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Spirit Rock spiritrock.org

news & schedule | sep ¡ dec 2019

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NEWS & INSIGHTS

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REFLECTIONS ON THE FOUNDATION OF OUR PRACTICE:

Donald Rothberg “One who is virtuous and wise shines forth like a blazing fire.”—The Buddha

Twelve members of Spirit Rock’s Teachers Council have contributed reflections on sīla. We’ve listed them here in alphabetical order. These thoughts are the second of a two-part special with writings from Jack Kornfield, Donald Rothberg, Thanissara, Erin Treat, Lila Kate Wheeler, and Larry Yang.

Jack Kornfield One of the ways I am most proud of our community is our longstanding commitment to sīla and integrity. Let us celebrate our commitment to virtue! Our teachers adhere to it, and if there are problems, they are addressed and tended when they appear. We can see worldwide the great suffering that arises in institutions—political, religious, educational, business—that operate without moral guidelines and an ethical basis for conduct. A clear dedication to sīla is the basis of human happiness and critical for the Buddhist Path of Freedom. As Ajahn Chah says, “Without sīla, you are trying to cross the flood while your boat is still tied to the dock.” Sīla and virtue are also expressions of the end of the Path ... when the mind is quiet and the heart is wise, the natural joy of liberation brings a life of non-harming and compassion for all. Sīla brings happiness. Sīla brings ease. Sīla creates a free heart.

In terms of the three traditional areas of Buddhist training—sīla, samādhi, and pañña, or ethics, meditation, and wisdom—it’s clear that Western Buddhists have generally focused on meditation (for understandable historical and cultural reasons), with some attention to wisdom, and less to ethics. In the insight meditation tradition, this is evident in the emphasis on retreats and “sitting groups,” with less focus, generally, on community and social life—the main locus of ethical practice. This tendency reaches a certain extreme in some approaches to “secular mindfulness” in which mindfulness is taught with no connection to either wisdom or ethics. Many of us may think that ethical practice is relatively straightforward and that we live ethically: “I don’t kill or steal and try to be careful in regard to sexuality, speech, and intoxicants.” Yet ethical practice can be a profound and challenging practice. Do I practice non-harming when my tax dollars go to fund wars, or when my daily transportation harms our world, or when I participate in oppressive social systems (and internalize their presumptions) in regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, and so forth? The Buddha himself brought out this social aspect of ethical practice in the Sutta-Nipata (14, 19–20): “Let one not destroy life nor cause others to destroy life and, also, not approve of others’ killing ... Let one not cause to steal, nor approve of others’ stealing.” Thich Nhat Hanh would later give similar counsel: “Do not kill. Do not let others kill.” So to emphasize ethical practice goes against several tendencies to make such practice less central and more individualistic. There are several ways to start! In some regularly meeting groups, there can be a focus on ethical practice once a month or more frequently; for our Wednesday morning group at Spirit Rock, Sylvia Boorstein and I had regular monthly gatherings to renew the ethical precepts with a sitting and ritual. Or one can focus on a particular precept for a week or a month. Or one can focus on the positive aspects of the ethical precepts, understanding the cultivation of generosity as a way of practicing the Second Precept and taking on the practice of acting generously in three ways every day. Or one can take on a way of responding to one of the ways that harm is systemically focusing on climate disruption or racism or militarism or economic issues. We learn better, in our own times, the meaning of the teaching, “Not to commit evil but to practice all good, and to keep the heart pure: This is the teaching of the Buddha.”

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SPECIAL SECTION: REFLECTIONS ON SILA

Thanissara

Erin Treat Suffering brought many of us to the dharma. We began by being open, expectant, vulnerable. We placed faith in teachers, the practice, and the lineages that inspired us. But then, naivety and idealism shifted to disappointment as we encountered power dynamics, flawed teachers, and the reality of how challenging dharma practice actually is.

Ajahn Chah, when he visited the first Western monastery in England, asked how everyone was getting along. “Very well,” replied the abbot. “Humph,” Chah said, “you won’t gain much wisdom here then.” The necessary journey into our shadow is usually initiated by conflict experienced within the relational field. In a sangha context, these challenges are part of our daily practice. They mature us. However, bumping up against each other is different than a distorting power dynamic that normalizes abuse, suppresses feedback, and avoids accountability. When the safety of a sangha field becomes compromised and culpability is lost, its power to support authentic awakening is sapped away. Instead, as if under a spell, a cultish imitation emerges. What is striking about accounts of abuse by trusted teachers is how long they take to come to light and how deeply painful and divisive they are. But this is not surprising for those of us who lived deeply within patriarchal sangha systems where spiritual bypassing, a lack of psychological sophistication, and the elevation of teachers to guru status is often normalized. While it’s easy to blame fallen leaders and those “others,” what is more important is to investigate the systemic, hierarchical, patriarchal power dynamics, and our collusion with them, that enable these painful outcomes. The Buddha’s guidelines for a healthy sangha encourages training in ethics, power through consensus, the maintenance of a wholesome community through feedback and accountability, and the steadying influence of elders through respect offered, not expected, to those worthy of such esteem. Reinvigorating these guidelines, naming painful truths, humility, and looking hard and long into our collective sangha mirror offers redemption and a way through for us all.

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Power and sīla don’t occur in a vacuum. They are filtered through and reflective of the values and norms of the systems within which we live. To talk about sīla and power, therefore, means talking about patriarchy, white supremacy, and entitlement and to practice with how they play out in our hearts and minds, how they manifest in our relationships and our communities. To be alive and responsive, the practice of sīla—and the exercise of power—must be personal and relational. The pain and harm caused by abuse of power and transgression of sīla occur in relationship, not in isolation. I’m making it a practice to stay close to the places where I feel harmed and where I cause harm, taking care to open to the times when I have harmed another unknowingly from my own lack of consciousness. Staying close to this particular flavor of dukkha, really sinking into the impact of causing harm or being harmed—I recommit to sati, to remember. I remember that we belong to each other and the living earth. In recognizing our interconnectedness I am willing to practice courage—to practice telling and hearing the truth. In the dharma teacher role, it is critical to acknowledge the great power in the role—that power can be used to support the vitality of the dharma and the sangha or it can be misused to benefit oneself or a small group of friends. Dharma practice invites us to bring the light of awareness to our relationship with power. In my teaching and leadership, I am committed to and protected by values and norms of healthy feedback and accountability. I have seen the pain that is caused when these systems are weak or absent. Power that operates in the shadows has more potency and capacity to be misused and create long-term harm. As dharma teachers, we have a special role in bringing the use and misuse of power to light. As practitioners we aim to know suffering and the end of suffering, to actively embody ahimsa, non-harming as the empathy and responsiveness of the awakened heart. We do this in the spirit of truth and love, and we cannot do it alone. We need each other to become conscious of power and to use it well to alleviate rather than generate suffering.

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NEWS & INSIGHTS SPECIAL SECTION: REFLECTIONS ON SILA

Lila Kate Wheeler As Ben Franklin once quipped, “Who has deceived thee so often as thyself?” If self-deception is not the greatest danger in the spiritual life, it is certainly one to pay attention to. No matter how long we’ve practiced mindfulness meditation, our irrational, imperfect, often hypocritical heart-minds probably still drive us to worry about community status and self-respect or to cast blame outwardly. When we are not mindful (even sometimes when we are), we fill gaps of perception with false data, including a sense of solidity for the nearly continuous projection of a so-called "self." Don’t we? I do, I freely admit this. And I tend to want that ‘self’ to seem lovable so badly—only if I’m aware of the pull of this desire can I act with greater spaciousness and impartiality. After devoting years to being kind and aware, can I be humble enough to admit that I harbor harmful patterns? Just last night I met a cybersecurity expert who was formerly employed by the British government and now runs a cybersecurity non-profit. He said he’d caught himself nearly falling for an email scam, lured by some desire that was easy to exploit by a cunning student of human nature. I know the feeling, having fallen for a phone scam once myself—and let’s not mention mental states. Then as I look around at others, I find it helps to illuminate my humanity (and in-humanity) by wondering if I’m similar. It has felt clear to see that privilege and power seem to enclose others in bubbles of delusion, comfort-seeking, and uncaring. As a Buddhist and a white straight person, what about me? And if I’m insulated by privileges, is cushion practice sufficient, is it enough to see the nature of thought bubbles until they pop? Or do I, and all of us, need something more energetic than merely popping bubbles of assumption? One healthy action might be to support each other, as a community, to hold open conversations and explorations about how a community could refine sīla. At a recent Teachers Council meeting, there was a discussion of hiring trainers for all teachers to understand and avoid clergical sexual abuse. There was a healthy, lively debate about what sustains a community to practice non-harming. Some favored training. Others preferred going it on our own, arguing that when a training or workshop is seen as the solution, a quick-fix mentality replaces deeper, ongoing accountability. If the training was accepted, it was suggested that we also needed to accept greater mutual accountability and find structures to help us to question biases and unconscious

assumptions that derive from hierarchy, patriarchy, power, privilege in an ongoing way, recognizing these forms as they remain rampant in our spiritual community. Our existing community model is mutual accountability, but it seems to be invoked only when things get to a vortex where it’s impossible to ignore harmful and toxic behavior. The Catholic Church comes to mind and should be a red flag for every religious organization and denomination—people practicing spirituality can make tremendous errors. If that happened to one or a group of us, how would we know? Sīla involves not policing oneself and others, but allowing open investigation and conversations about accountability, with intent to deepen our wisdom and kindness. Let us invoke the generosity of being willing to make mistakes and learn from them. What agreements does a community need to feel safe enough for such a conversation? The Vinaya includes extensive practices and advice about confession and atonement that could be adapted to support a postmodern community in designing processes of self-inquiry and mutual responsiveness. Rather than feeling comfortable in our sīla, let us now ask where our edges lie. Can we shine the light of kindness, impartiality, and mutual responsiveness on ourselves? Can we join the wider conversations spreading across Buddhist lineages and our shared international culture? There is the current climate, in every meaning of that word. Can we afford to think we are too good, too beneficent, too liberated for such a conversation? As for whatever gifts we do have, if there is any openness, or kindness, or wisdom that we’ve truly cultivated, can we afford to hold them back?

Larry Yang To paraphrase one founding activist of our American Revolution, Thomas Paine, these are times that try our souls. I would add, these are times that challenge our secular and spiritual practice. Often when we use the ubiquitous term “mindfulness,” there is a missing key component among its inherent characteristics. What is often not addressed is the aspect of mindfulness that we call integrity, morality, or ethical behavior. We actually can be mindful of ANYTHING—of person, of activity, or of object. While conventionally we discuss mindfulness as a

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NEWS & SECTION: INSIGHTS REFLECTIONS ON SILA SPECIAL

path to freedom and happiness, we actually can be very mindful of how to achieve this aspiration at the expense of others. We can be very mindful of how to do harm to others and while also escaping any consequences of our actions. Without the component of ethical morality and integrity, mindfulness becomes only a technique for our own benefit. Without integrity, mindfulness is morally meaningless. Without integrity, metta is wishful thinking or a spiritual bypass. Both mindfulness and metta require the actions of conscience motivated by an ethical barometer. We see many forms of this lack of integrity present even with mindfulness. A subtle form of this is our cultural conditioning in our market economy to get as much as we can, while giving as little as possible. Without a moral compass, we can be mindful to win at any cost, to hoard as much material wealth as possible, and to gain as much power as we can. An acute form of this moral absence is our ever-quickening slide into a post-factual, post-ethical world, where truth is not respected and deliberately made to be confusing; when getting away with saying or doing anything in order to achieve your own ends is highly valued; where it is viewed as skillful to inflict harm, and incur no consequences for your actions. When there is less or zero external accountability in our larger culture, there emerges an indispensable spiritual imperative to redouble our internal efforts to have a moral barometer: this is the integrity of mindfulness—to be of benefit to our collective humanness, not simply to benefit our personal being. Even in the unconscious delusion of our times, there is still wisdom that is passed from generation to generation. One of these aphorisms states: “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” I would broaden the vision of integrity: • Integrity is doing the wise and compassionate action when no one agrees with us. • Integrity is acting on behalf of others when we do not have to because we have some benefit, privilege, power, or entitlement that protects us. • Integrity is standing actively (and not “standing by”) in solidarity with those whose voices and abilities have less volume or impact than yours. • Integrity is being kind when everyone and everything around you is not kind. • Integrity is loving when you do not feel loved yourself. • Integrity is placing a higher value on the greater good of all, rather than the gain of an individual or selected individual groups. • Integrity is holding to these principles, even when there are an infinite number of distractions, seductions, and judgments that seek to weaken and obliterate them.

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In sum, integrity provides the vision, the aspiration, and the guide to any actions of mindfulness and kindness. Where is your moment-to-moment practice of integrity? Where do you stand when $33+ billion-plus walls of fear, fueled by racial bitterness, are being designed to separate nations instead of creating bridges of human connection? When $33 billion can buy enough food to feed every person living on our planet, when, $33 billion can create thrice the clean water needed for every person living on this planet, what choices would your integrity make? And what does your integrity ask you to do, when our government of the people, by the people, and for the people is based purely and only upon the self-interest and self-defined alternative facts of a few individuals and groups in positions of power?

Without integrity, mindfulness is morally meaningless. Without integrity, metta is wishful thinking or a spiritual bypass. Both mindfulness and metta require the actions of conscience motivated by an ethical barometer. Integrity is not just a personal practice but a collective one that transforms all of us in all our communities. There is a wholeness in our collective journeys, even though we may sometimes feel that the struggle in the issues of immigration, discrimination, gun control, intentional large-scale incarceration, obstacles to health care, sexual violence and abuse, elimination of voting rights, or state control of our bodily functions in private bathrooms are mainly for the benefit of other different communities. As the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. prophetically wrote: We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. And whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the way God’s universe is made; this is the way it is structured. Only in an ethically wholesome society can we create a healthy system of social, economic, and political justice, not to mention spiritual freedom. And since society is made up of each of us, because each of us is part of that experience of being human, that ethical transformation begins here, with all of us awakening together with integrity.

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NEWS & INSIGHTS

: EXPANDING FROM THE SELF TO ALL BEINGS Excerpted from a meditation recorded on retreat at Spirit Rock on April 6, 2018

JoAnna Hardy One of the ways I like to teach metta, or loving-kindness, care, friendliness, benevolence, is that this quality comes alive naturally from the heart and mind that are at ease. We don’t actually need to do anything to make it happen. When we work at our mindfulness practice and let the hindrances become clear from our being, our natural and mature inclination is toward metta. I want to tell you a little story. The Buddha sent 500 monks to a pristine valley in the Himalayas said to have crystal quartz pools and beautiful trees. And forest devas lived in the trees. But when these monks got there, the devas weren’t so kind. They did not want these 500 humans there. So they sent into their hearts and minds all kinds of really scary images, terrible smells and visuals. The monks got terrified and ran back to the Buddha, saying, “Oh, master, we can’t stay there. We’re scared.” But he said, “Don’t let them scare you. You have to go back. Go with kindness and love.” And he sent them with the Metta Sutta. Here’s part of it: ...In gladness and in safety, may all beings be at ease. Whatever living beings there may be, whether they are weak or strong, omitting none. The great or the mighty, medium, short, or small, the seen and the unseen, those living near and far away, those born and to be born, may all beings be at ease. Let none deceive another or despise any being in any state. Let none through anger or ill-will wish harm upon another. Even as a mother protects with her life her child, her only child, so with a boundless heart should one cherish all living beings, radiating kindness over the entire world: spreading upwards to the skies and downwards to the depths, outwards and unbounded, freed from hatred and ill-will. (Mettā Sutta, Snp 1.8) The Buddha sent them back with accolades of love, of kindness, of fearlessness, and the forest devas welcomed them. “Come and stay as long as you need to, as long as you want. Rest here.” Metta is an antidote. It’s an antidote to fear, to aversion, to hatred: this heart that leaves nobody out, that holds everybody.

