Berkeley Law Meditation Retreat
March 16-17, 2013 at NatureBridge Conference Center
Fort Cronkhite, Sausalito, CA
For the past two years, we have co-organized an overnight retreat for the Berkeley Law community at NatureBridge Conference Center, a secluded beachside retreat site a mere 45 minutes from Berkeley, and many have found the experience to be energizing, restorative, and inspiring. Our goal is to create a supportive space where students, faculty, staff, and their families can step away from the busy-ness of the law school life to a beautiful setting where they can quiet the mind and open the heart. Whether you are new to meditation or a "regular," we hope you will join us!
The Mindfulness Initiative subsidizes the retreats with the hope that they will be accessible to all students who wish to attend. However, please let us know if you have concerns about cost. We aim not to turn anyone away due to inability to pay.
Some logistical details:
Retreat program: The retreat is conducted in silence (the better to quiet the mind and go more deeply into meditation), and consists of a mix of walking, sitting and moving meditation exercises, with brief periods of mindful discussion and breaks for meals and rest. The exercises are drawn from a few different meditation traditions, and are presented in a secular, non-sectarian way. It is not necessary to have any prior meditation experience to participate, and we encourage experienced meditators to approach the weekend with a "beginner's mind." The primary moving practice we do is Qi Gong, an ancient Chinese energy practice. For an example of Qi Gong, please see this video.
Schedule: We ask that participants arrive at NatureBridge between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m. on Saturday. A continental breakfast (pastries, juice, and hard-boiled eggs) will be served in our meeting space until 9 a.m. At 9 a.m. the NatureBridge staff will give us a brief orientation, and participants can drop off their bags in the dorms. The retreat officially begins at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday and ends around 11 a.m. on Sunday.
Meals and accommodations: The registration covers all meals and accommodations. Meals consist of simple, nutritious vegetarian dishes conducive to meditation. Those with gluten or vegan needs should notify the retreat organizers as early as possible to make any arrangements. Men and women have separate dormitories, and accommodations consist of either bunks in a large dormitory room or semi-private rooms of four beds each. Those who would like private accommodations may consider reserving a room at a hotel in nearby Sausalito or a campsite at Bicentennial Campground. However, leaving the retreat site and returning to "civilization" may disrupt the continuity of the retreat experience and we encourage participants to stay the night if possible.
Teachers: The retreat will be led by Charlie Halpern and Shivani Ray. Charlie is the Director of the Berkeley Initiative for Mindfulness in Law and has taught meditation and Qi Gong for more than 10 years. He teachers the popular seminar Effective and Sustainable Law Practice: The Meditative Practice at Berkeley Law, as well as an Introduction to Mindfulness in Law for 1Ls. He presents seminars and workshops on mindfulness in law throughout the year. Shivani Ray is a meditation teacher who has worked with the Berkeley Law meditation community since 2008, and has led Berkeley Law retreats since 2010. She is a graduate of U.S.C. Law School and has a special commitment to bringing mindfulness to the legal profession. You can learn more about Shivani on her website.
Cost & registration: Registration is $65 for students, $100 for non-students. To register, please follow this link, complete the brief form and submit your payment to hold your place. Unfortunately, due to NatureBridge's payment policy, we cannot provide reimbursements in case of cancellation. If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Please feel free to spread the word about the retreat! Siblings, significant others, and children are welcome to attend.
Location & transportation: The address for NatureBridge is 1033 Fort Cronkhite, Sausalito, CA 94965. We will arrange carsharing for those who wish to carpool. The drive from Berkeley usually takes about 45-50 minutes.