March 8 - 10, 2019

Registration opens February 20 and closes March 6.

Friday PM - March 8  ||  5-7pm Pacific / 8-10pm Eastern
Explore Spaciousness

Leader: Shinzen Young
Type of Program: Special Theme
Prerequisites: Previous experience with See Rest, Hear Rest and Feel Rest.
Fee: $10 per person 

In Unified Mindfulness, one way to explore transcendence of form is to work with the theme of spaciousness. This involves learning to find the openness that may surround a sensory experience and a thinness that may pervade it. Those qualities are intrinsically rewarding and can also be helpful for dissipating intense experiences, soothing spasmodic kriyas, and so forth. At the deepest level, they can be an aid to the main transcendent theme in Unified Mindfulness, which is coming in contact with the primordial perfection of expansion and contraction.

Many Unified Mindfulness focus options represent simplifications, reworkings or generalizations of traditional techniques. Focus In is a streamlined generalization of the Five Aggregate paradigm. Focus Out is a reworking of the Zen “Merge With It” strategy. Spaciousness represents a reformulation of certain themes that appear in the Dzogchen practice of Tibet, and the jhana practice of early Buddhism. But in the Unified Mindfulness system, those themes are mounted within the framework of Noting, resulting in what might be referred to as a “Tibeto-Burmese” fusion practice.

In preparation for this program,

Saturday AM - March 9  ||  5-9am Pacific / 8am-12pm Eastern
Trigger Practice

Leader: Shinzen Young 
Type of Program: Accelerator
Prerequisites: Previous participation in a 'Foundations' home practice program that offered at least one mindfulness technique.
Fee: $20 per person

Trigger practice is a systematic and efficient way to train yourself to remain mindful in daily life.

People often report that they don’t get much emotional body sensation or visual thought during periods of formal practice. On the other hand, emotional body sensation and visual thinking are often activated by life situations. But when that happens, we usually have to take care of the life situation. Handling life situation requires time and energy, so it may be difficult to remain deeply mindful while taking care of business, especially if that business is emotionally charged.

So how can we train ourselves to be in our deepest state through the whole range of emotional flavors and thought patterns that come up in our daily life? One answer is Trigger Practice. During Trigger Practice, you control the type, intensity, and duration of stimulus you’d like to work with. Also, there’s no real life situation you need to respond to. So you can direct all your energy to reacting mindfully. As a result of this training, when things suddenly come up in daily life, you’ll find that you automatically go into a mindful response. This will reduce your suffering in unpleasant situations, increase your fulfillment in pleasant situations, and foster more effective behavior in all situations.

The basic structure of Trigger Practice is simple. You expose yourself to one or a combination of: sight, sound, or physical type body sensation . The stimulus might create a certain type of pleasant reactions (love, joy, interest…) or a certain type of unpleasant reaction (anger, fear, sadness, shame…). You can vary the type, intensity, duration, and frequency of the stimulation. It’s like weight training. You work against an edge but don’t overload yourself.

During and between the stimuli you have chosen, you apply a formal technique. The technique could involve turning toward your thoughts and emotions or it can involve turning away from your thoughts and emotions. You can turn towards the thoughts and emotions by using one of the techniques from the Focus In family. You can turn away from the thoughts and emotions using Focus Out, Focus on Rest, Focus on Flow, or Nurture Positive.

In preparation for this program, please:

  • Think ahead and prepare access to the stimuli you will use during this program. Most people find listening to sound from the TV/Internet with eyes closed to be the easiest way to do Trigger Practice but there are many other possibilities. You can trigger things through sight from the TV/Internet with the sound off, or through physical body sensations from a hot tub, workout, yoga, etc. See what patterns are interesting and productive for you. Consider having a timer nearby to stay on schedule.

  • Review what you’d like from Five Ways to Know Yourself manual

Saturday PM - March 9  ||  10am-2pm Pacific / 1-5pm Eastern
The Power of Don’t Know

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

In this retreat, we will explore how to utilize doubt, confusion, and indecision for psychospiritual growth. Three cultures have independently discovered the power of “Don’t

  • Ancient Greece, where this practice was referred to as 

  • Tang Dynasty China, where it developed into kōan 

  • Medieval Christian Europe, where it was called docta ignorantia (which in Latin literally means “informed ignorance”).

Although it may seem paradoxical, suspending the need to know can lead to a new kind of knowing. In the Buddhist tradition, that new kind of knowing is referred to as a prajña – the wisdom function. In this retreat, Shinzen will take you through a systematic procedure to explore this theme.

In preparation for this program,

Sunday AM - March 10  ||  8am-12pm Pacific / 11am-3pm Eastern
Positivity Training

Leader: Shinzen Young 
Type of Program: Deepening
Prerequisites: Previous experience with the techniques of See Good, Hear Good, Feel Good and Be Good.
Fee: $20 per person

In this program, we’ll practice to deepen the “Nurture Positivity” techniques from ULTRA. You’ll work with the four techniques that allow you to create, maintain, and project

  • See Good – you visualize something

  • Hear Good – you repeat a positive mindful mantra in mental talk

  • Feel Good - you generate positive emotion in your

  • Be Good – all three elements are involved.

When you deepen your skills with Nurturing Positivity practice, you can selectively attend to positive emotion, rational thought, positive behaviors, or archetypal ideals. This will help you to refine your personhood and be of service to others. It dramatically changes the way you relate to the world…and the way that the world relates to you!

In preparation for this program,

Sunday PM - March 10  ||  1-5pm Pacific / 4-8pm Eastern
Exploring the Mind

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

Some traditions denigrate, or even demonize, the thinking process. And, as a general principle, meditators across traditions tend to develop an aversion to thought or look upon thought as a source of problem. However, thought itself is just part of nature--an inner version of seeing and hearing. The reason so many people find thought problematic is due to our deep habits of stickiness, drivenness, and unconsciousness around the thinking process. In this program, you’ll be given a technique to work through those factors and, thus, begin the process of experiencing thought as a flow of transparent energy. We’ll discuss how to untangle and unblock the surface level of thought as well as strategies for detecting subliminal and even subconscious mental activity.

In preparation for this program,