Meditation Instruction, classes and Retreats
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 2013. 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.

Monthly Discussion of Basic Buddhist Teachings
The first Monday of each month, the meditation group Dharma discussions will focus on basic teachings of Buddhism. These teachings include: The Four Noble Truths, The Eightfold Path, Precepts, Duhkha (suffering exists), Anatta (no separate self), and Annica (all things change). Go to the Weekly Schedule for the current topic.

Full 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 tentatively setup for 2013 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.

Facets of the Jewel of Compassion
Full Day Retreat - Sunday, May 4th
9 AM - 4 PM
Reverend Vivian Gruenenfelder, a Senior Teacher of Buddhism from Shasta Abbey Buddhist Monastery will lead the retreat. In her description of the retreat she writes, "Compassion, along with Wisdom, is one of the two pillars of the Mahayana. This day-long retreat, based in Buddhist teaching and practice, will explore the many sides of compassion -- that apogee of spiritual practice which is fundamental and central to all religions -- from the scientific to the mystical, from practical daily life to its ideal manifestations. We will use the book, Field Notes on the Compassionate Life: A Search for the Soul of Kindness by Marc Ian Barasch as a touchstone. The book is not specifically Buddhist though the author is a practicing Buddhist. It is easy to read, fun, informative, offbeat, colorful. And it uses a number of religions as sources, ever pointing to our common humanity. You are welcome to read it or not in preparation for the retreat. There are plenty available online for reasonable prices. We will include in our time together silent meditation, scripture recitation, a Dharma talk, and discussion, as well as practical tips and simple practices for the development of compassion."

New people are welcome to join us for the retreat. Please contact us if you have any questions and to let us know if you plan to join us for the retreat. Please bring a vegetarian brown bag lunch for our noon meal together. Also, let us know if you are new to Zen Buddhism so that we can arrange for instruction in our form of meditation. There is no charge for the retreat, though donations to the Abbey or to the Bear River Meditation Group are appreciated.

More information about upcoming retreats will be posted closer to the time of the retreat or as details are worked out with the monks of Shasta Abbey.

May 30 - June 1st
Meditation Group Retreat at Shasta Abbey
We are looking forward to a retreat together with the Chico Serene Reflection Meditation Group at Shasta Abbey the last weekend of May. Please let us know if you plan to join us for the retreat so we can hel to coordinate ridesharing. You will also need to contact the Guestmaster of Shasta Abbey directly to let them know that you plan to go up for the retreat. If you haven't been to a retreat at Shasta before, you will need to complete the Retreat Application Form, available on their website. If you have been to previous retreats at Shasta Abbey they ask that you update your information with the Guest Department.

Half Day Retreat - Saturday, July 26th
8:30 AM - 1 PM
Followed by Meditation Group Potluck


Full Day Retreat - Sunday, September 7th
9 AM - 4 PM
The full day retreat will be led by Reverend Master Daishin Yalon, Zen Master and Vice Abbot of at Shasta Abbey Buddhist Monastery. The day will include periods of meditation, a Dharma talk, questions and discussion, tea and coffee. Please bring a brown bag lunch for the mid day meal.

Half Day Retreat - Saturday, November 15th
8:30 AM - 1 PM
Reverend Master Astor Douglas, Master and Chief Cook at Shasta Abbey Buddhist Monastery will lead the retreat. Plans will be developed and posted here for an informal afternoon meditation group outing or movie together with RM Astor.

Monday, December 15
5:30 - 9 PM
Annual Potluck and Offering Ceremony
Reverend Vivian Gruenenfelder, a Senior Monk from Shasta Abbey Buddhist Monastery will join us for the potluck dinner and act as Celebrant for the Offering Ceremony. The Ceremony will be followed by a Dharma talk by Rev. Vivian.

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