In addition to the regular Monday evening meditation group meetings, the Bear River Meditation Group regularly offers classes, public talks on Buddhism and day long retreats. See the dates, below for the classes and retreats planned for 2015. For more information on the regular weekly meetings and updates on the focus of Dharma discussions at those meetings, please go to the schedule.

Meditation Instruction

Meditation instruction is available at our regular Monday evening meditation group meetings. Please contact us for more information if you plan to come.

Full and half day retreats are planned throughout the year. These retreats are led by senior monks and Teachers of Buddhism from Shasta Abbey as well as monks from other temples within the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives. The retreat dates for 2015 are listed below. More information on the focus of individual retreats will be posted as it becomes available.

All retreats and activities of the meditation group are offered free and are open to all who would like to attend. Donations, generally referred to as Dana, are gratefully accepted to support the activites of the meditation group and to help support the monastic community of Shasta Abbey Buddhist Monastery. Meditation instruction is providedat retreats for those unfamiliar with the practice of Serene Reflection Meditation.

The dates of retreats and monastic visits are listed below. More information on each event will be added as it becomes available. Please contact us if you have questions or wish to be included on our email list to receive information about coming events via email.

Monday, December 14th
6:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Offering Ceremony
Dharma Talk: "Unbounded Joy Unending"

Reverend Vivian Gruenenfelder, a Senior Teacher of Buddhism from Shasta Abbey Buddhist Monastery will join us for the evening. The Offering Ceremony has become an annual winter celebration for the meditation group. Through the offering of gifts in support of the monastic community of Shasta Abbey, we express our deep gratitude for their support of our meditation group and for the teaching they give throughout the year.

The evening will begin with setting up of the hall for the ceremony at 6:30 pm. A meditation period will follow at 7 pm, followed by the ceremony, a Dharma Talk, refreshments and discussion. Offerings for the ceremony include basic essentials such as non-perishable vegetarian food items; unscented soaps and cleaning products; first aid supplies and medicine such as Ibuprophen, Arnica, and bandaids; office supplies; work gloves and other basics such as batteries, light bulbs paper products, tape etc. You can check on the current Alms Bowl list on the Shasta Abbey website here. The gifts you bring are passed and censed by the celebrant and later transported to the monastery.

The Dharma Talk for the evening is titled "Unbounded Joy Unending". Reverend Vivian says, "During this season of 'joy to the world' it seems appropriate and uplifting to consider what part joy plays in our practice. Is training a grim obligation, or something we naturally take joy in? Can joy be cultivated or does it only arise spontaneously? Is there a joy that is, in fact, unending? What would that be like, and what supports it? How do we offer this joy to others? Could it be that joy is a fruit of practice? Let's each reflect on the role of joy in our lives of training and bring our experience and observations to our discussion."

Please contact us if you plan to join us for the evening. Families are welcome to come to all or part of the evening activities.

January 9th - 26th
Plans are underway to host an extended monastic visit to our community. Reverend Vivian Gruenenfelder will be with us for two weeks in January, the ninth through the twenty sixth, offering Dharma on three Monday evenings and two weekend retreats at the Applegate Community Center. Daily meditation and small Dharma discussions will take place on weekdays at one of the group member's homes. More information will soon be available.

Movie Nights
This year we are planning on having a few "Movie Nights". The first movie we watched together was "Zen", a movie about the life of Dogen. Others we have talked about viewing together include: “Amongst White Clouds” a documentary on Chinese mountain hermit monks; “Buddha’s Lost Children” about a Buddhist monk setting up a monastery to help orphans and children in need in northern Thailand; “Inquiry Into the Great Matter: A History of Zen Buddhism” narrated by Peter Coyote. Other films that have come to our attention that might also be of interest in the future are “The Three Marks of Existence”, “The Buddha’s Forgotten Nun”, “Kanzeon”. Please contact us if you are interested in joining us for a movie nights.

Unless otherwise noted, all meetings, classes and retreats take place at the Applegate Community Center, 18014 Applegate Road, Applegate, CA