“If you’re invested in security and certainty,
you are on the wrong planet.” 
– Pema Chödrön


GBF Retreat: Cultivating the Heart of Peace in Difficult Times – René Rivera

Sep 10, 2022

A day retreat organized around the Brahma Viharas; practice in diads;  guided practice; and a closing talk on Equanimity

TALK #1:  Tending to inner and outer conflict – “bring the calming rains that quiet the fires inside of us.”
Exploring the Brahma Viharas
Tom Spanbauer – In the City of Shy Hunters – “How do I keep my heart open in hell?”



  • Metta – Loving Kindness
  • Karuna – Compassion
  • Mudita – Sympathetic Joy  
  • Upekka – Equanimity

Retreat agreements (from East Bay Meditation Center):

  • Try it on
  • Practice self-focus –  speak from your own experience and not make assumptions about others
  • Understanding the difference between intent and impact
  • Practicing both/and –  noticing the difference between but/and
  • Refraining from blaming or shaming others
  • Move up, move back – noticing the space we take up in groups
  • Practice mindful listening – bring our full attention to the person who is speaking
  • Confidentiality – “take home your learning but leave the details here”
  • Right to pass

René Rivera is a meditation teacher, restorative justice facilitator, and leader, working and learning in all the spaces in-between race, gender, and other perceived binaries, as a queer, mixed-race, trans man. René teaches heart-centered, trauma-informed meditation, at the East Bay Meditation Center and other meditation centers. He has co-led the first residential meditation retreats for transgender, nonbinary, and gender-expansive people. René is a restorative justice facilitator for the Ahimsa Collective, working to heal sexual and gender-based violence.

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