Upcoming Events

Below are upcoming Insight Santa Cruz events, including daylongs, classes, and special events.

May 24 – 29: Cultivating Wisdom and Compassion – An Insight Meditation Retreat

This traditional insight meditation retreat will offer silent periods of sitting and walking meditation as well group and individual practice discussions.

Teachers will also offer daily talks and systematic meditation instructions that are embedded with the spirit of loving-kindness. These teachings and practices will emphasize quieting the mind, opening the heart, and developing clarity and depth of practice.

This retreat is suitable for anyone wishing to deepen their practice and cultivate further understanding Insight Meditation.

Retreat Dates: Wednesday May 24 – Monday May 29, 2017

Retreat Time: 4:00pm Arrival on Wednesday and 2:00pm Leave on Monday

Retreat Cost: Varies per accommodations

How to Register: Fill out this form: ISC Retreat Registration ***

Please contact email hidden; JavaScript is required if you have questions.

Retreat Teachers: Bob Stahl, Mary Grace Orr, Kim Allen, and Marcy Reynolds (Qigong)

Everyone Welcome. 

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Wednesdays May 3 – 24 : New To Practice – Finding The Missing Peace

Rest is the peace one can feel when the body is relaxed and mind is at ease.  It is the crucial ingredient that both underlies concentration and  promotes mindful awareness.

Join us for 4 weeks of guided practice in sitting, walking, standing and lying postures, Q and A, group discussion in a supportive and welcoming atmosphere.

Class Date: May 3, 10, 17, and 24

Time: 6:30pm – 8:00pm

Cost: Dana (donations)

How to Register: No registration required

Teachers: Jill and Bruce Hyman

Everyone Welcome.

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May 13: Maranasati – Awakening to Life through Death Contemplation

“What is subject to death, dies.  I am not exempt.” is one of the Five Daily Remembrances the Buddha recommended for frequent reflection for lay and ordained practitioners, alike.  We all die, that is for certain.  Only the timing is unknown. Rather than ignoring, fearing, or running away from this natural truth of our human lives, we can harness the power of this “supreme contemplation”, as the Buddha called it, to inform our precious human life in order to live more fully, with presence, and according to our deepest values.  Embracing the impermanent nature of our lives also allows a deep letting go, freedom, and fearlessness in preparation for our actual moment of death.  Join us for a day of practice and exploration through dharma talks, guided meditation, and small & large group dialogue.

Date: Saturday, May 13, 2017

Time: 9:30am – 4:30pm

Cost: Dana (donation)

How to Register: No registration required

Teacher: Nikki Mirghafori

Nikki Mirghafori has practiced in the Theravada tradition since 2003, with a keen interest in intensive long retreat practice. She was instructed by her Burmese teacher, the renowned meditation master Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw, to teach jhanas and a detailed analytical method of vipassana in 2008. She is a Stanford trained compassion cultivation instructor, a UCLA certified mindfulness facilitator, and a graduate of the Spirit Rock/IMS/IMC Teacher Training. She teaches nationally, and in particular, at the Insight Meditation Center and the Spirit Rock Meditation Center, where she also serves on their Boards.  She holds a PhD in computer science from UC Berkeley, and has had an active career as an Artificial Intelligence scientist in academia and industry.

Everyone Welcome.

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May 19 and June 2: Constructing Our World, Constructing Our Selves

Join us for a two part series. The first on May 19th is: “Fictitious Projections” Examining the core of what we deem to be reality and why it differs from others. The second on June 2 is: “Self: What it […]

Join us for a two part series.

The first on May 19th is:
“Fictitious Projections”
Examining the core of what we deem to be reality and why it differs from others.

The second on June 2 is:
“Self: What it is we identify with”
Take a challenging look at what it is that we consider to be ourselves, our lives and the relationship between identification and happiness

Event Dates: Friday, May 19th and Friday, June 2nd

Event Time: 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Event Cost: Dana (donation)

How to Register: No registration required

Event Teacher: Ajahn Chandako

Ajahn Chandako is the abbot of Vimutti Buddhist Monastery near Auckland, New Zealand and the Redwood Hermitage in Boulder Creek, CA. His interest in the teachings of the Buddha grew as he studied towards a B.A. degree in religious studies at Carleton College in the US. Wishing to devote his life fully to the teachings of the Buddha, in 1990 he ordained as a monk in the Thai Forest Tradition, in the lineage of Venerable Ajahn Chah. Ajahn Chandako then spent 15 years training with forest meditation masters throughout Thailand before establishing Vimutti Monastery in 2004. Ajahn is the author of numerous books and articles and regularly teaches in the United States and Asia.
Seattle Insight: Ajahn Chandako

Everyone Welcome.

