July 15, 22, 29 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock, 10 to noon. On Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/635273935, Meeting ID: 635 273 935
July 19 (Sunday morning): San Francisco, Gay Buddhist Fellowship 10.30 to 12 noon, held at San Francisco Buddhist Center, 37 Bartlett Street (near 21st St. between Mission and Valencia). On Zoom: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/9823930924?pwd=K0ppcE04MDBVZW9UM243M1Zhd2pXZz09, Meeting ID: 982 393 0924, Password: 276525
July 26 (Sunday evening): Benicia Sangha: 6 to 8 p.m.: Usual location: The Parrish Hall, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 120 East J Street, Benicia. Further info: http://www.beniciameditation.com/index.html. Online.
August 8 (Saturday): Sacramento Buddhist Meditation Group (SBMG), Daylong: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Dukkha and the End of Dukkha: Transforming Suffering and Reactivity. The Buddha famously said, “I have taught one thing, dukkha[suffering or reactivity or a sense of unsatisfactoriness] and the cessation ofdukkha.” In this daylong retreat, we will explore this core teaching as it is expressed in the Buddha’s teachings of the Four Noble Truths, Dependent Origination, and the Two Arrows. We will explore ways to study and implement this teaching both in formal meditation and in everyday life, including in the context of the pandemic and contemporary “social dukkha.” We will work with practices and reflections that bring together the wisdom of seeing the roots of dukkha, the compassion and kindness that can hold our difficulties, and skillful action to transformdukkha. By Zoom. For further information, go to: https://sbmg.org.
August 9 (Sunday evening); Sacramento Buddhist Meditation Group (SBMG), 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.: Meditation, talk, discussion. By Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/940933642?pwd=aXFIcFBqRjhQdXFBSWllQTFLdFluUT09, Meeting ID: 940 933 642
August 16, 23, 30 (Sundays): Marin Sangha, 6 to 7:40 or so. Meditation, short break, talk, and discussion. For further information, go to http://marinsangha.org. On a dana (generosity) basis. On Zoom.
August 19, 26 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock, 10 to noon. On Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/635273935, Meeting ID: 635 273 935
August 22 (Saturday): Marin Sangha: Showing up for the Planet: A Day of Reflection and Action to Address Climate Change, 10 to 4:30 p.m. (also with James Baraz, Kritee, Thanissara, Teja Bell, and Eve Decker). In this online daylong retreat, we will explore how mindfulness and clear intention can provide the foundation to actively address the climate crisis, with an emphasis on social change and our relationship to nature. The day will include guided meditations, inspired teachings and discussions, music, and Qigong. Group discussion will allow us to make commitments and reflect on the best ways we can each serve for the betterment of the planet and current and future generations.
Several Bay Area organizations will give short presentations and offer resources and guidance on a variety of tangible actions to address climate change. All attendees will be asked to commit to at least one specific action to take during or following the retreat.
Teachers will also share reflections on climate action and social justice in relation to the Dharma.
This retreat is open to all and will be hosted online on a dana-only basis; there is no cost for the retreat. All the teachers and coordinators are donating their time so that this may be a benefit for organizations that are working to mitigate climate change. Hosted by Marin Sangha. For details and to register: For details and to register go to http://www.marinsangha.org/pdf/CrossroadsFlyer.pdf.
September 16, 23, 30 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock, 10 to noon. On Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/635273935, Meeting ID: 635 273 935
September 19-20 (Saturday, Sunday), Reno, Nevada: Dharma Zephyr Sangha: Cultivating Compassion and Equanimity in a Time of Crisis." In our challenging times, compassion and equanimity are central--both to our inner work and to our outer responses. Compassion includes both the receptive capacity of bringing the awakened heart to be with what is painful and difficult and the active response to such pain and difficulty. We cultivate compassion both in our practice of insight meditation and through the cultivation of “heart practices,” particularly those of the brahmavihara or “divine abodes.” Equanimity brings forth balance, non-reactivity, spaciousness, and unshakability, as well a firm response, all based on understanding and wisdom. As with compassion, we cultivate equanimity both in insight practice and through “heart practices.”
In this two-day “at home” retreat, we will, through meditation, short talks, and discussion, focus on how to cultivate these two beautiful qualities, in the midst of grief and loss, fear and anxiety, anger, confusion, and political polarization, as well as much that is healing, creative, and transformative. This is truly a time to train further in compassion and equanimity, and to step up! For further information: dharmazephyr.org. ON ZOOM.