This is how the metta practice started as a defense against Himalayan tree spirits. So in your own body, allow yourself to be at ease. Whatever wars or fears or angers are going on, what’s it like when we put down our weapons? When we put down our need to fight? Allowing your belly and your chest region to soften. Hearing the frogs. Maybe these frogs were the tree spirits. Hearing the rain. And allowing the heart, to the best of its ability, to be undefended. Undefended heart, undefended mind. When we’re in a defensive stance, we become tense, tightened. So let your belly really soften. What is a soft belly? Soft chest, soft throat, which leads to a soft mind. What would it be like for our own happiness to just abide easily? May I be happy. May I be at peace and at ease. May I feel safe and protected from harm. May I be free. Continue softening your body. And then turn your attention toward an easy person to care for. Somebody with whom the experience of kindness is not complicated, with whom we have ease of love, ease of care, ease of outpouring toward. This isn’t wishful thinking or magic. It’s just our heart allowing itself to turn toward another. May you be happy. May you be at peace and at ease. Allowing your heart to soften and aim in the direction of this being. Easy, happy, freedom. Then we turn our attention toward a neutral being. Somebody we don’t have a whole lot of heart experience with. What does it feel like to care for a neutral being’s well-being? Our hearts are typically reserved for those we care about, but what’s it like to wish this person well? May you be happy. May you be at peace and at ease. We’re so used to wishing this upon people we know well and care about, but what’s it like to send these well-wishings to somebody we don’t know very well at all? May you feel safe and protected from harm. An outpouring of our own hearts. May you be free. And then, when we’re ready, reaching toward the difficult person. First, always starting with an easy difficult person, not our most difficult. Maybe this is somebody who we have a lightweight agitation toward. May you be happy. Checking in with your heart, what happens? Does a closing down happen? This is tricky.

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continued from previous page > There’s no expectation here, no right spiritual way to do this. And we are certainly not bypassing any harm that’s been caused to us. What does it feel like to say the words and see their face? What does that do to our heart? “Hurt people hurt people,” as we hear. What if they weren’t hurting, if they were happy? May you be happy. And just check that out. There’s no rush. May you be at peace and at ease. This is also releasing our own hearts and minds from bondage, from being locked up in confusion, hatred, delusion. May you feel safe and protected from harm. What does it feel like for our hearts to offer safety to this person who might not have been so safe for us? Safety. Where their hurt maybe can be eased so that they can stop hurting others. May you be free. To this being, who’s not so easy for us: May you be free. And if then we imagine all the beings you’ve seen today. Offering happiness, and that the merits of our practice reach all of these beings. All the beings we find right here. The eightlegged, the four-legged, swimming, flying, crawling, walking. The abundance of life that’s here. And then beyond through the valley, and out over the towns and cities where you are. May this whole land be happy, at peace, at ease, to the best of its ability with all that’s happening. May all beings here feel safe and free from harm.

DHARMA TRAINING PROGRAMS Dharma Training Programs are designed for those pursuing a deeper understanding of the dharma through study and practice. Our programs offer foundational as well as advanced teachings and practices to integrate into your personal and professional lives and range from four months to four years. For more information on Dharma Training Programs, please visit: spiritrock.org/deepening-practice.

Just like lava flowing, or nectar flowing, spreading care and kindness. We grow to the east and to the west, to the south and to the north, above and below. Letting the kindness, the care, the love reach out as far as we can imagine. No being left behind, no being left out. What would that world look like? It starts here, allowing yourself to hold whichever direction feels right to you. Maybe you need more loving-kindness directed toward yourself. Maybe it’s somebody you know, somebody you don’t know, or all beings. Allow yourself to explore this in practice for the next few minutes. In gladness and in safety, may all beings be at ease. Whatever living beings there may be, whether they are weak or strong, omitting none. The great or the mighty, medium, short or small, the seen and the unseen. Those living near and far away, those born, and to be born. May all beings be at ease.

JoAnna Hardy has been exploring and practicing multiple traditions since 1999, and in 2005, her focus landed on Vipassana. Teaching in communities that don't typically have access to the traditional dharma settings and building inclusive community are at the top of her list of priorities.

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DHARMA TRAINING PROGRAMS

DHARMA & YOGA TRAINING PROGRAM Djuna Mascall, Leslie Booker, Anne Cushman, Mark Coleman, Tias Little, Sean Feit Oakes Begins January 2020—Registration Opens July 2019 | RYT200 This five-month immersive training addresses body, mind, and heart through the study of mindful asana, pranayama, anatomy, mindfulness principles, meditation, and the wisdom teachings of yoga and Buddhism. Students will develop their personal practice as well as the ability to guide and lead others. The heart of the practices will include the brahma-viharas, with a focus on metta, providing both refuge and support for kindness and compassion toward ourselves and others. 1. A five-month training program for meditation and mindfulness practitioners and aspiring yoga teachers. 2. Fulfills the requirements for the Yoga Alliance 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher certification. 3. Incorporates non-residential retreat practice and the joy and support of building community together. 4. Minimum of a two-year yoga and mindfulness practice required. 2020 Program Registration is now open.

MINDFUL NON-PROFIT LEADERSHIP TRAINING PROGRAM Lead Trainers: Pamela Weiss and Jozen Tamori Gibson Supporting Faculty: Mark Coleman, Konda Mason, and Oren Jay Sofer October 2019 - May 2020. Registration is now open. This eight-month training program will be geared toward those in leadership positions working in social and environmental justice, education, health care, and other non-profit organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area. It will cultivate the mindful leadership skills of focus, clarity, emotional regulation, compassion, self-awareness, and well-being for non-profit leaders in the social change sector. Through mindfulness curriculum, meditation instruction, group discussions, and practice opportunities, participants will cultivate skills and behaviors that can be applied directly to their personal and professional lives. By developing and incorporating these intentional practices, participants will strengthen professional relationships and workplace environments, expanding impact beyond their own learning for the broader benefit of their work and organization. Sliding scale fees/scholarships available.

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2019 DYP Participant Feedback: “For years, I‘ve had a ‘yoga’ and ‘dharma’ practice, yet somehow the two felt separate. How special to have experienced a training that so eloquently weaves together these profound wisdom traditions with such a deep knowledge, care, and purity of intention.”—RD “I loved the dharma aspect and it helped me deepen my understanding of the true meaning of yoga.”—Participant

A YEAR TO LIVE with online option available Vinny Ferraro This yearlong program, based on the book A Year to Live by Stephen Levine, is designed for people of all ages, regardless of life stage. In community, we will focus on waking up and living life more fully through the exploration of death as spiritual practice. In our largely death-denying modern culture, few are encouraged to actively contemplate the inevitability of our death, or that it could happen at any time. The Buddha recommended that we do just that, not to frighten us, but to use death as an object of contemplation to help us awaken to the fragile, fleeting, and precious nature of our lives.

2019 Dharma and Yoga Training Graduates

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Ultimately, this is a yearlong practice in forgiveness, gratitude, and letting go. Through guided meditations, inquiry, and small group discussions, we will be guided, with the support of community, through a process of living this year as if it were our last. All are warmly welcome!

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MESSAGE OF GRATITUDE— Hello Dear Friends, I am honored to stand in the presence of your practice and your generosity—both of which are radical acts of loving-kindness so needed in the world today. From the now-golden hills of Spirit Rock, I find myself enjoying a deep sense of gratitude for your gifts of support. This flow of generosity creates the conditions for others to awaken ... it allows Spirit Rock to share teachings of wisdom and compassion with so many, including nearly 800 scholarship recipients annually, such as the practitioner quoted below. This reminds me why I work here, how special this sangha is, and the love we radiate outward into the world. And Spirit Rock couldn’t do this without your heartfelt offerings, which cover nearly half of our annual expenses. May the teachings continue to bring ease and joy to you and the beings surrounding you, as the benefits of our practice continue to multiply. With deep bows,

Metta from a Scholarship Recipient ~ Sharla Pidd Development Manager 415-488-0164 x226 sangha@spiritrock.org

“My retreat with the young adult sangha was so transformative for me physically, mentally, and spiritually. The beautiful teachings, practices, and landscape guided me back home to myself. As I embark on my last year of graduate school, I am reinvigorated with the dharma to bring presence, compassion, equanimity, forgiveness, and joy into my work with youth dealing with learning differences and emotional and physical trauma. I am deeply grateful for your financial support that allowed me to fall in love with these teachings and give me true hope for the future.” —Anonymous scholarship recipient

WAYS TO GIVE Learn about ways to give by visiting spiritrock.org/donate or write to sangha@spiritrock.org. Gift a gift of stock: Have your stocks increased in value? Giving a gift of stock is a smart way to receive tax benefits while supporting Spirit Rock. Offering an IRA distribution might be an excellent option because you can offer support to Spirit Rock and lower your taxable income. Plan for the future with Spirit Rock in mind. Leaving a gift in your estate is a powerful way to demonstrate your love. We invite you to consider naming Spirit Rock as a beneficiary in your will. We love our volunteers! To join us, contact our volunteer coordinator Juliana Birnbaum at (415) 488-0164 x244 or volunteering@spiritrock.org.

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VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION CARRLETTA PRICE

stewardship circle at spirit rock

SHARING GRATITUDE FOR STEWARDSHIP CIRCLE DONORS Deep gratitude to those who are making monthly gifts, acknowledging our interconnectedness and supporting our mission to cultivate and share teachings of wisdom and compassion. Your loving-kindness manifests from heart to sangha and beyond, allowing for the beautiful cycle of generosity to continue.

NOT A MEMBER? CONSIDER JOINING! Joining the Stewardship Circle is a beautiful opportunity to cultivate the pāramī of generosity while supporting the Spirit Rock community in a truly meaningful way. Become a member by making a monthly gift of $25 or more, and, in return, you’ll receive monthly offerings like access to daylong and Monday Night livestreams, video archives, and articles—all to support your practice and connection to Spirit Rock and the thousands of individuals that practice here every year. Visit spiritrock.org/stewardshipcircle-welcome or contact Ann Hertelendy at annh@spiritrock.org to learn more. “When I first came to Spirit Rock, there was a single meditation tent in an unmowed field. I loved the clang of the hardware from the tent in the wind, and the sound of rain pattering on the roof of the tent. In the years that followed, I was lucky to be one of the first guests in the new dining hall—and spent my 50th birthday at the first sweat lodge at Spirit Rock. This “beginning” for me and my connection to Spirit Rock has been my path. Although I’m not able to physically enjoy all the progress from that time to this, due to living far away, I’m thrilled to be able to continue to support all the activities that bring so many people peace and happiness.” —Nancy Thornton, Stewardship Circle member

How did you find out about Spirit Rock? I read a profile of a local artist who was asked, “Where do you go in the SF Bay to unwind and find your center?” Her answer was: “My favorite place to unwind is at Spirit Rock.” I’d been in the Bay Area for over 20 years and had never heard of it. After a quick search, I discovered it was the same place my son had mentioned recently. I’d just begun a one-year sabbatical after 14 years as a CFO, and a place to unwind was precisely what I was looking for. Why did you decide to volunteer? It really occurred rather spontaneously. On my first visit, I took my time walking around, visiting the bookstore, perusing the flyers which describe upcoming classes. I inquired and learned about the Volunteer program. I came back a few days later to volunteer for my first event at Spirit Rock, which I still remember was on June 1, 2018. I’ve been volunteering at Spirit Rock a few times a week ever since. What have you learned as a volunteer? One of my biggest takeaways has been the power of presence and how, whether we recognize it or not, we are all powerful beings— directly affecting one another. Each time I’m at Spirit Rock, before getting out of my car, I say the same prayer, “Lord, allow me to greet the Divine in each person that I meet.” I wasn’t raised in a home with any Eastern wisdom traditions, so I was thrilled when I discovered that “Namaste” is effectively the prayer I was saying but in one word. Witnessing participants open their hearts and share their humanity is humbling. When one person courageously bares their soul, you can feel the compassion rise in the room. Later, you’ll see strangers of every size, shape, and hue cross over and greet and hug one another and say, “Your words really touched me. I went through that too…“ Having a safe and sacred place like Spirit Rock that reminds us we’re all in this together. It’s really an honor to volunteer and actively support an organization that’s filling an aching need in our world today. It’s opened my heart and mind. I’ve met amazing people, been exposed to soul-stirring teachings, and I adore the fact that it’s also become a family affair! My husband was an Eastern Studies major and our kids are taking Mindfulness classes at their elementary school, so they’re excited to attend events and volunteer. Volunteering has been an amazing addition to our lives on so many levels. We love coming to Spirit Rock.

spiritrock.org/stewardshipcircle-welcome SPIRIT ROCK | SEP–DEC 2019

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DROP-INS AND NON-RESIDENTIAL RETREATS Spirit Rock offers a breadth of trainings including multiday non-residential retreats, drop-in and day retreats, special events, weekly and monthly class series, and online courses that open gateways to the dharma and deepen understanding of the Buddha’s teachings. We structure these offerings so you can commute home in the evening for sleep, family, or further practice, or stay in nearby accommodations. We invite you to review our offerings on the following pages. Details are subject to change; visit spiritrock.org for up-to-date information.


WEEKLY & MONTHLY DROP-IN PROGRAMS AT SPIRIT ROCK Community Welcome | Mondays, 6:15–7:00 pm This FREE program is for everyone who is new to Spirit Rock or interested in learning more about insight (Vipassana) meditation. You can give meditation a try, experiment with different postures and techniques, and learn more about how Spirit Rock can support you. It’s a wonderful opportunity to ask questions in a relaxed, informal setting and connect with others who are new to the Spirit Rock community.

Monday Night Dharma Talk and Meditation Group 7:15–9:15 pm | LIVESTREAM AVAILABLE JACK KORNFIELD AND FRIENDS Our Monday night drop-in program serves as an introduction to the practices of awareness and compassion that are the heart of our community and offers support and ongoing teachings to committed students. Fee: $15–$30 sliding scale.

Wednesday Morning Meditation Group 10 am–Noon SYLVIA BOORSTEIN, DONALD ROTHBERG AND OTHERS A sitting and practice-oriented discussion group, suitable for new and experienced practitioners. Fee: $15–$30 sliding scale.

Thursday Women's Group | 10 am–Noon GRACE FISHER AND OTHERS A place for women to come together, to share wisdom and to strengthen a sense of belonging in the world. Fee: $15–$30 sliding scale.

Dharma & Recovery Group | 7:15–9:15 pm KEVIN GRIFFIN AND OTHERS—2nd Friday of every month This group explores the intersection of recovery with Buddhist teachings and practices. All who identify with any of the full range of addictions, including substances, behaviors, habitual thought and emotional patterns, are welcome. Fee: $15–$30 sliding scale.


NON-RESIDENTIAL RETREATS

GENERAL INFORMATION

NON-RESIDENTIAL RETREATS SEP

02

MON

AWAKE IN THE WILD: MEDITATION IN NATURE MARK COLEMAN | 10:00 AM–5:00 PM

6 CE CREDITS AVAILABLE Following ancient traditions that value the transformative power of nature, this day of meditation will be spent in the beautiful meadows and hills of Spirit Rock. This serene day will include various mindfulness practices that deepen our receptivity to the wisdom of nature. Meditating outdoors helps awaken sensitivity to the natural world, opens appreciation of nature as a teacher, and encourages a wakefulness in all moments of life. We will discover how meditative time outdoors leads to joy, peace, wonder, love, and connection, and brings profound insights into our own nature and our intimate interconnectedness with the web of life. The program will be held outdoors, see online calendar listing for more details. Code: MC5D19. MARK COLEMAN, MA, has been teaching insight meditation retreats since 1997. He also leads wilderness meditation retreats, integrating mindfulness meditation with nature, and is the author of Awake in the Wild and Make Peace with Your Mind.

SEP

07 SAT

THE ESSENCE OF BUDDHIST PSYCHOLOGY Benefit for Spirit Rock

JACK KORNFIELD | 9:30 AM–5:00 PM

6 CE CREDITS AVAILABLE Discover inner capacities for wakefulness, joy, dignity, and compassion—your Buddha-nature. Join us for this day of mindful meditations and teachings on love, consciousness, healing, and the nature of mind. Our training will study the fundamental principles of Buddhist psychology, combining practical examples, teaching stories, visionary wisdom, and case studies. We will explore applications of these revolutionary perspectives in our healing work, our meditation, and our life. Code: JK1B19.

