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Creating Dharma: An Experiment with Artistic Practices
Dates: Dec 04, 2020 - Dec 06, 2020
Online Course

Instructor(s): Kate Lila Wheeler, Alisa Dennis

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In this online retreat, we will create a temporary, exploratory community of artist-meditators.  No previous experience is required!  Together, for a weekend, we will engage in creative or artistic practices combined with Buddhist meditation and a conversation about what emerges.

Participants are invited to assemble materials for writing, drawing or doodling and any additional art form(s) they feel accustomed or intuitively drawn to.  Each of us will find physical space where we can work, relax, sit, move, or lie down during the online sessions.  There will be generous breaks and no pressure to show work or produce anything praiseworthy or marketable.  Rather, the emphasis will be on process and experience.  As bodies move and minds ease away from judgmental attitudes, does this free up creative phenomena to emerge?  What drives us to be creative, what are the healing rewards of taking risks as a creative person?  Can we experience the warm, buzzing support of the hive as each of us works on a chosen project?  What sparks may fly from one mind to another in this fleeting monastery/artists’ colony? 

Lila Kate Wheeler and Alisa Dennis will offer guided meditations and structured exercises that, we hope, will support creativity to flow.  Embodied movement and collaborative group exercises will bring forward a spirit of play and access to the flow of energies across our varied minds and embodiments.  The retreat is open to all. 

Online Course: Our intention is to build sangha and provide meaningful virtual interactions with each other and teachers in our online courses. When registering for an online course, please note that you should plan to commit to attending all scheduled sessions. The schedule of Zoom meetings for this course (shown in US Eastern Time) is as follows:

Friday, December 4

6:00 – 8:30 pm, Opening Session

Saturday, Dec 5

10:30 am – 1:00 pm, Morning Session 

1:00 – 3:00 pm, Break

3:00 – 5:30 pm, Afternoon Session

Sunday, Dec 6

10:30 am – 1:00 pm, Closing Session

Please check the time of the group meetings in your timezone here, and please note that sessions will not be recorded.

Registration fees for online courses are nonrefundable after the course start date. Cancellations prior to the start date of the course will incur a $50 admin fee. Thank you for your understanding.

  • Kate "Lila" Wheeler is one of the coordinators of the 2016-2020 meditation teacher training at Spirit Rock, the most diverse teacher training to date in Western convert Buddhism.  She was given rein to teach in the Theravada Insight tradition, Vajrayana, and the Advaita approach of HWL Poonja.  Kate grew up in Latin America and has spent time in traditional Asian practice communities, as a nun in Burma in 1988 and the caves of Tso Pema more recently.  She practices at Spirit Rock, Pema Kilaya in Washington State, and some other communities in the West.

  • Alisa Dennis, Ph.D., discovered meditation through her study of metaphysics and Christian mystical traditions. She practiced within the S.N. Goenka tradition of Vipassana, then studied mindfulness through the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA. She completed a 3-year, MBSR training related to integrating contemplative practices into psychotherapy. She also completed residential training in the Zen Soto tradition. Alisa values the heart-opening and integrating power of Insight practice and its capacity to re-connect us to our natural ability to meet the moments of our lives with kindness, openness, and flexibility.