Schedule

 

prints_lg_imagination
 

May 6 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock. 9 to 11 a.m. (see class description at end).

May 8 (Friday evening), Oakland: East Bay Meditation Center, 6.30 to 8.30 p.m.: Movement, meditation, and talk. 285 17th St., Oakland (near 19th St. Oakland BART), 510-268-0696, http://www.eastbaymeditation.org/, no fee, support for center and teachers all on a dana (generosity or donation) basis.

May 10 (Sunday): Spirit Rock: Working with Judgments, 9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Judgments of a reactive and compulsive nature are very strong in most of our lives, and in the dominant culture. They can distort our perceptions, make relationships with others difficult and undermine our work in the world. In this daylong, we will examine what judgments are and how to work with them, using mindfulness and lovingkindness practices (and a number of periods of silent practice), inquiry, dyad work, and role play. These will help us to transform the energy of judgments--preserving the intelligence and discernment often found in judgments, while working through the destructive and compulsive aspects of judgments. We will also include exploration of how we may also internalize the prevailing judgments of our society in a number of ways, particularly related to race and ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, employment status, etc. Those attending the daylong will have an option of continuing with monthly evening follow-up sessions. See below for general information about Spirit Rock daylongs.

May 13 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock. 9 to 11 a.m. (see class description at end).

May 15 (Friday evening), Oakland: East Bay Meditation Center, 6.30 to 8.30 p.m.: Movement, meditation, and talk. 285 17th St., Oakland (near 19th St. Oakland BART), 510-268-0696, http://www.eastbaymeditation.org/, no fee, support for center and teachers all on a dana (generosity or donation) basis.

May 17-22 (Sunday to Friday), Esalen Institute, Big Sur, California: Transforming the Judgmental Mind. Judgments of a reactive and often automatic nature are very strong in most of our lives, and also in the dominant culture. They can distort our perceptions, make relationships with others difficult, and undermine our work in the world. In this workshop, we will explore the nature of such judgments (and their difference from non-reactive discernment) and how to transform them. We will cultivate mindfulness, inquiry, and heart practices such as lovingkindness, forgiveness, gratitude, joy, and compassion. We will also explore the somatic dimension of judgments, the role of cultivating awakened qualities in transforming judgments, and how to cultivate skill in speech and interaction in the midst of situations involving judgments, whether our own or those of others. 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. The workshop will be held partly in silence, with periods of discussion (in small and large groups) and some interactive exercises, as well as optional one-on-one meetings with the instructor. Those attending the workshop will have the option of continuing with monthly follow-up sessions (most likely by phone) after the workshop. For further information, go to http://www.esalen.org/workshop/week-may-17-22/transforming-judgmental-mind.

May 19-21 (Tuesday to Thursday), Politics of Love & Justice Summit: Online. I’m honored to have been invited by hosts Rabbi Michael Lerner and Cat Zavis to be among some 25 leaders creatively connecting spirituality and action in different ways to help build a much more sustainable, just, and caring world. Other presenters include Marianne Williamson, angel Kyodo williams (she and I are dialoguing about engaged Buddhist practice—it’ll be recorded a few days before), Sami Awad, Miki Kashtan, Charles Eisenstein, Gar Alperovitz, Fania Davis, Michael Nagler, Rev. Dr. J. Alfred Smith, Sr., Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, and David Korten. It’s a free three days of presentations and discussion; you can sign up here: https://shiftnetwork.isrefer.com/go/plj15DR/redmountainredwood/

June 10 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock. 9 to 11 a.m. (see class description at end).

June 15-21 (Monday to Sunday), Spirit Rock: From the Breath to Spacious Awareness (with Teja Bell [Qigong and other teaching] and Susie Harrington). In this retreat, we will explore, both through teachings and through silent meditation practice, a sequence of training that has three main parts, connecting our foundational mindfulness practice with opening to deeper awareness and greater freedom:

(1) Stabilizing attention and cultivating concentration, particularly through mindfulness of breathing;

(2) Developing insights into where and how the mind fixates or grasps, leading to suffering and a lack of a sense of the flow of experience, particularly related to our sense of self and our habitual patterns, and learning to deconstruct and release such fixations; and

(3) Opening to awareness beyond fixation and grasping, to moments of freedom, through a number of specific steps and practices, informed by teachings from the Buddha as well as the Thai Forest tradition and other Buddhist traditions. We will explore several practices for each of these three training areas, and ways to bring such practices into daily life, as our awareness, compassion, and responsiveness deepen. 

There will be ongoing emphasis on and attention to the embodiment of our practice through Qigong, guided meditations, and instructions, allowing us to more easily carry the practices into our daily lives. 

