Spirit Rock Meditation Center

Marin County Area

Parent Reviews

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Archived Q&A and Reviews

Oct 2009

Re: Buddhist meditation that is family friendly?
I don't know where you live or how far you're willing to travel, but Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre (Marin county) is fabulous. They have a wonderful family program. Check it out at http://spiritrock.org. Their approach is from the Vipassana Buddhist tradition; somewhat Americanized, very relaxed and accessible to beginners. A beautiful setting, too! Judy in Berkeley

Welcome! I know of Spirit Rock (Therevadan Buddhism) in Woodacre, Marin, which offers wonderful day long Family Programs several times a year, as well as a very popular, lottery-based, family retreat. www.spiritrock.org Also, a local dharma practitioner, dharma musician in the area is revitalizing the East Bay Family Sangha. I'm sure there must be Zen groups in the E. Bay, too. Take care

July 2003

Re: Family friendly Buddhist temple

Spirit Rock Meditation Center www.spiritrock.org/ has a lovely family day in Marin every few months. It's nice for little kids, bigger kids, and there's a meditation for the grownups. Scoop (Wes) Nisker is leading a program for grownups on fun and zen (I think) in the next few months. Berkeley Zen Center also has some family events, as does Green Gulch Farm (in Marin). merrys

Hi there I know this is not a buddhist temple but Spirit Rock is a buddhist community and meditation center and we attend their family days and retreats. We also are part of the East Bay Family Sangha that meets twice a month at the Buddhist Monastery in Berkeley. This sangha was started 2 years ago by a group of parents. The monastery gives us their space for dana which is very generous. The organization of the sangha however is fully in the hands of the parents, which is why some things are developing slowly. We have childcare and a child curriculum in the making and parents get a chance to sit and discuss mindful parenting. The age of our kids is around 2-7. We would like to expand the age range, but there has not been anyone with an older child who could help make that happen. If you want to find out more about the East Family Sangha you can write to me and I'll send you more information. Best wishes and Metta, Martina

May 2003

Re: Mediation retreat within 1 - 1.5 hour's drive

Spirit Rock, in Marin County (about 45 minutes from Berkeley) is a wonderful place for a retreat. It is beautiful, peaceful, and the teachers are great. www.spiritrock.org is the website. mae

Spirit Rock Meditation Center offers one-day and residential retreats teaching insight (vipassana) meditation for beginning and advanced meditators. They are located on Sir Francis Drake Blvd. in Woodacre and can be reached at www.spiritrock.org or 415-488- 0164. anon

Spirit Rock in Woodacre/Marin has wonderful retreats. I have attended classes and retreats there and highly recommend it.Their website is SpiritRock.org. Enjoy. Martina

You are probably thinking of Spirit Rock - www.spiritrock.org. A wonderful, wonderful place. margo

Re: Weekend of solitude for mom (April 2003)
Friends have benefitted from retreats at Spirit ROck in the Nicasio Valley in Marin COunty. The website is worth a review: http://www.spiritrock.org/
Cheers- Christina

October 2001

Has anyone been to a Family Day at Spirit Rock in West Marin? I have been to several meditiation programs there before becoming a parent, but do not have any experience with their Family Day. The description sounds great and I would like to go with my 2 1/2 year old son, but in order to decide if it would really work for him, I am interested in hearing about it from anyone who has been. Thanks! Colleen

Spirit Rock Family Day is lovely for kids (and parents) of all ages. The first part of the day is together -- everyone sings with Betsy Rose, hears stories (this is even OK for pre-teens & early teens), and does an activity. The best activity was one where each family decorated a piece of the world and we put the pieces together like a big puzzle. We've made and decorated talking sticks for family meetings (which we use), done garden plantings, and been in a sweat lodge (my family didn't like that, it was close, smokey and crowded). Lunch is a group affair. Everyone eats side by side and the kids carry around treats to share (everything from cookies and chips to carrot sticks and seaweed sheets). After lunch, there's childcare. Groups of older kids go off on a hike, do art projects, do activities. For younger kids, one parent stays with the childcare (at 2-1/2, it may be possible to leave your child in care). Meanwhile parents get to mediate with one of Spirit Rock's teachers and then talk w the teacher or in groups. We've gone for years and our kids (now 10 and 13) still agree to go!

I have gone to one family day and the family retreat with my then 4 year old - high energy - daughter and I liked it very much. They focus their talks/activities/ excercises on the children and the kids really seem to enjoy the games and even the short meditations (because they are child centered for example using rocks and movement to pay attention to the breath) There is a lot of fun singing and to this day my daughter remembers some of the songs. In the afternoon they offer play acitvities for the kids and they parents get to sit and then listen to a Dharma talk on mindful parenting. At some point they also group people according to where they live so parents can connect with each other. As a result of that we started an East Bay family sangha, which is now meeting 2ce a month at the Buddhist Monastery in Berkeley and is for most parents the only chance they get to sit. My daugter often says she wants to go to Spirit Rock and we look very much forward to our next daylong in December. I am sure I have not mentioned everything that takes place during the day long, these are just the parts I remember right now. And I do not want to forget to mention the love and enthusiasm of the teachers and volunteers. It is very apparent that they love bringing mindfulness to families. Martina