James Baraz has been a meditation teacher since 1978. He is a co-founding teacher of Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA. He leads retreats, workshops and classes in U.S and abroad. James is the creator and teacher of the Awakening Joy course(since 2003). He is also the co-author of Awakening Joy, the book based on the course, and Awakening Joy for Kids, and is a guiding teacher for One Earth Sangha, a website devoted to expressing a Buddhist response to Climate Change. James lives in Berkeley, California with his wife, Jane. He has two sons and three grandchildren.
Jane Baraz, has been a mindfulness practitioner since 1976 when she began sitting vipassana retreats. She was on the Spirit Rock Board of Directors for 8 years and helped start the Spirit Rock Family Program. Jane teaches Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at UCSF's Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. She's also a trained teacher in Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC), which she teaches at the Women's Cancer Resource Center in Oakland and privately in Berkeley. Jane enjoys teaching retreats and Awakening Joy workshops with her husband, James, in California and internationally.
Saturday, November 17th, 2018. 9am to 5pm
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Equanimity: Finding Balance in our Practice
Sunday, November 18th, 2018. 9am to 5pm
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Please note, these are 2 day long retreats are non-residential.
"Awakening Joy" is a 5 month, internationally recognized course designed to awaken joy through exciting themes and practices that incline the mind toward well-being and deeper insight. On this retreat day, James and his wife Jane will share a sample of the course practices and explain their relationship to Buddhist practices.
“It is that gladness, connected with the wholesome that I call an equipment of mind.” The Buddha
In Buddhism, Joy is both a Factor of Enlightenment and one of the four Divine Abodes.Today, as we are bombarded with messages that heighten our fear and sadness about the world, more than ever it is vital to understand the importance of joy as a central aspect of spiritual practice. We need to remember how to stay connected to that place inside that makes life worth living. True happiness is not about acquiring anything but rather opening to the natural joy and aliveness right inside you. True happiness is not about acquiring anything but rather opening to the natural joy and aliveness right inside you. Your own cultivation of well-being and joy can become our gift to a troubled world.
“Awakening Joy can lead each of us to live with dignity, compassion and gracious freedom. Savor and practice the exercises...use them to open your heart and transform your life. Your days on Earth will be full of blessings.”
—Jack Kornfield, Author of A Path with Heart
Equanimity or Upekkha is a highly valued quality in Buddhist teachings. It is one of the Four Divine Abodes (along with loving-kindness, compassion and joy), one of the Seven Factors of Enlightenment, one of the Ten Perfections. When highly developed it is the precursor to the experience of awakening. But what is equanimity? How can we cultivate it in our meditation practice? Even more how can we access it in our daily life, especially in times like these with so much uncertainty, fear and sadness over the suffering in the world?
This daylong is suited for beginners and experienced students. We will include meditation instructions, periods of silent sitting and walking meditation, practice discussions with the teachers and talks on the theme on developing equanimity in our formal practice. In addition, we will explore various aspects of equanimity that can be pragmatically applied to our life off the meditation cushion.
Food: To help you make the most of the day, we will provide a nutritious vegetarian lunch. Vegan, Gluten Free & Dairy Free is catered for and you can indicate in the booking process what you would like. You are of course welcome to bring your own.
Question: Do I have to sit on the floor on a meditation cushion? Answer: Absolutely not. There will be more than enough chairs to sit on. We encourage you to find a posture in meditation that allows you to be comfortable and easy.
Question: Will there be sitting cushions and mats provided. Answer: There will be a limited number available Approx 20. We won't be reserving these for anyone, they will be available on a first come basis.
Question: I have very specific dietary needs, can you cater for special diets? Answer: Leave a message in the Diets area during the booking process and we'll see what we can work out with the cook.
Question: I've never meditated before & I'm worried it will be too much. Even though you've said that the day is suited to beginners, do you really mean it! Answer: Yes we do! Along with James and Jane, Anton will be there to support you in any way that may be needed. So in many ways this is the perfect day to come along and try meditation out.
Question: I'm coming from out of Melbourne. Can I stay at Don Bosco. Answer: No, sorry we have only hired the venue for use during the day.