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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
James Baraz, Debra Chamberlin-Taylor, Howard Cohn, Jane Baraz, Evelyn Larsen (movement)
Monday, May 21, 3:00pm - Monday, May 28, 11:30am
upper Retreat Hall
$1760 - $800 sliding scale, plus a donation to the teacher(s) and retreat staff. Code 358R18.
Will open for registration on 1/23/2018

"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 appropriate for both experienced as well as new/beginning 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 in preparation for, and 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:
  • Explain how mindfulness interrupts confused and negative thinking;
  • Utilize the practice of inclining the mind towards the possibility of more joy, in ways that may improve patient care, or reduce burnout;
  • Describe a gratitude practice that supports support well-being and may be used to reduce challenging experiences such as stress, anxiety, or depression;
  • Incorporate the use of the acronym RAIN when working with clients;
  • Describe how compassion affects the neuro-system.
  • Explain to clients how attachment can lead to suffering;
  • Utilize "letting go" practices with self and clients to reduce stress;
  • Integrate the practices of forgiveness, acceptance, and self-compassion in ways that improve patient care;
  • Employ techniques to support clients in counter-acting a tendency towards self-judgment and feelings of unworthiness.

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 13 CE credits for $130 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 13 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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