March 3, 10 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock, 10 to noon. Meditation, talk, and discussion. Go to: https://www.spiritrock.org/programs/wednesday-morning. On Zoom.
March 5 (Friday), Oakland: East Bay Meditation Center, 6.30 to 8.30 p.m., with Arisika Razak: Movement, meditation, and talk. 285 17th St., Oakland (near 19thSt. Oakland BART), 510-268-0696, no fee, support for center and teacher on a dana(generosity or donation) basis. Info:http://www.eastbaymeditation.org/. On Zoom.
March 7 (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:
March 15-21, 2021: Insight LA (with Kaira Jewel Lingo): 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, our being present in the pandemic, 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.
Core instructions in the different practices will be offered in periods of sitting meditation, complemented by talks, discussion, meetings with the teachers, walking meditation, and brief daily guided movement sessions. 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 but also time for other activities. For all, there will be an emphasis on bringing practice both into our time together and our time away from the group. We have designed this retreat so that it can work well for those in the Pacific time zone as well as the Eastern time zone, and time zones in between. For further information:
https://insightla.org/event/wise-heart-online/2020-09-21-16-30/. On Zoom. Full, with waitlist.
March 23: Easing Awake Sangha (Sacramento), 6:30 to 8:30. Meditation, talk, discussion. For further information, go to https://www.easingawake.com (Zoom link for session on the website).
March 31 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock, 10 to noon. Meditation, talk, and discussion. Go to: https://www.spiritrock.org/programs/wednesday-morning. On Zoom.
April 11 (Sunday): San Rafael: Marin Sunday Sangha, 6 to 7:30 p.m. or so: Movement, meditation, discussion. Sangha founded by Phillip Moffitt and held at St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church, 10 Bayview Drive, San Rafael, CA 94901. For further info: www.marinsangha.org. On Zoom.
April 16 (Friday), Oakland: East Bay Meditation Center, 6.30 to 8.30 p.m., with Lev White: Meditation, talk, and discussion. 285 17th St., Oakland (near 19thSt. Oakland BART), 510-268-0696, no fee, support for center and teacher on a dana(generosity or donation) basis. Info:http://www.eastbaymeditation.org/. On Zoom.
April 18 (Sunday): San Rafael: Marin Sunday Sangha, 6 to 7:30 p.m. or so: Movement, meditation, discussion. Sangha founded by Phillip Moffitt and held at St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church, 10 Bayview Drive, San Rafael, CA 94901. For further info: www.marinsangha.org. On Zoom.
April 23-25 (Friday to Sunday):Awakening the Heart: Practicing the “Divine Abodes” (Lovingkindness, Compassion, Joy, Equanimity), weekend online retreat. 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. Mindful Heart Buddha Sangha, Evansville, Indiana: http://mhbsangha.com. On Zoom
April 27-May 2 (Tuesday to Sunday): Southern Dharma Retreat Center (North Carolina): Buddhist Practice and Transforming Racism Inside and Outside: A Retreat for White People. In this retreat, we will combine periods of silent practice with developing foundations for the internal and external transformation of racism and whiteness as an integral part of our spiritual practice. These foundations will include: (1) knowing in more depth and being inspired by the Buddha’s revolutionary rejection of caste in the India of nearly 2600 years; (2) perspectives from core Buddhist wisdom teachings helpful for understanding and transforming race and racism; (3) the centrality of mindfulness and heart practices like lovingkindness, compassion, forgiveness, and empathy, to investigate and transform our conditioning around race and whiteness; (4) being able to work with difficult emotions and states of mind and body; (5) grounding in ethical integrity and action, including wise speech; and (6) the importance of community, including both smaller communities that can be supportive home bases, relatively free of “shame and blame,” for transformative practice, and the larger, emerging “beloved community.” The retreat will integrate sitting and walking meditation with talks, exercises, discussion, and the identification of resources to work with after the retreat. Those attending the retreat will have the option of attending a six-week group immediately following the retreat, to continue the momentum of the retreat. 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 (and if possible, lovingkindness) 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: https://www.southerndharma.org/retreat-schedule/874/at-home-retreat-buddhist-practice-and-transforming-racism-inside-and-outside-a-retreat-for-white-people/.
May 7 – 9 (Friday to Sunday): Spirit Rock: Coming Together When There Are Differences: Inner and Outer Tools (three-day non-residential retreat, 10 to 5 each day). Differences with others about views and strategies can be challenging, whether in close relationships, the workplace, political polarization, or relationships between ethnic groups. Such differences may lead to frustration, despair, anger, and even violence.
In this retreat, we will offer core principles and practices for working with differences, through talks, meditations, and exercises. Rooted in the Buddha’s Middle Way and his understanding of views, the contemporary work of peacemakers and a vision of non-dual “conflict transformation,” and wise speech practice (including resources from Nonviolent Communication), we will approach differences as opportunities for empathy, learning, reconciliation, steadiness, trust, and compassion. For further information: https://calendar.spiritrock.org/events/coming-together-when-there-are-differences-online/. On Zoom.
May 22 (Saturday): New York: New York Insight: Dukkha and the End of Dukkha: Transforming Suffering and Reactivity (10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Eastern: Daylong Retreat). The Buddha famously said, “I have taught dukkha [suffering or reactivity or a sense of unsatisfactoriness] and the cessation of dukkha.” 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 transform dukkha. For further information, go to: https://www.nyimc.org. On Zoom.
May 23, 30 (Sunday): San Rafael: Marin Sunday Sangha, 6 to 7:30 p.m. or so: Movement, meditation, discussion. Sangha founded by Phillip Moffitt and held at St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church, 10 Bayview Drive, San Rafael, CA 94901. For further info: www.marinsangha.org. On Zoom.
June 5 (Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.): Marin Sangha: Deepening Daily Life Practice in a Time of Crisis. At this time of crisis, there are gifts as well as challenges. One potential gift is the possibility of looking much more deeply into what matters to us, as individuals, and as members of communities and societies, and making significant shifts. As individuals, this may be especially in how we live our daily lives and offer our gifts and services to the world. In this online daylong retreat, we will emphasize the integration of formal meditation practice and daily life, in a number of ways, helping each of us to find what works best for ourselves in deepening daily life practice, and seeing more clearly what the next steps are.
There will be emphases on mindfulness of the body, working with intentions and clarifying priorities, cultivating Wise Speech, becoming more aware of and transforming reactivity, and bringing mindfulness, wisdom, and the open heart more into everyday activities, including work. Each person may especially focus on one or two areas. There will be an optional follow-up group meeting four times, every two weeks, for those attending the daylong, on a dana basis, to support continuing to deepen daily life practice after the daylong. For further info: www.marinsangha.org. On Zoom.
July 11: Spirit Rock: Transforming the Judgmental Mind: Daylong Retreat (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Judgments of a reactive and compulsive nature are very strong in most of our lives. They can distort our perceptions, make relationships with others difficult, and undermine our work. We will examine what judgments are and how to work with them, using mindfulness, “heart” practices, and inquiry, helping us to preserve the discernment often found in judgments, while working through the destructive aspects of judgments. We will also explore how we internalize the judgments of our society in a number of ways, particularly related to race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Attendees will have the option of regular follow-up sessions.
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; Heidi Bourne has been subbing for Sylvia the last few months of 2020): 45 minute meditation, talk and discussion. Donald will be teaching March 3, 10, and 31; further dates TBD.