Spirit Rock extends a special invitation to young adults (age 18-26) who wish to attend this retreat at a rate of $25 per night, on a first come, first serve basis. A limited number of special rates are available; please apply early. Prerequisite: One retreat (at least a weekend, residential or non-residential) in mindfulness practice or permission of the coordinating teacher.

June 24 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock. 9 to 11 a.m. (see class description at end).

June 28 (Sunday), Sacramento, California: Daylong Retreat and Evening Talk. Daylong: Cultivating Wise Speech: Becoming More Skillful in Your Speech Practice (Including in Difficult Situations), 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Connecting our meditation practice with our speech and communication is one of the main ways to bring spiritual values into our everyday lives and our action in the world, and can help enliven and energize our practice, since we have so many chances for practice! This daylong retreat will integrate periods of sitting and walking meditation with talks, interactive exercises, and discussion. It will cover three main areas. In the morning, we will focus on (1) the basic teachings of the Buddha on wise speech and (2) foundational mindfulness practices for our speech. In the afternoon, we will apply these perspectives and tools to (3) learning how to practice wise and compassionate speech in difficult conditions--such as when there are difficult emotions, when there is conflict, or when there are challenging interpersonal or group dynamics. Evening meditation and talk 7 to 9 p.m. Location for both: Social Hall, Congregation B’nai Israel Synagogue, 3600 Riverside Boulevard, Sacramento. For further information, go to http://www.sbmg.org/.

July 1 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock. 9 to 11 a.m. (see class description at end).

July 2-8 (Thursday to Wednesday), Berkeley: Mindful Communication: A Wise Speech Retreat (with Nyaniko Oren Sofer), non-residential 7-day retreat, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. most days.Integrating our meditation practice with our speech and communication is one of the main ways to bring deeply-held values into our daily lives and actions in the world. In this retreat, we will connect mindfulness and lovingkindness practice, the Buddha's teachings on wise speech, and the contemporary discipline of Nonviolent Communication (NVC). Collectively, these practices form a powerful foundation for cultivating awareness and empathy, strengthen our ability to stay present in challenging situations, and develop our capacity to listen and speak from the heart. The retreat will include periods of silent meditation and interactive speech exercises. This retreat is designed both for those who want to bring more attention to speech as a spiritual practice, and for those who have emphasized communication and want further grounding in meditation. NVC will be taught at a basic level; reading Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication is recommended. Participants will have the option of continuing with follow-up sessions after the retreat. Location: Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, Connie Barbour Room, 1924 Cedar St., Berkeley, CA 94709. Cost: $300 + Dana (some scholarships available). Info/Registration: www.orenjaysofer.com.

July 15 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock. 9 to 11 a.m. (see class description at end).

July 19 (Sunday), Nevada City, California: The Buddha’s Path to Freedom: The Second Foundation of Mindfulness—Transforming the Roots of Reactivity. 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Buddha taught that there is a direct way for alleviating suffering and discovering peace, wisdom, and happiness, making possible wise and compassionate action—through cultivating the Four Foundations of Mindfulness or Satipatthana. This liberating teaching is the basis for Insight Meditation practice. During this daylong, the second in the series on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, we will explore the bare nature of our experience and discover that every moment is colored by a feeling-tone of pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral. As we bring mindfulness to this truth, we begin to uncover the deeply conditioned habits, tendencies, and reactivity of our minds, hearts, and bodies, particularly our compulsive tendencies of wanting, grasping, aversion, and delusion. We learn how to break free from the patterns that cause so much suffering, for ourselves and others, supporting a non-reactive presence with the ups and downs of life. The Buddha taught that insight into the feeling-tone of our experience was so important that he named mindfulness of feeling-tone as one of the Four Foundations of our mindfulness practice.

The daylong will combine meditation, teaching, guided practices, reflections, and discussion, helping participants to integrate this vital teaching into both one’s formal meditation practice, and one’s daily life. There will be a number of handouts, including a list of practices and reflections to bring home to guide one after the daylong. It is recommended that participants read, before the daylong, the 10-page text on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness; it can be found in the Majjhima Nikaya, Sutta #10, or online at http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.010.than.html

Location: 710 Zion Street in Nevada City. For further information, go to http://www.mtstream.org/.

July 22 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock. 9 to 11 a.m. (see class description at end).

July 31-August 6 (Friday to Friday), Cloud Mountain (north of Portland, OR): Transforming the Judgmental Mind, Cultivating the Wise Heart (with Heather Sundberg), 7-day retreat. Judgments of a reactive and often automatic nature are very strong in most of our lives, and in the dominant culture. They can distort our perceptions, make relationships with others difficult, and undermine our work in the world. 

