Our 2015 Retreats
Turning Poison Into Medicine, 5-Day Retreat with David Chernikoff March 18-22, 2015
The primary focus of this retreat will be the practice of sitting and walking meditation while keeping silence. There will be meditation instruction, dharma talks, and opportunities for discussion. In addition, we'll do some interactive exercises that are designed to deepen our understanding of the ways in which life's difficulties and challenges can become steppingstones leading to profound spiritual transformation.
This 5 day retreat will begin Wednesday afternoon and end Sunday morning on March 22nd. Cost of Retreat: $275. A registration fee of $150 (refundable if one cancels by March 1, 2015, minus $25 processing fee). The registration fee balance of $125 is due by March 1, 2015. This tuition of $275 does not include donation to the teacher. Note: Please bring linen for a twin bed, towels and toiletries. There is a $25 fee if we loan you linen.
David Chernikoff, M.Div., L.C.S.W., began the study and practice of meditation in 1971 and started teaching insight meditation in 1988. He trained as a yoga teacher at the Integral Yoga Institute and completed the Community Dharma Leader program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. His teaching has been influenced by senior teachers from the Insight Meditation Society and Spirit Rock, Tibetan teachers with whom he studied during a 3-year stay in Nepal, and spiritual guides from other contemplative traditions, most notably Ram Dass, Father Thomas Keating, and Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. David taught psychology and meditation for many years at Naropa University. He currently serves as one of the guiding teachers of the Insight Meditation Community of Colorado and has a private practice as a spiritual counselor and psychotherapist in Boulder.
The Wisdom that Liberates: Understanding the Four Noble Truths to End Suffering with Carla Brennan April 17-19, 2015
Everyone struggles at some point with the universal questions of why humans suffer and whether is it possible to end that suffering. The ancient Four Noble Truths reveal the cause of our suffering and the path to end it. If we practice sincerely, we can discover how to find the love, contentment and freedom that exists within. Having a thorough understanding of this process is all you need to awaken to abiding, authentic happiness.
During this weekend together, we will learn to distinguish the discomfort that is an unavoidable part of life from our conditioned patterns of reactivity that create unnecessary suffering for us on a daily basis. Instead of struggling with ourselves and the world around us we can learn to live in harmony with the way things are. We will also explore our deepest innate potentiality as human beings for genuine joy, compassion and wisdom and learn the specific steps we can take to realize our true nature. The foundational practice for the weekend will be mindfulness, that is, practicing staying aware in the present.
This weekend schedule will be a combination of formal teachings, sitting and moving meditations, reflection exercises, Q & A, and small and large group discussion. Other than during discussions, silence will be kept. This weekend is for both those new to meditation and those who wish to deepen their current practice.
Carla Brennan is an Insight Meditation teacher in Santa Cruz, CA. She is the guiding teacher with Bloom of the Present Meditation Group and a visiting teacher with the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA. Carla began meditation practice in 1975 in the Zen tradition. A few years later she began attending the newly formed Insight Meditation Society in Massachusetts practicing with Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein and others. Later she added Tibetan Buddhist practice and is a teacher of Natural Wisdom and Compassion Meditation with the Foundation of Active Compassion. Carla has taught Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for 20 years, training with Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. In the early ’90’s, Carla began attending wilderness retreats with John Milton and Sacred Passage, completing 2 one-month solo retreats near Crestone, CO, and training to be a Sacred Passage Guide. As part of her regular teaching Carla offers meditation in nature and encourages her students to open to the wisdom of the natural world. She has also worked as an artist and illustrator and is a former psychotherapist. Her personal spiritual practice also includes qi gong and hatha yoga.
Awakening a Spacious Heart Through Lovingkindness Meditation with Lisa Ernst May 15-17, 2015
With an emphasis on lovingkindness, this silent retreat will focus on cultivating what the Buddha called “the immeasurable states of heart and mind” – the Brahma Viharas or Divine Abodes. These are the qualities of love, compassion, joy and equanimity that reside in us all.
Our innate lovingkindness will be strengthened and enhanced through learning the formal practice of metta, along with brahma vihara instructions, sitting and walking meditation and dharma talks. As our hearts awaken through lovingkindness, we will discover a deeper sense of self-acceptance, self-confidence, openness and interconnection with all of life.
