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"In truth we are always present; we only imagine ourselves to be in one place or another."
—Howard Cohn

Contemplating Death / Awakening to Life
Eugene Cash, Nikki Mirghafori, Bhikkhu Analayo (via videocast), Janice Clarfield (yoga)
Saturday, May 5, 3:00pm - Saturday, May 12, 11:30am
upper Retreat Hall
$1760 - $800 sliding scale, plus a donation to the teacher(s) and retreat staff. Code 352R18.
OPEN-Apply Online Here

Download application forms to submit via fax, email, or postal mail.
If you are interested and need financial assistance, we may have a work exchange available.



Prerequisite: Completion of one 5-night Buddhist silent meditation retreat or permission of the teacher.

The Buddha encouraged Maranasati practice to live an awakened life. This practice supports our appreciation of the preciousness of human birth and the development of equanimity with the difficulties of human existence. It helps us gain freedom from rigidity and clinging through a more expansive perspective of the inevitable and natural letting go. Maranasati matures our insight into impermanence and change, nourishing a skillful orientation to both life and death. In the retreat we will utilize the skills of loving awareness, compassion and investigation in our sitting practice, with some guided visualization and a period of contemplative inquiry each day.

Bhikkhu Analayo will make a live, guest teaching via videocast at the retreat. His newest book is Maranasati.

Teachings are appropriate for health care professionals as well as the general public. Health care professionals will be able to incorporate the tools and practices offered in this program when working with clients. Continuing Education (CE) credit available. See below for more information.

Learning Objectives for participating health care professionals-

Based on the content of this program, you will be able to:
  • Incorporate practices with clients to normalize death as an integral part of life;
  • Incorporate practices with clients to recognize the aliveness and life force present in this moment to cultivate embodied presence and appreciation for being alive;
  • Examine relationship to “not knowing,” in ways that may be used with clients;
  • Incorporate the meditation, with self and others, of “this breath could be my last,” to appreciate the immediacy and intimacy of life-and-death;
  • Utilize ritual, e.g. by creating a community altar for deceased loved ones, to appreciate the common humanity of grief and loss;
  • Compose own obituary to gain perspective, in ways that may be used and shared with clients;
  • Incorporate practices with clients to meditate on both the inevitability and the uncertainty of death’s timing;
  • Incorporate practices with clients to visualize body’s decay postmortem, to embrace death as nature’s ordinary process;
  • Communicate, and examine with clients the entanglement of attachment, and the liberation in letting go;
  • Utilize art, such as poetry or prose, as tools in embracing one’s own death, processing grief, and letting go, in ways that may be used and shared with clients;
  • Incorporate visualization practices regarding own death to help inform life path, in ways that may be used and shared with clients;
  • Utilize the practice of offering and asking for forgiveness internally, in ways that could be used and shared with clients;
  • Describe the relationship between embracing death and arising of gratitude;
  • Utilize practices to empathize with clients facing terminal illness.

Spirit Rock extends a special invitation to young adults (age 18-26) who wish to attend this retreat at a rate of $35 per night, on a first come, first serve basis. A limited number of special rates are available, please apply early.

Online Bulletin Board for Ridesharing


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.

Continuing Education

This course offers 21 CE credits for $210 for psychologists and California licensed MFTs, LCSWs, LEPs, LPCCs, nurses, and chiropractors. If you have a different license and are interested in CE credit, please check with your licensing Board to see if credits for programs from APA or BRN approved providers are accepted.

Continuing Education credit is co-sponsored by Spirit Rock and the Spiritual Competency Resource Center.
  • The Spiritual Competency Resource Center is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Spiritual Competency Resource Center maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • Spirit Rock is a provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP16905 for 21 contact hours.
  • The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE credits for license renewal for programs from APA approved agencies.
  • The California Board of Chiropractic Examiners Code of Regulations 361(h)(2) provides that continuing education requirements may be met by taking continuing education courses by any California Healing Arts Board approved provider, including those approved by the BRN.
Credit is awarded for instructional time only and does not include extended silent meditation. To qualify to receive the certificate of completion, participants must attend and sign-in to all required sessions. The list of required sessions will be available at the beginning of the retreat. No partial credit for partial attendance. For more information about CE credit at Spirit Rock, please see Continuing Education (CE) Credit.

Cancellation Policy: Refunds are available for residential retreat CE fees. If you would like a refund for your CE fee, you must cancel by 4:00pm at least two (2) business days prior to the event. If you contact us at least two business days preceding the retreat, we will refund your CE fee minus a $50 cancellation fee. If you cancel beyond the deadline stated above, you will not receive a refund. Please contact the Retreat Registrar at: retreats(at)spiritrock.org.

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