Rainy Season Retreat 2019

led by Singhashri


Commuter Meditations

Reading Materials and links

Insight Dialogue Groups beginning Thursday Jan 10

Focusing on meditation and Singhashri's Sangha Night talks these will be structured along the lines of Insight Dialogue. Sign up requested as numbers are limited. 

TOPIC AND SCHEDULE INFORMATION                                                                                                                                           

Our Annual Rainy Season Retreat is an opportunity for Mitras and Order Members Members at the SFBC to spend time practicing together.  The schedule so far is below, and you can also see it in calendar form here or if you want a printable version here.  Suggested donation: $50 to $100. 

This year we're very happy that Singhashri is visiting from England to lead the Retreat. Many of you will remember her since she lived and taught here for many years before moving to London. Here is her invitation: 

Sangharakshita has said: 'We are the path.' On this retreat, come and discover how this might be true for you through an exploration of the Triratna System of Practice.  How do we bring more and more of ourselves into our practice, with a spirit of unconditional love, towards realizing the true nature of reality?

“The path is a symbol, representing the fact that we can change… The path itself is not out there; it is in here. The path simply represents the individual solution to your own particular predicament. If you know and understand yourself as you are now, that puts you in a position to develop in your own way. The path is you in the process of organising your mental states in such a way that growth and development will take place in a positive direction.”  Sangharakshita.

Many of us begin our journey as spiritual practitioners with all sorts of ideas about what we might achieve and how we should go about it. But, as our practice deepens, we may find that simply doing as we’re told isn’t enough, even as ideas about the goal and how we might reach it become less clear. We begin to understand that in order to realize the Dharma, we are going to have to find creative and personally meaningful ways to work through our unique set of habits in the service of ever deepening freedom from suffering.

This will be different for each of us, but there is something that unites us on our journeys: those are the principles that we practice by. These principles help us in understanding what is unfolding, how to meet that unfolding with curiosity and love, and how to turn that meeting into the means for awakening. These principles have been clearly communicated to us by our teacher through the five stages of our system of practice: integration, positive emotion, receptivity, spiritual death and spiritual rebirth.

During the Rainy Season retreat we will explore the System of Practice by getting curious about how the foundational meditations of mindfulness of breathing, metta bhavana and just sitting support us on our journey. We will specifically explore:

-    How do we create the conditions for a calm, peaceful mind that can more fully turn towards and be with our direct experience?
-    How can we meet difficult sensations, thoughts and emotions with a non-judgmental attitude, and cultivate curiosity?  
-    How can we begin to see more clearly our habitual reactions and the suffering they create?
-    What else is possible?

Saturdays 10am to 4pm

  • Jan 5, Opening Ceremony and Practice Day
  • Jan 12, Practice Day
  • Jan 19, Order Day in Annex and Mitra Day on ground floor  
    • ***Mitras will meet from 10-1 only for meditation, followed by a talk on Buddhism and Ecology, and discussion of topics that arise from the talk and the retreat. 
  • Jan 26 - Practice Day

Wednesday Sangha Nights - 7pm to 9pm

  • Jan 9, 16, 23, 30

Fridays - Social/Movies/Pujas 

  • Jan 11 - Movie - Into Great Silence, 7pm 
    Pete and Padmatara will host "Into Great Silence" Friday Jan 11th starting at 7pm, with Pete's special silent cookies, and Padmatara's quiet (fake) mimosas.  Friends and family welcome. Please arrive early for a 7pm start.
  • Jan 18, 25 - nothing scheduled yet

Sunday Jan 13 - 10am to 4pm

  • Teaching Kula Training 


  • 7:30 am Mon to Fri
  • 12 Noon Tue, and Thur
  • 6pm Tue, Wed, Thur, Fri (not Mondays, as there's a renter 5:30 to 6:30 - please try not to disturb).

Mondays - Going for Refuge and Prostration Practice, with Karunadevi, 7pm (there is a group renting the center till 6:30 so please try not to disturb them - thanks!).

(for Order Members and Mitras in the Ordination Training)

  • Jan 7: Reporting in, Prostration Practice - 7pm, or arrive at 6:35 for a review of the practice (see note about renter above).
  • Jan 14, 21, 28:  Prostration Practice followed by study of selections from Creative Symbols of Tantric Buddhism. The book is difficult to get as it is out of print, but here is a link for the kindle version: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B079Y3M3J3/ref=dbs_a_w_dp_b079y3m3j3

Insight Dialogue Groups

Groups with Singashri will be offered Thursday evenings and possibly Tuesdays depending on numbers.  Sign up by email or at Sangha Night.  They will focus on meditation and the system of practice talks on Sangha Night, structured along the lines of Insight Dialogue  - here's some  information about that.