Our 2018 Retreats
Transforming Suffering Into the Brightness of Wisdom with Venerable Pannavati March 16-18, 2018
Suffering and wisdom are intricately connected.There are issues that are common to all of us in life. But, it depends on how we approach, understand and resolve the issues as to whether we suffer or not. This weekend, we will investigate short cuts to transform the way we see obstacles that will allow us to go through adversity joyfully. Connecting a clear, unattached mind to the authentic heart leads to personal and communal transformation; and ultimately, enlightenment. This retreat will include instruction on sitting and walking meditation, talks and Q&A. Bring ear-plugs and your list of "worries"!
Venerable Pannavati, known for her wit and joy is Co-Abbot and Director of Heartwood Refuge, a Buddhist training community and non-sectarian retreat center near Asheville NC. She works internationally training Dharma teachers, lay practitioners, and monastics. Responsive to contemporary issues, she advocates for under-privileged communities, makes the depth of the Dharma accessible to all and guides in meditation cultivation. She is on the visiting faculty of Naropa University and Barre Institute for Buddhist Studies and teaches at Vipassana, Theravadan, Mahayana ndd Tibetan centers throughout the country.
The Sweet Joy of the Way: An Insight Meditation with David Chernikoff April 13-15, 2018
Buddhist teachings offer a radically different perspective on happiness than the one we are given by conventional society. Many of us have become so confused about the nature of real happiness that we’ve given up on trying to experience it. The teachings make it clear that real happiness exists and that it’s a genuine possibility for every one of us, regardless of our external circumstances. In this retreat, we’ll explore the ways in which Buddhist and other contemplative practices increase our access to the “ease of well-being” described by the Buddha. A major focus of the weekend will be the practice of sitting and walking meditation in silence. There will be meditation instructions, dharma talks, and some experiential exercises designed to deepen our understanding of this enriching and celebratory aspect of our lives.
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 and has a private practice in Boulder as a spiritual counselor and life coach. David teaches retreats and workshops throughout the U.S.
Reconnecting with Ourselves, our Earth and our True Nature with Terry Ray May 18-20, 2018
In daily life, we are pulled by outer distractions and often lose touch with our deeper truth. This retreat is a time to turn inward and reclaim the richness of that which is most meaningful in us. Through the silence and stillness, what is most essential becomes apparent, and we reclaim our own hearts and experience profound interconnection with the earth and all beings.
The time will be spent in silent sitting and walking meditation and include instruction, dharma talks, questions and answers and guided loving kindness
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. Terry is the author of Embodied Presence, A Spiritual Memoir.
Emotional Healing through Self-Acceptance: An Insight Meditation Retreat with Mushim Patricia Ikeda June 15-17, 2018
How much more love, joy, energy and purpose might we feel in our lives through accepting and engaging all the parts of ourselves that we feel pressured or shamed into hiding or editing? Can we begin by showing up as whole persons to ourselves? Insight (mindfulness) meditation, loving kindness (metta) meditation, and compassionate dialogue in spiritual community offer powerful tools for emotional healing through self-acceptance. Meditation instruction, Dharma talks, and facilitated mindful sharing.
Mushim Patricia Ikeda is a Buddhist teacher, writer, diversity consultant, author, mentor, and community activist. She teaches meditation retreats for people of color, women, and social justice activists nationally. Mushim has become widely known for her down-to-earth, humorous, and penetrating approach to Dharma and social transformation. Mushim has taught residential meditation retreats for people of color, social justice activists, and women nationally, and her work is based in values of cultural humility, acknowledging the wisdom that is ever-present in individuals and collectives, and the need for expression, empowerment, and co-creative self-determination in marginalized communities. Mushim has been featured in the award-winning documentary film Between the Lines: Asian American Women’s Poetry and as one of three subjects in the documentary Acting on Faith: Women’s New Religious Activism in America, distributed by the Pluralism Project at Harvard University. She is based in Oakland and teaches primarily at the East Bay Meditation Center in downtown Oakland, where she also served on the board of directors, known as the Leadership Sangha, for seven years. She now works part-time on EBMC’s staff as the community coordinator.
Freedom from Fear and Anger with the Four Foundations of Mindfulness with Bhante Buddharakkhita July 13-15, 2018
Do you have difficulties in finding peace, happiness and balance in your daily life?
Do you experience difficulties in relationships?
During this retreat we will explore various ways of cultivating mindfulness and loving-kindness in order to overcome fear and anger. When mindfulness and Loving-kindness practice gain momentum, they serve as supporting factors for developing inner-peace, true happiness and wisdom.
The weekend will include mindfulness of walking, sitting, standing, discussion group, guided insight meditation (vipassana) instructions, 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.
Compassionate Meditation: Pathway to Liberation from Thoughts and Unpleasant Emotions with Vimalasara Mason-John September 14-16, 2018
Pain is inevitable suffering is optional. This is because we multiply our pain whenever we resist it, with stinking thinking that stokes unpleasant emotions. The Buddha said I teach two things: ‘An end to suffering and a way out of suffering’. These truths have transformed my life. The Practice of Loving Kindness saved my life. I was destined for a life in prison, or as a school teacher once predicted, ‘scrubbing floors.’ The Four Noble Truths, the miracle of mindfulness, the compassionate salve of self-kindness was my way out of suffering. Come sit with me, bring a childhood photo or something that is symbolic of your childhood, and allow some of the Buddhist teachings to unleash your liberation.
