Mettagroup x the Bay Area
There are a lot of events happening in the Bay Area this winter into spring from Mettagroup!
First up is my Dharma talk about meditation and attachment on Friday, March 1, followed by a day-long introduction to our Meditation x Attachment course (formerly known as The Meaningful Life) on Saturday, March 2. It all leads up to a special two-month version of the Meditation x Attachment intensive taking place over four day-longs on April 6, April 20, May 4, May 18. It's all happening at San Francisco Dharma Collective and you can read more here.
Also in March (March 3 - 8 to be precise), my good friend Dave Smith and I are offering a six day/five night workshop called An Awakened and Meaningful Life at 1440 Multiversity in Scotts Valley. This is the first time we're co-teaching a retreat like this, focused on developing skillful emotional regulation strategies for use in intimate relationships (friends and lovers). Get the details and register here.
We still ❤️ you, LA!
Back on our home turf in Los Angeles, we'll also be offering Meditation x Attachment – Level One during four day-longs, meeting every other week on April 13, April 27, May 11 and May 25. After a successful trial run of this new format in Santa Cruz last year, we're very excited to bring it back home - and it will be completely Dana-based, so here we go! Read more and register here.
Then later in the Spring, Mettagroup will begin a series of day-longs under the banner Coupling for Single People, focusing on understanding the dynamics of collaborative relationships and meditation based emotional regulation strategies. We are taking a Noah’s Ark approach (is there a Buddhist metaphor that is equivalent?), inviting everyone whatever your object choice. We love a good mash-up!! Stay tuned for details.
Switching Up Our Retreat Schedule
Mettagroup’s ten-day Metta-Vipassana retreats will move from Winter and Summer, to Spring and Fall. Since we held the Winter retreat, the next 10-dayer will be in the Fall, back at Seven Circles Retreat Center in Badger, CA. Maybe California living changes your blood into wimpy, wimpy, wimpy, but many of our retreatants have emphatically stated that the meditation yurt is too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer, so we have opted for milder weather. People have also requested a lay-away plan for paying for the retreat, so we have created a pay-as-you-like possibility, so you can register now for the retreat and pay little-by-little over the months ahead of the retreat. Register here.
I think we have finally perfected our retreat format (not forgetting that everything remains impermanent), adding a period of restorative yoga at the end of the day, so the body can stretch and relax in preparation for sleep and another day of practice.
The Tiger and the Strawberry
Now for a little Zen story: a monk or a nun depending on which makes you happier, walks along a forest path on the edge of a steep, mountain cliff. S/he hears a crash in the forest behind him/her and turns to see a tiger lumber out between the trees. The tiger licks her/his lips and charges toward the nun/monk. The monk/nun runs as fast she/he can but loses her/his footing taking a turn and slides over the edge of the cliff. Just as he/she is about to drop a thousand feet to her/his death, s/he grabs ahold of a root sticking out of the cliff with both hands. The tiger looks over the edge of the cliff and sees the predicament of the nun/monk, then trots down the path until s/he is standing underneath the nun/monk waiting for her/him to fall.
As the monk/nun attempts to pull her/himself up the cliff back to the path, two mice crawl out of a small hole next to the root the monk/nun is clinging to. One white mouse called, “Expansion,” and one black mouse called, “Contraction.” The mice begin to chew through the root. The nun/monk sees what quick work the mice are doing on the root, looks down, and realizes, if the fall doesn’t kill me the tiger will eat me alive.
Then, out of the corner of her/his eye, the nun/monk sees a perfectly red-ripe strawberry growing of the side of the cliff just within reach. With one hand clutching the root, the monk/nun reaches out with the other and picks the strawberry. S/he tastes its luscious loveliness, and exclaims to the world itself, “Ahh, how sweet it is!!”
Happy practice, love to you,
P.S. As always please feel free to call the office at 213-378-0489 for answers to any questions you have about our stuff.