Lisa Ernst is a Buddhist meditation teacher, visual artist and founder of One Dharma Nashville. She emphasizes both transformational insight and everyday awakening as an invitation to embrace all of the path's possibilities. Lisa began meditating over 25 years ago in the Rinzai Zen lineage, then began incorporating Vipassana traditions as brought to the West by Jack Kornfield and others at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and Insight Meditation Society. Lisa has a close relationship with Trudy Goodman of InsightLA, who empowered her to teach in the Thai Forest lineage of Ajahn Chah. Lisa regularly leads meditation retreats and workshops, focusing especially on the South. As a practicing visual artist, she incorporated Dharma into contemplative photography and writing. She also enjoys taking meditation into diverse settings like prisons and universities.
Perfect Peace Beyond Time and Space with Ven Pannavati Bhikkhuni June 19-21, 2015
Looking for peace? Practice doesn't make perfect....only perfect practice makes perfect!
"If you can ignore your body but observe your mind, if you can ignore external objects
but observe the movement of your thoughts, you will soon forget time and space. When you observe your inner thoughts, their numbers will diminish, time will contract, space will expand and your body and mind will lighten." -Master Sheng Yen
This retreat will bring ease and delight to anyone of any faith, whether a beginning meditator or advanced contemplative. When the steps are simple and clear, anyone can get and stay on the path of peace. Retreat will be silent and include meditation instruction, sitting, walking and Q&A.
Venerable Pannavati, a former Christian pastor, ordained in both Theravadan and Chan lineages is know for her wit, compassion and laughter. She is also a Zen Peacemaker Dharma Holder and maintains and has taken many Tibetan empowerments. As an internationally known teacher and author engaged in global social activism, she conducts meditation retreats throughout the country sharing the Dharma in a way approachable to all. For more information, please visit pannavati.org.
Sixth Annual Gulf Coast Kundalini Yoga Retreat: Nurturing Body, Mindfulness and Spirit July 17-19, 2015
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 and exercises), savasana (relaxation) and dhyana (meditation).
A session typically flows through a sequence of tuning in, warming up (breathing and/or exercises), kriya (a series of asana), relaxation, meditation, and closing.
This will be the sixth year that folks from around the Gulf Coast states and elsewhere come together to experience the benefits of Kundalini Yoga. We will be led and inspired by several local teachers. The cost of the entire weekend of yoga, meditation, music, wholesome food and elegant accommodation is just $250.
Kindly contact William Savage [email@example.com or 504-881-6566] for more information, to register and to make arrangements to pay the $125 deposit or the full amount. (The balance of $125 is due one month before the retreat.)
Cultivating the Garden Of Love ~ Zen Mindfulness as Taught by Thich Nhat Hanh, led by monks and nuns from Magnolia Grove Monastery July 24-26, 2015
In this retreat we will learn how to better tend our garden of love. We will learn about Buddhist psychology on consciousness, looking at our daily sources of nutriments and how to selectively water only positive elements in ourselves. You will explore deeply the practice of Beginning Anew and reconciliation with yourselves and others. There will be one-to-one consultations with monastics, who can help you find ways to apply mindfulness practices to resolve difficult issues in your life. Daily mindful walking meditation with the community and being in touch with the peaceful retreat environment will also help you heal and blossom. One gardener is not enough; we need many hands to help us tend our garden.
Magnolia Grove Monastery is a residential monastery in Batesville, Mississippi. It is simultaneously Magnolia Village, a Mindfulness Practice Meditation Center in the tradition of Plum Village, founded by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, who was nominated for a Noble Peace Prize by Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Magnolia Grove is the realization of a dream held by a compassionate community intent on establishing a center for mindfulness in the tradition of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. Deer Park Monastery in California and Blue Cliff Monastery in New York also uphold his tradition. Now, his teaching and methods of practice are taking root in Mississippi.
Life As Meditation with Michael Grady September 11-13, 2015
All aspects of our lives hold the potential for deep learning and liberating wisdom. Regular and effective meditation/mindfulness practice on and off the cushion offers the potential for transforming negative qualities such as anger, impatience and anxiety into peacefulness, compassion and equanimity. The retreat will support this process of awakening by encouraging continuity of awareness and open-hearted exploration of all that arises throughout the day. Emphasis will be on developing a wise and compassionate attitude in mindfulness practice, as well as nurturing a spirit of inquiry. This retreat will include sitting and walking meditation, brief talks, Q&A and dyad sharing.