Dr Vimalasara (Valerie) Mason-John M.A is a TEDx speaker, author of 8 books including Detox Your Heart, Meditations for Emotional Trauma, and her award-winning books Eight Step Recovery - Using The Buddha’s Teachings to Overcome Addiction and her novel Borrowed Body. She is a senior teacher in the Triratna Buddhist Order, practicing for 27 years, chair of Vancouver Buddhist Centre, President of the Buddhist Recovery Network and one of the organizers of the GENX Buddhist Teacher’s gathering in 2019. She curated the Tricycle series Teachings for Uncertain Times 2018, and was the recipient of a European Diversity Awards 2018, for her past work in the LGBTQ communities in the UK. She is a co-founder of Mindfulness-Based Addiction Recovery MBAR and trained as a telephone counsellor for Night Line UK. She lives in Canada and tours internationally as a public speaker and is one of the new leading African Descent voices in the field of Mindfulness Approaches for Addictive Behaviours.
Investigating the Mind: A Four Day Retreat with Shaila Catherine October 18-21, 2018
Although meditation is renowned for promoting tranquility and mental calmness, meditation is not passive. Investigative methods play a vital role in the skillful development of mindfulness, wisdom, and liberating insight. This insight meditation retreat will cultivate ways of investigating the mind, working with hindrances, and clarifying perception. We will examine the quality of our minds to understand how we might meet life’s experiences free from suffering. This silent meditation retreat will include sitting and walking meditation, meditation instruction, and teachings.
Shaila Catherine is the founder of Bodhi Courses, an online Dhamma classroom, and Insight Meditation South Bay, a Buddhist meditation center in Silicon Valley in California. She has been practicing meditation since 1980, accumulating more than eight years of silent retreat experience, and has taught internationally since 1996. Shaila studied with masters in India, Thailand, and Nepal, and also with the founders of western meditation centers. She completed a one-year intensive meditation retreat with the focus on concentration and jhāna, and authored Focused and Fearless: A Meditator’s Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity. From 2006-2015 Shaila practiced under the direction of Venerable Pa-Auk Sayadaw. She authored Wisdom Wide and Deep: A Practical Handbook for Mastering Jhāna and Vipassanā to help make this traditional approach to samadhi and vipassana accessible to western practitioners.
Cultivating a Fierce and Gentle Heart: A Zen Meditation Retreat with Rev. Michaela O'Connor Bono November 9-11, 2018
In this retreat we will explore what it feels like to cultivate deep pointed awareness as well as spacious openheartedness. What is the balance between effort and effortlessness in meditation? How do we maintain discipline in meditation while allowing unconditional love to arise? Guided by the Six Perfections of generosity, ethics, patience, energy, concentration and wisdom, we will bring vigor into our meditation practice. We will also cultivate a sense of spaciousness which allows for a gentle and flexible heart and mind.
This silent retreat will include meditation instruction, dharma talks, sitting and walking as well as some Q&A. Suitable for both beginners and experienced practitioners.
Reverend Michaela O'Connor Bono is a Zen Buddhist Priest, meditation teacher and the leader of Mid City Zen, a sangha in New Orleans, LA. She trained at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center and Green Gulch Farm, both monasteries in the Suzuki Roshi lineage. She has served on the board of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship and was a founding member of Sakyadhita USA, a branch of the International Association of Buddhist Women. She is involved in prison meditation and interfaith work. She believes everyone has a mystic heart and loves sharing the practice of meditation, especially with those who think they are bad at it.
Wake Up!!! Wisdom and Compassion as Pathways to Awakening with JoAnna Harper Hardy December 7-9, 2018
On the path to making a more equitable, just and awake world, we need to wake up to our own internal knowing. How we express ourselves externally comes from direct relationship to our own hearts and minds. Through clarity of heart and mind, we are capable of the greatest wisdom and compassion. We will practice mindfulness meditation together both in silence and through relational exercises so that we as compassionate partners can co-create the path of non-harm.
JoAnna Hardy has been exploring and practicing multiple traditions since 1999. In 2005, her focus landed on Buddhism and Vipassana meditation. Helping communities and individuals that don’t typically have access to the traditional dharma settings, social/racial justice and building multicultural community is top on her list of priorities. She is an empowered teacher in the Spirit Rock, IMS lineage and a Guiding Teacher at the MeditationCoalition.org
Active Hope: Engaging the World Without Giving Up, 4 Day Retreat with Sarah Vekasi December 29, 2018-January 1, 2019
This workshop is about embodying deep resilience needed in these trying times, to strengthen us in our work of transforming the world, help us prevent and recover from burnout, and go forth into the New Year strong in our commitment to our work and our world. This workshop will help us engage the world as it is, through our own unique contribution toward a more life affirming society. We will work on finding gratitude when and where we can, honor and allow our grief and despair for these trying times, and use our lived experiences and those of our ancestors, and those to whom we will be ancestors, to guide us to see these times with new eyes. This workshop will follow the spiral of the Work that Reconnects as created by master teacher Joanna Macy. This is a workshop for anyone engaged in the transformation of our world.
Sarah Vekasi, M.Div. is the founder of the Eco-Chaplaincy Initiative, in Black Mountain, NC, which provides pastoral support for social justice and environmental justice activists throughout Central Appalachia and North Carolina. Sarah is a longtime student and colleague of Joanna Macy, facilitating and teaching the Work That Reconnects and Active Hope with her for many years. Originally from rural Montana, Sarah entered the world of direct action activism and community organizing as a teenager. She lived in a tree for nearly a year in Western Washington and helped organize large protests and movement spaces throughout the west coast in the late 1990’s. In her young twenties she needed answers about suffering and the Bodhisattva pledge, so she moved into a traditional Zen monastery in Japan for several years, practicing with Tangen Harada Roshi, before returning to the United States in 2004 to coin and create Eco-Chaplaincy. Sarah has a Master of Divinity from Naropa University, and has worked as a Chaplain within the movement to end mountaintop removal coal mining and towards a sustainable Appalachia since 2009.