Browsing Category "Retreat-in-a-Box"
13 Oct
Posted in: Retreat-in-a-Box
By    Comments Off on Back by Popular Demand

Back by Popular Demand

Now that there are so many more non-residential programs at Spirit Rock, fewer recordings of their daylong retreats are being archived, so the Retreat-in-a-Box program we have been offering over the past 2 years has had to adjust. (impermanence — it’s everywhere!)

So now, instead of streaming a 6-hour video recorded from a single, daylong event, we are offering a revised program that features two recordings from separate events — each a 2-hour meditation and dharma talk from the weekly series: “Monday Nights with Jack and Friends.”

The first run of this new format will be held on Sunday, Dec 10, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, at the Kirkwood home of one of our sangha members. Folks can come for the full day or for just the morning or afternoon session.

Here’s the schedule:

10:00 am to 12:00 noon — Video of Jack Kornfield leading a half-hour meditation session (with instructions), then after a short break, Jack gives an hour-long talk on Buddha Nature. (previously recorded at Spirit Rock on 1/30/17)

12:00 noon to 1:00 pm — Silent lunch.

1:00 pm to 3:00 pm — Video of Jack Kornfield with Frank Ostaseski (from San Francisco Zen Hospice). Jack leads a half-hour meditation session (with instructions), then after a short break, Jack and Frank engage in a discussion on Living and Dying. (previously recorded at Spirit Rock 4/24/17)


If you live in or near St. Louis and are interested in attending, email Jan here. The event is offered FREE of charge. (Any donations will go to Spirit Rock to support the continuation of these programs.)

If you live somewhere else and would like to organize something like this for your friends, GO FOR IT! (All you have to do is become a Spirit Rock monthly donor of $25 or more, and you get access to dozens of recordings with more being added at least once a month.)


18 Jul
Posted in: Practice, Retreat-in-a-Box
By    Comments Off on Walking the Question

Walking the Question

walking-the-questionPhillip Moffitt gave a unique twist to one of the periods of Walking Meditation we did at the Retreat-in-a-Box for Care Providers last Sunday. He started with the regular instructions: walk about 10 to 20 paces, back and forth, at whatever speed feels comfortable, paying mindful attention to the lower part of your body and perhaps lightly noting “step, step” or “lifting, moving, placing” to help keep your attention on your body. But then he added:

Before you start the actual walking practice, stand for a minute and silently ask yourself this question: What would be most nourishing for me as I perform my role as a care provider? (Or: What do I need to do to take care of myself? Or whatever question comes into your mind.)

Ask the question silently 3 times, then drop it (as best you can). Start your walking meditation, as instructed. Don’t try to come up with an answer. If the question comes back into your mind, try to let it go. Turn your attention to the noting: “step, step,” or “lifting, moving, placing” etc. Do the same if you find yourself trying to answer the question. Just do the normal practice. Then, when the walking period is over, stop and silently ask yourself the question again. Wait for a moment and see what happens.

He said that he has used this practice on several occasions, particularly when he needed to make a decision and couldn’t find any practical/rational basis on which to make it. Sometimes, nothing happens. But often it does. Sometimes the answer presents itself immediately and it’s not what you would have expected, but you recognize it and you know the truth of it. Sometimes nothing comes right away, but you feel like something in you has shifted. And sometimes, you realize you were asking the wrong question!