Retreats

Aug. 20-27: Against the Stream East Coast Retreat
Sept. 23: Awakened Heart: Integrating Wisdom and Compassion
Oct. 6-9: Quiet Mind, Open Heart: Autumn Insight Meditation Retreat
Oct 14: Practicing Unsafe Dharma: Ethics, Sex, and the Bodhisattva Attitude
Oct-Nov: Cultivating Kindness: The Power & Protection of Metta
TBD: Knowing How to Know: Discernment and Wisdom on the Buddhist Path
TBD: Coming Home: The Simplicity of Mindfulness

Aug. 20-27: Against the Stream East Coast Retreat

With Chris Crotty, JoAnna Harper, Vinny Ferraro, and yoga with Leslie Booker

Description
At this Insight Meditation retreat, we focus our attention on our breath, body, heart, and mind. The instructions will be based upon the Four Foundations of Mindfulness in combination with exercises in loving-kindness and compassion. Each day will include periods of sitting and walking meditation, dharma talks, and interviews.

This retreat is suitable for both beginning and experienced dharma students.

When
Sunday, August 20, 3:00 p.m. to Sunday, August 27, noon (seven nights)

Where
Dharma Drum Retreat Center
Pine Bush, NY

Cost
$685 – $1,085 (sliding scale). The cost of the retreat is $685 and anything you pay above this on the sliding scale will support the scholarship program and is tax-deductible. This price includes all room and board. All rooms are single rooms with shared bathrooms.

Some scholarships are available and the minimum cost of the retreat with a scholarship is $385. We have limited scholarship funds and may not be able to support all who need a scholarship to attend. Please consider making payment arrangements if you need support to attend the retreat. If you are interested, please contact us.

Registration
Please visit the registration page at Against the Stream LA’s website to register for this retreat.

Teachers
JoAnna Harper has been exploring and practicing multiple traditions since 1999. In 2005, her focus landed on Buddhism and Vipassana meditation, which is the premise for most of her current teaching. She teaches adult and teen weeklong silent retreats, daylongs, and weekly classes, and works with at-risk and non-at-risk youth in institutional and school settings. Helping communities and individuals that don’t typically have access to the traditional dharma settings and building multicultural community is at the top of her list of priorities. She is an empowered teacher in the Spirit Rock and IMS lineage and is a guiding teacher for Against the Stream in Los Angeles.

Vinny Ferraro is the senior trainer for Mindful Schools in Oakland, California, and his work was the subject of MTV’s If You Really Knew Me. He is a dharma teacher and a nationally recognized leader in designing and implementing interventions for at-risk youth. In 1987, he began volunteering his time to be of service. He went on to to help establish Dharma Punx in the mid-1990s. In 2001, he began teaching for Challenge Day, teaching emotional intelligence and other social skills, eventually becoming their training director, and leading workshops for more than 100,000 youth. He then became the training director for the Mind Body Awareness Project, a nonprofit that teaches meditation to the incarcerated.  He is a guiding teacher for Against the Stream, and for eleven years has led a Friday night meditation group in San Francisco.

Chris Crotty has practiced meditation since 1998, taking retreat with Burmese monastics Sayadaw U Indaka, Sayadaw U Tejaniya, and Bhikkhu Analayo, as well as western monastics of the Zen and Thai Forest tradition and senior western Vipassana teachers. He completed teacher training with Noah Levine and Vinny Ferraro (Against the Stream) in 2015 and was endorsed to teach metta and vipassana by Sayadaw U Indaka (Chanmyay Myaing Meditation Center, Burma) in 2016.  Chris’s teaching integrates Theravada Buddhism’s focus on awakening and ethics with the Mahayana ideal of compassion and service. He is also influenced by the fields of ecopsychology, attachment theory, and contemplative, pastoral, and palliative approaches to sickness, aging, and end-of-life care. In addition to serving as the guiding teacher at Against the Stream Boston, Chris offers meditation mentoring and counseling through Contemplative Wellness and Education, and is an adjunct professor in Wellness and Alternative Medicine at Johnson State College in Vermont. Chris currently studies Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) through the Center for Spiritual Care and Pastoral Formation. 

Sept. 23: Awakened Heart: Integrating Wisdom and Compassion

Half-Day Retreat with Chris Crotty

Description
Wisdom, represented by clarity and understanding, is half of the Buddhist Path. The other half is compassion, the ability to relate to our whole life with care. In this half-day retreat, we will explore how wisdom and compassion can be integrated and nurtured together, through periods of sitting and walking meditation, and silence. This retreat offers an opportunity to develop an understanding of how to bring our whole life into our meditation practice, and how we can bring our meditation out into the world.

When
Saturday, September 23, 12:30-4 p.m.

Where
The Arlington Center
369 Massachusetts Avenue
Arlington, MA

Cost
$35 plus dana for the teacher

Registration
Please pay online by clicking below to register for this retreat.

