For those 55 and over.
“Aging, illness and death are treasures for those who understand them. They are Noble Truths, Noble Treasures. If they were people, I’d bow down to their feet every day.” — Ajahn Lee, Thai Forest Master
This sentiment is not our culture’s usual attitude towards aging, illness and death, so this statement may sound jarring, or even distasteful. But as we ourselves grow old, as the truth of aging takes hold in our very own body, it may begin to make sense. In fact much of the Buddha’s teaching becomes much more relevant as we age. Impermanence, emptiness of self, the suffering of wanting things to be different — all reveal themselves more clearly as we experience these truths directly. And it is not all bad news. Because in the midst of these intimations of our mortality, something else emerges — we may resonate with the words of Martin Luther King: “You can’t choose when you will die or how you will die, but you can choose what you give your life to.” Dr. King lived this truth. He knew very clearly what his mission was, what mattered to him more than life itself. When we realize our time on earth is limited, it brings into focus what matters to us and what we must manifest. What do we choose to give our lives to? Paradoxically, we discover that remembering our mortality is indeed vital to putting us in touch with our best and truest self.
In this 3-day retreat, we will spend our days in Noble Silence, engaging with practices that calm our minds, enliven our bodies and sweeten our hearts. Through dharma talks and discussion, we will turn towards our aging, illness and dying and extract from these the wisdom and compassion we need for our onward journey. We will do this in the good company of our peers and with the practices of insight and loving-kindness to light our way.
Seniors (65+ with limited income) are invited to attend these three days for $135.
Online registration for our programs is available until 12 noon of the last business day prior to the day of the event (e.g. online registration for a Monday program ends at 12 noon on the prior Friday). There is an additional $5 fee for registering at the door. If you can't attend an event you registered for, please see our Cancellation Policy.
Visit our Online Bulletin Board for Ride Sharing to find or offer a ride.
Volunteer/Work Exchange opportunities, as well as full or partial Scholarships, may be available for this program. For more information, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at email@example.com or (415) 488-0164 x224.
Scholarships are not available for events listed as “Benefits.”
Even if you have been to Spirit Rock before, please review our Non-Residential Programs FAQ for useful information about what to wear, what to bring, how to get here, and more.