Family & Teen Program FAQs
Common General Questions
Can I attend a program if I am not a Buddhist?
Of course. Spirit Rock welcomes people of all backgrounds and beliefs. While we are “in the Buddhist tradition”, our programs are offered in a non-sectarian way.
Do I need to pre-register for daylongs or classes or can I register at the door?
Whenever possible pre-register for events so we have an idea of how many children and youth will be coming. However, it is also fine to pay at the door. Please note the Middle School Meditation Series sometimes fills in advance.
Why don’t you hold the Monday Night Children’s Class anymore?
Due to low attendance over several years, we discontinued offering the the Monday Night Children’s Class year round. However, we do offer the Monday Nigt Children's class for 5 to 6 weeks during the summer.
What is the schedule of the program at Family Day?
The typical schedule is a program for the whole family from 10:30-11:45am, followed by a community lunch; there are children’s break out activity groups and a parent program from 1-2:30pm, followed by a closing ceremony for the whole family from 2:30-3pm.
What do I do about lunch at Family Day?
Please bring lunch for your whole family. We have one microwave, but no refrigeration available. Families are also invited to bring a separate small healthy snack to put onto a “potluck” table for everyone to enjoy.
Can I attend Family Day with my infant or toddler?
Yes, please come. Make the day your own, feel free to leave the morning program early to accommodate the attention span of your young child and go out to enjoy the land. There is a tot group for parents and children during the afternoon program. Children age 3 & under must be supervised by a parent or other adult throughout the day.
Will my 13-14 year-old enjoy Family Day?
Your child will be at the older end of Family Day participation. Whenever possible we have a short break out group with a teen teacher for teens during the morning program. The afternoon program has a group designed for middle school aged youth.
What makes Family Retreat different from a regular adult retreat?
The Family Retreat is a special annual event that is very popular with our community. It is not a silent retreat. However, it is more than simply “family camp”. It is a retreat in the sense that each family attend to family life in a mindful and compassionate way within a supportive non-harming community. There are times throughout the day for family time together, as well as break out programs for children, youth, and adults. The retreat is appropriate for ages 6-15 and their parents/guardians. Extended family or partial family units are welcome to attend.
Teen Series & Middle School Series
What is the program offered at the Teen Series and Middle School Series?
Each class typically has two main components.
- We offer age appropriate meditations with instructions. The Middle School Series typically engages in 10 minute meditations. The High School Series typically engages in 15-30 minute meditations.
- We offer a safe supportive peer group through setting the class container and leading community-building games, movement, and council practice or discussion on topics relevant to teens and how to live the practices in our lives.
What is the schedule of the program offered at the Winter Teen Retreat?
Typical daily schedule is as follows. We have found that this schedule both challenges and supports most teens with their practice.
- 6:30 AM Wake Up!
- 7:00 Sitting Meditation
- 7:30 Breakfast
- 8:00 Mindful Clean Up
- 8:30 Free Time
- 9:15 Sitting Meditation
- 9:45 Meditation Q & A
- 10:00 Walking Meditation
- 10:30 Sitting Meditation
- 11:00 Walking Meditation
- 11:30 Small Groups
- 12:30 PM Lunch
- 1:00 Free Time
- 2:15 Mindful Movement
- 3:00 Sitting Meditation
- 3:30 Workshops
- 5:00 Dinner
- 5:30 Free Time
- 6:45 Metta Sitting
- 7:15 Walk/Stretch
- 7:30 Dharma Talk
- 8:15 Late Snack
- 8:30 Small Groups
- 9:30 Sitting Meditation
- 10:00 Bed Prep Dorm Time
Can my 14 year-old attend the Winter Teen Retreat?
No. We have found this retreat works best for 15-19 year-olds. However your 14 year-old can attend the summer weekend retreat at Abhayagiri Monastery in late August.
What is the program offered at the Abhayagiri Teen Retreat?
We offer a full program of twice-daily meditation with instruction, camping on the land, cooking in the kitchen, hiking and working on the land, an afternoon “solo” two hours on the land, and teachings. To support the simplicity of our retreat, we observe the 8 training precepts on this retreat, which include not taking life, not stealing, celibacy, honesty, sobriety, getting up early to meditate, not wearing jewelry or makeup and not eating a full meal after noon. However we do have a “snack” at dinnertime.
Teen Meditation Daylongs
What is the program offered at a Teen Meditation Daylong?
These events are daylong versions of the Winter Teen Retreat. Instructions will be offered for sitting and walking meditation periods. We will hold group discussion on how to live these practices in our lives. Games and sharing of creative interests (music, poetry, dance, martial arts etc.) will happen at the end of the day.