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A Year to Live Training Program

January – December, 2021
with Vinny Ferraro

Current 2021 program is now full.


This year-long program, based on the book A Year to Live by Stephen Levine, is designed for people of all ages, regardless of life stage. In community, we will focus on waking up and living life more fully through the exploration of death as spiritual practice.

In our largely death-denying modern culture, few are encouraged to actively contemplate the inevitability of our death, or that it could happen at any time. The Buddha recommended that we do just that, not to frighten us, but to use death as an object of contemplation to help us awaken to the fragile, fleeting, and precious nature of our lives.

Ultimately, this is a year-long practice in forgiveness, gratitude and letting go. Through guided meditations, inquiry and small group discussions, we will be guided, with the support of community, through a process of living this year as if it were our last. All are warmly welcome!

Program Includes

  • Format: Online
  • Teachings: Monthly (12) large group sessions
  • Community support: Monthly (12) home group sessions with home group sangha
  • Home practices: Guided meditations, readings, reflections
  • Access: Video and audio recordings

Program Dates

Monthly large group sessions – Saturdays: January 23 (required!), February 27, March 27, April 17, May 15, June 26, July 24, August 21, September 25, October 23, November 20, December 18 - All Meeting Times are: 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. (Pacific Time)

Program Outline

  • Session 1: The Prognosis
  • Session 2: Fear of Death and Dying
  • Session 3: Softening to Fear
  • Session 4: Practicing Dying
  • Session 5: Life Review - Making Peace
  • Session 6: Building an Altar - Service
  • Session 7: Who or What Dies?
  • Session 8: What Comes Next?
  • Session 9: What to do with This Body?
  • Session 10: A Will, a Memorial, and an Epitaph
  • Session 11: We are not Alone
  • Session 12: Saying good-bye

Participation Commitment*

  • Attend at least 10 of 12 monthly large group sessions – must attend the first session. The first session is required(!) to establish the safety of the container and respect the shared commitment of our “Y2L” sangha.
  • Participate in home group sessions as skillfully as possible
  • Complete homework assignments, practices, and readings
  • Attend at least one program orientation session (required!)
    • Thursday, January 14; 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. US Pacific Time
    • Tuesday, January 19; 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. US Pacific Time

*If you are unable to make this commitment at this time, please wait and join us for a future iteration.


  • Sliding scale: $600 - $1,008
  • Format: Online. Includes monthly large group sessions, home group sessions, readings, and home practices.
  • Financial Assistance: All are welcome! No one will be turned away for lack of funds, as space allows. If you are in need of financial assistance, please email registration@spiritrock.org. We generally offer financial assistance for training programs one time per year per person.

Cancellation Policy

  • On or before January 20th, by 5:00 pm PT — $100 cancellation fee** (**fees reduced for scholarship participants)
  • January 21st until February 28th — Open credit or tax deductible donation (after the second class)
  • March 1st and beyond — No refunds

About the Teacher - Vinny Ferraro

Vinny Ferraro has been a practitioner of insight meditation (Vipassanā) since the mid-90s. He is a co-Founder of the Dharma Punx and he’s been the Guiding Teacher of a sangha in San Francisco for 15 years. He is also a nationally recognized leader in designing and implementing interventions for at-risk adolescents and is a Senior Trainer for Mindful Schools. In 2001, he began teaching for Challenge Day, a nationally recognized, social & emotional learning program, eventually becoming their Director of Training and leading workshops for over 110,000 youth on four continents.

Vinny is also a board member and former Training Director of the Mind-Body Awareness Project and is the principal author of the MBA’s mindfulness-based curriculum for incarcerated youth. His focus continues to be delivering direct services to folks that have limited access.

He has been trained and empowered by Spirit Rock/IMS and he doesn’t like talking about himself in the 3rd person.

View Vinny's upcoming programs.


Current 2021 program is now full. We will offer this training again, so be sure you are on our mailing list. Announcements will be made once we know future dates.


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