FEES Spirit Rock deeply welcomes anyone with an interest in studying the dharma and practicing insight meditation. We offer reduced fees, scholarships, and work exchange opportunities, and regularly hold "Dana" pay-as-you-can programs allowing you to offer any amount. Non-residential programs vary in fees, and always have a sliding scale. We encourage those who can pay at the top of the sliding scale to offer what they can knowing they’re supporting a practitioner paying at the bottom of the scale. Teacher support is built into these fees, and a portion of them may be tax-deductible.

• Drop-ins: $15+ • Evenings: $30+ • Non-Residential Retreats: $75+/day $45+/day for Young Adults (18–26) and Seniors (65+ with limited income) • Special Events: $90+ • Benefits: $110+ VOLUNTEERING Volunteering is a meaningful way to participate in the Spirit Rock community. Volunteers help in every department and support every program. We hope you’ll consider offering us your time and energy helping with events, in housekeeping, on the land, in an office, or in the kitchen. In gratitude for your service, volunteers receive free or reduced-price attendance at programs. Contact our volunteer coordinator, Juliana Birnbaum, at volunteering@spiritrock.org or (415) 488-0164 x224. REGISTRATION Registration is available on our website. You can also mail a check to Spirit Rock, PO Box 169, Woodacre, CA 94973. Please include your daytime phone number and email address, and write the program code on the outside of the envelope and on your check. Pre-registration closes at noon Friday for weekend programs. For class series and other non-weekend programs, pre-registration closes at noon one business day before the program. In order to receive the pre-registration price, you must pay in full at the time you register. There is an additional $5 fee for registering at the door. To register by phone, call (415) 4880164 x219 or x266, 8:00 am–4:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

JACK KORNFIELD trained as a Buddhist monk in Thailand, India, and Burma and holds a PhD in clinical psychology. He has taught meditation since 1974 and is a founding teacher of IMS and Spirit Rock. His books include A Path with Heart, The Wise Heart, and No Time Like the Present.

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CANCELLATIONS We do not offer refunds, but you can request a credit up to 4:00 pm two business days before an event (or Thursday for weekend programs). We will credit your registration fee toward another non-residential program. Credits are not transferrable to residential retreats and must be used within one year of their date of issue. If you do not contact us prior to this deadline, no credit will be issued. Credits cannot be accessed online; to request or use a credit, contact EventsRegistrar@spiritrock.org or call (415) 488-0164 x219 or x266, 8:00 am–4:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Please note, Nonresidential Retreat cancellation fees vary.

SPIRITROCK.ORG


NON-RESIDENTIAL RETREATS

SEP

08 SUN

BUILDING STRENGTH, HEALING AND CELEBRATION: LGBTQI AND SUBLIME STATES FRESH "LEV" WHITE, AMMA THANASANTI, AND PATRICK BROWN

10:00 AM–4:30 PM OPEN TO ALL SELF-IDENTIFIED LGBTQI INDIVIDUALS Love, compassion, and sympathetic joy are gateways to peace and freedom. On this day, we are coming together as trans, gender expansive, lesbian, gay, bisexual, questioning, and intersex folks to discover and practice tools that will support us in navigating the everyday ways we experience suffering individually and globally. There will be guided meditation, mindful movement, discussion, and a potluck lunch. Please bring food to share. Code: FR2D19. FRESH “LEV” WHITE–See bio on page 25. AMMA THANASANTI, former Buddhist nun of 26 years in the Ajahn Chah tradition, teaches how our individual experience, relationships, social structures, and physical world are all part of our experience of wholeness.

PATRICK BROWN is an activist and advocate who first entered EBMC in 2010. He is a leader of their People of Color and Alphabet Sanghas. As an advocate and facilitator, his career is focused on racial equity and leadership development, supported by his practice and the dharma.

SEP

14

SAT

SEP

15

SUN

NO TIME TO LOSE: A DHARMA RESPONSE TO CLIMATE CHANGE Dana Benefit for One Earth Sangha & Spirit Rock

JAMES BARAZ AND FRIENDS (SEE WEBSITE FOR FULL PRESENTER LINE-UP) 9:30 AM–4:30 PM LIVESTREAM AVAILABLE Looking for inspiration to be the change you want to see? We will explore through teachings, meditation, and experiential exercises how to apply the gifts and tools available through dharma practice to the climate crisis—learning to face and transform fear, grief, anger, overwhelm, and blocks that keep us from contributing in a meaningful and inspiring way. With this embodied awareness, we can move into conscious action with a deeper connection to ourselves, our community, and our world. This day is offered in the spirit of dana as a benefit for Spirit Rock and One Earth Sangha, a platform for teachings on a wise dharma response to the climate crisis. Code: JB1B19. Livestream code: JB2L19. JAMES BARAZ is a founding teacher of Spirit Rock and serves on the Spirit Rock Teachers Council. He started the Community Dharma Leaders program and the Kalyana Mitta Network. James has taught the Awakening Joy online course since 2003 and serves as adviser to One Earth Sangha, which focuses on Buddhist responses to climate change.

THE DIALECTIC OF ENLIGHTENMENT Benefit for Spirit Rock & Open Gate Sangha

ADYASHANTI | 10:00 AM–4:30 PM

LIVESTREAM AVAILABLE The spiritual life involves a dialectical interaction between our relative selves and our true nature. The embodied human ego seeks its home ground and its liberating release, while our true nature seeks its conscious embodiment in the world of time and space. These two spiritual instincts are the enlightenment impulse experienced from the relative and absolute dimensions of our being, which move in cyclic relationship to one another within the human psyche. We will explore the nature of the enlightenment impulse, which seeks to consciously embody both the transcendent and immanent impulses of our true nature. Code: AY1B19. Livestream code: AY1L19.

When enough people hold a shared vision of possibility, miracles can happen. —James Baraz

ADYASHANTI is the author of Falling into Grace, The End of Your World, True Meditation, Emptiness Dancing, and The Impact of Awakening. His spontaneous, direct teachings have been compared to those of the early Zen masters but are free of any tradition or ideology.

SPIRIT ROCK | SEP–DEC 2019

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NON-RESIDENTIAL RETREATS

CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDIT OFFERINGS Continuing Education (CE) credit is co-sponsored by Spirit Rock and the Spiritual Competency Resource Center. CE credit is available for psychologists and California licensed MFTs, LCSWs, LEPs, LPCCs, nurses, chiropractors, and acupuncturists. • The Spiritual Competency Resource Center is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Spiritual Competency Resource Center maintains responsibility for these programs and their content. • Spirit Rock is a provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP16905. • The California Acupuncture Board has approved Spirit

NON-RESIDENTIAL RETREATS 9/2

Awake in the Wild: Meditation in Nature

9/7

The Essence of Buddhist Psychology

9/15

Finding and Minding the Gap: Balancing Life with Greater Wisdom and Ease

9/27–29 Transforming the Judgmental Mind, Cultivating the Wise Heart 9/28

Resilience: Bouncing Back from Disappointment, Difficulty, and Even Disaster

10/5

Somatically Speaking: Cultivating Authentic Communication

10/18

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

10/19

Natural Radiance: An Exploration of Awareness

10/19

Divorce and Separation: Doorways to Freedom

Rock as a Continuing Education Credit Provider, Provider

10/20

Five True Things

Number 1425.

10/25

Following in the Buddha's Footsteps: The Path of Happiness

11/8

Minding the Body: A Somatic Exploration of Emotions

11/15

Coming Home to the Dharma: Cultivating Embodiment and Compassion

11/16

Who Are We? Exploring Our "Selves" and Identities

11/24

A Path for Couples: Joyful Connection, Mindful Communication

• The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE credits for license renewal from programs sponsored by American Psychological Association–approved providers. • The California Board of Chiropractic Examiners accepts CE credits for license renewal from programs sponsored by Board of Registered Nursing–approved providers. Not all programs are applicable to every license; please check

11/30 Awakening the Heart: Practicing the –12/1 Divine Abodes

the online description for specific license applicability and

12/6

Freedom from the Inner Critic

learning objectives. CE credit is awarded for instructional

12/13

An Exploration of Awakening

time only. For general information, including attendance and

12/14

Opening into Allness

cancellation policies, please see:

12/14 Bouncing Back, Moving Forward: –12/15 Resilience and Post-Traumatic Growth

spiritrock.org/continuing-education-credit

RESIDENTIAL RETREATS 9/16–22

Finding Freedom in the Body

10/17–26

Fall Insight Meditation Retreat

12/16–23

Insight Meditation Winter Solstice Retreat: Embracing the Dark, Inviting the Light

12/15

The Art and Practice of Forgiveness

12/21

Reconnecting: Nourishment, Support, and Love During the Holidays

12/22

The Wisdom of Aging: Mindfulness Meditation and the Feldenkrais Method

12/27

Keep Coming Back: Dharma, Recovery, and Renewal

SPIRITROCK.ORG/CONTINUING-EDUCATION-CREDIT 16

SPIRIT ROCK | SEP–DEC 2019

SPIRITROCK.ORG


NON-RESIDENTIAL RETREATS

SEP

15

SUN

FINDING AND MINDING THE GAP: BALANCING LIFE WITH GREATER WISDOM AND EASE BOB STAHL AND CHRISTIANE WOLF 10:00 AM–5:00 PM

6 CE CREDITS AVAILABLE Choosing how to respond in stressful situations is the key to what happens next. Are we perpetuating old habitual patterns and making things worse? Viktor Frankl coined the powerful saying, “Between the stimulus and the response there is a gap, and in that gap lies our freedom to choose.” With mindfulness training, we can learn to respond in wiser ways to challenging situations that are aligned with our deepest values. Mindfulness practice helps us to "mind the gap," as the British would say. We’ll explore this freedom to choose through a combination of meditation practice, reflection, and group discussion. Code: BS1D19. BOB STAHL, PhD, directs MBSR programs at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz and El Camino Hospital in Mt. View and Los Gatos. He is the guiding teacher at Insight Santa Cruz.

CHRISTIANE WOLF, MD, PhD, is a physician turned mindfulness and MBSR teacher and teacher's trainer. She is a graduate of the Spirit Rock/IMS/IRC Teacher Training Program and is the co-author of A Clinician's Guide to Teaching Mindfulness.

SEP

20 FRI

FROM ANXIETY TO CALM PRESENCE: DHARMA AND YOGA DJUNA MASCALL | 10:00 AM–4:30 PM

SEP

SEP

20 22 –

FRI

SUN

3-DAY NON-RESIDENTIAL RETREAT CHANGES AND TRANSITIONS IN YOUR 60 S AND 70 S

PHILLIP MOFFITT AND SARAH ARMSTRONG FRIDAY: 1:30 PM–5:30 PM, SATURDAY: 9:30 AM–5:00 PM SUNDAY: 9:30 AM–1:00 PM Change is a fact of life, and yet we can find ourselves ill-equipped to manage it skillfully. The normal concerns that change brings up can lead to confusion, apathy, or poor decisions. In this retreat, you will learn skills to effectively respond to change. • Gain insights about your strengths and challenges in dealing with change. • Recognize habits of mind that undermine you and learn practices to diminish their influence. • Create a strategy for effectively navigating your change. We will look at the phenomenon of change as well as the specific tasks and opportunities that arise in our 60s and 70s. Code: PM2M19. PHILLIP MOFFITT has practiced Vipassana since 1983. He is founder and president of the Life Balance Institute. He is the author of Dancing with Life, Emotional Chaos to Clarity, and Awakening Through the Nine Bodies.

SARAH ARMSTRONG is a Certified Strategist with the Institute for Change and Transition. She’s had a varied career, including health care attorney and critical care administrator and nurse. She’s been a practicing Buddhist for more than 10 years under the tutelage of Phillip Moffitt.

Anxiety and hypervigilance can be constant companions and derail our well-being. When we align the mind with the slower rhythms of the body and unwind, we can reconnect with our innate calm, embodied presence. This retreat will offer dharma teachings on understanding anxiety and cultivating self-compassion. We will connect to the body through somatic movement, yoga postures, and breath work. Our practice will offer techniques to ground the nervous system and create a container of safety and support to allow us to meet all that arises. The yoga sessions will be both dynamic and nourishing for ease and resilience. Code: DM2D19. DJUNA MASCALL teaches Prajna Yoga nationally and internationally. She is a leader of the Spirit Rock Dharma and Yoga Teacher Training Program and a certified yoga therapist in private practice. Her offerings combine meditation and dharma study with asana training designed to cultivate sensory awareness and embodied wisdom.

SPIRIT ROCK | SEP–DEC 2019

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NON-RESIDENTIAL RETREATS

SEP

SEP

SAT

SUN

21 22

2-DAY NON-RESIDENTIAL RETREAT 7 QUALITIES THAT LIBERATE THE MIND SHAILA CATHERINE | 10:00 AM–5:00 PM

This weekend retreat focuses on developing seven qualities that prepare the mind for awakening: mindfulness, investigation, energy, joy, tranquility, concentration, and equanimity. These Seven Awakening Factors mature into a bright, balanced, and peaceful mind that is imbued with deep concentration and ripe for insight. By cultivating these seven qualities, we will refine and balance our meditation practice, and progressively incline toward awakening. This retreat will provide practical instructions for nurturing and balancing the seven factors in the context of mindfulness meditation practices. Recommended for those who already have an established mindfulness meditation practice. Code: SC2M19.

SEP

SEP

FRI

SUN

27 29

3-DAY NON-RESIDENTIAL RETREAT TRANSFORMING THE JUDGMENTAL MIND, CULTIVATING THE WISE HEART DONALD ROTHBERG | 10:00 AM–5:00 PM

12 CE CREDITS AVAILABLE Judgments of a reactive nature are very strong for most of us. They can distort our perceptions and make relationships difficult. In this retreat, we will explore judgments (and their difference from non-reactive discernment) and how to transform them. We will cultivate mindfulness, inquiry, loving-kindness, forgiveness, and compassion, and explore the somatic and social dimensions of judgments. These tools will help us to preserve the intelligence and energy often found in judgments, using them for discernment and compassionate action, while working through judgments' destructive and compulsive aspects. Code: DR3M19. DONALD ROTHBERG, PhD, has practiced insight meditation since 1976, and has also trained in Tibetan Dzogchen and Mahamudra practice. He regularly teaches insight and loving-kindness meditation, and transforming the judgmental mind, mindful communication, and socially engaged Buddhism. He is the author of The Engaged Spiritual Life.

SHAILA CATHERINE has taught retreats since 1996. She founded Bodhi Courses, an online Dhamma classroom, and Insight Meditation South Bay in Silicon Valley. She authored two books on jhana and Vipassana—Focused and Fearless, and Wisdom Wide and Deep.

SEP

28 SAT

RESILIENCE: BOUNCING BACK FROM DISAPPOINTMENT, DIFFICULTY, AND EVEN DISASTER LINDA GRAHAM | 10:00 AM–5:00 PM

6 CE CREDITS AVAILABLE Challenges and crises are part of the human condition. This daylong offers practical tools, informed by modern neuroscience, to help you become competent at dealing with any level of disruption to your well-being, from barely a wobble to the upheaval of “too much.” You will learn to apply many practices—drawn from our somatic, emotional, relational, and reflective intelligence—to shift the functioning of the brain out of contraction and reactivity to more receptivity, openness, and reduce the impacts of any overwhelm, stress, and trauma. You will develop your capacities to cope with anything, anything at all. Code: LG2D19. LINDA GRAHAM, MFT, is an experienced psychotherapist and a teacher of Mindful Self-Compassion in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the author of Resilience: Powerful Practices for Bouncing Back from Disappointment, Difficulty, and Even Disaster.

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SPIRIT ROCK | SEP–DEC 2019

SPIRITROCK.ORG


NON-RESIDENTIAL RETREATS

OCT OCT

2-DAY NON-RESIDENTIAL RETREAT

04 05 MINDFUL NON-PROFIT FRI

SAT

LEADERSHIP RETREAT

PAMELA WEISS AND JOZEN TAMORI GIBSON 10:00 AM–4:30 PM This retreat will use mindfulness and Buddhist teachings to reframe traditional models of leadership, and explore the unique crises and concerns of our time. It is open to those working in non-profit organizations. Drawing on Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey and stories from the life of the Buddha, our time together will include guided meditation, self-reflection, interactive exercises, and community-building. Participants will clearly articulate their aspirations, cultivate meditative and self-care practices, and leave with a clear set of actions for moving forward with greater skill, creativity, and resilience. All are welcome to attend. Code: PW2M19 Email trainings@spiritrock.org for more info and to register.

