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

Awakening Joy Retreat
James Baraz, Howard Cohn, Jane Baraz, Evelyn Larsen (movement)
Tuesday, May 30, 3:00pm - Sunday, June 4, 11:30am
upper Retreat Hall
$1230 - $560 sliding scale, plus a donation to the teacher(s) and retreat staff. Code 270R17.
PRE-REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED

There may be a few spaces still available, please call the Retreat Managers at 415-488-0164 ext. 262. Please leave a message.

NOTE: All Young Adult rates and scholarship funds for this retreat have been allocated.



"It is that gladness connected with the wholesome that I call an equipment of mind....for developing a mind that is without hostility and without ill will."
The Buddha


The Buddha was known as "The Happy One." However, the teachings often seem to emphasize working with suffering. Joy and happiness can seem frivolous or unspiritual even though joy is one of the Seven Factors of Awakening. In this retreat we will practice with an emphasis on cultivating wholesome states to develop our natural capacity for well-being and happiness. Our own development of well-being and joy then becomes our gift to a troubled world.

The retreat includes silent sitting and walking periods with instructions and practice meetings with teachers, as well as some experiential exercises during the five days. This retreat is for both experienced as well as new students.

Practices will include:
  • Inclining the mind toward wholesome states;
  • The power of wholesome intention;
  • Mindfulness as appreciation practice (wonder and gratitude);
  • Embracing suffering as a path to joy;
  • How letting go leads to true freedom;
  • Integrity as a foundation for well-being;
  • Metta (loving-kindness) for self and others;
  • Mudita (sympathetic joy);
  • Compassion--the expression of a wise heart;and
  • The joy of simply being.


Teachings are appropriate for all, including health care professionals. 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 workshop, you will be able to:
  • Utilize the practice of inclining the mind towards the possibility of more joy, when working with clients;
  • Describe 4 properties of mindfulness;
  • Explain how mindfulness interrupts confused and negative thinking;
  • Utilize 2 keys to gratitude that are applicable in clinical practice;
  • Prescribe a gratitude practice to clients to support their well-being;
  • Incorporate the use of the acronym RAIN with clients;
  • Explain to clients how attachment can lead to suffering;
  • Utilize "letting go" practices with clients to reduce stress;
  • Integrate the practices of forgiveness, acceptance, and self-compassion in ways useful to clients;
  • Employ techniques to support clients in counter-acting a tendency towards self-judgment and feelings of unworthiness;
  • Describe how compassion affects the neuro-system.

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.

For more information about Hemera Foundation Scholarships: ONE scholarship allowed per person, per calendar year.

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 16 CE credits for $160 for psychologists and California licensed MFTs, LCSWs, LEPs, LPCCs, and nurses. 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 the Spiritual Competency Resource Center, and the Institute of Noetic Sciences. 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. The Institute of Noetic Sciences is a provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP10318 for 16 contact hours. The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE credits for license renewal for programs from APA approved agencies.

Credit is awarded for instructional time only and does not include movement. For more information, including attendance and cancellation policies, see Continuing Education (CE) Credit.

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