December 28 (Monday evening class), Spirit Rock, 7:15 to 9:15 p.m. Meditation, talk, and discussion.
December 30 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock, 9 to 11 a.m. (see class description at end).
January 3 (Sunday), San Rafael: Marin Sunday Sangha, 5:45 to 8 p.m.: Meditation, movement, talk, discussion. Sangha founded by Phillip Moffitt and held at St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church, 10 Bayview Drive, San Rafael, CA 94901. For further info, go to www.marinsangha.org.
January 11-18 (Monday to Monday), Spirit Rock: Metta Retreat, 7-day retreat (with Sylvia Boorstein, John Martin, Konda Mason [yoga], and Heather Sundberg). Metta, or lovingkindness, practice is the cultivation of the intention of benevolence as the orientation of our heart and minds. It is also a path to wisdom. We develop in our capacity for metta through meditation (practiced steadfastly on retreat) in order for it to manifest in an ongoing way in our daily lives. In this retreat, we will learn the formal practice of metta along with its companion practices of compassion, joy, and equanimity. All four of these practices—known as the Brahma Viharas or Divine Abodes—strengthen self-confidence, self-acceptance, and steadiness of mind and heart, revealing our fundamental disposition toward kindness. Waiting list only.
January 20 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock. 9 to 11 a.m. (see class description at end).
January 31 (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 in Berkeley (and possibly in Marin).
February 3, 10 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock. 9 to 11 a.m. (see class description at end).
February 14 (Sunday), San Rafael: Marin Sunday Sangha, 5:45 to 8 p.m.: Meditation, movement, talk, discussion. Sangha founded by Phillip Moffitt and held at St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church, 10 Bayview Drive, San Rafael, CA 94901. For further info, go to www.marinsangha.org.
February 19 (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.
March 30 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock. 9 to 11 a.m. (see class description at end).
April 3-10 (Sunday to Sunday), Spirit Rock: Settling, Seeing, and Spacious Awareness, 7-day retreat (with Brian Lesage). In the context of a small and intimate retreat, we will train in three inter-related modes of practice over the course of a week. First, we will settle and stabilize our minds and bodies, becoming more concentrated, through both sitting and moving forms of meditation, including regular Qigong. As we settle, we then become better able to examine closely both the different dimensions of our experience—our bodies, thoughts, and emotions—and the general patterns of experience, both more personal and more universal. We “see” more clearly where we are reactive, where we suffer, where there is a “thick” sense of self, and learn to be more with the impermanent flow of experience, transforming our reactivity and habits. We can also tune in more, as we settle and see, to an increasingly unconfined and luminous awareness beyond reactivity, that is a source of freedom, wisdom, and compassion, both in retreat practice and daily life. Prerequisite: Retreatants must have completed at least 2 5-day or longer silent insight meditation retreats or have permission of the Coordinating Teacher.
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 December 30; January 20; February 3, 10; March 30; 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.