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

Evolving Together: Mindfulness Meditation and Modern Science
Wes Nisker, Rick Hanson, Nikki Mirghafori, Terry Vandiver (yoga)
Monday, October 1, 3:00pm - Sunday, October 7, 11:30am
upper Retreat Hall
$1505 - $685 sliding scale, plus a donation to the teacher(s) and retreat staff. Code 200R18.
Will open for registration on 6/5/2018

"Oh wondrous creatures,
by what strange miracle
do you so often
not smile?"

Hafiz, Sufi poet

Many of us are amazed when we read of the latest scientific discoveries about the complexity of the brain or the number of galaxies in the cosmos or the workings of biological evolution. In this meditation retreat we will learn how to make the new science come alive inside of us, helping us to transform our understanding of ourselves. Making use of classical Buddhist meditation techniques, we will employ the latest science information to help us train our hearts and minds for a more harmonious and happier life.

The retreat will follow the traditional schedule of sitting and walking meditations, talks, discussion and guided practices. We will explore the workings of the brain and nervous system, the evolutionary origin of our body and emotions; practice traditional Buddhist reflections on death and dying; all the while uncovering the tricky delusions of mind and looking at the mystery of consciousness itself. In the process we will find some relief from our personal drama and gain a new sense of connection and delight in our lives.

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

Learning Objectives for participating health care professionals-

Based on the content of this workshop, health care professionals will be able to:

  • Describe the evolution of the reptilian, mammalian, and primate/human levels of the brain;
  • Describe three fundamental needs of any animal: safety, satisfaction, and connection;
  • Describe how a sense of deficit or disturbance in one or more of these needs intensifies craving, loosely and broadly defined;
  • Describe why the brain evolved a negativity bias;
  • Describe the two-stage process of learning - including emotional, motivational, and social development;
  • Describe two ways to increase the second of these two stages of learning;
  • Describe two benefits of mindfulness to others (e.g., clients);
  • Explain how curiosity and acceptance support mindfulness.

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 12 CE credits for $120 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 12 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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