Engaged Mindfulness Retreat – Not Turning Away
Acharya Fleet Maull and Rhonda Magee
June 16–20, 2017
Fearlessly Embracing our Toughest Personal and Societal Challenges with Mindfulness, Compassion and Bravery
With Special Guest Jimmy Santiago Baca
It is a natural expression of our humanity to care for others and our world, yet we are living in a tumultuous time when strong currents of fear, enmity, and exclusion divide us socially and politically into increasing polarized factions, each blaming the other for a host of social and economic ills. In the midst of all this blaming, fear mongering, and growing cynicism, the needs of our most challenged and marginalized fellow citizens, even the needs of our very home– this amazing planet Earth, often remain largely unseen and unheard. On some level, we are all learning to deny or ignore our innermost needs for connection, love, community, and solidarity.
Whether we are working with this divisiveness and cynicism internally, externally, or both, the contemplative path of cultivating mindfulness and awareness is a foundational approach to leading our lives and engaging with each other from a place of wisdom, resilience, and equanimity. By cultivating confidence in our own innate goodness and worthiness, we open our hearts to ourselves and our basic humanity. By cultivating empathy and compassion, we open our hearts to both our friends and perceived enemies—going beyond oppositional and divisive thinking and engagement to a courageous inclusiveness… no “them,” just “us.” For anyone on a path of service, or interested in translating their personal practice into societal and political action, this retreat is for you.
Acharya Fleet Maull, MA, PhD candidate, is an author, meditation teacher, social entrepreneur and activist working for peace, prison reform and social transformation. He is the founder of Prison Mindfulness Institute, National Prison Hospice Association and Windhorse Seminars and cofounder of the Engaged Mindfulness Institute, the Mindful Justice Initiative and the Upaya Buddhist Chaplaincy Training. He is a senior Dharma teacher in both the Shambhala Buddhist and Zen Peacemaker traditions and leads meditation retreats, bearing witness retreats, activist and leadership trainings and prison programs worldwide. He is author of Dharma in Hell, The Prison Writings of Fleet Maull, and the forthcoming book Radical Responsibility.
Rhonda Magee, MA (Sociology), JD, is Professor of Law and former Co-Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at the University of San Francisco. She is also Chair of the Board of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, a member of the Project for the Integration of Spirituality, Law and Politics, and a contributor to Mindful.org. At USF, she teaches Contemplative Lawyering, Immigration Law, Insurance Law, Race Law and Policy, and Torts. She is an expert in Contemplative Pedagogy, Race Law, Identity-Sensitive Pedagogy, Critical Race Perspectives on the Intersection of Race and Immigration. In 2015, Rhonda was named a Fellow of the Mind and Life Institute.
Jimmy Santiago Baca is an award-winning American poet and writer of Chicano descent. While serving a five-year sentence in a maximum security prison, he learned to read and began to turn his life around, eventually emerging as a prolific artist of the spoken and written word. He received the American Book award and international acclaim for his semi-autobiographical minor epic in verse, Martin & Meditations on the South Valley. He also won the the prestigious International Prize for his memoir, A Place to Stand, which chronicles his troubled New Mexico upbringing amidst poverty, racism, alcoholism and violence and the five-year jail-stint that brought about his personal transformation, now the subject of a recently release documentary of the same title.