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Relational Dharma: Waking up Together
Dates: May 04, 2018 - May 09, 2018
Days: Fri - Wed (5 Nights)

Instructor(s): Oren Jay Sofer, Bart Van Melik

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As social beings our lives are inextricably interwoven. The Buddha emphasized the immense power of social harmony and spiritual friendship as factors conducive to awakening. On this retreat, we will explore relational Dharma teachings that foster peace both internally and externally. The integral part of this five-day retreat will be the practice of Wise Speech, a skillful vehicle for expressing the Dharma fully into our whole lives. We will study, contemplate and practice the Buddha’s teachings using Insight Dialogue and the contemporary discipline of Nonviolent Communication. These interpersonal Dharma practices bring the insight and tranquility of traditional Buddhist meditation into our interactions with others. Through an attentive weaving of meditative dialogue practice, silent mindfulness and kindness meditation, mindful movement and time in nature, we will deepen the essential meditative qualities that support the possibility of awakening together.
 

  • Oren Jay Sofer has practiced meditation in the Theravada Buddhist tradition since 1997 and is a long-time student of Joseph Goldstein, Michele McDonald, and Ven. Ajahn Sucitto. He holds a degree in Comparative Religion from Columbia University, is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner for healing trauma, a Nonviolent Communication Trainer, and a member of the Spirit Rock Teachers’ Council. Oren is the Founder of Next Step Dharma, and the author of the book, Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication.

  • Bart van Melik has been teaching insight meditation and Insight Dialogue meditation since 2009, with a special focus on diverse communities. He brings the practice to juvenile detention centers, homeless shelters and NYC public schools, and is passionate about supporting people finding new ways to relate to life’s stresses.