Meditation Retreat for People of Color
With Bonnie Duran, Sebene Selassie and Jeff Haozous
July 3 - 10, 2019
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.
Bonnie Duran, PhD, began Buddhist meditation practice 35 years ago. Bonnie attended the very first People of Color Mediation Retreat at Vallecitos decades ago and we are proud to have her sit on our Teachers’ Council today. Bonnie enjoys teaching Spirit Rock’s Dedicated Practitioners Program, short and long retreats at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and Insight Meditation Society, and holds a People of Color and Allies Sangha in Seattle, WA. She also directs the University of Washington’s Center for Indigenous Health Research.
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Sebene Selassie (She/Her) is a teacher and writer. She began studying Buddhism over 25 years ago as an undergraduate at McGill University where she majored in Comparative Religious Studies. She has an MA from the New School where she focused on race and cultural studies. For over 20 years she worked with children, youth, and families nationally and internationally for small and large social justice and social change programs. Her work has taken her everywhere from the Tenderloin—San Francisco, to East Harlem–NYC, to refugee camps in Guinea–West Africa. She is the former Executive Director of New York Insight Meditation Center…
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Jeff Haozous has practiced Insight Meditation since 1996. He has led a meditation group in Lawton, Oklahoma since 2003. He has completed the Community Dharma Leader and Dedicated Practitioner Programs at Spirit Rock Mediation Center in Woodacre, California and is participating in the Spirit Rock Teacher Training program. Jeff has been Chairman of the Fort Sill Warm Springs Chiricahua Apache Tribe since 2002. In this role, his mission is to return the tribe to its rightful, historic home in New Mexico and Arizona, to improve the lives of tribal members through education, economic development and to preserve and restore the…
Learn more about Jeff Haozous