Michael Grady is a core teacher at the Insight Meditation Society and has been a guiding teacher for more than 20 years at the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center, an urban dharma center that emphasizes contemplative practice in daily life.
Michael began practicing Insight meditation in 1974 with Joseph Goldstein and Sharon Salzberg. More recently, he trained with the late Master Sheng Yen and was introduced to the practice of Silent Illumination in the Chan tradition. This practice emphasizes cultivating a wise and compassionate attitude in meditation practice, as well as including all of life as an opportunity for awakening.
Tending the Fire with Ralph Steele October 23-25, 2015
Tending the Fire During this retreat we will explore the nature of our character and the stress that comes with upholding a public persona. Using a physician’s approach of diagnosis and treatment, we will apply the Buddha’s wisdom, as expressed in the Noble Skills, to upgrade our self-healing tools and cultivate love for ourselves. We will tend our fire with loving-kindness, mindfulness, and insight meditation practices as our allies on the road to happiness and well being. The retreat is appropriate for meditators of all levels of experience. Small group interviews will be available.
Ralph Steele has been teaching meditation retreats since 1987. He was instrumental in establishing people-of-color retreats at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA, and Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA. Ralph is a Vietnam veteran; he practiced, as an ordained monk, in the monasteries of Burma and Thailand with masters of Buddhist Psychology. He has also received extensive training from Tibetan, Zen, and Hindu meditation masters for over forty-five years. He is the guiding teacher for Life Transition Meditation Center. Ralph's book, Tending The Fire, will be available for sale.
Awakening from the Illusion of Separateness with David Loy November 13-15, 2015
"We are here to overcome the illusion of our separateness."
--Thich Nhat Hanh
I came to realize clearly that mind is nothing other than rivers and mountains and the great wide earth, the sun and the moon and the stars." -- Dogen
Our usual sense of being a self separate from other humans and the rest of the natural world is a delusive mental construct that condemns us to existential insecurity and loneliness. In this course we will use meditation, contemplative inquiry and discussion to explore the nature and implications of nondual experience, paying special attention to the habits of perception, thought and action that permit the illusion of separation to thrive, and how to move beyond them to awaken to the profound realization of our connection to all of life.
David R. Loy is a Buddhist philosopher who writes on the interaction between Buddhism and modernity. He has been practicing Zen since 1971 and is an authorized teacher in the Sanbo-Kyodan tradition of Japanese Zen Buddhism. David has taught at the National University of Singapore and Bunkyo University in Japan. From 2006 to 2010 he was the Besl Family Chair Professor of ethics/religion and society at Xavier University in Cincinnati. Learn more about David Loy at www.davidloy.org.
Endings and Beginnings, New Year, New Moment with Terry Ray December 31, 2015 – January 2, 2016
There are endings and new beginnings throughout much of our lives. Each precious present moment actually is a fresh beginning, a setting aside of what has come before now and a gateway to what will come. Our lives take place in between the past and the future in this moment.
The end of a year is an ideal time to go into retreat, giving us pause to reflect on what has transpired and where we are headed. We can cultivate compassion by appreciating our goodness and forgiving ourselves our mistakes during the year gone by; releasing the past in order to move on. The beginning of a new year brings freshness and encouragement. By setting our intentions, we align with what are the most important things to us. This opens the door for the opportunity to set a direction for the course of our actions.
We will practice how to be present and hold the past and future lightly as we inhabit the eternal moment of NOW.
This will be a silent meditation retreat with sitting and walking meditation. Terry will give instruction, dharma talks and will meet in small groups or individually. The retreat is appropriate for all levels of practice.
Terry Ray is a licensed psychotherapist who has been practicing Vipassana meditation since 1974, and teaching for over 30 years. She completed the first Community Dharma Leader’s program at Spirit Rock, leads retreats and teaches through the Insight Meditation Community and at Naropa. Terry also studied intensively with Charlotte Selver in Sensory Awareness, and is certified to lead this somatic based mindfulness practice.