Our meditation events include:
- silent meditation
- time to reflect and journal after each meditation
- group reporting: a process in which students voluntarily describe their meditation experiences and are interviewed by the teacher
- dharma talks
- group discussions
- individual interviews with the teacher at longer retreats when time allows
In order to honor each person’s process in meditation, our meditation periods are silent rather than guided. Basic meditation instructions are given for newcomers. People who already have a meditation practice are invited to meditate in the way that they are accustomed to, or try this receptive and unstructured approach. We typically meditate for 30–45 minutes; each student is free to end a meditation earlier. Afterwards, there is time for silent reflection and journaling. Students are encouraged to inwardly recollect what actually occurred while they were meditating and find their own words to honestly describe their meditative experiences.
In group reporting sessions, students are invited to describe their meditation experiences if they choose, taking as much time as they need and speaking to their level of comfort. The teacher then gently explores the meditation with the student, helping her/him to look into it more deeply and become more aware of what happened. During these interviews, other students listen quietly without interacting and, in this way, learn about different possibilities in meditation. Confidentiality is respected.
Dharma talks address issues that come up in students’ meditations and topics that are of interest to students at the group or retreat. Questions, exploration, and critical thinking are encouraged during discussion. In these ways, we discover the teachings of early Buddhism from within meditation, rather than from an outside authority.
We offer a variety of events that are designed to provide opportunities to accommodate different schedules, interests, and levels of involvement. Most events are open to both beginners and ongoing students.