Meditation Retreat for People of Color
With Mushim Ikeda, Noliwe Alexander and Melvin Escobar
July 1 - 7, 2018
In many traditions, people journey into the wilderness for contemplation and purification. How often do we have the opportunity to connect to our deepest intentions and to experience spiritual renewal? Taking place at 9,000 feet in beautiful meadowland in New Mexico, the Vallecitos People of Color Retreat is designed to offer and support a practical introduction to insight meditation (vipassana). Meditation embodies the essence and wisdom of the teachings of the Buddha and has been the foundation of Buddhist teachings for 2,500 years. It is a simple and direct practice. Meditation is extraordinary in its simplicity, its lack of dogma and, above all, its results. This path to self-awareness can be successfully applied by anyone to their everyday lives. The ancient and profound teachings of interconnectedness and compassion are the foundations of spiritual awareness.
The retreat is based on the intensive training retreats that are traditionally the heart of Buddhist practice. The daily schedule, conducted in silence, is comprised of group sitting meditation periods alternating with walking meditation outdoors. There are group interviews with the teachers and a daily discourse from the teachings of the Buddha. In addition, there will be opportunities for optional group hikes and mindful movement to allow practitioners to fully experience Vallecitos’s beautiful natural setting, and to support physical joy and ease. Gourmet vegetarian meals add to the special nature of this retreat. To cultivate the meditation process, please note that complete silence is maintained at all times throughout the retreat, except during meditation practice interviews and the talks by the teachers, which may be followed by a communal conversation.
This retreat continues the ground-breaking tradition established at Vallecitos over the past two decades. People of color come to the mountains, the forest and the river not to conference, network, analyze or plan, but to practice one of the world’s oldest and wisest contemplative traditions. For some, the retreat may be the first extended period of meditation practice and practicing silence. No previous meditation experience is required to participate and the retreat is suitable for individuals at all levels of practice.
*This is a retreat for people of color. If you do not identify as a person of color, we are happy to help you find another VMRC retreat.
Mushim Ikeda-Nash is a meditation teacher, community peace activist, writer, diversity facilitator, and mother of a 27-year-old son. She has done both monastic and lay Buddhist practice over the past 35 years, in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and S. Korea. Her poetry, fiction and essays have been published widely in journals and anthologies such as the Shambhala Sun, Buddhadharma, and Innovative Buddhist Women: Swimming Against the Stream. Mushim was coeditor of Making the Invisible Visible: Healing Racism in Our Buddhist Communities. Her work has been featured in two documentary films, Between the Lines: Asian American Women Poets and Acting on Faith: Women and the New Religious Activism in America,…
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Noliwe Alexander has been a student of Vipassana meditation for 20 years. Throughout this time of deep devotion to the Dharma, Noliwe has become a dedicated practitioner, teacher of various sitting groups around the Bay Area, facilitator of community workshops and Buddhist meditation day longs and class series programs. She is a graduate of Spirit Rock’s CDL4 program, completed EBMC’s Commit 2 Dharma program in 2010 and is currently in Spirit Rock’s teacher training program. She has been on Spirit Rock’s Diversity Working Committee since 2012, working to hold the integrity of inclusivity & equity within the organization. She is…
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Melvin L. Escobar, LCSW, RYT is a licensed psychotherapist and yoga instructor. Melvin has devoted his professional career to working with people from marginalized groups, drawing on his own life experiences as a queer man of color from a working-class background. Having found that the wisdom teachings embodied in Buddhism and Yoga were essential to his healing and service path, he continues to learn the revolutionary potential of body-centered contemplative practices to create personal and social healing. www.melvinescobar.com
Learn more about Melvin Escobar