Please note this retreat meets the requirements for participants in Jack Kornfield + Tara Brach’s Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification program through Sounds True.
The Divine Abodes (Brahmaviharas) of lovingkindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity, are the places of the open, awakened heart. In this retreat, on the foundation of insight meditation and the development of mindfulness, we will learn the formal practices of lovingkindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. We will also offer guidance for bringing these practices into daily life, including in challenging situations—whether in our relationships, our work and community lives, our being present in the pandemic, or in our efforts at social change. All of these practices strengthen clear seeing and wisdom, self-confidence, self-acceptance, generosity of spirit, steadiness of mind and heart, and skillful action, revealing our fundamental kindness and wisdom, in a culture in which heart and mind are often disconnected.
Core instructions in the different practices will be offered in periods of sitting meditation, complemented by talks, discussion, meetings with the teachers, walking meditation, and brief daily guided movement sessions. This retreat is suitable both for those wanting a dedicated at-home retreat, much like a residential retreat, and for those with some responsibilities wanting a home retreat with many hours of formal practice but also time for other activities. For all, there will be an emphasis on bringing practice both into our time together and our time away from the group. We have designed this retreat so that it can work well for those in the Pacific time zone as well as the Eastern time zone, and time zones in between.
Schedule (All Times in PT)
Sessions: Day 1
2 – 3 p.m. Organizing meeting on practical and technical matters: Required for all retreatants.
3 – 4 p.m. Open time.
4 – 5:30 p.m. Opening session.
5:30 to rest time. Home practice.
Sessions: Day 2-6
6 to 6:45 a.m. Qigong and sitting meditation.
6:45 to 8 a.m. Home practice.
8 to 9 a.m. Instructional sitting, Q&A.
9 to 10:20 a.m. Home practice.
9:15 to 10:15 a.m. Practice discussions in small groups (when assigned)
10:20 to 11 a.m. Sitting meditation.
10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Practice discussions in small group (when assigned)
11 to 11:45 a.m. Home practice.
11:45 a.m. to 12:15 Sitting meditation.
12:15 to 2 p.m. Home practice.
12:45 to 1:45 p.m. Practice discussions in small group (when assigned)
2 to 3 p.m. Instructional sitting, Q&A.
3 to 3:55 p.m. Home practice.
3:55 to 4:25 p.m. Sitting meditation.
4:25 to 4:30 p.m. Break.
4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Dharma Talk, discussion/Q&A.
5:30 to 6 p.m. Walking meditation.
6 to 6:30 p.m. Sitting meditation, chanting.
6:30 to rest time. Home practice.
Sessions: Day 7
6 to 6:45 a.m. Qigong and sitting meditation.
6:45 to 8:30 a.m. Home practice.
8:30 to 9 a.m. Sitting meditation
9 to 10 a.m. Home practice
10 to 11:30 a.m. Closing session.
11:30am End of retreat.
For MMTCP Students: The MMTCP student attendance and practice participation (with camera on) requirement is at least 5 sessions per day including at least 2 x Sitting Meditations and both of your your Small Group Meetings (each retreatant will have two Small Group Meetings for the duration of the retreat).
Sitting Meditation: Sitting meditation is at the heart of silent retreats. In sitting practice silence and stillness develop, concentration deepens, and awareness expands. The training of the heart brings kindness and compassion for all that arises. We come into presence and learn to find freedom in the midst of life as it truly is.
Walking Meditation: Walking gracefully and wisely on the earth is also a way to practice meditation. On retreat, periods of walking meditation alternate with periods of sitting meditation. Through walking practice we learn to sustain meditative awareness through movement. In walking meditation, we become aware in the midst of activity. Throughout the retreat we learn to cultivate a mindful awareness in all postures, sitting walking and lying down.
Dharma Talks and guided meditations: Each day, the teachers present a different set of teachings that are central to practicing mindfulness and compassion. These teaching can be applied to our own experience. Sometimes the talks focus on retreat practice, and sometimes they offer teachings for wise living in the world.
OPTIONAL: Meditation Cabins for Rent at Big Bear Retreat Center
If retreat practice is challenging because of your living situation or you would like to practice in a private location, there is an option to practice this online retreat on your own at the Big Bear Retreat Center. Please note: there would not be any in-person instruction or facilitated activities during your stay.
Big Bear Retreat Center is offering a limited number of its 3 bedroom / 2 bathroom cabins for rent, on a first-come first-served basis, for the duration of this retreat. Each cabin has a living area and small kitchen. The cabin (and portions of the grounds with wifi access) would be your own private space to participate in the online retreat virtually via your computer or phone.
Contact-free vegetarian meals will be delivered to your cabin three times per day, and coffee, tea, and snacks will be available in your cabin’s kitchen. You may also bring your own snacks with you. In addition to your private cabin, you will also have full access to the grounds, trails, meditation hall (limited capacity), and outdoor dining spaces.
Reserve a cabin on the Big Bear Retreat Center website HERE.
(Arrive 3/14 or 3/15/2021, Depart 3/23/2021)
This is a dana retreat. The Class Fee includes InsightLA’s administration fees only and it does not include compensation to the teachers. There will be an opportunity at the end of the retreat to give a donation/dana to the teachers. The practice of giving donations/dana helps continue the ancient Buddhist monastic tradition of teaching on a dana basis – dana being the Pali word for generosity or giving freely.
Your contributions help teachers to lead a life devoted to teaching both at InsightLA and in other parts of the world, including communities without the means to donate. Your gifts also allow teachers to take time for their own practice, ensuring that their teachings are continuously enriched.
It takes courage and faith for meditation teachers to dedicate their lives to offering the teachings. They must trust that daily personal and family needs will be met through this practice of dana – a system of compensation that is generally unfamiliar in our culture.