OCT

05 SAT

Being willing to be open, to learn, to be ongoingly interested in life and in other people, knowing that no matter how much you know, the wisdom of the collective is always greater. —Pamela Weiss

OREN JAY SOFER | 10:00 AM–5:00 PM

6 CE CREDITS AVAILABLE Our ability to communicate openly, honestly, and kindly is a core part of the contemplative path affecting our minds, relationships, and quality of life. Join us for this unique day retreat to develop more skill and flexibility in this area. We’ll explore a range of methods to draw on the wisdom and strength of our body as a tool for more authentic selfexpression. You will learn methods to sense and maintain personal boundaries, to discern what is authentic, and to express it in clear and creative ways. The day will include a combination of guided meditation, journaling, and interactive exercises. Code: OS4D19. OREN JAY SOFER holds a degree in comparative religion from Columbia University, is trained in Somatic Experiencing™ and Nonviolent Communication, and is a member of the Spirit Rock Teachers Council. He is founder of Next Step Dharma and author of Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication.

PAMELA WEISS has practiced in the Zen and Theravada traditions since 1987. She is an executive coach and the founder of Appropriate Response, bringing Buddhist principles and practices to leadership and organizations. Pamela co-leads the Spirit Rock Community Dharma Leaders program. JOZEN TAMORI GIBSON is the board chair and a sangha facilitator with the Brooklyn Zen Center, member of the New York Insight Meditation Center’s Teachers Council, and mentor for the Awake Youth Project. Jozen’s work is infused with trainings in Indigenous Focusing-Oriented Therapy and Complex Trauma, yoga, and qigong.

SOMATICALLY SPEAKING: CULTIVATING AUTHENTIC COMMUNICATION

OCT

06 SUN

CULTIVATING A LOVING PRESENCE VINNY FERRARO | 10:00 AM–4:30 PM

In this retreat, we'll (re)discover what it really takes to cultivate a loving presence. Together, we'll explore some tried and true heart practices, as well as what gets in the way. This day offers us a homecoming in which every single part of us is truly welcome. We'll do this through sitting, walking, and sharing (oh yeah!) and some soul music. Come and let's sit together in a space where we can lead with kindness, and risk connection in community. Code: VF2D19. VINNY FERRARO has been practicing meditation since the mid '90s. He is a co-founder of the Dharma Punx, a senior trainer for Mindful Schools, and a board member for the Mind Body Awareness Project. His focus is on delivering direct services to folks that have limited access. He has been trained and empowered by Spirit Rock and Insight Meditation Society.

SPIRIT ROCK | SEP–DEC 2019

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NON-RESIDENTIAL RETREATS OCT OCT

12 13

SAT

SUN

2-DAY NON-RESIDENTIAL RETREAT

THE GATHERING II: BUDDHIST SANGHA OF AFRICAN DESCENT NOLIWE ALEXANDER, MYOKEI CAINE-BARRETT, ANGELA DAVIS, KONDA MASON, REV. ANGEL KYODO WILLIAMS, AND FRIENDS

SAT: 10:00 AM–9:30 PM; SUN: 10:00 AM–4:30 PM OPEN TO PERSONS OF BLACK AFRICAN DESCENT ONLY Come join in community with the largest known gathering of Buddhist teachers of Black African descent to date. We'll open our doors and hearts to welcome practitioners of African descent for a weekend retreat of dharma talks, panel discussions, chanting, silent meditation, and walking practices, accessible to all bodies. Saturday evening will feature scholar and activist, Angela Davis, and other distinguished guests, followed by music and joyous celebration. You won't want to miss this! Come bear witness to this momentous event in the unfolding of American Buddhism. We’ll weave a rich fabric of traditions, lineages, approaches, and ways into one single cloth of liberatory teachings. Together, we’ll make history as the largest Black Buddhist sangha ever!

OCT

18 FRI

MINDFULNESS-BASED STRESS REDUCTION: CULTIVATING LIFELONG TOOLS TO REDUCE STRESS, PAIN, AND ANXIETY JUANITA DE SANZ | 10:00 AM–5:00 PM

6 CE CREDITS AVAILABLE This day of practice can be an introduction to those new to mindfulness, and an opportunity to deepen awareness for practitioners and for students who have taken the eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR). We will cultivate intentional and skillful ways to be present with thoughts, feelings, and body sensations as they arise. The day will include guided instruction in mindfulness practices, gentle stretching and mindful movement, small and large group inquiry and discussion, and an exploration of our ability to work mindfully with stress, pain, grief, and anxiety. Code: JZ2D19. JUANITA DE SANZ, MS, LMFT, is a psychotherapist with over 20 years experience, an EMDR consultant, and a certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction teacher. She has private practices in Marin and San Francisco, providing integrative psychotherapy to individuals and clinical supervision to therapists seeking EMDR certification.

Free round-trip shuttle service to the East Bay will be provided. Meal served Saturday evening. Code: BT1M19. NOLIWE ALEXANDER teaches throughout the Bay Area and facilitates community workshops, Buddhist meditation daylongs and class series programs. She dedicates much of her teaching to POC, LGBTQI, and elder communities. A graduate of Spirit Rock's CDL4, she is in the Spirit Rock Teacher Training program. MYOKEI CAINE-BARRETT, Shonin, first encountered Buddhism in 1963. She became head priest and guiding teacher of the Nichiren Buddhist Sangha of Texas in 2007. Myokei has active prison and hospice ministries, is deeply committed to healing our culture, and is currently bishop of the Nichiren Shu Order of North America. KONDA MASON was introduced to Tibetan Buddhism in 1982, and Vipassana in 1996, working with Jack Kornfield. Konda's dharma training includes East Bay Meditation Center's Commit2Dharma, Spirit Rock's Community Dharma Leaders, and Teacher Training Programs. She serves on the Spirit Rock Board of Directors, and as Co-Founder and former CEO of Impact Hub Oakland. REV. ANGEL KYODO WILLIAMS is an ordained Zen priest and author of Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living with Fearlessness and Grace and Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation. She is the spiritual director and founder of the Center for Transformative Change.

OCT

19

SAT

DIVORCE AND SEPARATION: DOORWAYS TO FREEDOM GRACE FISHER | 10:00 AM–4:30 PM

5.5 CE CREDITS AVAILABLE For many of us, divorce or separation can be one of the most painful transitions of our lives. In this day together, we’ll explore how the wisdom of the Buddha can help us hold this experience as one of liberation. Through the teachings on impermanence and equanimity, we’ll explore ways to cultivate balance. Through the teachings on anger and forgiveness, we’ll explore ways to cultivate compassion and freedom. By stepping out of the story of who did what to whom, we can allow ourselves to be with what is actually true, and remember that this is truly a path of freedom. Code: GF3D19. GRACE FISHER, MFT, JD, MED, MA, is the staff dharma teacher at Spirit Rock. She has a private psychotherapy practice in San Anselmo where she works with teens, individual adults and couples.

1–DAY OPTIONS AVAILABLE 20

SATURDAY ONLY—CODE: BT1D19 | SEP–DEC 2019 SUNDAY ONLY—CODE: BT2D19 SPIRIT ROCK

SPIRITROCK.ORG


NON-RESIDENTIAL RETREATS

OCT

19

SAT

NATURAL RADIANCE: AN EXPLORATION OF AWARENESS MARK COLEMAN | 10:00 AM–5:00 PM

6 CE CREDITS AVAILABLE The Buddha stated that awareness is an essential factor for liberation and peace. In this meditation retreat, we will explore this innate quality of awareness: what it is, how to recognize it, and how to cultivate it. We will inquire into what interferes with stabilizing in awareness both in meditation and in daily activity. Mindful awareness provides the ability to be present with all experience with clarity, insight, and equanimity. It is the foundation for wisdom, compassion, and awakening. As mindfulness grows, we will see how to abide in an effortless, clear, and radiant awareness in every moment. Code: MC6D19. MARK COLEMAN–See bio on page 14.

OCT

26 SAT

MINDFULNESS MEDITATION JACK KORNFIELD | 9:30 AM–5:00 PM

LIVESTREAM AVAILABLE In this traditional insight meditation (Vipassana) day retreat, the emphasis is on quieting the mind and opening the heart. By cultivating a calm mind and a kind heart toward ourselves and others, we learn to live with loving awareness. And we develop a more easeful relationship with life, regardless of our circumstances. Instructions will be given for both sitting and walking meditation. Lively discourse on the dharma will be provided throughout the day, with time for questions and discussion. This day retreat is suitable for both new and experienced meditators who are looking to refresh and deepen their practice. Code: JK2D19. Livestream code: JK3L19. JACK KORNFIELD–See bio on page 14.

The more you can acknowledge the goodness of an action, the more you will realize it comes from your innate goodness —your authentic nature. —Mark Coleman

OCT

20 SUN

FIVE TRUE THINGS DAVID RICHO | 10:00 AM–4:30 PM

5 CE CREDITS AVAILABLE There are certain “givens” of relationships and human life: Everything changes and ends; things don't always go according to plan; life isn't fair; pain is part of life; people aren't loving and loyal all the time. Although these givens are beyond our control and can be challenging, they actually offer us profound opportunities for reflection, growth, and compassion. We can begin to trust that an unconditional yes to them is integral to our spiritual practice. Most of all, we can learn how to open up to and embrace our own truth—including to what is frightening, painful, or disappointing—and (re)discover opportunities for our practice of mindfulness and loving-kindness. Code: DO2D19. DAVID RICHO, PhD, MFT, teacher, workshop leader and writer, works as a psychotherapist in Santa Barbara and San Francisco, CA. He combines Jungian, transpersonal, and mythic perspectives in his work.

SPIRIT ROCK | SEP–DEC 2019

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NON-RESIDENTIAL RETREATS

OCT

25 FRI

FOLLOWING IN THE BUDDHA'S FOOTSTEPS: THE PATH OF HAPPINESS HOWARD COHN | 10:00 AM–4:30 PM

5.5 CE CREDITS AVAILABLE The Buddha was called "the Happy One." His teachings and practices provide an inspiring vision of our human capability to experience the same happiness. This day of insight meditation will follow the Buddha's way of mindfulness, concentration and love, guiding us from clinging and attachment to letting go and freedom, from confusion to clarity, and from tension to tranquility. The Buddha said, "If it was not possible to do this, I would not ask you to. Come and see for yourself." Code: HC4D19. HOWARD COHN, MA, serves on the Spirit Rock Teachers Council and has taught Vipassana retreats since 1985. He has studied with teachers of several traditions, including Theravada, Zen, and Dzogchen, and has been strongly influenced by H.W.L. Poonja. Howard has led the Mission Dharma sangha for 30 years and is the author of Invitation to Meditation.

OCT

27

SUN

WORLD AS LOVER, WORLD AS SELF WES NISKER AND JOANNA MACY 10:00 AM–4:30 PM

OCT

OCT

TUE

THU

29 31

3-DAY NON-RESIDENTIAL RETREAT TELLING OUR STORIES: MEDITATION AND CREATIVE WRITING FOR WOMEN ANNE CUSHMAN | 10:00 AM–4:30 PM

OPEN TO SELF-IDENTIFIED WOMEN ONLY Like meditation, writing is a powerful way to wake up to the ordinary and extraordinary moments of our human lives. Through sharing our stories, we connect with ourselves, each other, and the world we live in. But women’s stories have often been excluded from the spiritual canon—dismissed as too ordinary, too emotional, too wild, or too messy to convey awakening wisdom. In this retreat, we will awaken our creative energies, reconnect with our authentic voices, and express the deep truth of who we are—through the powerful combination of creative writing, mindfulness meditation, and gentle movement explorations. Code: AC1M19. ANNE CUSHMAN is a pioneer in the integration of mindfulness, embodied meditation, and creative expression. A member of the Teachers’ Council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, she founded the first Buddhist meditation training for yoga teachers. Her books include The Mama Sutra, Enlightenment for Idiots, and Moving Into Meditation.

How do we cultivate the heart’s ability to simultaneously hold the beauty, awe, and wonder of the natural world, along with all its suffering? How can we channel our heart’s concern into meaningful action that alleviates anxiety, while still maintaining our core of peace and strength? Through inspirational teachings, meditation, and personal sharing, we will remember and explore our interconnectedness, both with each other and with all life on the planet. Our day in community will help reignite our love and caring for the world and our desire to engage in collective healing and liberation, both for ourselves and for the natural world. Code: WN3D19. WES "SCOOP" NISKER serves on the Spirit Rock Teachers Council, and is a meditation teacher, author, radio commentator, and performer. His books include Essential Crazy Wisdom and Crazy Wisdom Saves the World Again! JOANNA MACY, PhD, is a scholar of Buddhism, systems theory, and deep ecology. As the root teacher of the Work That Reconnects, she has created a groundbreaking framework for personal and social change. Her books include World as Lover, World as Self and Coming Back to Life: Practices to Reconnect Our Lives, Our World.

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NON-RESIDENTIAL RETREATS

NOV

03 SUN

CULTIVATING COURAGE: FEARLESSLY STANDING IN TRUTH JAMES BARAZ | 10:00 AM–4:30 PM

In wanting to stretch ourselves, whether through our personal aspirations or through supporting others, doubt disguised as wisdom can cloud our minds. "Who am I to do that? What if I fail? What if people don't approve?" In this day together, we'll explore how dharma teachings can help us see through the misperception of our small sense of self to align with a truth that is beyond our personal ego, fears, and doubts. In doing so, we can cultivate the courage to overcome these obstacles and allow ourselves to be used as a force for good while inspiring others to do the same. Code: JB2D19. JAMES BARAZ–See bio on page 15.

NOV

08 FRI

MINDING THE BODY: A SOMATIC EXPLORATION OF EMOTIONS

True happiness is our true nature, our natural state, and our birthright. True happiness is all there is. Why would we ever choose anything else? —Howard Cohn

JILL SATTERFIELD | 10:00 AM–5:00 PM

6 CE CREDITS AVAILABLE Our bodies experience both thoughts and emotions before they are recognized, and they often go unnoticed in our daily lives. Profoundly impacted and shaped by thoughts and emotions, our bodies are treasure troves for self-reflection, insight, and eventually, freedom. There is a good reason that the Buddha highlighted the body as the first foundation of mindfulness! By exploring the felt sense, or a culmination of an internal awareness of breath, sensations, thoughts, and emotions, we’ll learn how to witness and be more fully embodied in our present moment experience. Through cultivating a deeper understanding of this body-mind unification, we will discover how to develop a greater appreciation of our choices when responding to life in each moment. Code: JS4D19. JILL SATTERFIELD is an international mindfulness and meditation teacher, wellness program director, speaker, and coach. Jill's integration of mindfulness and embodiment practices includes somatic therapy and contemplative psychology. She has been in the field of integrating mindfulness into health care and wellness for over 35 years.

SPIRIT ROCK | SEP–DEC 2019

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NON-RESIDENTIAL RETREATS

NOV

09 SAT

RESTORING WELL-BEING WITH QIGONG AND MEDITATION TEJA BELL | 10:00 AM–4:30 PM

This day retreat will bring together the two rivers of meditation and qigong. This confluence of practice is a direct pathway to calming and strengthening our nervous system and restoring balance to the mind, body, and spirit. Explore how the integration of these wisdom traditions supports both the effectiveness and joy of our practice. Connect attention and mindfulness with equanimity as skillful means to more fully embody compassionate presence and well-being. In community, learn how these practices can open gateways to insight and wisdom. This daylong retreat will include periods of guided and silent meditation, qigong, and dharma teachings. Code: TJ1D19.

