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August 20 (Friday), Oakland: East Bay Meditation Center, 6.30 to 8.30 p.m., with Arisika Razak: 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. Infohttp://www.eastbaymeditation.org/On Zoom.

Theme: Practicing in Challenging Times, with the Gift of Community!

We live in difficult times, facing many personal challenges around relationships, economics, aging, and peace-making within our minds and hearts. Potentially catastrophic climate disruption, and social and personal inequities and violence related to race, ethnicity, economics, disability, gender identity, and sexual orientation, not to mention the continuing pandemic, surround us all.  In these times, we need what Joanna Macy called “rough-weather networks,” communities or sanghas that help us care for ourselves and others, enabling us to feel connected, and to respond skillfully—all in the framework of our practice. Our Friday night community is one such sangha! This evening we’ll consider ways of being with our personal and collective challenges, and their intersection, with opportunities for sharing and learning together.

August 22, 29, September 5 (Sundays): 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.

Theme: Deepening Daily Life Practice.

August 25, September 1, 8 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock, 10 to noon. Meditation, talk, and discussion. Go tohttps://www.spiritrock.org/programs/wednesday-morning. On Zoom.

September 24 (Friday), Oakland: East Bay Meditation Center, 6.30 to 8.30 p.m., with Arisika Razak: 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. 

October 4 (Monday evening gathering), Spirit Rock, 7:15 to 9:15 p.m. Meditation, talk, and discussion. On Zoom.

October 6, 13 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock, 10 to noon. Meditation, talk, and discussion. Go tohttps://www.spiritrock.org/programs/wednesday-morning. On Zoom.

October 16-17 (Saturday, Sunday): Spirit Rock, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Awakening the Boundless and Luminous Heart: Practicing the “Divine Abodes” (Lovingkindness, Compassion, Joy, Equanimity). The Divine Abodes (Brahmaviharas)of lovingkindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity, are the places of the open,boundless, and luminous awakened heart. In this non-residential retreat, 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 and caring. 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.

October 21-31 (Thursday to Sunday): Southern Dharma Retreat Center (near Asheville, NC): Settling, Seeing, and Spacious Awareness: A Retreat for Experienced Students.  In the context of an intimate retreat, we will train in three inter-related modes of practice. First, we will settle and stabilize our minds and bodies, becoming more concentrated, through both sitting and moving forms of meditation, including Qigong. As we settle, we then become better able to examine closely both our experiences of our bodies, thoughts, and emotions, and the general patterns of experience. We see more clearly when we are reactive, when we suffer, when there is a thick sense of self, and we learn to be more with the impermanent flow of experience. 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. There will be both group and one-on-one meetings with the teacher. Prerequisite: Completion of at least two 5-night or longer silent Insight Meditation retreats or permission of the teacher. For further information, please go to: https://www.southerndharma.org/retreat-schedule/971/on-site-settling-seeing-and-spacious-awareness-a-retreat-for-experienced-students/. Full with waiting list.

November 3-10 (Wednesday to Wednesday), Spirit Rock: Settling, Seeing, and Luminous Awareness (with Devon Hase and John Travis). We will train in three inter-related modes of practice. 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 our experiences of our bodies, thoughts, and emotions, and the general patterns of experience, both more personal and more universal. We see more clearly when we are reactive, when we suffer, when there is a thick sense of self, and we learn to be more with the impermanent flow of experience. 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: Completion of a class or retreat in mindfulness practice and a regular mindfulness practice. For further information and registratation, go to https://spirit-rock.secure.retreat.guru/program/settling-seeing-and-luminous-awareness-306r21-on-land/

November 14, 21 (Sundays): 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

December 1 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock, 10 to noon. Meditation, talk, and discussion. Go tohttps://www.spiritrock.org/programs/wednesday-morning. On Zoom

December 10 (Friday), Oakland: East Bay Meditation Center, 6.30 to 8.30 p.m., with Arisika Razak: 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.

December 18-19 (Saturday, Sunday): Spirit Rock, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Winter Solstice Weekend: Seeing Clearly, Opening the Heart (with Sylvia Boorstein). At this time of the Winter Solstice, of maximum darkness, we will take stock of our lives and strengthen our orientation toward wisdom and compassion in all parts of our lives. We will remind ourselves of impermanence and the fragility of everything, of our tendencies at times to reactivity rather than responsiveness, and of our interdependence. Seeing clearly how things are and our vulnerability to confusion, how could we be other than kind? Developing our kindness, through seeing when we are not kind, is the great work of the puri cation of the heart. As we go back to the fundamentals of the wise heart, our insight and commitments can deepen, and we may also arrive at new understandings and directions that can guide us in this next cycle of our lives. In this two-day retreat, we will support this process with sitting and walking meditation, short talks, and discussion.

December 12, 19 (Sundays):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

December 29 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock, 10 to noon. Meditation, talk, and discussion. Go tohttps://www.spiritrock.org/programs/wednesday-morning. On Zoom

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 September 8; October 6, 13; November 17, 24; December 1, 29; further dates TBD.

Donald’s Talks At: Dharma Seed (www.dharmaseed.org/), Audio Dharma (www.audiodharma.org/).