Facebook event page
Jikoji Zen Meditation Retreat Center
12100 Skyline Blvd, Los Gatos, California 95033
“Fearless Presence: The Practice of Radical Mindfulness”
A Weekend Residential Retreat
Friday April 21 — Sunday, April 23
Jikoji Zen Center, Los Gatos, CA
Teacher: Carla Brennan
Bloom of the Present Insight Meditation
For more info and to register fo to:
AN ANCIENT PRACTICE
Going on retreat is an ancient practice in all spiritual traditions. A residential meditation retreat offers a precious opportunity to devote continuous time to developing mindful presence and insight. Released from daily responsibilities and our usual distractions we can discover a deeper way of being. Retreats are not meant to be mostly comfortable or easy. They're meant to be a supportive environment where we can turn inward with courage and care. Our sustained practice takes us below our surface experience and into our innermost being where self-knowledge and wise understanding can naturally grow.
For people new to retreat practice, this weekend can be an introduction to the experience and power of being on silent retreat. For people with retreat experience, this retreat can be a welcomed sanctuary from the busyness and distraction of daily life and can recharge your practice.
The aim of our Buddhist practice is to be released from our deeply reactive patterns. Once freed, we can relax into the here and now in its totality. Only then can we awaken; only then do we understand what’s of true importance; only then can authentic wisdom and compassion be known.
During this weekend retreat we will be making the shift from judging, controlling and manipulating our experience into fully opening to and befriending it. Radical mindfulness embraces all sensations, feelings and perceptions equally. Pure awareness has no agenda; it is awake, inclusive and allowing. Mindfulness is more than a technique or self-improvement exercise. It is a way of being that can fundamentally alter the quality of our life and our understanding of reality.
We will practice the subtle and powerful approach of “letting be,” a willingness to be open again and again to what is as it is. An emphasis will also be on “compassionate mindfulness of feeling”. We will focus on acknowledging the sensations of the body and the emotions of the heart with a kind, connected presence.
THE RETREAT EXPERIENCE
The daily schedule includes periods of sitting and walking meditation, instructions, dharma talks, small group or individual discussions, Q & A periods, and three meals with breaks. You are expected to participate in most sessions. Each person will have a daily work meditation job to help prepare meals or keep the center clean. The first meditation of the day begins before breakfast and that last one ends at about 9 PM. There will be time for rest, yoga and walks in nature.
The retreat will be in silence. There will be no speaking between retreatants. Writing and reading (as well as digital media) are also discouraged, so that retreatants can better stay with their present experience as it unfolds, moment to moment. Please plan to attend the entire retreat. This is open to people with experience as well as those new to retreat practice.
BOTP has a scholarship fund to help people afford to attend retreats. If you need financial assistance to be able attend, please fill out our scholarship application. Payment plans can also be arranged.
JIKOJI ZEN CENTER is a small retreat center nestled in the oak woods of the Santa Cruz Mountains off Skyline Blvd. in Los Gatos. Trails there connect with the surrounding open space land. Accommodations include shared rooms or camping. Meals will be vegetarian and made with tasty, healthy ingredients.
CARLA BRENNAN is the guiding teacher with Bloom of the Present Insight Meditation in Santa Cruz and teaches at other Insight Meditation centers in the Bay Area. She is also a teacher for the Foundation for Active Compassion. As part of her regular programs, Carla offers meditation outdoors and encourages her students to practice in nature.
BLOOM OF THE PRESENT INSIGHT MEDITATION is a Buddhist community dedicated to bringing greater wisdom and compassion into the world. Mindfulness meditation, talks, classes, and retreats are held throughout Santa Cruz County, CA. Carla Brennan is the Guiding Teacher. We are open to anyone who wishes to study contemplative practices and develop more freedom in their lives. BOTP is a nonprofit 501©(3) organization.