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

Through the Dark Night: Breaking Down, Breaking Through, Waking Up
Donald Rothberg, Marisa Handler
Saturday, March 3, 10:00am - 5:00pm
Community Meditation Center
Sliding Scale $75 - 200. Please bring your lunch. Code DR1D18.
OPEN-Register Here

Many of us at some time pass through a “dark night of the soul,” an extended encounter with pain, confusion, and disorientation, sometimes manifesting as depression or breakdown or loss of functioning. In the West, such experiences are often hidden and regarded with shame. In some other cultures, they are viewed as central to individual evolution, bringing transformation, purification, and amazing gifts.

On this daylong, we will explore this phenomenon through meditation, talks, discussion, and sharing. We will offer a map of the dark night as part of awakening, identifying perspectives and practices that help us with this process. Students should bring pen and paper.

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 in ways beneficial to clients or patients. Continuing Education (CE) credit available. See below for attendance requirements and more information.

Learning Objectives for participating health care professionals-
Based on the content of this program, you will be able to:

  • Describe the potential psychological benefit of experiencing extended periods of “dark” times, potentially including depression and despair;
  • Describe the additional psychological burdens of going through these “dark” periods, such as needing to hide what’s happening and social stigma, as well as the burden of shame and self- judgment;
  • Describe two mindfulness-based interventions for working with various “dark” times;
  • Describe how the use of compassion and forgiveness practices may help someone in a “dark” period to go through the period skillfully.
Young Adults (18-26) and Seniors (65+ with limited income) are invited to attend this day for $45.


General Information

Online registration for our programs is available until 12 noon of the last business day prior to the day of the event (e.g. online registration for a Monday program ends at 12 noon on the prior Friday). There is an additional $5 fee for registering at the door. If you can't attend an event you registered for, please see our Cancellation Policy.

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

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.

Even if you have been to Spirit Rock before, please review our Non-Residential Programs FAQ for useful information about what to wear, what to bring, how to get here, and more.

Continuing Education

This course offers 6 CE credits for $60 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 6 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, if offered. To qualify to receive the certificate of completion, participants must attend the event in full - no partial credit for partial attendance. For more information about CE credit at Spirit Rock, please see Continuing Education (CE) Credit. Please note: In order to qualify for CE credit, you must arrive and sign-in at the CE table within 15 minutes of the start of the event, stay until the end of the program, and sign out.

Cancellation Policy: If you are unable to attend a program, or fulfill the attendance requirements for CE credit, you may offer your CE credit fee as a donation to Spirit Rock, or you may request a credit to be used towards a future non-residential program. If you would like a credit, you must cancel by 4:00pm at least two business days prior to the program. For more information, please see our Cancellation Policy for Non-Residential Programs.

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