September 23-27 (Wednesday to Sunday): Insight LA, formerly at Big Bear Retreat Center (with Konda Mason): Cultivating the Wise Heart on the Cushion and in the World: Practicing Mindfulness and the “Divine Abodes” (Lovingkindness, Compassion, Joy, Equanimity). The Divine Abodes (Brahmaviharas) of lovingkindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity, are the places of the open, awakened heart. In this retreat, on the foundation of insight meditation and the development of mindfulness, we will learn the formal practices of lovingkindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. We will also offer guidance for bringing these practices into daily life, including in challenging situations—whether in our relationships, our work and community lives, or in our efforts at social change. All of these practices strengthen clear seeing and wisdom, self-confidence, self-acceptance, generosity of spirit, steadiness of mind and heart, and skillful action, revealing our fundamental kindness and wisdom, in a culture in which heart and mind are often disconnected. The retreat will generally alternate silent sitting meditation and walking meditation. Core instructions in the different practices will be offered, along with talks, discussion, and brief daily guided movement sessions. For further information: https://insightla.org/event/cultivating-the-wise-heart-on-the-cushion-and-in-the-world-practicing-mindfulness-and-the-divine-abodes-lovingkindness-compassion-joy-equanimity/2020-09-23-14-00/. On Zoom.
October 16 – 22 (Friday to Thursday), Heartwood Refuge and Retreat Center: Walking “The Path of Insight” (with Ronya Banks).In the midst of troubling times, it is more imperative than ever to orient yourself to walk on the “Path of Insight” – a spiritual awakening journey that turns your challenges into fuel for wisdom and freedom. During this online Zoom retreat and from the comfort of your own home, you will be able to receive the expert guidance of Vipassana teachers Donald Rothberg and Ronya Banks, wherein you will be directed to delve deeper into the many gifts these troubling times have to offer as well as the opportunity to immerse yourself in the mindfulness and Buddhist practices that bring you on the “Path of Insight” and set your heart and mind free. This meditation retreat’s schedule will include formal sitting meditation, walking meditation, daily dharma talks, specific instructions, Q&A periods, group meetings, and chanting.
This retreat is appropriate for those who have attended a previous silent meditation retreat, as well as experienced daily meditation practitioners. For further information: https://www.heartwoodrefuge.org/retreats/396/walking-the-path-of-insight-zoom-retreat-scholarship-eligible/. On Zoom.
October 25 - November 1 (Sunday to Sunday), Southern Dharma Retreat Center: Transforming the Judgmental Mind: At Home Retreat (with Eve Decker). Judgments of a reactive nature are very strong in most of our lives, and in the dominant culture. They can distort our perceptions, make relationships difficult, and undermine our work in the world. In this retreat, we will explore such judgments (and their difference from non-reactive discernment) and how to transform them. We will cultivate mindfulness of judgments; inquiry into the deep roots of judgments (often in long-held “limiting beliefs”); and heart practices such as lovingkindness, forgiveness, joy, and compassion. We will also explore the somatic and social dimensions of judgments and, near the end of the retreat, how to cultivate skill in speech and interaction in the midst 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, compulsive aspects.
The retreat sessions will be held mostly in silence, with a number of guided meditations, along with group and individual practice discussions. Those attending the retreat will have the option of continuing with follow-up sessions after the retreat. This retreat is suitable both for those wanting a dedicated at-home retreat, much like a residential retreat, and for those with some responsibilities wanting a home retreat with many hours of formal practice and instruction but also some time for other activities. For all, there will be an emphasis on practice both in our sessions together and in our time away from the group, our “home practice.” Prerequisite: One four-day or longer mindfulness retreat or permission of the instructor. The main aim of the prerequisite is to ensure that everyone has received and practiced for some time basic mindfulness instructions; if you meet the spirit of the prerequisite and are interested, but haven’t done a four-day or longer retreat, please inquire. For further information, go to: https://www.southerndharma.org/retreat-schedule/720/at-home-retreat-transforming-the-judgmental-mind/
November 21 (Saturday): California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco: Daylong workshop: The Dark Night of the Soul (with Marisa Handler). On Zoom.
November 28-29 (Saturday and Sunday): Spirit Rock:Awakening the Heart: Practicing the “Divine Abodes” (Lovingkindness, Compassion, Joy, Equanimity), Two-day online retreat, 10 a.m. 5 p.m. each day. The Divine Abodes (Brahmaviharas) of lovingkindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity, are the places of the open, awakened heart. In this online retreat, we will learn the formal practices for each of these four qualities, 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 short talks and discussion.On Zoom.
November 30 (Monday evening): Spirit Rock.
December 19-22 (Saturday to Wednesday). Winter Solstice. Embracing the Dark, Inviting the Light (with Oren Jay Sofer and Tuere Sala).
Ongoing Wednesdays Class, Spirit Rock, Woodacre, CA: 10 a.m. to noon morning class: Share teaching with Sylvia Boorstein (most Wednesdays, either Sylvia or I will teach): 45 minute meditation, talk and discussion. Donald will be teaching July 15, 22, 29; August 19, 26; September 16, 23, 30; further dates TBD.