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May 20: M.I.N.C. – A Pragmatic System for Daily Mindfulness Practice

M.I.N.C. (Mindfulness, Investigation, Non-reactive presence and Choice) is a system created by Pablo Das which integrates essential Buddhist wisdom into a pragmatic daily life practice of presence and responsiveness. The day is offered in four modules. The first covers the […]

M.I.N.C. (Mindfulness, Investigation, Non-reactive presence and Choice) is a system created by Pablo Das which integrates essential Buddhist wisdom into a pragmatic daily life practice of presence and responsiveness. The day is offered in four modules. The first covers the integration of essential mindfulness and kindness (Metta) practice or “kind awareness”. The second invites investigation through direct embodied experience. It also invites a reflection on the conditions that precede an experience as well as any habitual behavior patterns which arise from and follow an experience. Third we look at Non-reactive presence as outlined in the foundational Buddhist teaching on the four noble truths. In the fourth module, we’ll examine what it means to choose an internal or behavioral response what supports wellbeing.

This daylong workshop will consist of alternating teaching/ Q&A periods and practice periods. The workshop is trauma informed and as such offered in a gentle and permissive way.
The course is offered with sensitivity to the different life experiences of people from diverse backgrounds. All are welcome.

Date: Saturday May 20, 2017

Time: 10:00am – 5:00pm

Cost: Dana (donation)

How to Register: No registration required

Event Teacher: Pablo Das

Pablo Das was empowered as a Buddhist teacher by Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society founder Noah Levine in 2009. He was a member of the founding teachers council at ATS until 2016. He is a practitioner of Somatic Experiencing (sep), a body centered system for the resolution of trauma and currently assisting S.E. trainings. He was on the founding treatment team at Refuge Recovery, A Buddhist based, trauma informed outpatient treatment program for drug and alcohol Addiction. He trained as a holistic health coach (hhc) at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and studied Food therapy under Annemarie Colbin at the Natural gourmet institute in New York City. He maintains a private coaching practice working with clients one on one, integrating Buddhist practice and principle, trauma resolution and holistic health models. He studied council practice at the Ojai foundation and teaches classes on interpersonal mindfulness and authentic self-expression. He has worked in suicide prevention for the LGBTQ teen population and teaches workshops for the LGBTQ community. He is an indie-folk (anti-folk) musician and storyteller living and working in Los Angeles.
For more information: www.causesofwellbeing.com

Everyone Welcome.

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May 21: ISC Blessing of New Center

Please join our community for a special day of blessing for our new center. We have invited monastics and lay teachers to join us in this sacred gathering and celebration. We will begin with a sitting meditation, and then have […]

Please join our community for a special day of blessing for our new center.
We have invited monastics and lay teachers to join us in this sacred gathering and celebration.
We will begin with a sitting meditation, and then have a blessing ceremony and end with a community pot luck.
Please bring an offering of vegetarian food to share…

Event Date: Sunday May 21, 2017

Event Time: 2:00pm – 5:00pm

Event Cost: Dana (donation)

How to Register: No registration required

Event Teacher: Bob Stahl

Everyone Welcome. 

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June 3: Getting Familiar with Change

We are all aware of change in our bodies, minds, relationships, and the world. How we navigate and respond to change has much to do with whether we experience freedom or suffering. In this daylong, we will explore practices and […]

We are all aware of change in our bodies, minds, relationships, and the world. How we navigate and respond to change has much to do with whether we experience freedom or suffering.

In this daylong, we will explore practices and teachings related to impermanence or inconstancy. These can help us move from merely getting tossed about by change to developing wisdom and compassion through seeing that truly nothing can be held onto. Getting familiar with change opens the heart in profound ways.

Date: Saturday June 3, 2017

Time: 9:30am-4:00pm

Cost: Dana

How to Register: No registration required

Teacher: Kim Allen

Everyone Welcome.

