Contemplating Death / Awakening to Life
- Spirit Rock
- 5000 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, Box 169, Woodacre, CA 94973, United States
- May 5 - 12, 2018 (7 days)
- sliding scale, speak to venue for details
Date: Saturday, May 5, 3:00pm – Saturday, May 12, 11:30am
Cost: Sliding Scale $1760 – $800, plus a donation to the teacher(s) and retreat staff. Code 352R18.
If you are interested and need financial assistance, we may have a work exchange available.
Prerequisite: Completion of one 5-night Buddhist silent meditation retreat or permission of the teacher.
The Buddha encouraged Maranasati practice to live an awakened life. This practice supports our appreciation of the preciousness of human birth and the development of equanimity with the difficulties of human existence. It helps us gain freedom from rigidity and clinging through a more expansive perspective of the inevitable and natural letting go. Maranasati matures our insight into impermanence and change, nourishing a skillful orientation to both life and death. In the retreat we will utilize the skills of loving awareness, compassion and investigation in our sitting practice, with some guided visualization and a period of contemplative inquiry each day.
Bhikkhu Analayo will make a live, guest teaching via videocast at the retreat. His newest book is Maranasati.
Teachings are appropriate for health care professionals as well as the general public. Health care professionals will be able to incorporate the tools and practices offered in this program when working with clients. Continuing Education (CE) credit available. See below for more information.
Learning Objectives for participating health care professionals-
Based on the content of this program, you will be able to:
- Incorporate practices with clients to normalize death as an integral part of life;
- Incorporate practices with clients to recognize the aliveness and life force present in this moment to cultivate embodied presence and appreciation for being alive;
- Examine relationship to “not knowing,” in ways that may be used with clients;
- Incorporate the meditation, with self and others, of “this breath could be my last,” to appreciate the immediacy and intimacy of life-and-death;
- Utilize ritual, e.g. by creating a community altar for deceased loved ones, to appreciate the common humanity of grief and loss;
- Compose own obituary to gain perspective, in ways that may be used and shared with clients;
- Incorporate practices with clients to meditate on both the inevitability and the uncertainty of death’s timing;
- Incorporate practices with clients to visualize body’s decay postmortem, to embrace death as nature’s ordinary process;
- Communicate, and examine with clients the entanglement of attachment, and the liberation in letting go;
- Utilize art, such as poetry or prose, as tools in embracing one’s own death, processing grief, and letting go, in ways that may be used and shared with clients;
- Incorporate visualization practices regarding own death to help inform life path, in ways that may be used and shared with clients;
- Utilize the practice of offering and asking for forgiveness internally, in ways that could be used and shared with clients;
- Describe the relationship between embracing death and arising of gratitude;
- Utilize practices to empathize with clients facing terminal illness.
Spirit Rock extends a special invitation to young adults (age 18-26) who wish to attend this retreat at a rate of $35 per night, on a first come, first serve basis. A limited number of special rates are available, please apply early.
Venue HighlightsSpirit Rock's residential retreat accommodations offer comfort and simplicity. Located on 411 acres in rural west Marin, 30 miles north of San Francisco, we invite you to experience an ideal natural setting for reflection and contemplative practice, surrounded by gentle hills and expansive views.
Residential retreats are held in the upper area of the Spirit Rock campus with separate buildings for dining, meeting and sleeping. Most retreats are conducted in silence—and silence is honored by all in these buildings during a retreat. Although the buildings are a short walk from each other, there is a slope from the dining room to the residences and to the meditation hall. We have personal scooters available if the steep hill is a challenge.
Spirit Rock offers housing for 96 retreatants, teachers and the staff who support our retreats. No camping is allowed on the campus. Sleeping accommodations are housed in four, two-story residence halls, named for the Four Brahmaviharas (or Divine Abodes)—Metta, Karuna, Mudita and Upekkha. These simple, comfortable buildings house both single and double rooms. Room dividers are available for double rooms to allow for more privacy if desired. Each room has its own sink and mirror, electrical outlets, shelving and hangers for belongings, a nightstand, reading light and folding chair. Most rooms offer a pleasant view of the surrounding hills or forest.
AccommodationsThe weather in northern California is temperate during most of the year, allowing for comfortable sleeping and meditation. During the winter, the residential housing is comfortably heated.
A pillow, blanket and bedspread are provided. You may bring a sleeping bag or your own bed linens for a twin-sized bed, a pillow case, and towel set, if convenient. For those travelling from afar or by airplane, linens (sheets and towel sets) are available onsite for you to borrrow during the retreat at no charge.
Bathroom facilities—including toilets and showers—are shared on each floor. There are individual stalls for privacy. Spirit Rock does not provide rooms with private bathrooms, although a private bathtub is available on the 1st floor of each building for those with special needs.
DirectionsGetting Here Via Public Transportation
You would first need to get to the San Rafael Transit Center. From central San Rafael, take the West Marin Stage Coach to Woodacre in the San Geronimo Valley. Visit Marin Transit for their schedule or call 415-526-3239.
Getting Here from the Airports
Spirit Rock is accessible from both the Oakland and San Francisco International Airports. Please allow at least 2 hours to get from either airport to Spirit Rock. Please call the bus or taxi companies for up-to-date scheduling and price information.
From the San Francisco airport (SFO), take the Marin Airporter. From the Oakland airport (OAK), take the Sonoma County Airport Express. Get off at the San Rafael Transit Center (3rd and Hetherton). From the San Rafael Transit Center, it is a 20- to 25-minute taxi ride to Spirit Rock (approx $25 - $30). The driver of the Airporter will often call a taxi for you during the drive. There are usually taxis waiting at the Transit Center (except between 7:30-9 am and 1:30-3 pm on weekdays).
For door-to-door service to Spirit Rock from either airport, you can try any of the following:
Marin Door to Door - (415) 457-2717
Western Eagle Shuttle - (415) 342-6444
North Bay Taxi - (415) 258-2800
Marin Green Cab - (415) 258-9980
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