It goes without saying that our lives are filled with stress—many translators use “stress” as the English translation of dukkha, as in the first Noble Truth.

For the benefit of the stressed-out among us—and who isn’t—Sharon Salzberg and Robert Thurman are offering a weekend retreat on stress at Menla Mountain Center near Woodstock, New York. The dates are September 25th-27th, 2009. From the flyer:

Imagine the universe bearing down on you, assaulting you with things you cannot control, completely disregarding your feelings.  If we look at our minds, Buddha taught, we can see that this is how we often experience the world. While stress is commonly thought to be a modern phenomenon, Buddhist inner scientists have been diagnosing it for the past twenty-five hundred years.  The very word dukkha, conventionally translated as suffering, derives from syllables meaning bad to face.  Much of our experience, taught Buddha, is indeed hard to face.  In reaction, we feel stressed. On this retreat we will point to the Buddhist diagnosis and treatment of stress.  Methods of relief will be taught but we will also try to communicate something more basic in the Buddhist view: that it is possible to have a completely different stance in relationship to change, one in which we are no longer setting ourselves up in opposition to the rest of the universe.

Sharon Salzberg is cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts and is one of America’s leading spiritual teachers and authors.

Robert A.F. Thurman is a world-renowned Professor of Indo-Tibetan Studies at Columbia University and the President of Tibet House U.S.


Sharon also has an event on October 2nd at the New York Insight Center in New York City featuring cop-turned-dharma-teacher Cheri Maples, who practices in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. More info here.

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