"In truth we are always present; we only imagine ourselves to be in one place or another."
—Howard Cohn

Loving-Kindness: Cultivating the Open and Wise Heart
Donald Rothberg
2 Days: Monday, April 17 - Tuesday, April 18, 9:30am - 4:30pm
Community Meditation Center
Sliding Scale $150 - $400. Please bring your lunch. Code DR2M17.
OPEN-Register Here

Loving-kindness, or metta, is the practice of cultivating a warm, open heart towards ourselves and others, as a basic way of being in the world. It is also a path to wisdom. We cultivate metta as a meditation practice in order for it to manifest in an ongoing way in our daily lives. We grow in self-acceptance and compassion, work through our harsh judgments of self and others, and become better able to act from our awakened hearts in daily life.

In this non-residential retreat, we will learn the formal practice of metta along with some of the companion practices of compassion, forgiveness and gratitude. All of these practices strengthen self-confidence, self-acceptance and steadiness of mind and heart, revealing our fundamental kindness.

This meditation intensive is intended for people interested in a period of practice for whom being away from home overnight is not easily possible — people with young families, people with health or mobility challenges, or people with caregiver responsibilities. Of course, the retreat is also open to anyone who simply would prefer to return home in the evening. The retreat will be held in the context of silence, with periods of sitting meditation alternating with periods of walking meditation. Full instructions will be offered, along with dharma talks, question and answer periods, and several short optional sessions of guided movement. Participants are asked to bring their lunch each day so that there can be an uninterrupted day of practice that includes instructions in mindful eating.

Teachings and practices are appropriate for individuals and health care professionals. Continuing Education (CE) credit available, please see below for more information.

Learning Objectives for participating health care professionals-
Based on the content of Monday's program, you will be able to:

  • Utilize techniques of loving-kindness that might be shared with clients;
  • Apply techniques of loving-kindness to yourself and people close to you;
  • Recognize the potential effectiveness of loving-kindness as an antidote to distress;
  • Apply related techniques to develop compassion, in ways useful to clients.
Based on the content of Tuesday's program, you will be able to:
  • Utilize techniques of loving-kindness focused on those not close to you (loving-kindness toward "neutral" people and toward all beings).
  • Employ techniques of loving-kindness focused on "difficult" people.
  • Apply related techniques to develop forgiveness.
  • Demonstrate how to bring loving-kindness into daily life in ways that might be shared with clients.
Young Adults (18-26) and Seniors (65+ with limited income) are invited to attend this 2-Day Non-Residential Retreat for $90.

General Information

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 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.

Continuing Education

This course is appropriate for psychologists and California licensed MFTs, LCSWs, LEPs, LPCCs, and nurses, and offers 12 CE credits for $120 for both days of participation. If you would like CE credit for only 1 day, you may pay the CE credit fee at the door- please arrive early to give yourself enough time. If you have a license different than the ones listed above, and are interested in CE credit, please check with your licensing Board to see if credits for programs from APA or BRN approved providers are accepted.

Continuing Education credit is co-sponsored by the Spiritual Competency Resource Center, and the Institute of Noetic Sciences. The Spiritual Competency Resource Center is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Spiritual Competency Resource Center maintains responsibility for this program and its content. The Institute of Noetic Sciences is a provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP10318 for 12 contact hours. The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE credits for license renewal for programs from APA approved agencies.

Credit is awarded for instructional time only. For more information, including attendance and cancellation policies, see Continuing Education (CE) Credit.

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