additional admission fees apply to certain paid workshops and special events. The speaker lineup for New Life Expo’s 20th anniversary is stacked high with noteworthy and knowledgeable figures from all across the spectrum of health and wellness.

John Grey, best known as the author of the bestselling book, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, is a longstanding repeat guest at New Life Expo and will be in attendance for the 20th anniversary. His workshop, The Secrets of Lasting & Great Sex, will take place on April 15 from 11am to 12:30pm.

“I’m so excited [the expo] is in Marin this year,” said Gray. “This event is just a wonderful experience, and it always attracts a really amazing collection of people. It’s like having appetizers for mind, body, spirit and love—appetizers for things that can change your life for the better.”

“I was invited many many years ago to speak at the expo and have spoken at it eight or nine times since,” continued Gray. “I’m very open to new ideas—I mean, I was a celibate monk before I became a relationship and sexuality expert.”

Influential astrologer, activist and host of KPFA’s The Visionary Activist Show, Caroline Casey is set to make an appearance at the expo as well. Her special event, Bodhisattva Coyote*Bre’r Rabbit-Rumi Guide to being a good Citi-zen Trickster, will take place on Saturday from 2 to 4pm.

“I like guiding people—it’s part of what I’ll be doing at the expo,” explained Casey. “I think, in all of our lives, every affinity and quirky thing is a clue to be wondered about and honored. I was born into a political family in DC, but was always interested in things like faeries and astrology. Looking back, in 8th grade I wrote a report on psychedelic mushrooms, and when I saw Time’s article about LSD, it sent me forth on a whole path. And then I was 17, doing mushrooms and LSD and reading Carl Jung.”

“I also lived with an actual coyote for 20 years,” continued Casey. “I learned a lot about reciprocity in nature through the experience.”

Another guest of honor for the 20th anniversary of New Living Expo is the president of the Northern California Recycling Association and Bay Area Local, Jessica Jane Robinson. Once crowned Miss Alameda, Robinson is also an actress and activist who uses her platform to promote zero waste. Known also by her pro-environmental superhero persona, Resilience, she will give her zero waste presentation at 7pm on Friday.

“When I first got started doing what I do, zero waste wasn’t as much of a thing,” explained Robinson. “Now it’s becoming trendy, which is good because people are gaining awareness. But, instead of a trend, zero waste needs to be a part of our culture.”

Robinson has also attended the expo in previous years and is excited to join the festivities again. For the uninitiated, she describes the expo as being a place of “crystals, healing, wellness, innovation, usefulness, new technologies and information — people should come if they’re interested in personal growth, in holistic medicine and healing, and those who are interested in community.”

Other speakers include (but are not limited to): Deborah Graham, Shekinah Ma and Sanandaji Twinray, Gail Thackray, Kimberly Meredith, Eben Alexander, Emmanuel Dagher and Matt Kahn.

Alongside the workshops and lectures, highlights include Friday’s free screening from 6 to 8pm of Gratitude Revealed, a film directed by Louie Schwartzberg (a well-known director, producer and cinematographer who readers may recognize for his film, Fantastic Fungi). Additionally, a free-to-attend dance party will take place on Saturday night from 7:30 to 9:30.

“Usually, a lot of people come to the expo looking for answers,” concluded Kaufman. “If they’re stuck in relationships, feeling depressed or need a different view on life and need access to some positivity that’s out there. People have been cooped up for so long with COVID, and they need to come out and network and gather as a community.”

The 20th annual New Living Expo will take place on April 14, 15 and 16 at the Marin Center in San Rafael. Friday’s hours span from 2 to 8pm, Saturday from 10am to 8pm and Sunday from 11am to 7pm. Parking is free. For more information or to reserve tickets, visit the website at newlivingexpo.com, send an email to [email protected] or call 415.382.8300.

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