Our 2017 Retreats
Heavenly Messengers: Sign Posts Toward Awakening, an Insight Meditation Retreat with Terry Ray March 24-26, 2017
We all face times of difficulty and stress in our lives. There are tools available that were given to us by the Buddha, that we can learn to use and practice in order to transform these occasions to growth and healing. Through meditation we begin to realize our own natural intelligence and a greater peace than we can imagine. This silent retreat offers guidance and a space to turn into ourselves and learn trust the present moment as well as to help us move deeper into wisdom and love.
In this retreat we learn how the teachings and practices of mindfulness and insight meditation help us navigate the storms of old age, sickness, and death and discover how to use all of life's difficulties as powerful tools that can open our hearts and pave the way to freedom. There will be silent sitting, walking and guided meditations as well as teachings, instructions and time for questions and interactive exercises.
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.
Death as a Spiritual Teacher: An Insight Meditation Retreat with David Chernikoff April 14-16, 2017
“Of all the footprints,” said the Buddha, “that of the elephant is supreme. Similarly, of all mindfulness meditation, that on death is supreme.” This retreat is an opportunity to take these words into our hearts and to allow them to radically transform the way we live our lives. A major focus of this weekend will be the practice of sitting and walking meditation in silence. There will be meditation instruction, dharma talks, and periodic discussions. In addition, we’ll do some experiential exercises that will deepen our understanding of the ways in which befriending death can inspire us to live fully, love well, and die in peace.
David Chernikoff 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 (www.insightcolorado.org) and has a private practice in Boulder as a spiritual counselor and life coach. David teaches retreats and workshops throughout the U.S.
Awakening to Impermanence: A Mindfulness and Insight Meditation Retreat with Ralph Steele May 5-7, 2017
We will experience many transitions in the natural flow of life. These changes may involve our relationships, work, living situation, community, mental and/or physical health as well as our attachment to a strong sense of identity. Changes often bring us face to face with the harsh reality of loss and grief. We may come to realize how vulnerable we are as human beings living with so much that is unpredictable. Our minds constantly seek to find structure and predictability which bumps up against our daily experiences of change. Resistance to this dichotomy lies at the root of much of our distress. It is possible to learn ways to effectively flow with changes in our lives.
In this retreat we will learn to practice selfless compassion. We will experience ways to awaken to life more fully and in each moment through the cultivation of insight meditation. Instead of reacting to the uncertainties of life with anxiety and fear, we can discover a deep sense of peace and well-being. There will be sitting and walking meditation instruction and practice, Q&A, and talks.
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.
Fully Embracing this Imperfect Life (& Self!) with Pascal Auclair June 16-18, 2017
We will explore together how meditative awareness —being particularly present to what is happening in and around us— can make our hearts more flexible, allowing for the fullness of life to be felt with balance, care and clarity. We will sit together in silence, guided by Pascal, practice walking meditation, and we will consider how the Buddha’s teaching is relevant for us today, how it cultivates a mind that is more fluid and creative and can respond to challenges and be awake to the blessings experienced daily. If you are new to meditation or have a lot of experience, you are very welcomed to this friendly and quiet gathering.
Pascal Auclair has been immersed in Buddhist practice and study since 1997, sitting retreats in Asia and America with revered monastics and lay teachers. He has been mentored by Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield at the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Massachusetts and Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California, where he is now enjoying teaching retreats. Pascal teaches in North America and in Europe. His depth of insight, classical training, and creative expression all combine in a wise and compassionate presence. In addition, his warmth and humor make Pascal a much appreciated teacher.
Turning Grief into Gratitude: Ten Skillful Ways to Cope with Loss and Separation with Bhante Buddharakkhita July 7-9, 2017
The fact that loss and separation are inevitable in our daily life, grief becomes a natural emotional reaction. But what is the cause of grief? And how do we turn grief into gratitude?
In this retreat, Bhante will give an in-depth understanding of grief, its causes and offer ten skillful ways of healing from grief. The retreat will include mindfulness of standing, sitting and walking as well as question and answer session and Dhamma talks.
Bhante Buddharakkhita was born and raised in Uganda, Africa. He first encountered Buddhism in 1990 while in India, and he began practicing meditation in 1993. After living in Asia for seven years, Bhante decided to continue his Dhamma practice in the U.S.A. In June 2001, he began monastic training, and in November 2002 he received Higher Ordination by his Preceptor the late Venerable U Silananda at Tathagata Meditation Center, California. He continued his meditation practice under the guidance of Bhante Gunaratana for eight years at the Bhavana Society, West Virginia. Author of Planting Dhamma Seeds: The Emergence of Buddhism on African Soil, and founder of the Uganda Buddhist Center, Uganda, he has been teaching meditation in Africa, Brazil and the United States. Besides spending time at the Buddhist Center in Uganda, Bhante is a teacher at Bhavana Society and the Spiritual Head of Flowering Lotus Meditation and Retreat Center.
