The path of socially engaged Buddhism is a path connecting inner and outer transformation. It is about coming to see that our real work is the same whether we are in silent practice, with our families or communities, or helping to transform our larger society and ecosystems. It is to be aware and present to what is happening, to respond wisely and compassionately to suffering, to understand our interdependence, and to act with grace, equanimity, and passion in difficult circumstances.
This retreat will help us to understand and to walk this path more skillfully. It will include two talks a day, discussion, guided meditations, interactive exercises, and individual meetings with the teachers, all in the context of about two-thirds of each day in silent practice.
We will explore a number of central themes related to contemporary socially engaged Buddhism, such as: its roots in traditional teachings and practices; the relationship of individual, group, and community practices to collective transformation; the nature of a Buddhist social analysis (particularly focusing on economics, ecology, and war and peace); how the three poisons (greed, hatred, and delusion) are institutionalized; principles and practices to guide our speech, communication, and work with media; responses to suffering, conflict, and oppression (such as related to race, gender, class, sexual orientation, etc.); non-dual approaches to social action; and visions of the dharmic society.
Spirit Rock extends a special invitation to young adults (age 18-26) who wish to attend this retreat at a rate of $25 per night, on a first come, first serve basis. A limited number of special rates are available, please apply early.
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Also remember that the cost above is priced as a sliding scale. Please pay at the highest level of the sliding scale that you can afford. This allows others who need to pay less the opportunity to attend. Fee is for room and board. Teaching and staffing of the retreats is by donation at the end of the retreat. For more information, see Retreat FAQ.