NOV

15 FRI

6 CE CREDITS AVAILABLE We will be working with teachings of Buddhism, how to stay present and embodied in the moment, aware of and working with mind states that create obstacles to awakening, while cultivating qualities that enhance well-being. This will include the exploration of craving and grasping and cultivation of compassion. We will explore both the Buddhist and scientific views of stress, craving, grasping, and compassion. The teachings will be offered within a traditional practice day of sitting meditation, walking, and movement, including loving-kindness and compassion practices. Code: AL2D19.

TEJA BELL (Fudo Myoo Roshi) is a Rinzai Zen master, the 85th ancestor of the lineage of Lin-Chi I-Chuan. He teaches dharma and meditation as embodied mindfulness through the integrating embodiment skills with healing dharma, and has taught over 100 retreats at Spirit Rock since 1999.

NOV

10

SUN

VENERABLE JAMPA SANGMO is a Tibetan Buddhist nun. She was first introduced to the Buddha's teachings through Vipassana meditation. In 1993 she began her studies in Tibetan Buddhism with several Buddhist masters, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama. She lives in San Francisco and teaches meditation. ELISSA EPEL, PhD, a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UCSF, studies stress resilience and meditation, and associations with eating, metabolism, and cell aging. She co-leads retreats integrating mind-body science with meditation. She is co-author of the 2017 New York Times best-seller The Telomere Effect.

COMING HOME TO WISDOM: WOMEN'S DAY RETREAT KATE MUNDING | 10:00 AM–4:30 PM

Practicing the dharma in a collective of women can be a particularly powerful experience. There can be an extra element of safety, connection, and community while holding with reverence the diversity of the female experience. We will explore tracing our present-day experiences back to some of the lineages of women in the Buddhist tradition. Themes of strength, deep wisdom, and fierce compassion will be interwoven throughout the retreat. Our day together will be spent practicing the dharma through meditation, movement, storytelling, dharma chats, and song. Code: MG3D19. KATE MUNDING serves on the Spirit Rock Teachers Council and is a guiding teacher for the Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley. She has practiced meditation in the Theravada tradition since 2004, and is the founder of Heart-Mind Education, providing mindfulness-based education programs, trainings, and resources to students and the adults in their lives.

COMING HOME TO THE DHARMA: CULTIVATING EMBODIMENT & COMPASSION VENERABLE JAMPA SANGMO, ELISSA EPEL AND ANDREA LIEBERSTEIN 10:00 AM–5:00 PM

ANDREA LIEBERSTEIN, MPH, RD, RYT, is a mindful eating expert, mindfulness-based stress reduction instructor, registered dietitian, nutritionist, mindfulness-based coach, and registered yoga instructor. She has been teaching mindfulness meditation since 1993.

NOV

16

SAT

WHO ARE WE? EXPLORING OUR "SELVES" AND IDENTITIES HOWARD COHN | 10:00 AM–4:30 PM

5.5 CE CREDITS AVAILABLE We will explore the nature of ego and the pressure that comes with trying to be "someone." With insight meditation, we can make peace with our various identities and views of our "selves." Together in community, we will settle our minds and bodies. We will use the healing tools of mindfulness and loving-kindness to relate to the activity of self with balance and openness, perhaps even "loving the house that ego built." The day will include sitting and walking in silence, as well as dharma talks and discussion. Code: HC5D19. HOWARD COHN–See page 22 for bio.

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NON-RESIDENTIAL RETREATS

NOV

17

SUN

TRANS, GENDER EXPANSIVE, AND ALLY DAY RETREAT FRESH “LEV” WHITE AND RENÉ RIVERA 10:00 AM–4:30 PM

This program is for the trans community, who may invite close ones to attend. We ask that allies attend only as a guest of a trans or gender expansive identified person. During this month of Transgender Remembrance, we are also drawing closer to the holiday season. How do we hold ourselves compassionately during these times? Led by trans-identified teachers and experienced practitioners, we are bringing together all-gendered folks for an opportunity to explore and practice in support of implementing, complementing, and/or expanding our practices with compassion, self-love, and selfcare. There will be guided and walking meditation, discussion, Q&A, and a community-building potluck lunch. Please bring food to share. A kind reminder, please respect the container: no photography or video recording as always for Spirit Rock programs. Code: FR3D19. FRESH “LEV” WHITE discovered meditation in the '80s and has been practicing, training, and teaching at the East Bay Meditation Center since 2012. Founder of the Bay Area’s first Trans, GQ Mindfulness sangha, he is also a contributor to Real World Mindfulness for Beginners and an upcoming Trans Buddhist Anthology. RENÉ RIVERA is a bridge-builder, working and learning in all spaces in between race, gender, and other perceived binaries, as a queer, mixed-race, transman. René is a teacher at the East Bay Meditation Center and has held leadership roles there and at Spirit Rock, working to make the dharma accessible for LGBTQI, disabled, and People of Color communities.

Being mindful requires us to be in the moment with whatever is happening within or around us. A regular mindfulness practice allows us an opportunity to be more present and aware, so that we can be more in choice when it comes to behaviors we want to change. —Fresh "Lev" White

SPIRIT ROCK | SEP–DEC 2019

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NON-RESIDENTIAL RETREATS

NOV

23 SAT

AWAKENING TO THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS JOHN MARTIN | 10:00 AM–4:30 PM

Practicing with the Four Noble Truths supports freeing the heart from all confusion. The Buddha’s teachings on these Truths offer a practical framework to inspire our practice and to support understanding of the Noble Truths of the unreliable nature of life, the cause of our suffering, the potential for realizing freedom from suffering, and the path of practice leading to the end of suffering. Practicing wisely with these Truths, we open to the possibility of peace in any moment, and to a transformative peace. The day will including sitting and walking meditations, instructions, short talks, and time for questions. Code: JN3D19. JOHN MARTIN teaches Vipassana, metta, and LGBTQI themed meditation retreats. He leads an ongoing Monday evening meditation group in San Francisco. John has had a dedicated practice while being engaged in the working world and emphasizes practice for daily life. He serves on the Spirit Rock Teachers Council.

NOV

24

SUN

A PATH FOR COUPLES: JOYFUL CONNECTION, MINDFUL COMMUNICATION DEBRA CHAMBERLIN-TAYLOR AND GEORGE TAYLOR | 10:00 AM–4:30 PM

5.5 CE CREDITS AVAILABLE Most couples envision sharing a life of love, joy, and inner discovery. Then somewhere along the way, we feel as though we are bushwhacking through a thicket of life’s issues. We ask, “Is there a map or trail that will guide us on our journey?” This workshop offers a path for couples that leads partners toward the treasures hidden in our hearts. We discover that a joyful, awakened connection is possible. Guided partner meditations and practices will give us tools to reignite the spark of an alive and growing love, which can be done in an ongoing way at home. Code: DG2D19. DEBRA CHAMBERLIN-TAYLOR–See page 28 for bio. GEORGE TAYLOR, MFT, has been a licensed couples counselor for 25 years and married to Debra ChamberlinTaylor for 35. He is the author of A Path for Couples. His great joy is in seeing couples find the deep well of love and laughter that a committed relationship offers to them.

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NON-RESIDENTIAL RETREATS

NOV

29 FRI

GRACE AND GRATITUDE: YOGA AND MEDITATION ASHLEY SHARP | 10:00 AM–4:30 PM

”To be healed, we must come with all the other creatures to the feast of creation."—Wendell Berry This special holiday retreat will introduce mindfulness through yoga techniques and mindfulness meditation. Join together in community to rest into the bounty of the season and enrich your sense of connection with the world. The yoga asana will be basic, accessible, and focused on the cultivation of mindfulness. Yogic breathing practices will be introduced. Newcomers will have the opportunity to learn about mindfulness, and experienced practitioners will have the opportunity to explore deepening practice. Come prepared to explore the present moment! Code: SP1D19.

DEC

01

SUN

30 01 SAT

SUN

2-DAY NON-RESIDENTIAL RETREAT AWAKENING THE HEART: PRACTICING THE DIVINE ABODES DONALD ROTHBERG | 10:00 AM–5:00 PM

12 CE CREDITS AVAILABLE The Divine Abodes (brahma-viharas) of loving-kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity, are the places of the open, awakened heart. We will learn the formal practices of lovingkindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity, and offer guidance for bringing these practices into daily life. All of these practices strengthen self-confidence, self-acceptance, generosity of spirit, and steadiness of mind and heart, revealing our fundamental kindness. The retreat will be held in the context of silence, alternating sitting meditation and walking meditation. Core instructions in the different practices will be offered, along with talks, discussion, and brief daily guided movement sessions. Code: DR4M19. DONALD ROTHBERG–See page 18 for bio.

NOLIWE ALEXANDER | 10:00 AM–4:30 PM

OPEN TO ALL SELF-IDENTIFIED PEOPLE OF COLOR Together we’ll explore through our stories what it means to deepen our connections in wise relations and how to walk together on the path to liberation. Speaking our truths and uniting in circles, we'll connect to our divine natures and cultivate loving friendliness, compassion, and joy toward ourselves and our chosen family. We will engage in mindful meditation reflections, walking meditation, interactive exercises, and circle truth telling. This day retreat will still our minds, open our hearts, and have us rejoicing in the glory of “belonging.” Bring a friend! Code: NA1D19. NOLIWE ALEXANDER teaches throughout the Bay Area, facilitating community workshops and Buddhist meditation class series programs. She dedicates much of her teaching to POC, LGBTQI, and elder communities. A graduate of Spirit Rock's CDL4, she is currently in the Spirit Rock Teacher Training program.

ASHLEY SHARP has studied yoga, meditation, and Buddhadharma in the United States, India, and Myanmar, having trained specifically in insight meditation, yoga asana, yoga therapy, and yoga nidra. She founded Insight Richmond, a community-based meditation group, and completed Spirit Rock’s Dedicated Practitioner Program and Community Dharma Leaders Program.

NOV DEC

HOLY LIFE THROUGH SPIRITUAL FRIENDSHIP

DEC

06 FRI

FREEDOM FROM THE INNER CRITIC MARK COLEMAN | 10:00 AM–5:00 PM

6 CE CREDITS AVAILABLE Do you experience the painful effects of self-judgment, from telling yourself you’re not good enough? If you wish to better understand and be free from your inner critic, then this day is for you. During our time together, we will explore how to: • Recognize judging thoughts • See the functions and limitations of the inner critic • Deal effectively with self-judgment and inner critic attacks • Distinguish between negative judgment and wise discernment • Develop greater self-acceptance, self-compassion, and forgiveness This practical, experiential day retreat will include talks, interactive exercises, and mindfulness and kindness techniques, taught with lightness, compassion, and finding humor with our humanness. Code: MC7D19. MARK COLEMAN–See page 14 for bio.

SPIRIT ROCK | SEP–DEC 2019

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NON-RESIDENTIAL RETREATS

DEC

07 SAT

CHANTING, MEDITATION, AND WINTER SOLSTICE RITUAL JAI UTTAL AND DEBRA CHAMBERLIN-TAYLOR 7:15 PM–10:15 PM

The great love and sacred light that this season celebrates are found within our own hearts. We will use the powerful and sublime blend of chanting and meditation to carry us from the frenzy of “holiday mind” to the ocean of the awakened heart. This evening will include chanting (call and response) and meditation. We will conclude with a beautiful candlelight ritual to honor the winter solstice. Code: JA3E19. JAI UTTAL—In 30 years of commitment to the spiritual practice of kirtan, Jai Uttal has cultivated a voice and musical style that carries the listener into the heart of devotion, prayer, and healing, and to an ecstatic remembrance of the divine. DEBRA CHAMBERLIN-TAYLOR has been leading retreats since 1978. In addition to practicing Vipassana, she has been influenced by Dzogchen and Diamond Heart®. She also leads workshops on embodiment of awareness and conscious relationships.

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NON-RESIDENTIAL RETREATS

DEC

07 SAT

HONORING ALL LIFE: EXPLORING THE FIRST PRECEPT OF NON-HARMING BOB STAHL, RICHARD SHANKMAN & FRIENDS 10:00 AM–4:00 PM

What is our highest aspiration for living a life of non-harming? What can support us to live more fully aligned with these aspirations? This day retreat will explore the first precept of nonharming, which is the foundation of the remaining four precepts. In light of non-harming, how do we reconcile eating meat or wearing leather? How do we deal with termites, mosquitos, flies, rats, or bacteria? How do we feel about using products that may hurt animals? Together, we’ll explore these aspects of non-harming in our modern world. The day will include the film, Animals and the Buddha, panel discussion, and Q&A. Code: BS2D19. BOB STAHL, PhD, directs MBSR programs at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz and El Camino Hospital in Mountain View and Los Gatos. He is the guiding teacher at Insight Santa Cruz.

DEC

DEC

SAT

SUN

07 08

2-DAY NON-RESIDENTIAL RETREAT GRATITUDE AND GENEROSITY: REALIZING THE ABUNDANT HEART SUSIE HARRINGTON | 10:00 AM–4:30 PM

It is often said that if you feel short on time, do something for someone; if you feel scarcity, offer to share with others. We are often confused about what is enough and how to cultivate gratitude and appreciation for all that is present. We can get caught in thinking how things could be better, more, different, when in fact the precious jewels of connection, care, and a generous heart are already here. In this weekend retreat, we will practice and inquire, exploring the natural flow of giving and receiving that is the source of all connection, all life, and an expression of the fundamental truth of interconnection. Code: HN1M19. SUSIE HARRINGTON teaches meditation nationwide and is the guiding teacher for Desert Dharma, which serves many communities in the Southwest near her home in Moab, UT. She is a graduate of the Spirit Rock/IMS/IRC Teacher Training Program, and co-leader of the Spirit Rock Advanced Practitioners Program.

RICHARD SHANKMAN teaches at dharma centers and groups nationally, including Spirit Rock and IMS. He has been a meditator since 1970 and is the guiding teacher of the Metta Dharma Foundation in Berkeley, CA.

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NON-RESIDENTIAL RETREATS

DEC

08 SUN

DANA (BY DONATION) DAY BLAZING THE TRAIL: THE BUDDHA'S DISCOVERY OF THE DHARMA AYYA ANANDABODHI, VEN. DHAMMADIPA, AND ISABELITA PAPA | 9:00 AM–5:00 PM

LIVESTREAM AVAILABLE During this day of practice, we will take inspiration from the Buddha’s own stories of his discovery of the Path to Awakening. Delving into his journey and the truths he discovered, we will discover our own capacity to realize those truths within us. The day will be held in Noble Silence with dharma teachings, guided and silent meditation and Q&A, and qigong. Code: NU2G19. Lunch: Bring lunch for yourself and food to share with the monastics and fellow participants. See spiritrock.org for more details. AYYA ANANDABODHI has practiced meditation since 1989 and lived in Amaravati and Chithurst monasteries in the UK for 18 years. In 2009, she moved to the US to help establish Aloka Vihara, a training monastery for women, where she now resides. VEN. DHAMMADIPA is a resident samaneri at Aloka Vihara Forest Monastery since 2018, and Dharma Heir in the Shunryu Suzuki lineage of Soto Zen. She was ordained a Zen nun in 2007, after 20 years of lay practice. Ven. Dhammadipa is an interfaith hospice chaplain and a mother. ISABELITA PAPA is certified to teach Dayan Qigong, Mindful Pilates, and restorative yoga and is a Compassionate Communication facilitator. She offers classes in the San Francisco Bay Area, Mexico, and Hawaii.

DEC

13 FRI

AN EXPLORATION OF AWAKENING HOWARD COHN | 10:00 AM–4:30 PM

5.5 CE CREDITS AVAILABLE What do we mean by awakening? If we are following the Buddha's way, what are we awakening from, and what are we awakening to? During this day of insight meditation supported by loving-kindness, we will explore the process of awakening from confusion to clarity, isolation to interbeing, self-judgment to self-compassion, ill-will to love, agitation to calm, doubt to faith, and suffering to freedom. Our time together will include periods of guided and walking meditation, discussion, and Q&A. Code: HC6D19. HOWARD COHN–See page 22 for bio.

