The Dharma of Awareness, Emotion and Meaning
June 6-10, 2020
Big Bear Retreat Center

Description: Secular Dharma is a practice that recognizes the integration of psychology, science and various therapeutic modalities within the contemplative practices of the Buddhist tradition. The emphasis on first person direct experience allows for an open and honest exploration of the possibilities and limitations of our own embodied and shared humanity. We will draw inspiration from the philosophy, psychology, and practices of the Buddhist tradition. From this perspective, we will traverse the complex territories of meaning, empathy and emotional awareness as it’s understood from recent findings within western contemplative traditions. This will be investigated through the lens of our current lived experience allowing for a progressive perspective on what the practice of Dharma means for each one of us.

During this retreat opportunity we will explore these practices and ideas within the structure of silent periods of mindfulness practice, secular and Dharma teachings, educational lecture and group process.


This retreat is appropriate for anyone interested in the topic. No previous retreat experience is required.

About the Teachers:

Dave Smith is an internationally recognized Buddhist meditation teacher, addiction treatment specialist, and published author. His background is rooted in the Insight Meditation tradition and he was empowered to teach through the Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society. He has extensive experience bringing meditative interventions into jails, prisons, youth detention centers and addiction treatment facilities. Dave teaches residential meditation retreats and classes, provides trainings and consulting in both secular and Buddhist contexts, and works with students through his meditation mentoring program. He recently founded the Secular Dharma Foundation and lives in Paonia, Colorado.

Dr. Eve Ekman, MSW, PhD is the Director of Training at the University of California Berkeley Greater Good Science Center. She worked for years as a social worker in health care, criminal justice, and social welfare systems, which inspired her to earn her master’s and Ph.D. at UC Berkeley and complete her postdoctoral training at UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. Her research has focused on helping professional care providers prevent burnout by giving them easier access to practices of attention, insight, and resilience. Building on her research, she developed trainings to address burnout in national and international organizations and has delivered keynotes and workshops for a wide range of companies. Eve is a second-generation emotion researcher who has had meaningful collaborations with her father, renowned emotion researcher Dr. Paul Ekman, including on The Atlas of Emotions, an online visual tool commissioned by the Dalai Lama to teach emotional awareness, an! d Cultivating Emotional Balance.
Registration Fees
The lowest end of the sliding scale is what the retreat actually costs. Whatever you pay above the low end of the sliding scale is a tax-deductible donation to Secular Dharma Foundation.
Includes meals
Includes meals
The registration fee covers meals and accommodations for the facility. It does not cover the cost of teachings. The teachings are offered on a donation basis (dana) and you will be invited to give dana at the end of the retreat.
Dharma teachings are offered freely. Anytime you feel moved to offer dāna for the teachings you receive, the donation will be accepted with tremendous gratitude. To support those who are offering the Dharma also supports your own heart's journey to awakening. And the goodness of that ripples out to families, friends, communities, and to the world.

If you would like to make other payment arrangements to attend the retreat, please contact the registrar: seculardharmafoundation@gmail.com
If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation towards our Scholarship Fund for future retreats, you may do so by indicating the amount here.
Total: $0.00
Future Commitment: $0.00
Participant Information
A receipt will be e-mailed to this address.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Vegetarian meals including eggs and dairy will be served at the retreat. Basic gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan options will be offered for those who indicate restrictions.
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