Spirit Rock Meditation Center is very well known in Marin, the greater Bay Area and throughout the country as a retreat and teaching center for mindful awareness, or Vipassana meditation. A friend who has attended retreats, classes and trainings for years invited me to join her last year and so I did for a Monday night dharma talk, or teaching. I had never been to one before and I had the priviledge of attending one where Jack Kornfield was the teacher. It was a completely delightful, peaceful and insightful talk, with enough humor and lightness to keep me engaged after a long day. I’ve been back once since when he was speaking again, and tonight I’m going to attend one with a different teacher.
It’s that rare kind of place where everyone feels welcome and at the same time at ease. There’s no over-the-top attempt to get you to join, for instance, because there’s nothing to join. About twice a month there’s a vegetarian dinner before the class, which is nice if you’ve come straight from work. Otherwise, they always have enormous cookies and tea which will get you through the program without your stomach growling.
There are programs offered almost every day, with classes from 90 minute drop-ins, like the Dharma talk, to retreats that last two months. Spirit Rock represents an important piece of the reflective and mindful culture of Marin.
The setting is appropriately serene and natural in the rolling hills of Woodacre just off of Sir Francis Drake Drive.
Where: 5000 Sir Francis Drake Drive, Woodacre, CA 94973 (map)
Monday Night Dharma Talk: 7:15 – 9:15 p.m.
Dinner (when offered): 6:00 – 6:45 p.m.
Talk Cost: $8 – $10 sliding scale donation
Dinner Cost (when offered): $10-15 sliding scale donation