Upcoming Events

Below are upcoming Insight Santa Cruz one-time events (like day-long sits)…

Aug 16: Stable Heart – Stable Climate

Stable Heart – Stable Climate: A Buddhist Response to Climate Change

Join Ayya Santacitta and Ayya Santussika, two Theravada Buddhist nuns, for a day of exploration and cultivation. We will use the Buddha’s core teachings to bring forth the inner strength and resilience to wisely respond to the most important issue of our times. Connecting to our own true purpose and to one another, we rise together to a higher level of understanding, stability and action.

Please bring a vegetarian dish to share with the nuns for the meal at 12:00 noon. Since the beginning of Buddhism over 2500 years ago, Buddhist nuns and monks have depended on alms-food. In this spirit, you are invited to bring food to offer and to share with others.

When: Saturday, August 16, 2014
Time:  9:30 am to 5:00 pm
Cost: There is no charge, The teaching  is offered in the Buddhist tradition of dana.
Teachers: Bhikkhunis Ayya Santussika & Ayya Santacitta
Registration: No registration required.
Location: Insight Santa Cruz

About the Teachers
Ayya Santacitta Bhikkhuni was born in Austria and has a multifaceted background in hotel management, cultural anthropology and avantgarde dance theatre. Her first teacher was Ajahn Buddhadasa, who sparked her interest in Buddhist monastic life. She has practiced meditation for over 25 years and trained as a nun in both the East and West since 1993, primarily in the lineage of Ajahn Chah under the guidance of Ajahn Sumedho and the Order of Siladhara.

Since meeting Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche in 2002, she also integrates Dzogchen teachings into her practice and teaching. Ayya Santacitta is co-founder of Aloka Vihara, where she resides since 2009 and received bhikkhuni ordination in 2011.

For more info, please visit www.saranaloka.org
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Ayya Santussika Bhikkhuni began staying in monasteries in Asia in 1999 and learning from master teachers, particularly in Thailand. She first ordained as an anagarika in 2005 and trained in the Ajahn Chah tradition in both England, at Chithurst and Amaravati Buddhist Monasteries, and America at Aloka Vihara in San Francisco. She received samaneri and bhikkhuni ordination at Dharma Vijaya Buddhist Vihara in Los Angeles. She currently lives at Karuna Buddhist Vihara in Mountain View, CA, a new monastery based on the teachings of Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi. She is on the board of directors for Buddhist Global Relief. Before becoming a Buddhist nun, Ayya Santussika raised her son and daughter while working as a computer engineer in Silicon Valley. For more info, please visit www.KarunaBV.org.

Aug. 29-31: Insight Meditation Non-Residential Weekend

In this non-residential weekend, we will deepen the practice of Insight Meditation through an experiential exploration of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness in the Satipatthana Sutta.
Most of each day will be spent practicing silent sitting and walking meditation, with some guided meditation instructions and opportunities for individual and group meetings with the teacher.  Open to all levels of experience.

Event Date: August 29-31
Event Time: Friday August 29: 7-9 pm
Saturday August 30: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday August 31: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

How to Register: no registration required

About the Teacher: Jill Shepherd began practicing insight meditation in Thailand in 1999, and since that time has lived and worked at several meditation centers and monasteries in the US, Australia, England, and Thailand. She recently spent seven years on staff at the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts, where she participated in several long retreats and Buddhist study programmes, as well as offering weekly meditation classes at a nearby men’s prison.  She is currently a student in the IMS / Spirit Rock teacher training program in the US under the guidance of Joseph Goldstein, and divides her time between the US, Australia and New Zealand, teaching vipassana and brahma vihara retreats and offering ongoing study and practice groups focused on bringing the dharma into daily life.

 

Prerequisites: All are welcome
Registration: No registration required
Cost: There is no charge, dana accepted
Location: Insight Santa Cruz

Sept 6: Skills for Life & Liberation: The Five Spiritual Faculties

The skills needed to create a meaningful life and to walk the Buddhist path of liberation are already within us. The Buddha identified five natural faculties that all humans possess as the keys to channeling our energies toward our spiritual goals. Everyone has some degree of confidence, energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom. All that is needed is to harness these faculties and strengthen them.

In this day of practice, we will explore the Five Faculties as qualities that help us develop skill in life and meditation, and also point the way toward spiritual freedom. This day of silence will include sitting, walking, guided reflections, and a Dharma talk.

