March 29 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock. 10 a.m. to noon (see class description at end).
April 8 (Saturday), Spirit Rock, 9:30 to 4:30 p.m.: The Nonviolence of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Buddhist Practice: A Day of Practice and Training (with Kazu Haga).The shared heart of the teachings and practices of the Buddha, on the one hand, and of the nonviolence of Dr. King, is the profound intention to bring love, wisdom, and skillful action increasingly to every moment and to all parts of our lives. There is a beautiful complementarity of these two approaches, which together provide us with resources that are vital as we prepare for the intensifying challenges—political, social, economic, and ecological—of 2017 and beyond. Our day will combine, after an initial overview of the connection of Buddhist practice and Kingian nonviolence, a morning devoted to the Buddha’s teachings and practices that help us transform the inner roots of violence, and an afternoon devoted to training in the theory and practice of Kingian nonviolence, using role-plays, small group work, meditations, and short talks. We will conclude with suggestions for next steps that we can take.
Kazu Haga is a Kingian Nonviolence trainer based in Oakland, California. Born in Japan, he has been involved in many social change movements since he was 17. He conducts regular trainings with youth, incarcerated populations, and activists. He is the founder and coordinator of the East Point Peace Academy and teaches regularly at the East Bay Meditation Center.
April 16, 23 (Sundays), San Rafael: Marin Sunday Sangha, 5:45 to 8 p.m.: Meditation, movement, talk, discussion. Sangha founded by Phillip Moffitt and held at St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church, 10 Bayview Drive, San Rafael, CA 94901. For further info, go to www.marinsangha.org.
April 17-18, Spirit Rock: Metta (Lovingkindness) Practice (2-day non-residential retreat): 9:30 to 4:30 each day. Lovingkindness, or Metta, is the practice of cultivating a warm, open heart towards ourselves and others, as a basic way of being in the world. It is also a path to wisdom. We cultivate metta as a meditation practice in order for it to manifest in an ongoing way in our daily lives. We grow in self-acceptance and compassion, work through our harsh judgments of self and others, and become better able to act from our awakened hearts in daily life. In this non-residential retreat, we will learn the formal practice of metta along with some of the companion practices of compassion, forgiveness, and gratitude. All of these practices strengthen self-confidence, self-acceptance, and steadiness of mind and heart, revealing our fundamental kindness. Full instructions will be offered, along with dharma talks, question and answer periods, and several short optional sessions of guided movement. Participants are asked to bring their lunch each day so that there can be an uninterrupted day of practice that includes instructions in mindful eating. Teachings and practices are appropriate for individuals and health care professionals. Continuing Education (CE) credit available.
April 19, 26 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock. 10 a.m. to noon (see class description at end).
April 30, Spirit Rock: Working with Judgments (daylong): 9:30 to 4:30: Judgments of a reactive and compulsive nature are very strong in most of our lives, and in the dominant culture. They can distort our perceptions, make relationships with others difficult and undermine our work in the world. In this daylong, we will examine what judgments are and how to work with them, using mindfulness and lovingkindness practices (and a number of periods of silent practice), inquiry, dyad work, and role play. These will help us to transform the energy of judgments--preserving the intelligence and discernment often found in judgments, while working through the destructive and compulsive aspects of judgments. We will also include exploration of how we may also internalize the prevailing judgments of our society in a number of ways, particularly related to race and ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, employment status, etc. Those attending the daylong will have an option of continuing with monthly evening follow-up sessions.
May 3 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock. 10 a.m. to noon (see class description at end).
May 4-17, Santa Fe, NM: Residency (classes, talks, one retreat).
May 27, Benicia Sangha Daylong.
May 29-June 4: Spirit Rock (Angela Center): Transforming the Judgmental Mind (6-day residential retreat, with Eve Decker, Robin Gayle, and Shahara Godfrey). Judgments of a reactive and often automatic nature are very strong in most of our lives and in the dominant culture. They can distort our perceptions, make relationships with others difficult, and undermine our work in the world. In this retreat, we will explore the nature of such judgments (and their difference from non-reactive discernment) and how to transform them. We will cultivate mindfulness of judgments and heart practices such as loving-kindness, forgiveness, gratitude, joy and compassion. We will inquire into the deep roots of judgments and explore the somatic and social dimensions of judgments, the role of cultivating awakened qualities in transforming judgments, and how to cultivate skill in speech and interaction in the midst of situations involving judgments, whether our own or those of others. These tools will help us to preserve the intelligence and energy often found in judgments, using them for discernment and compassionate action, while working through judgments’ destructive and compulsive aspects. The retreat will be held mostly in silence, with some periods of discussion and some interactive exercises, along with group and individual practice discussions. Retreatants will have the option of continuing a follow-up group after the retreat. Prerequisite: One retreat (at least a weekend, residential or non-residential) in mindfulness practice or permission of the coordinating teacher.
June 16-July 1: Israel (retreats and talks).
July 29-30, San Luis Obispo (weekend retreat).
August 1-6 (Tuesday to Sunday), Berkeley: Mindful Communication: A Wise Speech Retreat (with Oren Sofer), non-residential 6-day retreat, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.Integrating our meditation practice with our speech and communication is one of the main ways to bring deeply-held values into our daily lives and actions in the world. In this retreat, we will connect mindfulness and lovingkindness practice, the Buddha's teachings on wise speech, and the contemporary discipline of Nonviolent Communication (NVC). Collectively, these practices form a powerful foundation for cultivating awareness and empathy, strengthen our ability to stay present in challenging situations, and develop our capacity to listen and speak from the heart. The retreat will include periods of silent meditation and interactive speech exercises. This retreat is designed both for those who want to bring more attention to speech as a spiritual practice, and for those who have emphasized communication and want further grounding in meditation. NVC will be taught at a basic level; reading Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication is recommended. Participants will have the option of continuing with follow-up sessions after the retreat. Location: Sacred Streams, 2149 Byron St., Berkeley, CA (15 minute walk from North Berkeley BART). Cost: $300 + Dana-- some scholarships available. Info/Registration: http://www.orenjaysofer.com/events/2017/wise-speech-retreat
August 11-13: Bozeman, Montana (weekend retreat).
Further Daylongs and Retreats in 2017:
September 2-4, Spirit Rock: Labor Day (3-day non-residential retreat)
September 17, Nevada City, CA: Mountain Stream (daylong).
September 22-24, San Diego (Friday evening talk and 2-day study retreat)
October 2-9, Spirit Rock: Settling, Seeing, and Spacious Awareness (7-day residential retreat, with Susie Harrington).
October 14-15: Reno/Carson City, NV (two daylongs).
October 21-28, Southern Dharma (near Asheville, NC): The Three Ways of Seeing That Liberate (7-day residential retreat).
November 3-5, Louisville, Kentucky.
December 18-23, Spirit Rock: Winter Solstice Retreat: Embracing the Dark, Inviting the Light (with Heather Sundberg and John Travis) (5-day residential retreat).
Ongoing Wednesdays Class, Spirit Rock, Woodacre, CA: 10 a.m. to noon morning class: Share teaching with Sylvia Boorstein (most Wednesdays, either Sylvia or I will teach): 45 minute meditation, talk and discussion. Donald will be teaching February 22; March 29; April 19, 26; May 3; further dates TBD.
Donald’s Talks Are Available At:
Dharma Seed (www.dharmaseed.org /)
Audio Dharma (www.audiodharma.org/)
Benicia Sangha (www.bsangha.net/)
and other sites.