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Awakening the Heart: Practicing the "Divine Abodes" (Lovingkindness, Compassion, Joy, Equanimity): A Two Day Non-Residential Retreat
Donald Rothberg, Heather Sundberg
Monday, October 20 & Tuesday, October 21, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Community Meditation Hall
$70 - $216 sliding scale, plus a donation to the teacher(s) Add $5 at the door. Please bring your lunch. Code DR9D14.
Click to register


You may also register for Monday only.

The Divine Abodes (Brahmaviharas) of loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity, are the places of the awakened heart. Practicing to cultivate these four abodes helps us to access these wonderful and transformative qualities of the open heart.

  • Loving-Kindness (or metta): We practice cultivating a warm, open heart towards ourselves and others, as a basic way of being in the world. It is also a path to wisdom.

  • Compassion: The wise heart becomes compassion when it encounters pain or suffering.

  • Joy: The friendly heart becomes joy when it encounters happiness or beauty.

  • Equanimity: We develop a balanced heart that can increasingly hold all the joys and sorrows of life with care and wisdom.

In this non-residential retreat, we will learn the formal practices of lovingkindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity, and offer guidance for bringing these practices into daily life. All of these practices strengthen self-confidence, self-acceptance, generosity of spirit, and steadiness of mind and heart, revealing our fundamental kindness.

The retreat will be held in the context of silence, with periods of sitting meditation alternating with periods of walking meditation. Core instructions in the different practices will be offered, along with dharma talks, question and answer periods, and several short optional sessions of guided movement. Participants are asked to bring their lunches each day so that there can be two uninterrupted days of practice that include instructions in mindful eating.

Teachings are appropriate for both individuals and health care professionals. Continuing Education (CE) credit available. See below for more information.

The workshop on Monday is designed to help health care professionals:
-Utilize techniques of loving-kindness that might be shared with clients.
-Utilize techniques of loving-kindness with a range of people, both those close to themselves, and those who are not close, particularly those who are more "neutral" and "difficult."
-Learn about the potential effectiveness of loving-kindness as an antidote to distress and how to practice loving-kindness when distress arises.
-Utilize related techniques to develop compassion.

The workshop on Tuesday is designed to help participating health care professionals:
-Utilize related techniques to develop joy and gratitude.
-Utilize related techniques to develop equanimity.
-Utilize loving-kindness and compassion in ways that might be applied in daily life and shared with clients.
-Utilize joy and equanimity in ways that might be applied in daily life and shared with clients.

Young Adults (18-26) and Seniors (65+ with limited and fixed income) are invited to attend these daylongs at a rate of $35.

Please Carpool! Visit our Online Bulletin Board for Ride Sharing to find or offer a ride.

Online Registration for this event is available until 12 noon on the Friday before the event. If you can't attend, see our Cancellation Policy.

Volunteer/Work Exchange opportunities, as well as full or partial Scholarships, may be available for this program. For more information, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at volunteering@spiritrock.org or (415) 488-0164 x224.

Scholarships are not available for events listed as “Benefits.”

Even if you have been to Spirit Rock before, please review Daylong Programs at Spirit Rock for useful information about what to wear, what to bring, how to get here, and more.

Continuing Education (CE) Credit: 12 CE credits available for MFTs, LCSWs, psychologists and nurses from SRMC-SCRC for $90. Prepayment available on website. For more information, see Continuing Education (CE) Credit.



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PO Box 169 • Woodacre, CA • 94973