Our 2011 Retreats
Practicing Compassion in Daily Life with Bhante Suhita Dharma January 29-30, 2011
Bhante Suhita Dharma will discuss various ways in which we can expand compassion in our lives through meditation and other practices. This will be a mini-retreat beginning Saturday morning at 7:45 am and ending Sunday at 11 am. Kindly bring your own linen and towels. This is a pot-luck retreat. Please bring a vegetarian dish and the center will provide the salad bar and beverages.
Meditation, Mindfulness, and Movement: From Fixation to Flow with Mushim and John Ellis IV March 25-27, 2011
Human beings get stuck in more ways than one. We can become fixated on good ideas that just don’t work, unfulfilled hopes and dreams, fear of death and other changes, and memories of the way things used to be. Likewise, our physical movement can lose fluidity due to inactivity, aging, and other factors. Being fully alive and what might be called true happiness depend on our getting unstuck. We can practice being in the present moment with a mind that is fresh, full of gratitude, and ready for new learning. Silent meditation in stillness and in gentle movement with instruction for beginners, Buddhist-based teachings open to all, and a supportive spiritual community are time-honored ways to help you get unstuck, and to move from fixation into flow.
Vitality In Times of Stress: A Retreat of Kundalini Yoga with Bill Savage July 22-24, 2011
In this three-day Kundalini Yoga retreat, we will rediscover our always-present, though often-hidden, sources of vitality and seek understandings of our experiences of stress. All of this will take place through the flow of six yoga sessions. In addition, early each morning we will join in the beautiful practices of chanting and spiritual awakening, and on the second night, come together in a healing meditation. Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan is a yoga of awareness and energy. A Kundalini Yoga session comprises mantra (chanting and music), pranayama (breathing), mudra (hand gestures), bandha (body locks), asana (body postures), savasana (relaxation) and samadhi (meditation).
Bill Savage completed his Level One Kundalini Yoga teacher training in October 2007 in Thailand, and the five Level Two modules of Authentic Relationships, Conscious Communication, Mind & Meditation, Lifecycles & Lifestyles, and Vitality & Stress by September 2010. Bill has worked as a math and English teacher, a professor of language and education, and has also consulted internationally as an organizational and community development facilitator with humanitarian organizations, most recently in the areas of child rights, HIV and AIDS, and maternal health.
Becoming Our Own Best Friend: Dissipating Anger, Fear & Self-Criticism through Meditation with Mushim Patricia Ikeda-Nash September 23-25, 2011
People tend to like it when meditation produces peak experiences of bliss and inner peace. We may find it unpleasant when the simplicity of silent meditation brings us face to face with our core anxiety, irritability and judgmental thinking. We may even feel disconcerted when negative feelings such as anger or fear arise. Meditation is a dynamic vehicle for uncovering, lifting and ridding ourselves of many deep-seated negative emotions. This silent retreat is an invitation to nurture our ability to become our own best friend by practicing kindness, honesty and wise compassion toward the person with whom we have the greatest intimacy: ourself.
Mushim Patricia Ikeda is a Buddhist teacher, writer, diversity consultant, and community activist. She is based in Oakland, California where she is a core teacher at the East Bay Meditation Center,
The Nuts and Bolts of Mindfulness: Building a Meditation Practice with Carla Brennan October 7-10, 2011
Through Insight Meditation we learn to clearly see the truth of our experience and to free ourselves from old patterns of reactivity and suffering. Mindfulness is the basic practice of Insight Meditation. With systematic instructions in both sitting and walking meditation, the emphasis will be on establishing mindfulness in both stillness and movement in order to deepen and sustain awareness in daily life. Participants will practice Noble Silence, limiting speaking to only what is necessary. There will be times for questions and discussion, as well as dharma talks, as a way to support your understanding of the practice. This is an excellent opportunity for those new to meditation and also ideal for experienced practitioners who wish to deepen their meditation.
Carla Brennan M.Ed., is a Vipassana teacher at Bloom of Present Insight Meditation Sangha of Santa Cruz & San Lorenzo Valley that has been practicing Buddhist meditation since 1975 in the Zen, Vipassana, and Tibetan traditions. Her many teachers include Zen Master Sueng Sahn, Jack Kornfield, and Lama Surya Das. Carla is a Spirit Rock Meditation Center visiting teacher. She is a former psychotherapist. Carla is also an artist and craftsperson; she creates pastel paintings, photographs and makes beaded jewelry. If you are interested in seeing her creative work go to: or www.artists.com.
Meditation in Motion: Mindfulness Through Movement Practice with John Ellis IV November 4-6, 2011
How do we carry the benefits of sitting meditation into the world once we stand up and walk away from the cushion? “Meditation in Motion” is an integrated movement philosophy that uses Tai Chi, Chi Gung, Yoga and various gentle Martial Arts techniques to strengthen the physical and metaphysical connections between your mind, body & spirit. Learn to balance your Ying & Yang, and harness the universal, natural and innate energies of Fire, Water, Earth, Air and Space through short, easy to learn movement practices. Increase your awareness, concentration, and mindfulness and learn to stay in the present moment as you move through your daily journey.
Master John W. Ellis IV, is a martial artist with more than 25 years of experience in helping people strengthen the connections between the mind, body and spirit. He teaches a variety of people, including toddlers, youth, adults, senior citizens, athletes, the physically challenged, teen mothers and autistic children. He has more than 20 years of meditation practice in Christian, Zen, Vipassana and New Thought traditions. John teaches the Five Realms of Life, a Meditative Movement practice that explores the properties of Fire, Water, Earth, Air and Space.
Ushering in Prosperity and Abundance for 2012 with Dolores Watson and Pat Brawley December 30- January 1
Opening the gates to abundance is an art, a gift and a process. The art involves approaching our lives with creativity. The gift is total appreciation for what we have created thus far. The process is opening the floodgates of abundance by removing blockages while having a clear picture of what we wish to create. This retreat will use self-examination, journaling and meditation as vehicles for change. A guided process will help you explore your heart's yearnings and put them into action." This will not be a silent retreat, although there will be periods of silence for contemplation and meditation.
Dolores Watson, Founder of Flowering Lotus Meditation and Retreat Center, has been involved with healing modalities of mind, body and spirit for many years. Certified to teach hatha yoga and meditation by Integral Yoga over 35 years ago, she has continued expanding her knowledge of healing through meditation, visualizations and affirmations.
Pat Brawley, Ph.D. is a Professional Counselor, Therapist, Life Coach, Researcher and Writer with over twenty years experience focusing on the interaction between mind and body. She maintains a therapy and consulting practice and is a university professor. She is strongly influenced by mindfulness and meditation practice, Buddhist psychology, yoga and humanistic values and beliefs.