White Heron Sangha

Meditative Investigation and Nature of Mind - Weekend Retreat with Shaila Catherine

  • 03 Dec 2016
  • 9:30 AM
  • 04 Dec 2016
  • 4:30 PM
  • Veterans Memorial Building | 209 Surf Street, Morro Bay


  • The retreat fee covers both days but does not include a payment to the teacher. The teachings are given on a donation basis only. Please be generous with your offering to the teacher. Details for the teacher donation will be provided at the retreat.
  • * The retreat price is $50, but if you can't afford the full retreat fee, please pay what you can. If you pay online, enter the amount you're able to pay and an adjustment will be made to the invoice later.
  • Help with retreat tasks before, during, or after retreat in lieu of fee. Contact Barbara Scott: (805) 541-6099.

White Heron Sangha is pleased to sponsor a two-day, non-residential retreat in Morro Bay with Shaila Catherine, an American Buddhist meditation teacher and author in the Theravādan tradition, who is known for her expertise in insight meditation and jhāna practices

The weekend will consist of two daylong sessions, with a different emphasis each day. The retreat is appropriate for all levels of practice. Participants may attend one day or both days. Silence will be observed, unless directed otherwise by the teacher.

Saturday: Meditative Investigation

Although meditation is renowned for promoting tranquility and mental calmness, meditation is not passive. Investigative methods play a vital role in the skillful development of liberating insight. The core teachings of Satipaṭṭhāna include specific instructions for examining the quality of mind and causality.

Saturday’s program will emphasize the development of the awakening factor of investigative discrimination and explore the fourth establishment of mindfulness (satipaṭṭhāna), with an emphasis on meditative investigation.

Sunday: Investigating the Nature of Mind

We live with an active and functioning mind. However, people rarely take the time to look beyond the content and stories that occupy mental activity, and instead, examine the basic nature of their own minds, which is free from the distorting perceptions of self.

On Sunday, we will use sitting and walking meditation practices to cultivate unbiased observation of mind-body processes. We will encourage an inquiring attitude to explore subjectivity, to observe the formation of self-concepts, and to distinguish between the thinking activity of mind, and the empty nature of mind. The teachings will point to our potential for the complete release of attachments and suffering, while giving careful attention to the ordinary and immediate functioning of present moment sensory experience.

Shaila Catherine is the founder of Bodhi Courses, an online dhamma classroom, and Insight Meditation South Bay, a Buddhist meditation center in Silicon Valley in California. She has been practicing meditation since 1980, accumulating more than eight years of silent retreat experience, and has taught internationally since 1996. 

Shaila studied with masters in India, Thailand, and Nepal, and also with the founders of western meditation centers. She completed a one-year intensive meditation retreat with the focus on concentration and jhāna, and authored Focused and Fearless: A Meditator’s Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity.

Shaila practiced intensively under the direction of Venerable Pa-Auk Sayadaw for nine years, absorbing a precise and rigorous approach to śamatha and vipassanā that continues to inform her teaching. She authored Wisdom Wide and Deep: A Practical Handbook for Mastering Jhāna and Vipassanā to help make these techniques accessible to western practitioners.

Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, 9:30AM - 4:30PM
Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, 9:30AM - 4:30PM

Veterans Memorial Building, 209 Surf Street, Morro Bay  (map)

$50, ($25 for young adults) for both days, which covers the expenses of the Sangha in putting on the event, but does not include a payment to the teacher.

We encourage you to attend both days in order to appreciate fully the teachings. However, for this retreat, we are offering a one-day rate when you register at the door, if you are unable to attend both days. We won't turn anyone away. Arrangements can be made if the fee is excessive for you. 

The teachings are offered freely. The retreat fee covers only the retreat expenses; none of the retreat fee goes to the teacher. A dana (donation) basket will be available to help support the work of the teacher. We try to keep our retreat fees at a minimum so that you can be truly generous with your donation to the teacher. Details on how to donate to the teacher will be provided at the retreat.

You can register and pay online (through PayPal, including credit card) or at the door (cash or check only). Pre-registration is preferred but is not required. Please check in each day at the front door.

Bring your lunch. Tea and snacks will be provided. Bring a mat and cushion if you want to sit on the floor. Chairs will be available. For questions, contact Bobbe Scott at barbascott@sbcglobal.net or 805-541-6099. Please park in designated parking spaces only, being aware of fire lanes and driveways. No dogs allowed in the building or eating areas, except for service dogs. 


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