This retreat is accepted as a part of the requirements of MBSR teacher trainings at both Brown University Mindfulness Center and UCSD (University of California San Diego). This retreat also meets the requirements for participants in Jack Kornfield + Tara Brach’s Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification program through Sounds True. Please read the Criteria for MMTCP Retreat Attendance Requirements.
This Online retreat is suitable for both beginning and experienced meditators. We will work primarily with the first of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness – mindfulness of the body. The “32 Parts of the Body” meditation has rarely been taught in the West; you will be introduced to it from an Insight perspective of the true nature and wonders of the body. This practice has also been used for healing illness and most importantly to help eradicate the erroneous view of self. Various methods will be taught to strengthen mindfulness of the body and to explore the mind/body connection.
We will follow the usual format of an Insight Meditation (Vipassana) retreat, with periods of sitting and walking meditation, as well as qigong sessions for further exploration of mindfulness of the body. Each day there will be a talk and systematic meditation instructions that are embedded in lovingkindness. These teachings and practices will emphasize quieting the mind, opening the heart, and developing clarity, wisdom, and compassion; and foster the depth of practice.
This retreat is appropriate for the general public, health professionals, and mindfulness teachers or in training.
Schedule PT (tentative and subject to change):
Monday 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Tuesday – Saturday 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
Sunday 8:00 am – 12:30 pm
Tuesday – Saturday Schedule
9:00 Silent Stationary/Sitting Meditation
9:45 Practice Group Meeting (when assigned) or Movement/Walking Meditation
10:30 Instructions and Q&A
11:30 Practice Group Meeting (assigned) or Movement/Walking Meditation
12:15 Silent Sitting Meditation
1:00 Meal Break
3:45 Silent Stationary/Sitting Meditation (Instructions and Q&A will start on Day 3)
4:30 Practice Group Meeting (when assigned) or Movement/Walking Meditation
5:15 Dharma Talk
6:00 Meal Break
7:30 Silent Stationary/Sitting Meditation
8:00 Rest or Continued Practice
Sitting (or stationary) Meditation: Sitting meditation is at the heart of silent retreats. In sitting practice silence and stillness develop, concentration deepens, and awareness expands. Through training the heart, kindness and compassion are awakened to meet all that arises within awareness. We come into presence and learn to find freedom in the midst of life as it truly is. The Buddha invited us to establish mindfulness in all postures. For those who find sitting is not possible for their body, alternate stationary postures are suggested.
Walking Meditation (or movement meditation): Throughout the retreat we learn to cultivate mindful awareness in all postures: sitting, walking, standing, and lying down. In mindful walking meditation practice, we learn to sustain meditative awareness through movement, and establish continuity of mindfulness in the midst of activity. Walking meditation helps us to bridge the gap between our experiences in seated meditation and daily life. We alternate between sitting and walking meditation to support the establishment of mindfulness and concentration and to balance the factors of energy and calm in our practice. The Buddha invited us to establish mindfulness in all postures. For those who find walking meditation is not possible, alternate forms of mindful movement are suggested.
Eating Meditation: Instructions will be given on how to integrate the process of nourishment and eating as a meditation during retreat for continuity of mindfulness and a deepening of practice. Retreatants are encouraged to bring the same calm, focused attention to eating as is brought to sitting, walking, and other activities. Through reflection on the Buddhist teaching of interdependence, we have the opportunity to slow
down and recognize each bite of food we eat is a result of countless causes and conditions and to appreciate the blessing of mindful nourishment.
Dharma Talks and guided meditations: Each day, the teachers present a different set of teachings that are central to practicing mindfulness and compassion. These teachings can be applied to our own direct experience. Sometimes the talks focus on retreat practice, and sometimes they offer teachings for wise living in the world.
Dana/Generosity: There will also be an opportunity to offer Dana for the teachers and center at the end of the retreat. Thank you for your support!
My intention for this retreat was to feel more at home in my body. The experience fulfilled my intention and brought gifts I could not have envisioned. Learning from Bob Stahl, Mary Grace Orr, Christiane Wolf & Marcy Reynolds has been a great honor! Thank you to the teachers as well as to Anisa, Alex & all of the support staff for an amazing adventure! – Shari S.
I had no idea a Zoom-based retreat could be so profound. A powerful experience rebalancing my body and mind. Each of the teachers brought such wise, deeply real teachings. The many different elements of the retreat were so thoughtfully woven together into a balanced, holistic experience. The combination of body and mind practices was rich and different from any Buddhist retreat I’ve experienced; I am so happy to have gained this truly embodied window into practicing the Dharma. Also, everything felt extremely well organized and the logistics flowed smoothly. I was surprised to feel a real sense of sangha even online; the teachers managed to cultivate a real sense of all of us being in spiritual community, on retreat together. – Redwood R.
I entered this retreat with no expectations or knowledge of what it would specifically include. I signed up intuiting I needed to develop a relationship with my body, but didn’t know where to start. I entered feeling somewhat skittish, anxious, insecure. I now realize that was my fear mind having its way with me. I now feel more at home in my body, fear of being in my body has been replaced with gratitude for my body’s internal workings, a releasing of unrealized holding, and ultimately freedom from my old narrow, pathological narrative. The qigong was a delightful and enriching surprise at how it solidified the body practices even deeper. My body, mind and spirit now feel in alignment with my deepest heart’s intentions. Additionally, the connection I felt with the group, virtually no less, was something unexpected and yet fulfilled a longing I didn’t know was there. – Anna R.
A truly amazing experience. I highly recommend this retreat to anyone who feels at war with themselves, aggression towards self, or full of self loathing. These practices will challenge and delight you in so many unimaginable ways. And in the end you will have a deeper appreciation for your body and your planet. – Xochitl M.