Teen Spirit Retreat
|June 22, 2013||to||June 25, 2013|
Wonderwell Mountain Refuge
SATs, college admissions, auditions and tryouts, academic pressure, peer pressure, physical changes, learning to drive, learning to write, love, crushes … Is this what a teenager’s life is all about? This retreat is designed for 14- to 19-year-olds who are looking for ways to work with stress and afflictive emotions while exploring the part of themselves that transcends concepts and identity. Moving beyond mindfulness, we will ask, “What do you do when you know that an emotion is there and making you uncomfortable, but its energy is still strong? How do you work with emotional and physical energy so they fuel the enlightenment instead of destruction for yourself and others?” This course will offer teachings on love and compassion that allow you to release that energy into the nonconceptual spaciousness of your mind. We will watch film and cartoon clips that vividly (and sometimes hilariously) portray the afflictive emotions and make them recognizable.Participants will learn from teachers highly experienced in teaching meditation to teenagers and discuss their experiences with other teens in guided groups. In a supervised, safe, and supportive environment, teen retreatants will get a taste of a wide variety of meditation techniques and see which work best for them. Some of the practices we will explore are skygazing, mind-heart cultivation (Lojong), Tibetan yoga, love and compassion practices, and self-inquiry. Activity sessions (doing) will be balanced with free time (being).
Jess Fallon started meditating in high school with her English teacher, Dean Sluyter, and his wife, Maggy, in New Jersey. She practiced Transcendental Meditation for several years before being introduced to Tibetan Buddhism by Lama Surya Das. Since then, she continues to be showered with teachings and encouragement by Dean, Maggy, and Lama Surya, as well as Lama Willa Miller, Lama John Makransky, Charles and Patricia Genoud, and Brendan Kennedy. She is exceedingly grateful to her teachers. While pursuing her spiritual path, Jess received a BA from Wesleyan University, worked for a disarmament lobby, campaigned for a congressional candidate, served as a Peace Corps volunteer, and earned a M.Ed. at Lesley University. She continues to teach high school English in Massachusetts, where she is certified. Jess enjoys group practice when it is intense and silent. She has completed a series of long retreats in the Nyingma tradition, and she is beginning a series of retreats in the Kagyu tradition. She loves playing soccer and even played on her wedding day! Jess is interested in providing all beings access to the Buddhist teachings, but particularly suffering teenagers and stressed-out parents.
Dean Sluyter has taught natural meditation since 1970 and is the author of three books on dharma in contemporary culture, including Cinema Nirvana: Enlightenment Lessons from the Movies. He has given talks and led workshops throughout the US and has appeared on Oprah & Friends Radio and National Public Radio. His work has been featured in the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly, which called his writing “joyously entertaining.” Dean taught for 33 years at the Pingry School, where he developed the Literature of Enlightenment program, and he has volunteered since 2005 as a Buddhist chaplain at Northern State Prison in Newark, NJ. He has trained and practiced with eminent teachers in various devotional and meditative traditions, particularly the nondual approaches of Advaita Vedanta, Vajrayana Buddhism, and Bhakti Yoga. Dean has completed numerous retreats in the US and abroad and has made pilgrimages to India, Tibet, and Nepal. He now works as an audiobook narrator and producer and happily rides his Vespa through the streets of Santa Monica.
Teachers Jess Fallon, Dean Sluyter
Contact To register, contact Jess at firstname.lastname@example.org