Urban Retreat: Living a Wise, Kind and Joyful Life

with Jude Robison & Marilia Marien

July 29th—August 4th

Date details +
  • $140 Program Price
  • $170 Patron price
  • $25 or you can pay what you can afford.

We might think of retreat as an opportunity to “get away from it all.” By bringing our retreat practice into the urban environment where we live, we invite “it all” to be the working basis of our practice. The qualities we seek in retreat are with us wherever we are; they can be part of our everyday life.

The theme for this summer’s Urban Retreat is meditation and the contemplative arts as a way of living a wise, kind and joyful life. The morning sessions will focus on basic meditation practice, including sitting and walking meditation, guided meditations, movement, contemplation, and brief dharma talks. The afternoons will offer the opportunity to explore a variety of contemplative arts as a natural way to practice mindfulness and awareness in our daily lives.

What the morning and afternoon sessions have in common is an invitation to explore our experience with:

  • A willingness to show up with curiosity and acceptance
  • A beginner’s mind: focusing on the process rather than the result
  • Attention to our experience, as it is, in body, heart and mind

Whether you are looking for an opportunity to deepen your meditation practice or you want to experience the joy of bringing the practice into your everyday life, or both, this practice intensive is for you.

Come for the whole seven days, a single day or more.

Daily Schedule:

9:00 am to Noon:  Meditation practice: sitting, walking, guided meditations, movement, contemplation, and brief dharma talks

1:30 to 4:00 pm:  Contemplative arts

Monday: What is Dharma Art, with Alexander deVaron  Developed by Chogyam Trungpa, Dharma Art refers to creativity that springs from the awakened meditative state, characterized by directness, unselfconsciousness, and nonaggression. Learn about the history and principles of this powerful practice.

Tuesday: Moving with Body/Mind, with Jude Robison  Moving meditation can be a bridge between our formal sitting practice and our everyday lives. Using simple ordinary movement, we will explore presence as an individual and collective experience.
Wednesday: Kado: Way of the Flowers, with Barbara Craig  A creative and meditative dance with nature, space, and perception. In this workshop we will learn and practice the basic principles. Attendance is limited to 6 participants. Please register with [email protected]
Thursday: Getting to Know Your Own Mind, with Jeffrey Lee  Freewriting games to let go of negative feelings that get in the way of inner freedom. Opportunities to write on the spot and share what's on your mind. No writing experience necessary.
Friday: The Way of the Brush, with Elaine Yuen  The Way of the Brush is a contemplative practice that “paints the mind.” In this afternoon workshop we will explore the creative process through the ordinary appreciation of a blank page, ink and brush, expressing the stillness and movement of mind.  
Saturday: On the Dot: Open Connection in Performing, with Parlan McGaw  A performing artist’s work is about connection: connecting to the material and then sharing that. But first, a performer needs to connect with self. Whether you get up on stage or not, we’re all performers at one time or another. This afternoon, we’ll explore making a genuine connection. Open to all.
Sunday: This Very Moment: Dharma Art of Now: a spontaneous arising.

The retreat is open to everyone – experienced meditators and beginners. There are part-time options available for participants who are not able to attend the entire program.  

Discovering and cultivating our innate well-being is the spiritual, psychological, and political challenge of our time. The past few years of social, political, and environmental aggression, deception, stress, and insecurity have left many of us feeling fearful and disheartened. But the Buddhist teachings remind us that even in times of uncertainty and difficulty, we can find and connect with the wholeness, freedom and joy that is always present right here and now—without turning away from our own suffering or the suffering of the world.  In this retreat we will explore how the sitting practice of meditation, along with contemplative arts practice, can reveal the wisdom of our minds so that we can meet the challenges of our time and enjoy a wakeful, joyful life.


$140 - Regular program price for all seven days.
$170 - Patron program price for all seven days.
   This supports our ability to offer discounts to others.
$25 -   Per day program.
   When you register, under "comments" at the bottom of the personal information part of the registration page, please tell us  which days you are planning to attend.
Pay what you can afford. 
   When you register for the program (whether you intend to come for the full week or one or more days), type in the amount you would like to pay.