Past Events


Oct 18, 25, Nov. 1 and 8, 2016:  Introduction to Concentration Meditation 4-week Series at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA, USA.

Sept. 23-Oct. 4, 2016:  Purification of Mind 11-day Retreat at Cloud Mountain Retreat Center in Castle Rock, Washington, USA.

April 8-13, 2016:  Introduction to Concentration Meditation 5-day Retreat at Cloud Mountain Retreat Center in Castle Rock, Washington, USA.

Jan. 22-Sunday, Jan 24, 2016:  Introduction to Concentration Meditation 3-day Retreat at the Angela Center in the San Francisco Bay Area, CA, USA. We co-taught this retreat with Richard Shankman, author of “The Experience of Samadhi: An In-Depth Investigation of Buddhist Meditation.”

January 16, 2016: Concentration Meditation:  Purification of Mind Daylong at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA, USA – Register at www.SpiritRock.org.

Oct. 23 – Nov. 5, 2015:  Purification of Mind 14-day Retreat at Cloud Mountain Retreat Center in Castle Rock, Washington, USA.

August 1-7, 2015: Bologna, Italy, Introduction to Concentration Meditation 5-day Retreat in Tossaignano, Italy.

Feb. 13-19, 2015:  Bramaviharas 7-day Retreat at Cloud Mountain Retreat Center in Castle Rock, Washington, USA.

Jan. 31, 2015:  Introduction to Concentration Meditation Daylong at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, USA.

Jan. 17, 2015: Introduction to Concentration Meditation Daylong at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA, USA.

Sept. 6 – Oct. 3, 2014: Purification of Mind 27-day Retreat at Cloud Mountain Retreat Center in Castle Rock, Washington, USA.

2011-2014:  Spokane Concentration Meditation Group (taught bi-weekly by Brian Gavin) in Spokane, Washington, USA.

July 26, 2014:  Introduction to Concentration Meditation Daylong (taught by Brian Gavin) at the Vista Hermosa Retreat Center, Prescott, Washington, USA.

July 19 & 20, 2014: Introduction to Concentration Meditation Weekend Retreat at the White Heron Sanga in San Luis Obispo, CA, USA.

June 14, 2014:  Introduction to Concentration Meditation Daylong (taught by Brian Gavin) in Portland, Oregon, USA.

April 13, 2014:  Introduction to Concentration Meditation Dharma Talk (taught by Brian Gavin) at the White Heron Sanga in San Luis Obispo, CA, USA.

Feb. 22, 2014: Introduction to Concentration Meditation Daylong at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA, USA.

Feb. 8, 2014: Introduction to Concentration Meditation Daylong, at Richard Shankman’s year-long Samatha Practice Group in Oakland, CA.

Jan. 23-27, 2014: Introduction to Concentration Meditation 4-day Retreat at Cloud Mountain Retreat Center in Castle Rock, Washington, USA.

Oct 2013:  6-day Brama Viharas Retreat at Bellingham Insight Meditation Society, Samish Island, WA, USA.

Sept 2013:  8-day Purification of Mind Retreat at the Lama Tsong Khapa Institute in Tuscany, Italy.

July 2013: Introduction to Concentration Meditation Daylong (taught by Tina and Brian) in Spokane, WA, USA.

March 2013:  13-day Purification of Mind 13-day Retreat at Cloud Mountain in Castle Rock, Washington, USA.

April 2013:  Introduction to Concentration Meditation Daylong at Yale University Chapel in New Haven, CT, USA.

Feb 2013:  Introduction to Concentration Meditation Daylong at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Woodacre, CA, USA.

Sept 2012:  13-day Purificaion of Mind Retreat at Cloud Mountain in Castle Rock, Washington, USA.

April 2012 Daylong Retreat and Evening Dharma Talk at Sacramento Buddhist Meditation Group in Sacramento, California, USA.

April 2012:  San Luis Obispo Dharma Talkby Brian Gavin at the White Heron Sanga in San Luis Obispo, CA

March 2012:  Hartford, Connecticut Dharma Talks by Brian Gavin at the practice group of Sister Phap Chan

March 2012: 3-day Brama Viharas Retreat, Cloud Mountain, WA

March 2012: Mountain Stream Sangha Dharma Talk, Auburn, CA; Dharma talk at the Auburn sangha of John Travis, teacher at Spirit Rock and IMS.

Jan 2012: Spirit Rock Concentration Meditation Daylong, Woodacre, CAWe will now be offerring daylongs at Spirit Rock on an annual basis. (See description above.)

Aug 2011: 12-day Purification of Mind Retreat, Cloud Mountain, WA
Our first long retreat not held during winter, the yogis were able to practice without sneezing and coughing! It was a beautiful time full of radince inside and out.