DEC

14

SAT

OPENING INTO ALLNESS RICK HANSON | 10:00 AM–4:30 PM

5.5 CE CREDITS AVAILABLE Modern brain science is shedding light on the underlying neuropsychology of deep experiences of present-moment awareness, integrated wholeness of mind, and the sense of interdependent connection with nature and physical reality. We can use these new findings in very practical ways to relax the contracted sense of self, and to rest increasingly in resilient well-being. This experiential day retreat will explore neural factors of steadying attention, how to stimulate and strengthen neural networks that support present-moment awareness and integrated wholeness, our egocentric and “allocentric” neural networks, and how to shift in a more allocentric direction. Code: RH4D19. RICK HANSON, PhD, is a psychologist, senior fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and New York Times best-selling author. He is the author of several books, including Resilient, Hardwiring Happiness, and Buddha's Brain.

As soon as we remember that we are caught in a story of self, the Path appears. —Ayya Anandabodhi

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NON-RESIDENTIAL RETREATS

DEC

DEC

SAT

SUN

14 15

2-DAY NON-RESIDENTIAL RETREAT BOUNCING BACK, MOVING FORWARD: RESILIENCE & POST-TRAUMATIC GROWTH LINDA GRAHAM | 10:00 AM–5:00 PM

12 CE CREDITS AVAILABLE We do learn and grow from meeting the challenges and adversities of the human condition when they have enough support, resources, and skills to do so. This retreat explores how we can learn to cope resiliently with the trials, even tragedies, of our lives, and find a deeper sense of meaning, purpose, and fulfillment through our process of recovery. We will learn how to apply practices of somatic, emotional, relational, and reflective intelligence to five factors that predict genuine post-traumatic growth, as well as explore ways to reverse the impacts of stress and trauma, and move into thriving and flourishing. Code: LG1M19.

DEC

21

SAT

PAWAN BAREJA, PhD, has a body-oriented counseling practice based on Peter Levine's Somatic Experiencing™ work for coping with trauma and life changes, and is also an assistant in SE Trainings. She is currently in the Spirit Rock Teacher Training program.

DEC

22

SUN

DEC

15

SUN

THE ART AND PRACTICE OF FORGIVENESS PHILLIP MOFFITT AND NOLIWE ALEXANDER 9:30 AM–4:30 PM

6 CE CREDITS AVAILABLE The art of forgiveness begins with connecting to the heart. The practice involves learning skills such as metta, mindful acknowledgment, and compassion. This is a day to bring remorse or grief about your past actions and move beyond feelings of guilt and shame. Likewise, if someone has wronged you, you will be guided toward holding them in accountability without closing your heart. Additionally, forgiveness practice will move you toward acceptance and clarity for the ways you have let yourself down. Practicing forgiveness allows you move from a remorseful heart and a reactive mind to lightheartedness and peace of mind. Code: PM2D19. PHILLIP MOFFITT–See page 17 for bio. NOLIWE ALEXANDER–See page 20 for bio.

PAWAN BAREJA | 10:00 AM–4:30 PM

5.5 CE CREDITS AVAILABLE | LIVESTREAM AVAILABLE Our desire for love is a basic human need. During this festive season, we often attempt to nurture ourselves through holiday gatherings and reconnecting over social media. But we can still feel disconnected, lonely, isolated, or even depressed. In this retreat, we'll experience how the ancient yet simple Buddhist practice of loving-kindness (metta) helps create a sense of wholeness and wellness for our minds and hearts. We’ll explore the health benefits of metta practice, and learn to cultivate tenderness, warmth, and compassion for ourselves and others through love, peace, strength, and well-being. Guided meditation, experiential exercises, and mindful movement will be included. Code: PB2D19.

LINDA GRAHAM–See page 18 for bio.

Understanding our common humanity brings us out of isolation into connection and resources again. —Linda Graham

RECONNECTING: NOURISHMENT, SUPPORT, AND LOVE DURING THE HOLIDAYS

THE WISDOM OF AGING: MINDFULNESS MEDITATION AND THE FELDENKRAIS® METHOD DAN CLURMAN AND WES NISKER 10:00 AM–5:00 PM

6 CE CREDITS AVAILABLE In this day retreat, we’ll explore how we can move through our experience of aging with more wisdom and ease. As we age, we often sense our priorities changing: less compulsion to achieve, a keener awareness of mortality and the preciousness of life, an increased sense of gratitude, and compassion for our common humanity. During our time together, we’ll reflect on these matters, practice meditation, and experience the renowned technique of the Feldenkrais Method, a practice that can keep aging bodies flexible and balanced. Join us for dharma teachings, mindful movement exercises, and contemplative inquiry to bring forth the wisdom of aging. Code: WN4D19. DAN CLURMAN, MA, is a certified Feldenkrais® Practitioner and personal coach. He integrates somatic awareness into his work as a coach and organizational trainer in communication skills. WES NISKER–See bio on page 22.

SPIRIT ROCK | SEP–DEC 2019

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NON-RESIDENTIAL RETREATS

DEC

27 FRI

KEEP COMING BACK: DHARMA, RECOVERY, AND RENEWAL KEVIN GRIFFIN | 10:00 AM–4:30 PM

5.5 CE CREDITS AVAILABLE Our dharma practice and recovery program both rest on the foundation of intention and commitment. One day at a time, one breath at a time, we keep coming back to the present moment and our wish to be free. This day retreat will focus on preparing for the new year with a clear vision of our path, whether we are just establishing our recovery, renewing our commitment, or maintaining our program and practice. Through mindfulness meditations, lecture, interactive exercises, and personal reflection, we seek fresh inspiration for a year of growth and happiness. All welcome: newcomers, 12-steppers, Refuge Recovery, or just the curious. Code: KG1D19. KEVIN GRIFFIN is known for his innovative work connecting dharma and recovery, especially through his 2004 book One Breath at a Time: Buddhism and the Twelve Steps. He teaches at dharma centers, wellness centers, and secular mindfulness settings. His latest book is Living Kindness: Buddhist Teachings for a Troubled World.

DEC

DEC

SAT

SUN

28 29

2-DAY NON-RESIDENTIAL RETREAT FINDING YOUR LIFE'S DEEP CURRENT: A WRITING WEEKEND RETREAT ROGER HOUSDEN | 10:00 AM–4:30 PM

We are here to unfold the mysteries of our true identity and the unique story of our life. Our truest story lies in the deep heart. This writing retreat encourages you to explore what you may never have fully given voice to the faint whispers that may arrive in the night, in a moment of silence at the dinner table, alone under the stars, or on some hilltop. We shall explore your deeper heart's desires, the truths you may know but have been afraid to act on, and the courage required to claim them. Code: RR3M19. ROGER HOUSDEN is the author of 23 books on poetry, art, and travel as pilgrimage. His work includes the best-selling Ten Poems to Change Your Life series, and his latest book, Dropping the Struggle: Seven Ways to Love the Life You Have.

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NON-RESIDENTIAL RETREATS

RELEASE THE PAST, CELEBRATE THE PRESENT... DEC

31

TUE

RECONNECT, RENEW AND REAWAKEN: A NEW YEAR'S EVE CELEBRATION TEJA BELL, VERLINDA MONTOYA, MELANIE DEMORE, AND DAVIDA TAUREK 7:30 PM–12:30 AM

Join us in community to ring in the new year! In this special evening, we pause to honor and release the past, celebrate the gift of the present, and set intentions for the future. Reconnect, renew, and reawaken in community! This celebration brings together spiritual practices and rituals from the Theravada, Zen, Gullah, 5Rhythms, qigong, Lakota, and Hopi traditions. Our time together will include periods of meditation, sound healing, mindful movement, musical performances, wisdom teachings, dance, reflections, and an end-of-the-year guided ritual. Spirit Rock will provide snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. Dress up, dress down, come as you truly are! All are warmly welcome. Code: TJ1S19. TEJA BELL (Fudo Myoo Roshi) is a Rinzai Zen master, the 85th ancestor of the lineage of Lin-Chi I-Chuan. He teaches dharma and meditation as embodied mindfulness through the integrating embodiment skills with healing dharma, and has taught over 100 retreats at Spirit Rock since 1999.

JAN

01

WED

RETREAT FOR NEW YEAR’S DAY 2020 SYLVIA BOORSTEIN AND FRIENDS 10:00 AM–4:30 PM

LIVESTREAM AVAILABLE In the spirit of beginning again, with renewed zeal for the promised goal of a mind liberated from suffering and a heart available for impartial, compassionate response, we’ll spend this day practicing mindfulness and metta meditation. Experienced and new practitioners will equally enjoy the combination of short teachings on the Eightfold Path, emphasizing the relevance of each Path part to a dedicated practice life on retreat as well as in daily life. Meditation sessions will be followed by question-andanswer sessions so that participants can receive guidance on their practice. Code: SB1D20. Livestream code: SB1L20. SYLVIA BOORSTEIN, PhD, has been teaching since 1985 and teaches both Vipassana and metta meditation. Her many books include That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Buddhist and Happiness Is an Inside Job.

VERLINDA MONTOYA is an elder, medicine woman, and spiritual leader from the Picuris Pueblo of New Mexico. She founded Heart of Humanity.

MELANIE DEMORE is a Grammy-nominated Vocal Activist, helping to preserve the African American folk tradition through song and Gullah stick pounding. Her career spans 30 years dedicated to the things that connect all of us through teaching, conducting, directing, and inspiring us, using her voice as weapon of mass connection. DAVIDA TAUREK has a background in counseling psychology, the creative arts, and body-centered therapies. She is associate faculty at Prescott College, teaches at The Esalen Institute, and is a certified instructor of Watsu®,WaterDance®, Motion Theater®, and 5Rhythms®.

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FAMILY PROGRAMS

FAMILY AND YOUTH PROGRAMS

DEC

JAN

FRI

WED

27 01

NEW YEAR'S TEEN MEDITATION RETREAT MATTHEW BRENSILVER, MARV BELZER, AND DAWN SCOTT

5 nights, Friday–Wednesday PREREQUISITE: FOR TEENS AGES 15–19 YEARS OLD.

The Spirit Rock Family Program supports families in planting the seeds of the dharma in their daily lives. Through classes, day retreats, and residential retreats, families, youth, and parents learn to slow down, savor the present moment, and reconnect with the wholesome qualities of heart and mind.

NOV

02 SAT

FALL FAMILY DAY KATE MUNDING AND EVE DECKER 10:30 AM–3:00 PM

Family Days are a wonderful opportunity to connect with your children, yourself, and a community of supportive peers. Come play, share, learn, and open your heart! We start our morning with a program for everyone, weaving the theme of the day into songs, skits, and family activities. During the second half of the day, youth ages 4–14 will attend age-appropriate groups with our experienced Spirit Rock mindfulness leaders. They will play, make art, sing songs, and practice mindfulness together. Parents of children ages 4 and older will have an opportunity to meditate, hear a talk related to parenting as practice, and connect with one another through group discussions. Code: FA4D19. VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED to assist with Family Days and attend free of charge; children are welcome to volunteer alongside an adult. For more info: volunteering@spiritrock.org or call (415) 488-0164, x224.

KATE MUNDING serves on the Spirit Rock Teachers Council and is a guiding teacher for the Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley. She has praticed meditation since 2004 and is the founder of Heart-Mind Education, providing mindfulness-based education programs and trainings to students and the adults in their lives. EVE DECKER is a graduate of Spirit Rock’s Community Dharma Leader Program. An accomplished musician, she teaches music and mindfulness to children and adults at East Bay Meditation Center, Spirit Rock, and Aurora School in Oakland.

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Get your head straight, chill out, learn to focus and appreciate life to its fullest! Explore your heart and mind. Connect with other teens in a positive, meaningful way. Reflect on the mystery and truth of your life. This retreat will be an opportunity for teenagers to explore mindfulness practice through guided periods of silent sitting and walking meditation, small group discussions, creative activities, and unstructured free time. Besides learning meditation practices, there will also be time to go for walks, playing music, telling stories, and enjoying each other's company. Since meditation practice may be new to some teens, each period of sitting and walking meditation will be limited to 30 minutes. Facilitators will be available to give extra support to teens whenever needed. Meals are vegetarian and are prepared with the tastes and preferences of young people in mind. Code: 322R19.

AUG

SEP

FRI

SUN

30 01

ABHAYAGIRI TEEN RETREAT AJAHN KARUNADHAMMO, AJAHN NYANIKO, AND FOREST FEIN 2 nights, Friday–Sunday

A DANA (BY DONATION) RETREAT A group of 14-to-19-year-olds and Spirit Rock Family Program teachers will travel from Spirit Rock to Abhayagiri Monastery in Redwood Valley, Mendocino County, for a weekend of camping and practice with the Abhayagiri Monastic Community. Teens participate in the monastic schedule, which includes periods of meditation and chanting, working and hiking on the land, and teachings from the monastics. To maintain a lifestyle of simplicity while at the monastery, participants will take the Eight Precepts, which include not overindulging in sleep and not eating a full meal after noon. This retreat is offered by donation. Code: TE1R19.

FOR TEACHER BIOS—Please see spiritrock.org/family-programs.

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NOV

SUN

SUN

29 10

FAMILY PROGRAMS

FALL TEEN MEDITATION SERIES MEI ELLIOTT AND KODO CONLIN 1ST FIVE SUNDAYS: 6:00 PM–8:30 PM 6TH & FINAL SUNDAY: 11:00 AM–3:00 PM

6-WEEK CLASS SERIES ALL TEENS IN HIGH SCHOOL AND BEYOND ARE WELCOME!

Learn meditation, relax deeply, speak your truth, and develop your mind—all while hanging out with other great people your age. Through the practices of mindfulness and insight meditation, we take the time to reconnect to ourselves in order to experience more peace, wisdom, and compassion. Classes will include movement, community-building games, meditation instruction, and council, a practice of witnessing the group’s collective wisdom. The Teen series will culminate with a half-day of practice and a potluck celebration. The middle school series will culminate with an evening potluck. During the series for both the teens and middle schoolers, parents are welcome to read, meditate, and connect with each other in the Spirit Rock foyer. Code: TE5C19. STEPHANIE “MEI” ELLIOTT first encountered mindfulness teachings 18 years ago and has spent the last several years living as a Zen monk Mei is a mentor for the Spirit Rock Family Program, Inward Bound Mindfulness Education, and currently facilitates Young Urban Zen, a sangha for young adults.

KODO CONLIN is a Zen priest based in San Francisco. Passionate about long-term retreat practice, Kodo practices as part of Spirit Rock’s 2019-2020 APP, and is a member of the Right Use of Power Teachers Guild. He delights in sharing the joy and freedom of practice.

SEP

NOV

SUN

SUN

29 03

FALL MIDDLE SCHOOL MEDITATION SERIES GAVRILA ABRAMSON AND SARWANG PARIKH 5 SUNDAYS: SEPTEMBER 29–NOVEMBER 3 6:30 PM–8:30 PM

5-WEEK CLASS SERIES—ALL TWEENS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL WELCOME!

See description for Fall Teen Meditation Series. Code: TE6C19. GAVRILA ABRAMSON is a devoted mindfulness practitioner, educator, and writer. Dedicated to healing trauma and reconnecting to the body, she will soon be embarking on a master's program to study somatic psychology. Inspired by teaching mindfulness to teens and incarcerated women, Gavrila will continue to spread the brilliance of the dharma. SARWANG PARIKH is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has been working with young people over 12 years now as a therapist and mindfulness teacher through East Bay Meditation Center and Seeds of Awareness. Sarwang currently lives and works out of the East Bay.