Please email us at info@againstthestreamboston.org with any questions about this program or your registration.

Oct. 6-9: Quiet Mind, Open Heart: Autumn Insight Meditation Retreat

Columbus Day Weekend Retreat with Chris Crotty

Description
Retreat is an integral practice on the Buddhist path, where for a period of time you dedicate yourself fully to developing meditation and wholesome mental qualities while being supported by community, nature, and daily Dharma teachings. Join guiding teacher Chris Crotty for Against the Stream Boston’s annual autumn residential retreat emphasizing mindfulness and the development of insight, the mind’s natural capacity to understand the pathway to calm and contentment. Loving-kindness (metta) meditation will also be included.   

Open to first-time retreatants and those with retreat experience. Retreat will include meditation instructions, sitting and walking meditation, silence, and wholesome meals in a quiet, natural setting. This retreat provides an opportunity to connect with nature, slow down, and enter more fully into your own exploration of the the Buddhist path, while being supported by teacher guidance and community.

When
Friday, October 6, to Monday, October 9, 2017
(Columbus Day weekend, 3 nights)

Where
Leyden, MA

Cost
The fees for this program are offered on a sliding scale basis, which allows participants to pay according to individual means. The sustaining rate represents the actual cost to offer this retreat; if you can afford this level or higher, you assist our efforts to offer lower sliding-scale rates and ongoing financial subsidies.

In addition, a limited number of reduced-rate camping spaces are available for people who want to bring their own tents and sleep outside; early registration is recommended to secure these spots.

Fee Schedule:
Scholarship: $395
Sustaining: $450
Supporting: $495
Camping: $330

Registration
To register for this retreat please download, complete and return the Autumn Insight Retreat Registration Form and Waivers.
To apply for a scholarship you must also complete and return the Autumn Insight Scholarship Form.

Completed registration forms and a deposit are required to hold a space for this retreat. Additional payment information is included on the registration form.

You may use the following link to pay the registration fee online. Please select a payment option from the drop-down menu and click the “Pay Online” button to complete the online payment process. You may submit a completed registration form via email when paying online.

Payment Level

Please feel free to send any questions about this retreat or the registration process to info@againstthestreamboston.org.

Oct 14: Practicing Unsafe Dharma: Ethics, Sex, and the Bodhisattva Attitude

Half-Day Retreat with Rod Owens

Lama Rod Owens

Description
Americans live in a culture that is inundated with sexual images, but has at the same time failed to develop sex positivity. As dharma practitioners, we are called to cultivate awareness in order to eventually achieve enlightenment. For those of us dedicated to the Bodhisattva attitude, we are called to awaken in order to wake others up. All this talk and practice becomes complicated when we consider our practice of sex. Our deep embodied shame around sex and sexuality coupled with traumas around sexual violence makes our relationship to sex complicated, and when we attempt to align our spiritual aspirations with our sexual realities, it seems impossible. This retreat is for anyone, Buddhist or non-Buddhist, who is interested in doing the work of undoing sex and body shame and seeing this vital and beautiful work as the manifestation of the Bodhisattva Vow. We will take basic Buddhist ethics and place them in conversation with both traditional and contemporary Buddhist sexual ethics to understand a new ethics of sex and body grounded in compassion, self-care, and radical presence. This space is for all people wanting open, frank, and direct dialogue.

When
Saturday, October 14, 1:30-5 p.m.

Where
The Arlington Center
369 Massachusetts Avenue
Arlington, MA

Cost
$35 plus dana for the teacher

Registration
Please pay online by clicking below to register for this retreat.

Please email us at info@againstthestreamboston.org with any questions about this program or your registration.

Teacher
Lama Rod is the guiding teacher for the Radical Dharma Boston Collective and teaches with Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme), where he is also a faculty member for the organization’s teacher training program. He holds a master of divinity degree in Buddhist studies from Harvard Divinity School with a focus on the intersection of social change, identity, and spiritual practice. He is a co-author of Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation, which explores race in the context of American Buddhist communities. Lama Rod facilitates undoing patriarchy workshops for male-identified practitioners in Brooklyn and Boston, and his current writing project is an exploration of intersectional masculinity and spirituality. He is officially recognized by the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism.

Oct-Nov: Cultivating Kindness: The Power & Protection of Metta

An Online Meditation Course with Chris Crotty

Description
This online course offers an opportunity to study and practice metta (loving-kindness) meditation according to the Visuddhimagga, a critical Buddhist commentary. With one week dedicated to each category of metta, this course will guide you through the traditional stages of loving-kindness, the Buddha’s central heart practice. With an emphasis on cultivation (bhavana), the course integrates daily practice, personal reflection, individual support and group discussion, and strategies for dealing with obstacles and resistance, to support you in developing your understanding and experience of the metta mind-stateWe will also explore the fruits of loving-kindness personally, relationally, and socially, along with metta’s relationship to insight and wisdom. This is an excellent and supportive way to begin or deepen your daily meditation practice, while studying one of Buddhism’s most comprehensive meditation manuals.

