Trainings | Classes | retreats
In this 20th offering of Poetry Day, our usual sitting and walking practices will be informed by periods of reading poetry to each other. Each poem is carefully selected by Phillip Moffitt with an eye toward selections that point us to Dharma insights.
Poems of this nature comfort us, and inspire us to take our meditation understandings into our daily life such that we see the world through Dharma eyes and respond from the Dharma heart. This is a day of fun and lightheartedness, and if you haven’t ever read a poem in front of others, don’t miss this opportunity to free your voice and find a new form of expression.
with Guy Armstrong, Sally Armstrong, Andrea Fella, and Dana Scott
The first half of this retreat will focus on the development of concentration (samadhi), the collectedness and unification of mind that gives it strength and stability. The development of concentration, which comes from cultivating a relaxed attention and ease of mind, can bring joy to your practice and lead to the skillful use of pleasure in the meditative process. Concentration is also a key ingredient in the deepening of meditative insight.
The second half of the retreat will build on the foundation of concentration to explore the nature of awareness, or consciousness, which is the heart of sentient life. Awareness is always with us, revealing the phenomena of our experience, yet we may not have learned how to use it as a focus in meditation. As we deepen our connection to and understanding of this mysterious capacity for knowing, it becomes a powerful pathway to inner freedom and liberation.
with Tuere Sala, Dawn Scott and Matthew Brensilver, PhD
Beneath the fragmentation and pain of this time, something is rumbling deep in our minds. It is as if the tectonic plates are moving inside us, but we don’t know exactly where everything will land. How can we stabilize ourselves and leverage the moment to understand the Dharma more deeply and soften our hearts more fully?
This Insight retreat will explore the power of goodness amidst the intensity of our human condition. The pāramīs serve to guide our hearts: generosity, morality, renunciation, wisdom, energy, patience, truthfulness, resolution, lovingkindness, and equanimity. These forces of goodness do not erase suffering, but guide us towards wisdom and compassion.
Practicing within our own homes offers an unusual opportunity. Our home can offer a sense of comfort but our habit energies are often strongest there. Home retreat can be transformative in ways we do not experience in residential retreats. It allows us to deeply integrate this spiritual path into our living space, creating the visual and temporal reminders of path and practice in our own home.
Traditional meditation instruction will be combined with a spirit of lovingkindness and silent sitting and walking meditation, Dharma talks, and small group practice meetings with teachers. This retreat is open to new and experienced meditators.
Teachers: Phillip Moffitt, Dana DePalma, and Tuere Sala
As a support for Insight meditation, the Nine Bodies teachings and meditations presented in this online retreat offer a new means for tracking and classifying meditative experiences which can help you stay present with whatever arises. These explorations may also increase the clarity and specificity of your mindfulness and enable the arising of insight. In this time of great uncertainty, strengthening our practice in these ways allows us to respond skillfully to the challenges that confront us and our world.
This Nine Bodies retreat will systematically explore a set of teachings about the nature of consciousness that were first transmitted to Phillip Moffitt by the Himalayan yoga master Sri Swami Premvarni Balyogi twenty years ago. They are the basis for Phillip’s book: Awakening through the Nine Bodies. The practice starts by focusing on the consciousness that arises in the physical body and then presents a series of meditations for exploring ever more subtle levels of consciousness. These teachings and meditations are intended to help you be more empowered in your Insight meditation practice.
This retreat is specifically designed as an online offering. It combines the dedicated practice time of a residential retreat while supporting yogis with family members and/or other responsibilities. The format is configured to maximize its effectiveness as a virtual retreat during this extraordinary time of shelter-in-place. It provides each of us the opportunity to integrate formal meditation and daily life practice. Each day there will be two guided meditations, time for walking/daily activities, independent sitting in the communal virtual hall, and a dharma talk. During the course of the retreat, there will be two small group practice meetings and a limited number of individual sign-up opportunities.
Please note that each teaching session and guided meditation of the retreat is a building block for the next teaching session and guided meditation. Due to this progressive building process, please plan on attending all teaching sessions. We understand that due to the home retreat aspect of this offering, you may need to skip a walking meditation or other non-essential part of the retreat. We ask that you consider carefully whether you can commit to attending all of the active teaching sessions and one small group practice meeting each day of the retreat.
This retreat is for yogis that have a committed practice and the ability to sit multiple times a day over a seven-day period. We strongly suggest that as a prerequisite, you have attended a minimum of two 5-night retreats or one 9-night retreat. This retreat is not recommended for students who are experiencing acute depression or grief or other strong mental challenges.
The one constant in our lives is change and yet we often find ourselves ill-equipped to manage it skillfully. How well you navigate change has a direct impact on the degree of well-being, purpose, and satisfaction you experience on a day-to-day basis. If you are considering a big change, or are in one now, or are still feeling the effects of a past change, this workshop offers you the personal understanding and tools to set a well-considered course for the next phase of your life.
During this weekend workshop, we will share principles about the nature of change in human lives and time-tested mindfulness practices that can help you move through times of change with more balance. Throughout the workshop, you will complete a series of self-assessments that are designed to give you clarity about your current situation and a sense of next steps.
Change naturally brings up concerns, fears, and questions that can lead to confusion, lack of motivation, or poor decisions. In this workshop, we teach skills and strategies to effectively respond to the challenges of change such as:
• Discover which areas of your life need attention, gain insights about your strengths and challenges in dealing with change, and begin to strategize about next steps.
• Recognize habits of mind that undermine you and learn practices to disengage from their influence.
• Identify your values and intentions so you have a basis for making wise decisions.
Expect a weekend full of dynamic inquiry and the opportunity to learn essential life skills for meeting your changes and transitions with authenticity, confidence, and clarity.
Normally, we meet Sundays, 6:00-8:00 p.m. in the Bayview Room of the St. Luke Presbyterian Church. During The Pandemic, all meetings are live-streamed. Please click here for details on how to connect to our Virtual Sangha.