In this retreat, we will explore the nature of such judgments (and their difference from non-reactive discernment) and how to transform them. We will cultivate mindfulness, inquiry, and heart practices such as lovingkindness, forgiveness, gratitude, joy, and compassion. We will also explore the somatic dimension of judgments, the role of cultivating awakened qualities in transforming judgments, and how to cultivate skill in speech and interaction in the midst of situations involving judgments, whether our own or those of others. 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. 

The retreat will be held mostly in silence (with the first day fully in silence), with some periods of discussion (small and large group) and some interactive exercises (particularly the last full day), along with group and individual interviews. For further info, go to http://cloudmountain.org

August 19 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock. 9 to 11 a.m. (see class description at end).

August 21-23 (Friday evening through Sunday), Albuquerque, New Mexico: Transforming the Judgmental Mind (weekend non-residential retreat). Location: Albuquerque Vipassana Center, 200 Rosemont NE, Albuquerque, NM 87102. For further information, go to http://abqsangha.org/site/. See description for July 31 – August 6.

August 25-30 (Tuesday to Sunday), Vallecitos Retreat Center (New Mexico): Mindful Communication: A Wise Speech Retreat (with Oren Sofer). Integrating meditation practice with our speech and communication is one of the main ways to bring deeply-held values into our daily lives and actions in the world. In this retreat, we will connect mindfulness and loving kindness practice, the Buddha’s teachings on Right Speech, relational awareness practices, and the contemporary discipline of Nonviolent Communication (NVC). Collectively, these practices form a powerful foundation for cultivating insight, awareness, self-understanding, and empathy; developing our capacity to listen and speak from the heart; and strengthening our ability to stay present and be more skillful in challenging situations. The retreat will begin with a day of silent practice; further days will include morning and afternoon sessions of interactive speech practice along with continued silent practice. This retreat is designed both for those who want to bring more attention to speech as a spiritual practice, and for those who have emphasized communication and want further grounding in meditation. NVC will be taught at a basic level; reading Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication is recommended. Further info: http://www.vallecitos.org/events/mindfulcommunicationretreat.

September 2 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock. 9 to 11 a.m. (see class description at end).

September 26 (Saturday), San Francisco Zen Center: Service as Practice, 1:30 to 5 p.m. In this half-day workshop, we’ll explore: (1) the nature of “service” and how service becomes, in our times, a contemporary path of practice, a “path of service”; (2) some of the most important qualities and capacities to be developed in a path of service, focusing on generosity and “heart practices” such as compassion, empathy, forgiveness, and equanimity; and (3) some of the challenges in following a path of service and how to meet these challenges. We’ll combine silent practice with teaching and discussion. Location: 300 Page Street, San Francisco, CA, 94102. Further information: http://www.sfzc.org/, 415-863-3136, email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

December 4, 11 (Friday evenings), Oakland: East Bay Meditation Center, 6.30 to 8.30 p.m.: Movement, meditation, and talk. 285 17th St., Oakland (near 19th St. Oakland BART), 510-268-0696, http://www.eastbaymeditation.org/, no fee, support for center and teachers all on a dana (generosity or donation) basis.

Further retreats and daylongs in 2015:

September 14-20, Spirit Rock: Transforming the Judgmental Mind (with Heather Sundberg).

October 5-6, Spirit Rock: Awakening the Heart: Practicing the “Divine Abodes” (Lovingkindness, Compassion, Joy,

   Equanimity): A Two-Day Non-Residential Retreat (with Heather Sundberg).

October 9-11, Louisville, Kentucky Non-Residential Retreat

October 16-23, Southern Dharma (North Carolina): From the Breath to Spacious Awareness.

December 17-23, Spirit Rock: Insight Meditation Winter Solstice Retreat (with Heather Sundberg and John Travis).

Ongoing Wednesdays Class, Spirit Rock, Woodacre, CA: 9 to 11 a.m. morning class: Co-teach with Sylvia Boorstein (most Wednesdays, either Sylvia or I will teach): 45 minute meditation, talk and discussion. Class cost $8-10, teaching is by donation (dana). Donald will be teaching May 6, 13; June 10, 24; July 1, 15, 22; August 19; September 2; further dates TBD.

Information for Spirit Rock Retreats and Daylongs: Registration: For more information, call 415-488-0164 or go to www.spiritrock.org/. Daylongs cost $50-108 sliding scale, plus a donation (dana) for the teacher. Volunteer opportunities are available; contact the Spirit Rock volunteer coordinator, at 415-488-0164, x224.

Donald’s Talks Are Available At:

Dharma Seed (www.dharmaseed.org /)

Audio Dharma (www.audiodharma.org/)

Benicia Sangha (www.bsangha.net/)

and other sites.