with Carla Brennan and Nina Wise

Come practice among old trees and new growth, allowing the stillness of the forest to deepen our meditation. When we are receptive, the natural world can teach us directly about awareness, embodiment, interconnectedness, compassion and can reveal to us our own True Nature.

In addition, spending frequent quiet time in the forest has been shown to offer many physical and emotional benefits: better sleep, lower blood pressure, reduced stress, improved mood, and a boosted immune system.

We will meet outdoors in a lovely natural amphitheater surrounded by redwoods in the Santa Cruz Mountains of Ben Lomond, CA. The day will be mostly in silence, practicing both sitting and moving mindfulness meditations. For both experienced and beginning meditators.

September 9th, 9:30–3:30
Ben Lomond, CA

Donation basis. No fee. Registration Required.

The Dharma and the Drama

with Nina Wise and Wes Nisker

During this silent retreat we will study and practice together the art and discipline of mindfulness meditation. As we do our meditation practice we will draw on the radical new understandings of contemporary science, history, and culture, helping to support and amplify the teachings of the Buddha. We will also practice gentle yoga as we explore the path to freedom through the body. 

The retreat will make creative use of classic Buddhist meditation techniques: to explore the evolutionary origin of our body and emotions; practice traditional Buddhist reflections on death and dying; examine our nature "as" nature; and through movement, ground our awareness in the body. All the while, we will examine the tricky delusions of mind and the mystery of consciousness itself. In the process we expect to find relief from our personal drama and a new sense of delight and meaning in our embodied lives. 

The retreat will also include poetry, chanting and a little "crazy wisdom." 

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. 

Monday, September 18, 3:00pm through
Sunday, September 24, 11:30am
Spirit Rock, Woodacre, CA
$1475–$670 sliding scale for this weeklong, residential retreat


Dharma for Artists

with Nina Wise

The dharma is a profound source of inspiration and support for artists whatever our medium of expression. Insights gained from our meditation practice inform our art-making, and dharma teachings provide guidance as we negotiate the often challenging terrain we encounter in our careers.

The daylong includes silent meditation practice, gentle movement, and dharma teachings specifically geared to the issues faced by artists. How do we maintain equilibrium as we embrace a path that may not deliver the financial stability we crave? How do we deal with disappointment if we audition for a role and are not cast, apply for a grant that is not granted, receive a negative review from an art critic or colleague or a submitted manuscript that is rejected? How do we create a healthy relationship with our inner critic? In addition, let's discuss the ways a meditation practice enhances the quality of our work.

This is an opportunity to meet other artists who meditate and gain support, insights and connections.

Sunday October 22, 9:30–4:30
Spirit Rock Meditation Center

Nina is an inspiration. I loved listening to her speak, the zen approach that celebrates human frailty in such a fun, uplifting way.
— Student in Barcelona