When: September 6, 2014, 9:30-4:30
Teacher: Kim Allen
Registration: No registration required
Cost: There is no charge, dana accepted
Location: Insight Santa Cruz

Everyone Welcome

More Info about the Teacher: Kim Allen has practiced Insight meditation since 2003, including intensive retreats up to 3 months in length. She teaches at Los Gatos Insight and various local sanghas, and has completed the Sati Center Buddhist Chaplaincy training program. She serves as a spiritual caregiver in a hospital and is deeply involved in the Insight Retreat Center.

 

Sept. 19-21: Transforming the Judgmental Mind, Cultivating the Wise Heart

This event is a Non-Residential, Weekend Retreat Judgments of a reactive and often automatic nature are very strong in most of our lives, and in the dominant culture. They can distort our perceptions, make relationships with others difficult, and undermine […]

This event is a Non-Residential, Weekend Retreat

Judgments of a reactive and often automatic nature are very strong in most of our lives, and in the dominant culture. They can distort our perceptions, make relationships with others difficult, and undermine our work in the world. In this weekend retreat, we will explore the nature of such judgments (and their difference from non-reactive discernment) and how to transform them. We will cultivate mindfulness, inquiry, and heart practices such as loving kindness, forgiveness, and compassion. We will also explore the somatic and social dimensions of judgments and the role of cultivating awakened qualities in transforming judgments. These tools will help us to preserve the intelligence and energy often found in judgments, using them for discernment and compassionate action, while working through judgments’ destructive and compulsive aspects. This retreat will include sitting and walking meditation, including instructions for several guided practices, talks and group discussion, and some basic movement practices, all in the context of a small, supportive community.

Event Dates: Friday, Sept. 19 through Sunday, Sept. 21. Please attend every session of the whole retreat.
Event Times: Friday, Sept. 19: 7-9
Saturday, Sept. 20: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 21: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Info about the Teacher: Donald Rothberg, Ph.D., is a member of the Teachers Council at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in northern California, and has practiced Insight Meditation since 1976. Formerly on the faculties of the University of Kentucky, Kenyon College, and Saybrook University, he currently teaches and writes on meditation, daily life practice, spirituality and psychology, and socially engaged spirituality. Donald is the author of The Engaged Spiritual Life: A Buddhist Approach to Transforming Ourselves and the World and is currently working on a book on Transforming the Judgmental Mind.

Prerequisites: All are welcome
Registration: No registration required but your full attendance is requested for the entire retreat.
Cost: There is no charge, dana accepted
Location: Insight Santa Cruz

September 25: Real but not True with Tenzin Namsel

There is often a disconnect between what we experience and how it is actually existing.  The Buddha described this disconnect as the fundamental ground for why we experience dissatisfaction and suffering.  In this evening talk, we will explore how to […]

There is often a disconnect between what we experience and how it is actually existing.  The Buddha described this disconnect as the fundamental ground for why we experience dissatisfaction and suffering.  In this evening talk, we will explore how to relate to this disconnect and how to take steps in the direction of laying this illusion bare.

When: Thursday, September 25, 2014, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Cost: There is no charge, dana accepted.
Registration: No registration required
Location: Insight Santa Cruz
Teacher: Tenzin Namsel is an American Buddhist monk in the Tibetan tradition.  He has been practicing and studying since 2000, having taken novice ordination with HH Dalai Lama in 2008. Namsel has studied under an array of Buddhist masters within the Gelugpa and Nyingma lineages. His primary teachers being Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Tsoknyi Rinpoche.  He currently lives in Crestone, Colorado where he continues to practice and study.

Everyone Welcome

Sept 26, 2014 through May 15, 2015: 32 Parts of the Body Meditation Training

We are happy to announce a special opportunity to practice the 32 Parts of the Body meditation, which is rarely taught in the West. This practice deepens insight into impermanence and non-self by penetrating into the true nature and wonders […]

We are happy to announce a special opportunity to practice the 32 Parts of the Body meditation, which is rarely taught in the West. This practice deepens insight into impermanence and non-self by penetrating into the true nature and wonders of the body. We will also explore how the body interrelates with the four primary elements of earth (solidity), air (motion), fire (temperature), and water (liquidity).

This methodical practice of the 32 Parts of the Body Meditation can build immense levels of concentration, potentialities for healing, and experience the taste of deep freedom and peace.

This will be my 9th year offering this class at Insight Santa Cruz and it has been wonderful. People have frequently reported developing a whole new relationship to their body with greater wisdom and compassion. We will also be doing a tour of the Cabrillo Anatomy lab to get a deeper experience of the body.