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June 24: The Four Seals of Buddhism

All compounded things are impermanent, all emotions are painful, all phenomena are empty of self-existence, and nirvana is beyond extremes, are the Four Seals of Buddhism. In general, these four seals, or characteristics are what distinguish Buddhism from the infinite […]

All compounded things are impermanent, all emotions are painful, all phenomena are empty of self-existence, and nirvana is beyond extremes, are the Four Seals of Buddhism. In general, these four seals, or characteristics are what distinguish Buddhism from the infinite ways we can view our internal and external worlds. In practice, these ‘seals,’ become a path to work with our everyday perceptions, thoughts, and emotions, bringing greater efficacy in overcoming mental and emotional habits that cause us unnecessary suffering. In this half-day program, we will explore these four seals together through periods of teaching, meditation, and discussion.

Event Date: Saturday, June 24th

Event Time: 1:00pm – 5:00pm

Event Cost: Dana

How to Register: No registration required

Event Teacher: Scott Tusa

Scott Tusa is a former Buddhist monk, meditation teacher, and musician. He teaches Buddhism and meditation classes, workshops, and retreats nationally and supports Tsoknyi Rinpoche’s Pundarika Sangha as a practice advisor. He trained as a Buddhist monastic in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition for nine years, and has developed his Buddhist studies and practice under an array of well-respected Tibetan Buddhist masters and in a variety of solitary meditation retreats for the last seventeen years.

Everyone Welcome. 

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July 1: Silent Daylong Retreat

This is a day of silent sitting and walking practice, with brief instructions in the morning and a Dharma talk in the afternoon, but no other talking. Individual practice discussion with the teacher is available. To maintain a quiet atmosphere, […]

This is a day of silent sitting and walking practice, with brief instructions in the morning and a Dharma talk in the afternoon, but no other talking. Individual practice discussion with the teacher is available. To maintain a quiet atmosphere, participants are asked to enter at the beginning or ending of a sit.

Schedule: 9:30 Sit — 10:15Walk — 11:00 Sit — 11:30 Walk — 12:00 Sit — 12:30 Lunch — 1:30 Sit — 2:15 Walk — 3:00 Sit — 3:45 Stretch break — 3:55 Dharma talk — 4:30 End

Date: Saturday July 1 2017

Time: 9:30am – 4:30pm

Location: Insight Santa Cruz

Cost: Dana (Donation)

How to Register: No registration required

Teacher: Kim Allen

Everyone Welcome.

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July 8: The Meaningful Life Daylong

“We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”~ T.S. Eliot “What makes life meaningful?” I would answer, “Being authentically yourself […]

“We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”~ T.S. Eliot

“What makes life meaningful?” I would answer, “Being authentically yourself in your relationships with other people and in the pursuit of your life’s work.”

This course looks at using your meditation practice as a way to come into radical acceptance of yourself as you are now (without wanting to change anything) and, using John Bowlby’s Attachment Theory as a model of how we connect with other people, how we can be completely ourselves in our relationships with others and with our work – living a meaningful life.

The meditation techniques offered in this workshop will be specific, simple and easy-to-do, so whether you already have an established practice or are just beginning you can benefit.

Date: Saturday July 8, 2017

Time: 9:30am – 5:00pm

Cost: Dana (donation)

How to Register: No registration required

Teacher: George Haas

George Haas began his path with a period of light-weight spiritual seeking (and heavy-duty drug and alcohol use). In 1978, he began a serious exploration of the 11th step of the 12-Step tradition, working primarily with concentration to reduce the anxiety of living sober. In an effort to make sense out of, and live with, the mounting AIDS deaths of the 1980s, Mr. Haas began walking the Red Road (traditional Native American spiritual practices) and reading Buddhist texts. Moving to Los Angeles from Manhattan in 1992 to work in the film and photography trades, George began sitting Vipassana at Ordinary Dharma in Venice, and reading extensively. In 1998, he began study with his current teacher, Shinzen Young, and Vipassana Support International, where he is now a senior facilitator. George teaches regularly at ATS. He offers a guided-meditation via conference call Monday through Saturday mornings, 7:30-7:55am, and teaches privately via Skype, phone, email, text & IM, which Los Angeles Magazine included on its Best of LA 2011 list as “Best Online Buddhist Meditation.” For more information check out his website: http://mettagroup.org or call him at 213-820-7800.