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RESIDENTIAL RETREATS

RESIDENTIAL RETREATS For 2,600 years, silent meditation retreats have been a central part of the Buddhist Path of Awakening. Time in retreat allows us to step out of the complexity of our lives to listen deeply to our bodies, hearts, and minds. Spirit Rock retreats combine the fertile atmosphere of silence with time for meditation and walks in nature, supported by systematic Buddhist teachings. Careful guidance and training is offered in meditation. Most retreats are suitable for both new and more experienced students of meditation. Residential retreats last from a few days to a full two-month retreat, and all retreats are silent with some exceptions. Find inspiration for planning your next retreat on the following pages. For complete details of specific retreats, visit spiritrock.org/calendar/retreats. If you are able to attend a retreat on short notice, please join a waitlist as spaces regularly open up. For more information, contact Retreats@spiritrock.org or (415) 488-0164 x247 or x252. 36

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RESIDENTIAL RETREATS

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RESIDENTIAL RETREATS

GENERAL INFORMATION

RESIDENTIAL RETREATS SEP

SEP

TUE

SUN

10 15

MINDFULNESS AND HEARTFULNESS FOR INSIGHT AND LIBERATION ANUSHKA FERNANDOPULLE, BONNIE DURAN, JESSE MACEO VEGA-FREY

5 nights, Tuesday–Sunday Join us to develop a clear, kind presence of mind and heart that can support becoming a more wise, balanced, compassionate human being. This retreat will emphasize a relaxed continuity of attention in sitting, walking, eating, and other daily activities that can also benefit your daily life practice. Come explore the deep well-being and peace available from understanding the dharma deeply and learning to live with awareness. We will enter into a contemplative Buddhist retreat period, simplifying our lives by letting go of reading, writing, cellphones, computers, sexual activity, and recreational drugs/alcohol to help settle our minds and hearts. You will be expected to enter the retreat on the opening day and stay for the duration. The retreat will be supported by guided meditations, dharma talks, and time for questions in small groups. Code: 284R19.

SEP

SEP

16 22

MON SUN

FINDING FREEDOM IN THE BODY MARY GRACE ORR, BOB STAHL, CHRISTIANE WOLF, MARCY REYNOLDS (QIGOING)

6 nights, Monday–Sunday 15 CE CREDITS AVAILABLE This retreat is suitable for both beginning and experienced meditators. We will work primarily with the first of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness—mindfulness of the body. The 32 Parts of the Body meditation has rarely been taught in the West; you will be introduced to it from an insight perspective of the true nature and wonders of the body. This practice has also been used for healing illness and most importantly to help eradicate the erroneous view of self. Various methods will be taught to strengthen mindfulness of the body and to explore the mind/body connection. We will follow the usual format of an insight meditation (Vipassana) retreat, with periods of sitting and walking meditation, as well as qigong sessions for further exploration of mindfulness of the body. Code: 286R19.

FEES Spirit Rock deeply welcomes anyone with an interest in studying the dharma and practicing insight meditation. We offer scholarships and work exchange opportunities. Residential retreats vary in fees, and always have a sliding scale. We encourage those who can pay at the top of the sliding scale to offer what they can, knowing they’re supporting a practitioner paying at the bottom of the scale.

Residential retreat fees: $99+/night to $150+/night. Single room guarantee rates are available, as well as non-residential rates. All rates include three meals a day unless noted. In addition to the registration fees, which cover only a portion of the true retreat fees, all residential retreat practitioners are invited to support retreat teachers and retreat staff (retreat managers and cooks) by offering restricted donations. Teacher and staff “Dana” is a form of practice and a way to support teachers and retreat staff at Spirit Rock who offer their teachings to retreatants.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE, WORK EXCHANGE, AND YOUNG ADULT RATES Financial assistance is available for all residential retreats through our scholarship fund; although Spirit Rock offers almost $500,000 in scholarships each year, we still find there are limited funds available for each retreat, so apply early. For all residential retreats, we offer a limited number of young adult rates, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis. We do not have a senior rate for residential retreats. We strongly encourage you to apply for a scholarship if you require financial assistance. For most retreats, we have two work retreatant roles—one in the kitchen and one in housekeeping. To apply as a work retreatant, you must meet the criteria outlined on our website. Spirit Rock deeply welcomes anyone with an interest in studying the dharma and practicing insight meditation. We are committed to ensuring that these teachings are widely accessible so that money isn’t a barrier to your practice.

REGISTRATION Retreats open for registration four months before the start date (longer if a lottery retreat). Check our website for specific open dates. We encourage you to register online; however, you may also download an application to submit via postal mail.

CANCELLATION FEES In general, the cancellation fee schedule is as follows: $100 for cancellation eight weeks or more before a retreat; $175 for cancellation four to eight weeks before a retreat; $300 for cancellation two to four weeks before a retreat. No refunds less than two weeks prior to the retreat. To cancel a retreat reservation, contact Retreats@spiritrock.org so we have your cancellation in writing.

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RESIDENTIAL RETREATS AT A GLANCE—2019 SEPTEMBER

NOVEMBER

Aug 28 –Sep 2

Labor Day Insight Meditation Retreat

Aug 30 –Sep 1

Abhayagiri Teen Meditation Retreat

Sep 10–15

James Baraz, Sharda Rogell, Howard Cohn, Terry Vandiver (yoga)—registration opens 4/23/19 Ajahn Karunadhammo, Ajahn Nyaniko, Forest Fein registration opens 5/27/19

Mindfulness and Heartfulness for Insight and Liberation Anushka Fernandopulle, Bonnie Duran, Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey—registration opens 5/8/19

Sep 16–22

Nov 22 –Dec 1

Eugene Cash, Pamela Weiss, DaRa Williams, Erin Treat program participants only

Advanced Practitioners Program (APP2) Retreat 2 Gil Fronsdal, Susie Harington, Brian Lesage program participants only

November Insight Retreat: A Journey into Presence, Peace and Gratitude Thanissara and Kittisaro—registration opens 7/23/19

DECEMBER

Mary Grace Orr, Bob Stahl, Christiane Wolf, Marcy Reynolds (qigong) 15 CE Credits Available

Sep 16–22

Natural Liberation (Parallel) UWH*

Sep 23–29

Women’s Meditation Retreat

Dec 2–8

Erin Selover, Anna Douglas, Konda Mason, Dawn Mauricio (yoga)—registration opens 5/21/19

Moving into Meditation: Mindful Yoga and Embodied Dharma Anne Cushman, Leslie Booker, Dawn Mauricio, Sean Feit Oakes (yoga)—registration opens 5/29/19

Finding True Refuge: LGBTQI Community Meditation Retreat Anushka Fernandopulle, John Martin registration opens 7/31/19

Vinny Ferraro, Wes Nisker registration opens 5/15/19

OCTOBER

Oct 8–14

Nov 12–20

Community Dharma Leader (CDL6) Retreat 1

Finding Freedom in the Body (Parallel)

registration opens 5/15/19

Sep 30 –Oct 6

Nov 3–10

Dec 9–15

In the Presence of Love: A Metta and Qigong Retreat JoAnna Hardy, Erin Treat, Vinny Ferraro, Teja Bell (qigong) —registration opens 8/7/19

Dec 16–23

Insight Meditation Winter Solstice Retreat: Embracing the Dark, Inviting the Light Heather Sundberg, Oren Jay Sofer, John Travis registration opens 8/14/19 14 CE Credits Available

Dec 27 –Jan 5

New Year’s Insight Meditation Retreat (Lottery) Eugene Cash, Pamela Weiss, DaRa Williams lottery opens 7/24/19

The Fierce Urgency of Now: A Gathering of Buddhist Teachers & Community of Black African Descent Konda Mason, Noliwe Alexander, and others By invitation only

Oct 17–26

Fall Insight Meditation Retreat

Oct 27–31

Loving Awareness: A Retreat for Experienced Meditators (Lottery)

Phillip Moffitt, Erin Treat, Matthew Brensilver registration opens 6/19/19 9 CE Credits Available

Jack Kornfield, Trudy Goodman, Teja Bell (qigong) lottery opens 5/22/19

january–april 2020 residential retreats open for registration in fall 2019. please check spiritrock.org for more details.

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RESIDENTIAL RETREATS

SEP

SEP

16 22

MON SUN

NATURAL LIBERATION VINNY FERRARO, WES NISKER

6 nights, Monday–Sunday

Please Note: Parts of this retreat will be held outdoors surrounded by nature, depending upon weather conditions. If held indoors, this retreat will be held in the Upper Walking Hall and has limited access. During this silent retreat, we will practice the art and discipline of mindfulness meditation, with our collective intention being to train our minds and open our hearts. A significant feature of this retreat is that we will be doing some of our practice outside under ancient oak trees, letting the wisdom of nature help support us along on our path. Throughout the retreat, we will make creative use of classic Buddhist meditation practices to explore the evolutionary origin of our body and emotions; engage in traditional Buddhist reflections on death and dying; examine our nature as nature; and all the while explore the tricky delusions of mind and the mystery of consciousness itself. In the process, we expect to find relief from our personal drama and a new sense of delight and meaning in our lives. The retreat will include poetry and a little “crazy wisdom” as well. The retreat is suitable for both beginning and experienced meditation students. Code: 287R19.

SEP

SEP

23 29

MON SUN

SEP

OCT

30 06

MON SUN

MOVING INTO MEDITATION: MINDFUL YOGA AND EMBODIED DHARMA ANNE CUSHMAN, LESLIE BOOKER, DAWN MAURICIO, SEAN FEIT OAKES (YOGA)

6 nights, Monday–Sunday Nourish your body, mind, and heart in this silent retreat that blends the traditions of yoga and insight meditation (Vipassana). Through an integrated flow of meditation in movement and stillness, you discover that what we call body and what we call mind are different aspects of the same living presence. As you open, relax, energize, and attune your body and nervous system, you'll learn to sustain these qualities both in your seated meditation and in the rest of your life. You'll learn skills that can help you stay grounded, centered, and open-hearted as you take your practice off the mat and cushion and into a world that so needs it. Each day includes meditation instruction and practice; dharma teachings and discussion; meetings with teachers; silent sitting and walking meditation; and mindful yoga practice suitable to all levels of yoga experience and physical ability. Code: 300R19.

WOMEN’S MEDITATION RETREAT ERIN SELOVER, ANNA DOUGLAS, KONDA MASON, DAWN MAURICIO (YOGA)

6 nights, Monday–Sunday ALL THOSE WHO SELF-IDENTIFY AS WOMEN ARE WELCOME. Within each woman, there is an ever-flowing fountain of creative energy and innate wisdom. Within the safe and nourishing container of this silent retreat, we'll cultivate an approach to meditative practice that honors the feminine, intuitive, and embodied dimensions of a woman's spiritual journey. Join a diverse circle of women on the path of embodied presence in this meditation retreat designed to awaken and empower ourselves. Whatever your age, ethnicity, body type, or sexual orientation, as women we share a common longing to heal our hearts, honor our interconnectedness, and take empowered action in the world. We will use the tools of mindfulness meditation, lovingkindness, body-based practices, mandala drawing, and dharma talks to transform the deep conditioning that can keep us from continually expressing our essential value. Code: 288R19.

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RESIDENTIAL RETREATS

OCT

OCT

THU

SAT

17 26

FALL INSIGHT MEDITATION RETREAT PHILLIP MOFFITT, ERIN TREAT, MATTHEW BRENSILVER

9 nights, Thursday–Saturday 9 CE CREDITS AVAILABLE This retreat will emphasize quieting the mind, opening the heart, and developing clarity and depth of practice. Traditional meditation instruction will be combined with a spirit of lovingkindness and silent sitting and walking meditation, dharma talks, and practice meetings with teachers. Teachings are appropriate for health care professionals as well as the general public. Health care professionals will be able to incorporate the tools and practices offered in this program in ways beneficial to clients or patients. Code: 304R19.

OCT

OCT

SUN

THU

27 31

LOVING AWARENESS: A RETREAT FOR EXPERIENCED MEDITATORS (LOTTERY) JACK KORNFIELD, TRUDY GOODMAN, TEJA BELL (QIGONG)

4 nights, Sunday–Thursday Prerequisite: Completion of two (or more) five-night (or longer) silent, residential Vipassana (insight) meditation retreats AND a Vipassana meditation practice of five years or more. Loving awareness, practiced as mindfulness and metta, is the gateway to liberation. During this meditation retreat, as experienced practitioners, we will join together to quiet the mind, open the heart, and see our human life with the eyes of wisdom. This is a newer retreat format in which we will continue our traditional alternating periods of sitting, walking, and guided meditation; and add in daily periods of dialogue where we are engaged in Q&A sessions with the teachers and the group of practitioners attending the retreat. Code: 306R19.

NOV

DEC

FRI

SUN

22 01

NOVEMBER INSIGHT RETREAT: A JOURNEY INTO PRESENCE, PEACE AND GRATITUDE THANISSARA, KITTISARO

9 nights, Friday–Sunday This is the time of year we may think of family, friends, sharing a meal, and gratitude, and yet, in the context of our times, where the higher dream of the collective calls out for healing, reconciliation, and the recognition of deeper truths, it also is a time for contemplation and remembrance. With that comes a journey through our shared wounds, through grief, sorrow, and the need to forgive, be forgiven, to offer thanks, and be fully received. Join us at this special time of year to reflect on the deeper truths, and the joys and sorrows we collectively share, in order to hone our spirit, nourish our lives, and strengthen our capacity to meet these challenging times. We will spend our days in noble silence with the sitting and walking practices of calming and insight meditation. Supported in this sacred container, we will explore how dharma teachings and practices enable direct experiencing of innate timeless reality, enabling the heart to open into deeper understanding, compassion, and wisdom. The retreat will draw from a synthesis of Theravada—inspired by the Thai Forest Tradition of Ajahn Chah—and the Mahayana through the Chinese lineage of Master Hsuan Hua, which includes Kuan Yin practices and teachings, a focus on the Bodhisattva motivation, and the use of mantra and chanting. The ending of the retreat will include Kuan Yin’s Great Compassion Ceremony. Beside dharma talks, meditation instructions, qigong, and devotional chanting practice, there will be practice meetings with the teachers. Code: 312R19.

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RESIDENTIAL RETREATS

DEC

DEC

02 08

MON SUN

FINDING TRUE REFUGE: LGBTQI COMMUNITY MEDITATION RETREAT ANUSHKA FERNANDOPULLE, JOHN MARTIN

5 nights, Monday–Sunday

DEC

DEC

09 15

MON SUN

IN THE PRESENCE OF LOVE: A METTA AND QIGONG RETREAT JOANNA HARDY, ERIN TREAT, VINNY FERRARO, TEJA BELL (QIGONG)

6 nights, Monday–Sunday FOR SELF-IDENTIFIED MEMBERS OF THE LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDER, QUEER, AND INTERSEX COMMUNITY. All of us long for true refuge: a place of safety where we can feel well and at ease. We often seek this refuge outside of ourselves in relationships, geography, or possessions. While all of these can provide something, it turns out the best place to find true refuge is in our own heart and mind. Join us to explore the Buddha's path to well-being and happiness through meditation and dharma. We will be practicing insight meditation in silence together, engaging in mindfulness while sitting, walking, eating, working, and doing all activities. There will be guided instruction and dharma talks. You will be asked to let go of relationships, communication, phone, technology, reading, writing, recreational drugs, and alcohol during our retreat. See what you can find when all these are set aside. Code: 314R19.

We will focus on cultivating the quality of loving-kindness (metta in Pali), infusing our hearts, minds, and bodies, with a strong caring wisdom. Awareness as developed through mindfulness practice leads to clarity, insight, and understanding. Loving-kindness practices open the heart, allow a kind embrace of ourselves, and connect us intimately with all of life. Qigong is a practice of aligning breath, movement, and awareness for exercise, healing, and meditation. Qigong is traditionally viewed as a practice to cultivate and balance (chi) or what has been translated as 'intrinsic life energy.' It recognizes, cultivates, and nourishes the 'energy' aspect of our being. Qigong perfectly complements traditional sitting meditation practice and has a long history connected to contemplative traditions. Code: 316R19.

Integrate the fruits of retreat into daily life

NEXT STEP DHARMA SPIRITROCK.ORG/NEXTSTEP Meditation retreats can be powerful and transformative experiences, but how can we keep the practice alive in our fast-paced, modern society? How can we bring the values and intentions of contemplative practice into the complexity of our lives? In this six-week, online course, Spirit Rock–trained meditation teachers Oren Jay Sofer and Jaya Rudgard offer in-depth training to nourish the insights from a retreat. Enrollment in Next Step Dharma includes: • 21 short dharma talks and 16 guided meditations • 18 recorded interviews and four live Q&A sessions • six weeks of mentoring for your practice • lifetime membership in the Next Step Dharma community Next Step Dharma is an affiliate program of Spirit Rock.