Event Date: Introduction:  Sept. 26, 2014 (10:00-11:30)
Class Dates:  Oct. 3, 2014 – May 15, 2015* (10:00-11:30)
*Bob Stahl will be there at least one or more times a month to lead body part practices. Other Friday mornings will be peer led.

Free Intro Session: September 26, 2014
Event Dates: October 3, 2014 – May 15, 2015 *
Time: Weekly on Fridays, 10-11:30 am
Teacher: Bob Stahl
Prerequisites: All are welcome
Registration: No registration required
Cost: There is no charge, dana accepted
Location: Insight Santa Cruz

Everyone Welcome

 

Oct 03 & 04: Will it Ever Go Away? Emotions and the Characteristics of Impermanence

Emotional states of mind are very potent experiences and are often accompanied by a sense of permanence and relentlessly fixed reality.  We will explore these perceptions and how to use wise reflection to gain insight and freedom from suffering associated […]

Emotional states of mind are very potent experiences and are often accompanied by a sense of permanence and relentlessly fixed reality.  We will explore these perceptions and how to use wise reflection to gain insight and freedom from suffering associated with emotional states.  There will be periods of sitting and walking.

Meal offering Saturday at 11:30am
Bring a vegetarian pot luck dish to share
Families invited to join between 11:30-1:30

Event Dates: Friday October 3 and Saturday, October 4
Times: Fri. Oct. 3, 7:00-9:00pm.  Sat. Oct. 4  9:00-4:00
Event Cost: dana
How to Register: no registration required

About the Teacher:  Ajahn Pasanno ordained in Thailand in 1974.  He met Ajahn Chah at Wat Pah Nanachat and asked to stay and train there. He became its abbot in his 9th year. During his incumbency, it grew in size and reputation. During his 24 years in Thailand, Ajahn Pasanno became a well known and highly respected monk and Dhamma teacher.  He moved to California in 1997 as co-abbot of Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery.  He has been the sole abbot since 2010.

 

October 18: Comfortable Sitting, Relaxed Mind, Open Heart

When we are able to sit with greater ease, we practice kindness and care of the body, which allows the mind to relax, the heart to open and our practice to unfold. We will explore comfortable sitting through mindfulness of […]

When we are able to sit with greater ease, we practice kindness and care of the body, which allows the mind to relax, the heart to open and our practice to unfold. We will explore comfortable sitting through mindfulness of the body and learn principles of optimal posture and alignment. Modifications for different physical abilities and needs will be presented. Easy, accessible stretches will be taught to assist you in sitting with greater ease, and individual assistance will be available.

Event Date: 10/18/2014
Event Time: 10am-12:30pm
Event Cost: dana How to Register: no registration required
Everyone Welcome

About the Teacher: Jayla Klein has been teaching yoga and other movement forms for over 25 years at colleges, studios and community centers. Her love of insight meditation began at a weekend workshop with Jack Kornfield and Mary Grace Orr in 1992, and she recently completed Spirit Rock’s Dedicated Practitioners’ Program. She is a member of Insight Santa Cruz’ Teaching Mentoring program and also Spirit Rock’s Heavenly Messengers program. The cultivation of compassionate ease, awareness and connection of body, mind and heart is the focus of her teaching, and also her psychotherapy practice in Santa Cruz, CA.

Oct 25: Innate Wisdom & Compassion: Releasing Our Deepest Nature

Meditations of Innate Wisdom and Compassion (IWC) are based on practices from the Tibetan Buddhist Nyingma Dzogchen tradition and have been adapted for people from all backgrounds. The practice introduces two inter-related approaches: simple imagery to release our capacity for […]

Meditations of Innate Wisdom and Compassion (IWC) are based on practices from the Tibetan Buddhist Nyingma Dzogchen tradition and have been adapted for people from all backgrounds. The practice introduces two inter-related approaches: simple imagery to release our capacity for compassion and a silent awareness meditation to open to our natural state.

During this daylong we will practice the full range of the basic IWC approach. By the end of the retreat you will have the experience and understanding to practice on your own.

The morning will focus on the practice of “letting be” and open awareness meditation. During the afternoon we will add visualizations of our personally chosen “benefactors.” The afternoon session builds on the morning program.

Please plan to attend the entire retreat. You can bring your own lunch or purchase food nearby. This daylong is for both new and experienced students.

Event Date: Saturday, October 25, 2014
Event Time: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Event Cost: dana
How to Register: no registration required

About the Teacher: Carla Brennan is an authorized teacher of IWC with the Foundation for Active Compassion (FAC). Carla is also guiding insight meditation teacher for Bloom of the Present Insight Meditation in Santa Cruz County.  Lama John Makransky developed the IWC approach and is co-founder of FAC. You can learn more in his book, “Awakening Through Love.”

