A Year to Live Training Program

Both in-person and online programs are sold out for 2020. Join our mailing list for information on upcoming programs. 

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!


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


Dates: January 18, February 8, March 21, April 18, May 16, June 6, July 25, August 22, September 26, October 24, November 21, December 12
Time: 10:00am - 1:00pm PT
Locations: In-person (Spirit Rock Community Meditation Center), or online


  • The program fees are based on a sliding scale: In-person: $600 - 1000, Online: $300 - 700.
  • Training program formats: In-person, or Online. Both formats will include online dharma buddy group meetings via Zoom in between sessions.  
  • Attendance: participants cannot miss more than 2 classes. 
  • Cancellation Fees (for Professional Training Programs:)
    • 50% of fees: >4 weeks from programs start
    • No refund: <4 weeks from program start
  • Scholarships:
    • Young Adult (age 18 - 26) scholarship rate: $300. 
    • A limited number of volunteer opportunities as well as need-based scholarships based on financial hardship, are available for this training program on a first-come, first-served basis. The rate is $300. Please email for more information.

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 principle author of 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.


 Please email us.

Email Sign-Up