In concentration and serenity (samatha) meditation, we return our awareness to one object of meditation to the exclusion of everything else, thereby collecting and unifying the mind stream. This practice counteracts the overstimulation of today’s world, reflected in books like “The Shallows” that highlight the neurological effects of social media, texting, and technology that bombard our awareness with messages, alerts, and feeds. Practicing concentration meditation collects the mind stream and “builds the muscle” of concentration, enabling us to turn away from the constant pull of our smartphones, computer screens, games, and entertainment, allowing us to settle into the serenity of our deeper nature.
The practice also reveals with heightened clarity our habitual patterns that cause us to suffer both on and off the cushion, a process referred to as “purification of mind.” Then, as we build the capacity to turn away from these patterns, a laser-like awareness can develop that can lead to profound stillness and deep joy, as well as the possibility of the deep meditative absorptions known as the jhanas that support insight leading to awakening. This retreat provides an overview of anapanasati meditation (mindfulness of breathing) as taught in the lineage of Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw of Burma, considered by many to be the leading living teacher of samatha practice and the jhanas. Highlights of recent neuroscience research demonstrating the benefits of focused attention meditation will also be provided.
This retreat is open to all, and is suitable for beginners as well as experienced meditators. There will be teachings, instructions, periods of sitting and walking meditation, practice dialogues with the teachers, and Q&A opportunities. The retreat is held in silence.
Subsidized fee : $350 plus dana offerings to teacher(s) and staff
Sustaining fee : $380 plus dana offerings to teacher(s) and staff
Supporting fee : $410 plus dana offerings to teacher(s) and staff
Following in the Buddhist tradition, none of your registration fee will go to the teacher(s). Please consider offering teacher dāna at the event to support their livelihood. (Dāna is a term for generosity, or freely offered giving. You can find more information about this way of offering the teachings and the "economy of gifts" on our Donation page.)