Everyone Welcome.

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July 15: Refuge Recovery Daylong

This daylong will consist of detailed Buddhist teachings, meditations, Q & A, group discussion, an outline of the inventory process from the book “Refuge Recovery” by Noah Levine, and more. Everyone is welcome to attend regardless of background or experience […]

This daylong will consist of detailed Buddhist teachings, meditations, Q & A, group discussion, an outline of the inventory process from the book “Refuge Recovery” by Noah Levine, and more.

Everyone is welcome to attend regardless of background or experience with addiction. From a Buddhist perspective, we are all suffering and recovering from something.

“Refuge Recovery is a Buddhist-oriented, non-theistic recovery program that does not ask anyone to believe anything, only to trust the process and do the hard work of recovery. In fact, no previous experience or knowledge of Buddhism is required. Recovery is possible, and this book provides a systematic approach to treating and recovering from all forms of addictions. When sincerely practiced, the program will ensure a full recovery from addiction and a lifelong sense of well-being and happiness.” – Noah Levine

Please bring: A copy of the book Refuge Recovery, a notebook, and a lunch.

Event Date: Saturday July 15, 2017

Event Time: 10:00am – 4:00pm

Event Location: Insight Santa Cruz

Event Cost: Dana (Donation)

How to Register: No registration required

Event Facilitator: Kara Haney

Kara Haney has been practicing Buddhist meditation since 1993. She has been in recovery from addiction since 1996. Kara has been active as a facilitator and mentor for the Refuge Recovery community since 2013. She is currently in the ATS Facilitator training.

Everyone Welcome.

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August 12: A Day of Reconciliation

This daylong will guide us toward our capacity to live fully in the present and to meet life with openness and reconciliation. It is pertinent for anyone wanting to heal their heart and make peace with themselves and others. This […]

This daylong will guide us toward our capacity to live fully in the present and to meet life with openness and reconciliation. It is pertinent for anyone wanting to heal their heart and make peace with themselves and others.

This daylong will include a talk on loving kindness and reconciliation as well as silent and guided meditations, and small and large group discussion.

Event Date:  Saturday August 12, 2017

Event Time: 9:30am – 4:30pm

Event Cost: Dana (donation)

How to Register: No registration required

Event Teacher: Bob Stahl

Everyone Welcome.

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October 14: Silent Daylong Retreat

This is a day of silent sitting and walking practice, with brief instructions in the morning and a Dharma talk in the afternoon, but no other talking. Individual practice discussion with the teacher is available. To maintain a quiet atmosphere, […]

This is a day of silent sitting and walking practice, with brief instructions in the morning and a Dharma talk in the afternoon, but no other talking. Individual practice discussion with the teacher is available. To maintain a quiet atmosphere, participants are asked to enter at the beginning or ending of a sit.

Schedule: 9:30 Sit — 10:15Walk — 11:00 Sit — 11:30 Walk — 12:00 Sit — 12:30 Lunch — 1:30 Sit — 2:15 Walk — 3:00 Sit — 3:45 Stretch break — 3:55 Dharma talk — 4:30 End

Date: Saturday October 14 2017

Time: 9:30am – 4:30pm

Location: Insight Santa Cruz

Cost: Dana (Donation)

How to Register: No registration required

Teacher: Kim Allen

Everyone Welcome.

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October 21: Refuge Recovery Daylong

This daylong will consist of detailed Buddhist teachings, meditations, Q & A, group discussion, an outline of the inventory process from the book “Refuge Recovery” by Noah Levine, and more. Everyone is welcome to attend regardless of background or experience […]

This daylong will consist of detailed Buddhist teachings, meditations, Q & A, group discussion, an outline of the inventory process from the book “Refuge Recovery” by Noah Levine, and more.

Everyone is welcome to attend regardless of background or experience with addiction. From a Buddhist perspective, we are all suffering and recovering from something.

“Refuge Recovery is a Buddhist-oriented, non-theistic recovery program that does not ask anyone to believe anything, only to trust the process and do the hard work of recovery. In fact, no previous experience or knowledge of Buddhism is required. Recovery is possible, and this book provides a systematic approach to treating and recovering from all forms of addictions. When sincerely practiced, the program will ensure a full recovery from addiction and a lifelong sense of well-being and happiness.” – Noah Levine

Please bring: A copy of the book Refuge Recovery, a notebook, and a lunch.