 

 

Oct 26: Rebel Dharma with Ruth King

Sunday, October 26, Ruth King will guest teach the Rebel Dharma group in an extended session from 6-8pm. This group is part of Dharma Punx Nation & Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society. Rebel Dharma is a weekly mind-body awareness Insight (Vipassana) meditation […]

Sunday, October 26, Ruth King will guest teach the Rebel Dharma group in an extended session from 6-8pm. This group is part of Dharma Punx Nation & Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society.

Rebel Dharma is a weekly mind-body awareness Insight (Vipassana) meditation group for Radicals, Rebels and Revolutionaries. Includes a 30-minute guided sit followed by discussion which is centered on the Buddha’s teaching of rebelling against the mind’s tendencies toward greed, hatred and delusion and finding freedom here and now. Everyone is welcome regardless of age, experience, race, sexuality or gender expression.

Taught by guest teacher Ruth King.
Ruth King is an Insight Meditation Teacher and Emotional Wisdom author and consultant. King teaches at Insight Meditation communities nationwide. She is a guiding teacher at Insight Meditation Community of Washington, DC, and a member of its Board of Directors. She is also the founder of Mindful Members Practice Community in Charlotte, NC.

When: Sunday, 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Cost: There is no charge, dana accepted.
Location: Insight Santa Cruz.

Nov 22: Supporting Our Vets

Mindfulness Meditation to Calm & Heal the Body & Mind A Day of Mindfulness Meditation for Veterans and Their Families This daylong will be a time to meditate and reflect on the fragility and preciousness of life. How do we […]

Mindfulness Meditation to Calm & Heal the Body & Mind

A Day of Mindfulness Meditation for Veterans and Their Families

This daylong will be a time to meditate and reflect on the fragility and preciousness of life. How do we live life with an open heart knowing that nothing lasts forever?

You will be introduced to mindfulness practice through sitting and walking meditation. There will be time to connect with others in small and large group discussion.

This event is open to veterans, their families and significant others.

When: Saturday, November 22, 2014, 9:30-4:30
Teacher: Bob Stahl
Registration: No registration required
Cost: There is no charge, dana accepted
Location: Insight Santa Cruz

Everyone Welcome

Dec 1 – 6, 2014: Hold the Date for Insight Santa Cruz December Retreat

In addition to our annual May retreat around Memorial Day, Insight Santa Cruz will be offering a 5-day retreat from December 1st to 6th, 2014. This retreat will be held at Insight Retreat Center. Further details will be posted in […]

In addition to our annual May retreat around Memorial Day, Insight Santa Cruz will be offering a 5-day retreat from December 1st to 6th, 2014. This retreat will be held at Insight Retreat Center. Further details will be posted in Fall 2014.

02-07-15_Walking The Path Toward the End of Life

We are all aware intellectually that we will die someday. But have we looked more carefully at our thoughts, feelings, and understanding of death? The morning program will consist of Buddhist teachings, reflections, and exercises that help us touch into […]

We are all aware intellectually that we will die someday. But have we looked more carefully at our thoughts, feelings, and understanding of death? The morning program will consist of Buddhist teachings, reflections, and exercises that help us touch into the idea of our own death.

Afternoon program: Practicalities: Death has a practical side, too. Regarding our own death or the death of a loved one, the process can proceed with more ease when are informed about our choices. The afternoon program will introduce us to forms such as POLST, the Five Wishes form for end-of-life decisions, and other helpful organizational tools to assist in walking this path.

Event Date: Feb 7, 2015
Event Time: Morning program 9:30-12:30, Afternoon program 1:30-4:00. People can attend either or both. Bring your lunch. Informal discussion during lunch period.
Event Cost: dana
Registration: No registration required

About the Teachers: Valerie Nelson has been a Vipassana practitioner for 15 years and has extensive retreat practice. She has been on Buddhist pilgrimage to India and Bhutan. Val’s life experience and practice inspired her to enter and complete the Sati Center Buddhist Chaplaincy training program. She is the chaplain for Bloom of the Present Sangha and a volunteer chaplain at Dominican Hospital.

Kim Allen has practiced Insight meditation since 2003, including intensive retreats up to 3 months in length. She teaches at Los Gatos Insight and various local sanghas, and has completed the Sati Center Buddhist Chaplaincy training program. She serves as a spiritual caregiver in both hospice and hospital settings and has co-led several programs on death awareness.