Eighth Annual Gulf Coast Kundalini Yoga Retreat: COMMUNITY ~ Nurturing Common Unity through Courage, Creativity and Commitment July 21-23, 2017
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 eighth 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 New Orleans teacher / musician Melissa DeOrazio and her partner Matt, along with several local teachers. The cost of the entire weekend of yoga, meditation, music, wholesome food and elegant accommodation is just $300.
Kindly contact William Savage [email@example.com or 504-881- 6566] for more information, to register and to make arrangements to pay the $150 deposit or the full amount. (The balance of $150 is due one month before the retreat.)
Deepening Awareness & Strengthening Community–An Insight Meditation Retreat with Ruth King September 8-10, 2017
Racial ignorance, hatred, and suffering are at viral proportion. Yet despite appearances, our existence is part of a global constellation; a karmic soup that we all must taste. Ruth King shares strategies for polishing the third jewel – sangha – in these challenging times.
This retreat will explore belonging as a relative necessity for awakening, discomfort a call to intimacy with presence, and how wise awareness supports the experience of freedom regardless of the circumstance.
Ruth King is an insight meditation teacher, life coach, and emotional wisdom author and consultant. She is the founder of Mindful Members Meditation Community of Charlotte, a core teacher in Spirit Rock’s Dedicated Practitioner Program, and a guiding teacher with Insight Meditation Community of Washington, DC. She is the author of Healing Rage: Women Making Inner Peace Possible and her forthcoming book Mindful of Race: Understanding & Transforming Habits of Harm (Sounds True, Spring 2018). Learn more at www.RuthKing.net.
Shining the Light of Awareness on Fear with Michael Grady October 13-15, 2017
Within the framework of Buddha's teaching on the four noble truths, and drawing on methods grounded in mindfulness meditation, we will explore ways to respond to fear with equanimity, wisdom, and compassion. By including the many expressions of fear such as anxiety, worry, and self-doubt in the field of dharma practice, we can liberate our hearts and minds from the burden of fear. By shining the light of awareness on fear when it arises, we learn to relax and trust in our capacity to meet the inherent difficulties that we encounter in human life with greater faith in the power of awareness to heal and free the mind from suffering.
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.
Awakening from the Illusion of Separateness with David Loy
November 10-12, 2017
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.
Perfect Peace Beyond Time and Space with Ven Pannavati Bhikkhuni December 8-10, 2017
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.
Undoing Racism and Mindfulness Meditation: Tools for Humanitarian Transformation Dec 29, 2017-Jan 1st, 2018
Through analysis of history, we understand how racism is rooted in U.S. institutions and culture. As we learn to organize collectively to "undo racism," we can regain our full humanity. The practice of mindfulness meditation helps us to be present to what we are thinking and feeling in the moment. The registration fee is $100 for this 3 day retreat; the fee includes a signed copy of Dr. Billings book, Deep Denial.
Dr. Kimberley Richards is a trainer with The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond. She holds a Masters’ in Education Administration from Westminster College and a doctorate in Policy, Planning & Evaluation from the University of Pittsburgh. Her graduate and post-graduate work centered on internalizing an anti-racist analysis within the fields of community-based organizing, program planning, development and evaluation. Her focus is how and where internalized racial oppression and superiority impacts communities of color and efforts towards social justice and equity.
Dr. David Billings has been an anti-racist trainer and organizer with The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond since 1983. Billings has taught in several New York-based schools of social work and worked with anti-racist organizing groups across the country, including European Dissent, the AntiRacist Alliance and Citizens for Economic Equity in New Orleans. Rev. Billings is an ordained United Methodist minister. He also is an historian with a special interest in the history of race and racism.
Margery Freeman has been a trainer with The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond for over 30 years. The primary focus of her organizing has been with public and independent schools, human service agencies and social justice organizations, helping them incorporate anti-racist principles and analyses into their work. Margery Freeman has been an educator for over 40 years, spanning the field from early childhood to public school and adult literacy education.
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. She has also been rigorously engaged with two transformational groups for more than 20 years: Landmark Education and Insight. Having completed her first 10 day Vipassana meditation course led by S.N. Goenka in 2003, she has committed herself to the practice of Vipassana meditation and the sharing of this process with others.