Included in course:
• Six-week meditation curriculum with instructions for daily practice
• Comprehensive overview of metta and its role on the Buddhist path
• Introduction to the Visuddhimagga: The Path of Purification
• Weekly handouts with core teachings & supplementary reading
• Weekly question & answer session, including individual instruction
• Weekly reflection questions based on the metta sutta
• Engagement with others and teacher support
Technology requirements: This course will use the online platform Zoom, which is free and easy to use. Prior to each class you will receive an invitation via email, containing a link providing access to the class. Zoom is similar to Skype, but it allows for more people to participate and for the teacher to display “handouts” on the screen. If for some reason you don’t have computer access for a class, a phone number will be provided that you can use to call in. All class sessions will be recorded in case you miss a class, or want access to the material after the scheduled class time.

When
Dates: October 11, 18, 25; November 1, 8, 15 (Wednesdays)
Time: 7:30-9pm Eastern / 4:30-6pm Pacific

Cost
The fees for this program are offered on a sliding scale basis. This allows participants to pay according to individual means. The sustaining rate represents the actual cost to offer this retreat. If you can afford this level or higher, you assist our efforts to offer lower sliding-scale rates and ongoing financial subsidies.

Fee Schedule:
Scholarship: $99
Sustaining: $150
Supporting: $200

Registration
Please use the following link to register and pay the registration fee online.

Payment Level

Please email us at info@againstthestreamboston.org with any questions about this program or how to register.

TBD: Knowing How to Know: Discernment and Wisdom on the Buddhist Path

A Meditation and Study Retreat with Chris Crotty

Description
Wisdom knows what is right, true, and beneficial, and the clarity it provides shows us the way to greater well-being and, ultimately, freedom. Before real learning can occur, however, certain factors need to be in place: trust in ourselves, a clear goal, and a basic sense of direction. This program, combining periods of meditation, study, and personal reflection, explores classical teachings and Buddhist principles on the development of wisdom, including guidelines to begin or deepen your study of the Buddha’s teachings, and practical skills to support you in bringing those teachings into your meditation practice and daily life.

This program will offer beginners and experienced practitioners a way of conceptualizing and beginning the integration of practice and study in their own life. Knowing How To Know is the foundation program for future meditation and study retreats with Chris Crotty, and is strongly recommended for anyone who may want to take classes in the future that integrate practice and study.

Topics will include:
• A Buddhist theory of learning focused on the development of wisdom
• The Three Jewels: navigating our relationship to the teacher, the community, and the practice
• Awareness and agency: understanding why you are the most important source of knowledge
• Classical teachings: anatta (not-self), anicca (impermanence), dukkha (unsatisfactoriness/suffering), lobha (greed), dosa (hatred), avijja (delusion)

When
Date and time to be determined

Where
Against the Stream Boston

Cost
The fees for this retreat are offered on a sliding scale basis. This allows participants to pay according to individual means.  The sustaining rate represents the actual cost to offer this retreat. If you can afford this level or higher, you assist our efforts to offer lower sliding-scale rates and ongoing financial subsidies.

Fee Schedule:
Scholarship: $45
Sustaining: $65
Supporting: $75

There is also an opportunity to offer contributions to the teachers at the end of the retreat. This is a practice known as dana (generosity).

Registration
Registration for this program is not yet open.

TBD: Coming Home: The Simplicity of Mindfulness

With Cara Lai FitzGibbon and Logan Thompson

Description
For many of us, childhood summers were a time of simple joy and freedom. What happened to the effortless joy of life that was once so close to us? As adults we practice mindfulness to rediscover this. Let’s get to the core of what this practice is about and become intimate with the expansive simplicity of this moment.

When
Date and time to be determined

Where
Against the Stream Boston

Cost
$35 plus teacher dana
(an optional additional session may be added, cost to attend both sessions is $60 plus teacher dana)

Registration
Registration for this program is not yet open.

Teachers
Logan Thompson has been practicing mindfulness for ten years, studying with Joseph Goldstein and Tara Brach. He recently left the business world, where he earned an MBA and worked as a business strategist, to pursue a full-time career in mindfulness. He lives and works at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA. He teaches mindfulness in several arenas: prisons, teen retreats, businesses, and academia.

Cara Lai FitzGibbon rediscovered the Buddhist path in her years as an outdoor educator. She began attending long-term meditation retreats, and her life was quickly transformed. Through her practice she moved toward work in mental heath, and she now works as a mindfulness-based psychotherapist and artist in Burlington, Vermont. In 2016 she completed Facilitator II training with Against the Stream, and is currently enrolled in the Spirit Rock Teacher Training program. She loves working with teens and has staffed numerous teen retreats with Inward Bound Mindfulness Education.