Event Date: Saturday October 28, 2017

Event Time: 10:00am – 4:00pm

Event Location: Insight Santa Cruz

Event Cost: Dana (Donation)

How to Register: No registration required

Event Facilitator: Kara Haney

Kara Haney has been practicing Buddhist meditation since 1993. She has been in recovery from addiction since 1996. Kara has been active as a facilitator and mentor for the Refuge Recovery community since 2013. She is currently in the ATS Facilitator training.

Everyone Welcome.

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November 18: Emotion, Mindfulness and Dharma

When we think about the best and most difficult times of our life, we’re likely thinking about emotion.  The story of our past is bound together by chapters of emotion. When we hope for something in the future, we’re typically […]

When we think about the best and most difficult times of our life, we’re likely thinking about emotion.  The story of our past is bound together by chapters of emotion. When we hope for something in the future, we’re typically hoping to feel a particular way. Emotion is at the heart of what it means to be human and a central aspect of spiritual practice. The fruition of this practice involves emotion too: the tone and rhythm of our emotional life can be transformed through the dharma.

During our time together, we’ll consider Buddhist and scientific approaches to understanding emotion, welcoming emotion, and transforming it. We’ll explore how the dharma helps us meet strong emotions skillfully. Since our emotions ripple out and affect the people in our lives, our work with emotion is dedicated to both ourselves and to others.

The day will include guided meditations, practice suggestions, and time for dialogue and discussion.

Date: Saturday, November 18 2017

Time: 9:00am-4:00pm

Cost: Dana (donation)

How to Register: No registration required

Teacher: Matthew Brensilver, PhD

Matthew Brensilver, PhD, served as a Buddhist chaplain at USC for four years and teaches about the intersection of mindfulness and mental health at UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center and with Mindful Schools. Matthew was trained by Noah Levine and teaches at Against the Stream. He completed the Spirit Rock/IMS teacher-training program (2016) and regularly offers retreats at Spirit Rock and the Insight Retreat Center. He spent years doing research on addiction treatment at the UCLA Center for Behavioral and Addiction Medicine and continues to be interested in the unfolding dialogue between dharma and science.

Everyone Welcome.

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September 25, 2016 – May 14, 2017: The Eightfold Path Program

The Buddha’s most explicit path of practice is the Eightfold Path. This is a set of eight practical approaches to bring Buddhist practice into the breadth and depth of our lives. The Eightfold Path Program is an introduction to each […]

The Buddha’s most explicit path of practice is the Eightfold Path. This is a set of eight practical approaches to bring Buddhist practice into the breadth and depth of our lives.

The Eightfold Path Program is an introduction to each of the Eightfold factors. Participants will discover how to apply each set of practices in ways that are personally meaningful.

Registration is required.

The main mentors are Kim Allen, Dan Landry, Leslie Tremaine, Bill Culman, and G Schulz.

Dates: Sundays

First Class will be  September 25, 2016 from 3:00pm to 4:30pm
The rest of the classes will be Sundays from 1:30pm – 4:00pm on
Oct 16, Nov 13, Dec 11, Jan 8, Feb 12, Mar 12, Apr 9, and May 14

Time: 1:30pm – 4:00pm, except Sept 25 will be from 3:00pm – 4:30pm

Cost: There is no charge, dana accepted.

How to Register:  Eightfold Path Program Application

Teacher:  Kim Allen and other teachers.

Kim Allen has been practicing Insight meditation since 2003 and joined the ISC Teacher’s Council in 2015. She has spent cumulative two years in silent retreat, and lived for two years at the Insight Retreat Center. She teaches at ISC and other sanghas around the Bay Area, including study of the suttas. Her teachers include Gil Fronsdal and Joseph Goldstein, and she has some training in Zen and Tibetan practices. She has completed the Sati Center’s Buddhist Chaplaincy training and a teacher training with Bob Stahl, and is the founder of the Buddhist Insight Network. She also has a Ph.D. in physics and a master’s degree in environmental and social sustainability.

Everyone is Welcome.

 

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