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We reserve the right to cancel a class or event due to low enrollment or other circumstances which would make the event non-viable. If InsightLA cancels an event you’ve registered for, you will be offered a full refund. If an event has to be postponed for any reason, you will have the option to either receive a full refund or transfer your registration to the same event at the new, future date.

Donations are not refundable.


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  • Location Benedict Canyon Retreat House
  • Experience Levels All
  • This class is a donation based class. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.
  • Date/Time Sunday, May 5, 2024
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM PT
  • Ride Sharing Sign-Up

Refund and Event Policies

The world into which we are born is filled with wonder. And, we are daily faced, both personally and collectively, with the reality of impermanence, degradation, and loss. Challenges facing us include the heartbreaking devaluation and loss of species, habitat destruction, impacts of ecological exploitation on the wellbeing of humans and whole communities, and the devastating reality that environmental suffering and degradation are inextricably interconnected with other forms of injustice.

In the face of these losses and forces that seem out of our control, if we have the privilege, it is easy to shut down, turn away, and distract ourselves from the weight of what is happening. We tend to turn habitually to reactions characterized by flight, freeze …or the perpetual inflammation of fight. What gets glossed over or pushed down may be both our experience of gratitude, reverence, and love for the earth—with all the astonishing and diverse expressions of life that she holds—as well as our grief for the wounds that must be tended—the painful losses, the fragile or ruptured state of our eco-systems and social-systems all over our shared home, Mother Earth.

Our practice (as Buddhist teacher Reverend Keiryū Liên Shutt reminds us) is a path to wholeness– no part of our humanity and our profound connection to all of life left out. This day will be given over to experiencing both our deep gratitude for Earth, in her magnificent fullness and vulnerability, as well as our immense grief and anger, for the losses, ecological ruination and a culture of domination that denies and degrades our inter-connectedness and ecological unity with all of life on the planet.

Through guided meditations and practice with the Ways of Council, we will make space for our varied emotions, whilst being grounded and held by the soothing nature of the canyon, and by the companionship of each other. It is hard to hold the enormity of what we are facing alone. We need each other. We are children of the same Mother Earth.

Our process this day will be informed by those Indigenous peoples who have carried the Circle Ways throughout their histories over so many years, The Work that Reconnects developed by Joanna Macy, the multi-faceted approach of Zen priest, climate scientist, educator-activist Kritee Kanko, the Sacred Work of Grief inspired by Francis Weller, as well as the work of other ancestors and ecological stewards.

“Honoring our pain opens us up to our love, courage, imagination and sense of justice.” —Joanna Macy

What should I bring?

For this day, you are invited to bring (optional) two small objects for our council circles—one that represents your love and gratitude for the world and one that represents your grief.

Be sure to bring a lunch (and a snack to share, if you wish). Weather permitting, we will be meeting outside, so you may wish to wear layered clothing and sturdy shoes for walking in the canyon.

Where will this retreat be?

This retreat will be held at Benedict Canyon Retreat House. Please click on the link for information about the grounds and to prepare for this daylong, including parking and carpooling.


This retreat day is offered by donation, or dana in the ancient Pali language of the Buddha. Dana describes generosity arising effortlessly from deep gratitude. The practice of dana as reciprocity honors the interconnection of all beings and nurtures a heart inclined toward appreciation, joyful giving, and right relationship with one another. We offer this day of retreat from the generosity of our teachers…and the generosity of members of our community who offer financial support to allow for a cycle of reciprocity. Please give at the highest amount your capacity allows to balance the giving of others who can give less. Thank you.

Suggested donation range (depending on your financial capacity):
$25-85 low financial capacity
$85-135 mid-range financial capacity
$135-185 high financial capacity

No one will be turned away for lack of funds.


Maureen Shannon-Chapple Teacher

Maureen Shannon-Chapple has been a practitioner of yoga and meditation since her teenage years. Her professional life has included classroom teaching, parenting trainings, adult education, and college teaching. She is a 2008 graduate of Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s Community Dharma Leader Training, and has led groups including ILA’s Family Program, mindfulness classes, and the weekly... Read more

Dina Aish, EdD Teacher

Dina is an educator and mindfulness teacher with a doctorate degree in education and teaches methods and social emotional learning professionally at the college level and to elementary school faculties throughout Los Angeles, CA. She is a founding teacher with the Insight in Schools program and has a passion for supporting teachers with mindfulness and... Read more

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