Spirit Rock Family Program offers classes, daylongs, benefits, and residential retreats in which the practice and teachings of mindful awareness, from the Insight Meditation tradition are offered in order to support the development of wisdom and compassion for children, teens, whole families, and the wider community. For more information about the Family Program or Teen Program, contact Dawn Scott at (415) 488-0164 x 227.
Intentions of the Family Program
- To offer insight meditation teachings and practices, such as kindness and mindfulness to families, children and teens in a non-sectarian way
- To connect insight meditation teachings and practices to the daily lives and concerns of families, teens and children
- To create a supportive practice community of families, teens and children
- To support the individual spiritual growth of parents, teens and children
Family & Teen Program FAQs
Family Program Events
Daylongs for whole families are held seasonally with Spirit Rock senior teachers. The formal program is designed for families with children ages 4-14. However, infants, children, and teens of all ages are welcome to attend. Family Days include a morning program for the whole family in which teachings are offered in forms such as plays, songs, and family activities; and an afternoon program which includes parent meditation and discussion and age appropriate activities for children.
This five-day, four-night residential summer retreat held for families with children ages 5-15 includes periods of family activities, periods of young people’s groups, parents program and free time. Activities include skits, songs, stories, art, council practice (sharing time), time on the land, a campfire evening, parent discussions, meditation for parents and children, and dharma talks.
Mindfulness for Parents Monthly Class
Mindfulness for Parents is a “drop-in” class for parents and caregivers (adults only), held the first or second Saturday evening of each month from 6:30 - 8:30 pm.
Join a supportive community of peers who are also walking the path of raising children and raising ourselves. We will apply the practice of mindful awareness to the joys and challenges of family life. We all know too well that there are numerous choices that parents and caregivers are faced with each day. Our community will focus on how we live out our parenting choices, not on what our choices are or "should be." Within a compassionate and diverse community we can learn to be more present, responsive and connected to our wise hearts and the people we love. Each session will include 20 minutes of guided meditation, teaching, dyad exercises and mindful parenting-oriented discussion.
Spirit Rock's Family Program is committed to serving diverse families including lesbian, gay, transgender and queer families as well as families of color and mixed race families.
Teen Program Events
Five-Week Middle School Meditation Series offered in Fall, Winter & Spring
A class series for 6-8th graders which includes simple insight meditation instruction, discussion and sharing time, games, movement, and community building.
Eight-Week High School Meditation Series offered in Fall, Winter & Spring
A class series for 9-12th graders which includes insight meditation instruction, discussion and sharing time, games, movement, and community building.
Teen Sweatlodge Day
An annual daylong event for teens, the Teen Sweatlodge Day is led by a Native American elder. It is an opportunity for teens ages 13-18 to experience the ancient Native American tradition of purification through sacred sweatlodge ceremony. A council, or truth speaking circle, will be held, as well as insight meditation and group games. Appropriate for beginning or experienced students.
Teen Meditation Day
An annual daylong event for teens, the Teen Meditation Day for teens ages 13-18 offers an opportunity for meditation practice and the exploration of how to live our lives with authenticity, kindness and wisdom. They are a "don't miss!" for any teen interested in experiencing meditation and mindfulness practices, truthful/heartfelt communication, safe community, and a time to relax and reflect on the mysteries and truths of our lives. Periods of guided sitting and walking meditation will be offered, along with group games and sharing time. Appropriate for beginning or experienced students. A great event to deepen the training learned in a six-week teen series, the Teen Retreats, or for teens who live too far away to attend the evening classes.
Abhayagiri Teen Retreat (Labor Day Weekend)
A two-night, three-day residential camping weekend for teens ages 14-20 at Abhayagiri Monastery in Redwood Valley, Mendocino. Teens participate in the monastic schedule, which includes periods of meditation and chanting, working and hiking on the land, and teachings from the monastic teachers. To maintain a lifestyle of simplicity while at the monastery, participants do not eat a full meal after noontime.
Winter Teen Retreat (held over New Years, 5 nights)
Held at Walden West center in Saratoga, CA (South Bay)
- Get your head straight, chill out, learn to focus, and appreciate life to its fullest!
- Explore your mind, emotions, thoughts, senses and body.
- Connect with other cool teens in a positive, meaningful way.
The Spirit Rock Teen Retreat offers a profound opportunity for teen meditation practice and the exploration of how to live our lives with kindness and wisdom. They are a "don't miss!" for any teen interested in experiencing meditation and mindfulness practices, truthful/heartfelt communication, wonderful mentors, safe community, great food, and a time to relax and reflect on the mysteries and truths of our lives.
These retreats are an opportunity for teenagers to explore mindfulness practice through guided periods of silent sitting and walking meditation, small group discussions, creative activities and unstructured free time.
Besides learning the formal meditation practices there are also times to go for walks, play music, tell stories, and enjoy others' company. Since meditation practice may be new to some teens each period of sitting and walking meditation will be limited to half an hour. Facilitators will be available to give extra support to teens whenever needed. Meals are vegetarian and are prepared with tastes and preferences of young people in mind.