July 2011: Evening Dharma Talk at the Marin Sangha of Phillip Moffit, San Rafael, CA
Dharma talk at the sangha of Phillip Moffit, co-guiding teacher at Spirit Rock Medication Center.

Jan 2011: Spirit Rock Concentration Meditation Daylong, Woodacre, CA
This was our first daylong at Spirit Rock. We were pleased to find that 120 people attended. (See description above.)

Dec. 2010-Jan. 2011: 13-day Purification of Mind Retreat, Cloud Mountain, WA
This retreat was described by some of the yogis as the “team jhana” retreat, because of the sense of community and rigorous practice that everyone engaged.

Nov 2010: Concentration Meditation Dana-only Daylong, Tiburon, CA (This event was offerred on a dana (donation) basis; see description above.)

Sept 2010: Intro to Concentration Meditation Dharma Talk: Sacramento Buddhist Meditation Group, Sacramento, CA
We gave a talk at the invitation of this self-led, multi-lineage sitting group founded in 1991. See sbmg.org/teachers.htm for details an audio recording that can be downloaded for free.

July-August 2009: 3-Day Retreat–Introduction to Concentration, Cloud Mountain, WA
This retreat was a wonderful experience for us, with a wide range of yogis from people who attended as their first retreat to 30 year veterans. We provided a solid overview of the practice in it’s daily aspect as well as it’s loftiest potential as purification of mind. People had a chance to experience the differences between this and other practices, and settle into the deep stillness that concentration practice can cultivate.

June 2011: Rick Hanson’s Weekly Sitting Group, San Rafael, CA
Our friend Rick Hanson (neuropsychologist and author of the book, Buddha’s Brain) invited us to fill in for three weeks while he was away.

Dec 2009-Jan 2010: 14-day Purification of Mind Retreat at Cloud Mountain, WA
This 2-week retreat focused on Purificaion of Mind, which is the true purpose of concentration practice. Some yogis described the retreat as “Jedi warrior training” which captured both the intensity and the transformative potential of our time together. We were delighted to have 30 people from three continents in attendance, and were both impressed and touched by everyone’s wholehearted dedication to practice. People who had never meditated more than 1 hour in the past, were both eager and very able to sit for 3 hours at a time–and even enjoy it!

Nov 2009: Samatha Overview, Theravada Dhamma Society, Daly City, CA
Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw asked us to present an overview of the Samatha and Jhanas practice to the Burmese Buddhist community near San Francisco, with the Sayadaw in attendance. This was part of a 21 day teaching the Sayadaw gave to this community. We were honored to be asked, and were greeted by about 150 attendees plus 50 more who were listening to live audio and video streaming online. (See photo above.)

July-Aug 2009 3-Day Retreat: Introduction to Concentration, Cloud Mountain, WA (See description above).

March 2009: 1-Day Intensive: The Relationship Between Anatta (no-self) and Jhanas (meditative absorptions). San Rafael, CA
In this day-long, we explored a rarely discussed aspect of concentration practice: how the meditative absorptions both cultivate and are a result of the experience of no-self. Once relegated to a practice that cultivated bliss states, or could lead to psychic powers, the jhanas potentially possess a much deeper and more worthwhile aspect: what we call the “thinning of the me.”

Nov 2008: 1-Day Intensive: From First Sit to First Jhana–Navigating the Proccess of Purification of Mind through the Use of Wise Effort, San Rafael, CA
This daylong focused on the phase of practice starting with your first sit, and culminating with the potential fruition of the arising of the first jhana. The eight landmarks of this phase–which some find to be the most challenging segment of the path–is outlined in the new version of our book.

August 2008: Theravada Buddhist Society of America, Half Moon Bay, CA
We were delighted to be invited by the Theravada Buddhist Society of America to teach at their week-long Buddhist Camp for children. Both of us gave an evening talk to about 80 children and 10 adults, and Stephen taught the jr. high and high school kids for two days during the week. It was a wonderful experience for us, sharing the dharma not only with children, but with children of Burmese heritage. Thanks to the Sayadaw Ashin Osadha and Roland Winn for inviting us.

July 2008: Forest Refuge Retreat, Barre, Mass.
We were invited by the Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw to join him in teaching the first week of the 4-month retreat at the Forest Refuge in Barre, Mass. The Sayadaw gave the talk the first night, and we gave the talks the following four nights with the Sayadaw and two other senior monks in attendance. We also held interviews with the yogis for the days that we were there, with Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw and Ven. U Jagara (another experienced monk who is teaching with the Sayadaw) observing the interviews.

January – June 2008: Monthly Jhana Practice Group, San Rafael, CA
The Monthly Jhana Practice Group sessions were recorded, and are available for free MP3 download on the Talks page. This group was designed both for experienced meditators interested in deepening their concentration practice, and for new meditators beginning concentration practice.