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RESIDENTIAL RETREATS

2020 DEC

DEC

16 23

MON MON

INSIGHT MEDITATION WINTER SOLSTICE RETREAT: EMBRACING THE DARK, INVITING THE LIGHT HEATHER SUNDBERG, OREN JAY SOFER, JOHN TRAVIS

7 nights, Monday–Monday 14 CE CREDITS AVAILABLE In this retreat, we will emphasize centering ourselves at the time of the holidays and the New Year, through quieting our minds, grounding in our bodies, opening up our hearts, and using inquiry to help give energy to our practice. There will be a special emphasis on opening to the darkness, including to our difficulties and challenges, as well as to the coming light—to our beauty, joy, wisdom, and love. The retreat will include complete meditation instructions, sitting and walking meditation, daily lovingkindness practice, daily qigong practice, evening talks, practice discussions, and a Winter Solstice ceremony. Code: 318R19.

DEC

JAN

FRI

SUN

27 05

NEW YEAR'S INSIGHT MEDITATION RETREAT (LOTTERY) EUGENE CASH, PAMELA WEISS, DARA WILLIAMS

9 nights, Friday–Sunday This is a traditional insight meditation (Vipassana) retreat with sitting and walking in silence, and regular meetings with teachers. Each day there will be systematic meditation instructions, dharma talks and gentle yoga. We will mark the turning of the year with a late evening sitting and simple ceremony on New Year's Eve. In celebration of the New Year, our focus will be on cultivating loving awareness and embracing each moment as fresh and new. All are welcome. Code: 320R19.

ONE- AND TWO-MONTH RETREATS LOTTERY OPENS JULY 16, 2019 Prerequisites: Completion of at least 15 nights of silent residential retreat time for February- or March-only retreats or 21 nights of silent residential retreat time for the two-month retreat. These retreats should have been led by Spirit Rock, IMS, or IRC teachers, or other recognized insight meditation teachers. For your previous retreats to qualify, they must have been silent retreats and had a similar format to this retreat, with instructions, practices, and talks focused on insight meditation. Please refer to the website for specific details. An extended period of retreat offers the rare opportunity for sustained and dedicated practice. Our one- and twomonth retreats emphasize quieting the mind, opening the heart, and developing profound clarity and depth of insight practice. Instruction will follow the traditional four foundations of mindfulness, combined with training in loving-kindness and compassion, through a daily schedule of silent sitting, walking, dharma talks, and practice meetings with teachers. For the monthlong retreats only: Spirit Rock is extending the upper age limit of the young adult scholarship rate to individuals 18–32 years of age. This special rate is $40 per night. A limited number of special-rate spaces will be available. Additional scholarship funding will be offered for our POC communities.

FEBRUARY INSIGHT MEDITATION ONE-MONTH RETREAT (Lottery) February 1–29, 28 nights JAMES BARAZ, KAMALA MASTERS, TEMPEL SMITH, JOHN MARTIN, BETH STERNLIEB, SUSIE HARRINGTON Fee: $6,200–$2,800 sliding scale. Code: 334R20.

MARCH INSIGHT MEDITATION ONE-MONTH RETREAT (Lottery) February 29–March 28, 28 nights ANDREA FELLA, PHILLIP MOFFITT, EUGENE CASH, WINNIE NAZARKO, BHANTE BUDDHARAKKHITA, DARA WILLIAMS Fee: $6,200–$2,800 sliding scale. Code: 335R20.

INSIGHT MEDITATION TWO-MONTH RETREAT (Lottery) February 1–March 28, 56 nights Fee: $12,400–$5,600 sliding scale. Code: 336R20.

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the spirit rock teachers council AYYA ANANDABODHI has practiced meditation since 1989

DANA DEPALMA has practiced Insight Meditation since 1993.

and lived in Amaravati and Chithurst monasteries in the UK for 18 years. In 2009, she moved to the US to help establish Aloka Vihara, a training monastery for women, where she now resides.

She holds a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology and is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She is a co-guiding teacher and director of Faculty at Spirit Rock.

GUY ARMSTRONG has been practicing insight meditation

ANNA DOUGLAS has a background in psychology and art,

for more than 30 years and began teaching in 1984. He spent a year as a Buddhist monk in Thailand. Guy is a Guiding Teacher of Insight Meditation Society (IMS). He is author of Emptiness: A Practical Guide for Meditators.

in addition to more than 25 years of Vipassana practice. She has also studied with teachers in the Zen, Advaita, and Dzogchen traditions.

SALLY ARMSTRONG is a Spirit Rock co-guiding teacher. She

BONNIE DURAN met the dharma in 1982. She teaches long

has served Spirit Rock in a number of roles, including on the Spirit Rock Teachers Council and Board of Directors, and as co-founder and co-teacher of the Dedicated Practitioners Program. She has taught since 1996.

and short retreats and is a core teacher for advanced programs at IMS and SRMC. She is a professor of social work and public health at the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute at the University of Washington.

JAMES BARAZ is a founding teacher of Spirit Rock and serves

ANDREA FELLA has practiced insight meditation since 1996

on the Spirit Rock Teachers Council. He started the Community Dharma Leaders program and the Kalyana Mitta Network. James has taught the Awakening Joy online course since 2003, and is an advisor to One Earth Sangha, which focuses on Buddhist responses to climate change.

and began teaching in 2003. She teaches at the insight meditation Center in Redwood City, CA, and around the US.

SYLVIA BOORSTEIN has been teaching since 1985 and teaches

ANUSHKA FERNANDOPULLE has trained for over 25 years

both Vipassana and metta meditation. Her many books include That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Buddhist and Happiness Is an Inside Job.

in Buddhist meditation in the US, India, and Sri Lanka, and is a member of the Spirit Rock Teachers Council. Anushka also works as a leadership coach and management consultant, and lives in San Francisco, where she leads Monday Night Dharma.

MATTHEW BRENSILVER, PhD, began in the Tibetan tradition and has studied with Shinzen Young since 2003. A SRMC/IMS/IRC Teacher Training Program graduate, he serves on the Spirit Rock Teachers Council. He teaches about the intersection of mindfulness and mental health at UCLA’s MARC and with Mindful Schools.

GIL FRONSDAL has practiced Zen and Vipassana since 1975

EUGENE CASH is a founding teacher of San Francisco Insight.

JOANNA HARDY has been exploring and practicing multiple

He is also the co-founder and co-teacher of the Dedicated Practitioners Program. In addition, he teaches the Diamond Approach® in San Francisco and Holland.

traditions since 1999. In 2005, her focus landed on Vipassana. Teaching in communities that don’t typically have access to the traditional dharma settings and building inclusive community are top on her list of priorities.

DEBRA CHAMBERLIN-TAYLOR has been leading retreats

SUSIE HARRINGTON teaches meditation nationwide and

since 1978. In addition to practicing Vipassana, she has been influenced by Dzogchen and Diamond Heart®. She also leads workshops on embodiment of awareness and conscious relationships.

is the guiding teacher for Desert Dharma, which serves many communities in the Southwest near her home in Moab, UT. She is a graduate of the Spirit Rock/IMS/IRC Teacher Training Program.

HOWARD COHN, MA, serves on the Spirit Rock Teachers

WILL KABAT-ZINN has practiced insight meditation for more

Council and has taught Vipassana retreats since 1985. He has studied with teachers of several traditions, including Theravada, Zen and Dzogchen, and has been strongly influenced by H.W.L. Poonja. Howard has led the Mission Dharma sangha for 30 years and is the author of Invitation to Meditation.

than 15 years and has been teaching since 2007. He lives in the East Bay with his wife and two children and leads a weekly sitting group on Sunday evenings in Berkeley.

MARK COLEMAN, MA, has been teaching insight meditation

RUTH KING serves on the Spirit Rock Teachers Council and

retreats since 1997. He also leads wilderness meditation retreats, integrating mindfulness meditation with nature, and is the author of Awake in the Wild and Make Peace with Your Mind.

teaches nationwide. She is an emotional wisdom author and life coach, and is the author of several publications, including Healing Rage: Women Making Inner Peace Possible and Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from the Inside Out.

ANNE CUSHMAN is a graduate of the SRMC/IMS/IRC Teacher

KITTISARO, a Rhodes Scholar, trained in the Forest School

Training Program. She’s the author of Moving into Meditation and the novel Enlightenment for Idiots.

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and holds a PhD in Buddhist Studies from Stanford. He is the founding teacher of the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, CA, and author of a translation of The Dhammapada.

SPIRIT ROCK | SEP–DEC 2019

of Ajahn Chah and Ajahn Sumedho, and has practiced Chan and Kuan Yin Dharmas for 35 years. He helped found Buddhist monasteries and meditation centers in the UK, South Africa, and Caliofornia. He co-authored Listening to the Heart: A Contemplative Journey to Engaged Buddhism.

SPIRITROCK.ORG


JACK KORNFIELD trained as a Buddhist monk in Thailand, India,

OREN JAY SOFER holds a degree in comparative religion

and Burma and holds a PhD in clinical psychology. He has taught meditation since 1974 and is a founding teacher of IMS and Spirit Rock. His books include A Path with Heart, The Wise Heart, and No Time Like the Present.

from Columbia University, is trained in Somatic Experiencing™, and Nonviolent Communication, and is a member of the Spirit Rock Teachers Council. He is the founder of Next Step Dharma and author of Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication.

BRIAN LESAGE has taught meditation since 2000. He has

TEMPEL SMITH has been practicing metta and insight

studied in the Zen, Theravada, and Tibetan schools of Buddhism. He was ordained in the Rinzai Zen tradition in 1996.

meditation since 1989, including a year as a fully ordained monk in Burma. He graduated from the Teacher Training program led by Jack Kornfield at Spirit Rock, is a core teacher in the Dedicated Practitioners Program, and has been leading retreats for more than 10 years.

JOHN MARTIN teaches Vipassana, metta and LGBTQI-

HEATHER SUNDBERG has taught insight meditation since

themed meditation retreats. He leads an ongoing Monday evening meditation group in San Francisco. John has had a dedicated practice while being engaged in the working world and emphasizes practice for daily life. He serves on the Spirit Rock Teachers Council.

NIKKI MIRGHAFORI, PhD, studied jhanas and Vipassana

with Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw, who instructed her to teach. She is a Stanford-trained compassion cultivation instructor, a UCLAtrained mindfulness facilitator, and serves on the Spirit Rock Teachers Council and Board of Directors. She was previously incarnated as an artificial intelligence scientist.

PHILLIP MOFFITT has practiced Vipassana since 1983. He is founder and president of the Life Balance Institute. He is the author of Dancing with Life, Emotional Chaos to Clarity, and Awakening through the Nine Bodies.

KATE MUNDING serves on the Spirit Rock Teachers Council and is a guiding teacher for the Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley. She has practiced meditation since 2004 and is the founder of Heart-Mind Education, providing mindfulness-based education programs and trainings to students and the adults in their lives.

WES “SCOOP” NISKER serves on the Spirit Rock Teachers

1999, has completed Senior Teacher Training, and is a member of the SRMC Teacher’s Council. She is a teacher for Mountain Stream Meditation Center in Nevada City, CA. Her teaching emphasizes Embodiment, Heart Practices, and Awareness Practices inspired by the Thai Forest Tradition.

THANISSARA, MA, trained as a Buddhist monastic in the Forest School of Ajahn Chah for 12 years. She is co-founder, with Kittisaro, of Dharmagiri Retreat in South Africa, Chattanooga Insight TN, and Sacred Mountain Sangha CA. Her latest book is Time to Stand Up: An Engaged Buddhist Manifesto for Our Earth.

ERIN TREAT has practiced Buddhist meditation for 20 years

and completed the SRMC/IMS/IRC Teacher Training Program. She is the Guiding Teacher of Vallecitos Mountain Retreat Center and teaches at the Durango Dharma Center. Erin is influenced by her love of wild nature, Diamond Approach® training, and decades of somatics and bodyworker experience.

SPRING WASHAM has practiced meditation since 1997. She is a founding teacher of the East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland, CA, and author of A Fierce Heart: Finding Strength, Courage, and Wisdom in Any Moment. She is a pioneer in bringing mindfulness-based healing practices into diverse communities.

PAMELA WEISS has practiced in the Zen and Theravada

Council and is a meditation teacher, author, radio commentator, and performer. His books include Essential Crazy Wisdom and Crazy Wisdom Saves the World Again!

traditions since 1987. She is an executive coach and the founder of Appropriate Response, bringing Buddhist principles and practices to leadership and organizations. Pamela leads a weekly meditation group at San Francisco Insight and co-leads the Spirit Rock Community Dharma Leader program.

SHARDA ROGELL began teaching insight meditation in 1985.

LILA KATE WHEELER is a writer and teaches and practices in

She brings a strong emphasis to awakening heartfulness and has been influenced by non-dual teachings, Dzogchen, and the Diamond Approach®.

DONALD ROTHBERG, PhD, has practiced meditation since 1976 and is the guiding teacher for the Path of Engagement program. Donald co-teaches the Wednesday morning class at Spirit Rock and is the author of The Engaged Spiritual Life.

ERIN SELOVER teaches mindfulness-based classes throughout the San Francisco Bay Area in schools, mental health settings, and the private sector. She is a psychotherapist and a graduate of the SRMC/IMS/IRC Teacher Training Program.

the Vipassana and Tibetan Nyingma Buddhist lineages. She is a co-leader of the Spirit Rock Teacher Training Program.

DARA WILLIAMS has practiced Vipassana meditation for 25 years. She serves as an IMS Guiding Teacher and is a core teacher in the 2017/2021 IMS Teacher Training Program. She is a coordinating trainer for Indigenous Focusing Oriented Trauma Therapy (IFOT) and has a private psychotherapy practice in NY. DIANA WINSTON is the director of Mindfulness Education at UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center and serves on the Spirit Rock Teachers Council. She has practiced Vipassana since 1989, including a year as a Buddhist nun in Burma, and is the author of Fully Present and Wide Awake: A Buddhist Guide for Teens.

LARRY YANG is a longtime meditator trained as a GINA SHARPE is co-founder and guiding teacher of New York Insight Meditation Center. She has been teaching the dharma since 1995 and is particularly inspired by the potential and application of dharma to transform and illuminate interpersonal and multicultural relations.

psychotherapist. He is interested in creating access to the dharma for communities who have felt the experience of exclusion or difference. Larry is a teacher at the East Bay Meditation Center. He is the author of Awakening Together.

SPIRIT ROCK | SEP–DEC 2019

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SPIRIT ROCK TE ACHER S COUNCIL (CONT’D)

Teachers Emeritus AJAHN AMARO trained in Thailand with Ajahn Chah and Ajahn Sumedho. He is the former co-abbot of Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery near Ukiah, CA. He is now abbot of Amaravati Monastery in the UK.

ROBERT HALL, MD, is a physician of the body/mind, a psychiatrist, poet, and meditation teacher. He is a pioneer of the integration of bodywork, psychotherapy and spiritual practice. He lives and teaches at El Dharma in Todos Santos, Mexico.

MARY GRACE ORR is a Vipassana teacher and former guiding teacher of Santa Cruz Insight. She has practiced many spiritual disciplines for the past 25 years and has trained in the Diamond ApproachÂŽ.

JOHN TRAVIS founded Mountain Stream Meditation in 1993 and opened a center in Nevada City, CA, in 2013. He has practiced meditation for almost 50 years and spent a decade living in Asia.

JULIE WESTER has been a teacher of insight meditation since 1985 and is a senior meditation teacher at Spirit Rock and a student of sacred feminine wisdom traditions. Her primary teachers have included Ruth Denison, Joanna Macy, Lama Tsultrim Allione, and the women of her own family lineage.


Spirit Rock News © 2019 Spirit Rock Meditation Center | Sep–Dec 2019 Published three times a year by Spirit Rock Meditation Center P.O. Box 169, Woodacre, CA 94973 | (415) 488-0164 Design & Photography | Stacy Evett-Miller Photography | TwoIrises.com, TroyZiel.com, SuzanneChristine.com


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Spirit Rock Meditation Center News & Schedule | September - December 2019  

A full catalog of news and programs offered at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, for the months September - December 2019.

Spirit Rock Meditation Center News & Schedule | September - December 2019  

A full catalog of news and programs offered at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, for the months September - December 2019.