September 8-10, 2017

Registration opens August 23 and closes September 6.

Friday PM - September 8  ||  5-7pm Pacific / 8-10pm Eastern
Focus In

Leader: Shinzen Young

Type of Program: Drill

Prerequisites: Previous experience with Note Everything or Focus In.

Fee: $10 per person 

In this program, you’ll practice tracking your subjective experience in terms of visual thoughts (mental images), internal conversations (mental talk), and emotional body sensations. It’s about appreciating yourself just as you are – knowing yourself to death, loving yourself to death.

In preparation for this program, please:


Saturday AM - September 9  ||  5-9am Pacific / 8am-12pm Eastern
Motion Challenge Training

Leader: Shinzen Young 
Type of Program: Accelerator
Prerequisites: Previous experience with at least one meditation technique.
Fee: $20 per person

People often complain that they’re able to get in deep states during formal practice but are not able to maintain those states in daily life. There’s a lot to be said about this but one suggestion is to work smart by creating for yourself “motion challenge sequences.” The idea is simple. Take any meditation technique you relate to and attempt to maintain it through a sequence of progressively more challenging and/or complex activities. Stay with each stage for however long it takes you to get as deep as you were in the previous stage.  

Here's an example.  Do a technique of your choice while...  

1.    Lying down
2.    Seated eyes closed
3.    Seated eyes open
4.    Standing
5.    Slow walking
6.    Faster walking
7.    Walking in a sensorially impactful environment
8.    Doing simple exercises
9.    Doing more complicated exercises
10.  Washing dishes
11.  Cooking a simple meal
12.  Cooking a more complicated meal
13.  Carrying on a vacuous conversation
14.  Watching low-impact TV
15.  Watching high-impact TV
16.  Carrying on a substantive conversation
17.  Carrying on an emotionally charged substantive conversation

Your goal is to work up to the point where you can be as deep in situation #17 as you are in situation #1. It's like weight training, you build it up gradually. This may seem like an awful big homework assignment but you have the rest of your life to turn it in!   During this program, we will alternate periods of self practice in motion with periods of guidance and discussion.

In preparation for this retreat,

  • Think ahead about what types of tasks you will use as motion challenges during this program and prepare the environment if need be (see list in description or come up with your own). Consider having a clock or timer nearby to stay on schedule
  • Review An Outline of Practice  
  • Review any other relevant materials you’d like (recalling the prerequisite for this program).

Saturday PM - September 9  ||  10am-2pm Pacific / 1-5pm Eastern
Introduction to Spontaneity, Part 2: Auto Think

Leader: Shinzen Young 
Type of Program: Foundations
Prerequisites: None
Fee: $20 per person 

In this program, we’ll learn the technique of auto think.  Auto think allows you to access intuition, creativity, wisdom and spontaneity.  You’ve probably experienced how ‘responding without thinking’ can sometimes be powerful and even magical.  Auto think trains you to ‘think without thinking’.  Thoughts self-organize without the need for a thinker.

In preparation for this program, please:


Sunday AM - September 10  ||  8am-12pm Pacific / 11am-3pm Eastern
The Black Hole of Primordial Unfulfillment

Leader: Shinzen Young 
Type of Program: Special Offering
Prerequisites: None
Fee: $20 per person

Over the years I’ve noticed that some students report a distinctive phenomenon that represents a major impediment to their happiness.  It is by no means the case that everyone experiences this phenomenon. Among those who do, it sometimes may have been brought about by their practice.  On the other hand, many people say it’s something that’s been with them as long as they can remember.

Because the phenomenon is both well-defined and significant I thought it should have a name.  I call it the ‘The Black Hole of Primordial Unfulfillment’.  It’s the perception that there’s a kind of emptiness in the core of one’s being.  But it’s not shunyata, - the good emptiness that Buddhism speaks of.  Rather it’s a profound and seemingly eternal sense of dissatisfaction. It carries with it the conviction that it will never go away no matter what you do.  No amount of good things in your life, no amount of sensual pleasure seems to touch it. But worst of all, no amount of meditation progress seems to help either! 

Actually though, there are effective ways to work with it in practice.  The purpose of this program is to clarify that. 

In preparation for this program, please:


Sunday PM - September 10  ||  1-5pm Pacific / 4-8pm Eastern
Going Deeper into Body Experience

Leader: Shinzen Young 
Type of Program: Sharpening
Prerequisites: Previous experience with the Just Feel technique and the Nurture Positive technique. 
Fee: $20 per person

You will be guided through several exercises designed to hone and strengthen your ability to work with somatic experience, including:

  • Just Feel: Work with all body experience.
  • Feel In: Detect the presence or absence of emotional-type body sensations.
  • Feel Out: Anchor in the Now of physical-type body sensations.
  • Feel Rest: Enjoy inner and outer body rest states.
  • Feel Flow: Explore the dynamic side of body experience.
  • Feel Space: Explore the theme of somatic spaciousness.
  • Feel Good: Create positive emotional body sensations. 

In preparation for this program, please:

o Chapter 1, Part 3, Feel In, p. 22

o Chapter 2, Part 3, Feel Out, p. 30

o Chapter 3, Part 3, Feel Rest, p.37

o Chapter 4, Part 3, Feel Flow, p. 53

o Chapter 5 The Way of Human Goodness, pp. 67-73