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Bay Area and beyond - upcoming spirituality events (August 19, 2011 edition)

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Explore a different side of yourself or learn about a different culture or religion! The Bay Area Spirituality Examiner presents a list each week of upcoming events, which reflect the diversity of our region’s spiritual and personal growth traditions. To request inclusion of your event on this calendar, submit your information at least one (1) month in advance to Laurie Snyder at: soaringspirit321@rocketmail.com. Items will be included at the discretion of the author as time and space permit.

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Ramadan (Holy month: August 1-30; Eid-ul-Fitr: August 31)

Ganesha Chathurthi Celebrations (August 10-31)

August 2011:

August 19-31, 2011: “Ganesha Chathurthi Celebrations: Ganapathi Atharva Sheersha.” Continued from August 10th. Join in the festival of Ganesha, the god of wisdom, good fortune, and prosperity starting at 6:00 p.m. on weekdays and at 4:30 p.m. on weekends. Ganapathi Atharva Sheersa abhishekam performed every day for 21 days until Ganesha Chathurthi Day (August 31st) when Vinayaka Vratam will be performed with Sahasra Modaka Homa and Mooshaka Vahana Seva. Shiva-Vishnu Temple, Hindu Community and Cultural Center, 1232 Arrowhead Avenue, Livermore, CA.

August 20, 2011: “Summer Movie Night: Peter Pan." Enjoy this Disney classic, starting at 8:30 p.m. The Church of St. Leo the Great, 176 Ridgeway Avenue, Oakland, CA.

August 21, 2011: “The CraniOcean Trilogy.” From 1:00-2:30 p.m., Christine Pihl-Gibson, publisher of Who’s In Charge of My Own Inner State of Being, will discuss James Nemec’s Touch the Ocean. Free, but call to reserve a seat: (650) 988-9800. (Readings conducted from 3:00-5:00 p.m.; $50 for 30 minutes). East West Books, 324 Castro Street, Mountain View, CA; www.eastwest.com/.

August 21, 2011: “Soul Food Conversation: Jung’s The Red Book." Join psychologist Dr. Jane Reynolds for free event sponsored by Point Reyes Books in which Jung’s work documenting his confrontation with his soul will be discussed. Begins at 3:00 p.m. Point Reyes Presbyterian Church, Point Reyes, CA.

August 21, 2011: “Ramadan Interfaith Dinner and Dialogue.” Sponsored by the Islamic Center of San Francisco and United Muslims of American Interfaith Alliance, this program will begin with registration check-in at 5:30 p.m. Free event will start at 6:00 p.m. Bay Area residents of all faiths are invited to attend. Pre-registration is required; call Khalid at: 863-7997, or e-mail: umah.hai@hotmail.com.

August 22, 2011: "Laylatul Ghadr Program.” Quranic recitation will begin at 7:15 p.m., and will be delivered in Farsi and English. The program will also include Maghrib Prayer, Iftar, Isha Prayer, a lecture, and special prayers and duas for Laylatul Ghadr. Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California, 1433 Madison Street, Oakland, CA.

August 23, 2011: “Eclipsing Empire Class.” Each Tuesday evening from 7:00-8:30 p.m., explore one of the most important and most often misinterpreted theologians in history, the Apostle Paul. Community Congregational Church of Tiburon, 145 Rock Hill Drive, Tiburon, CA.

August 23-30, 2011: “Last 12 Days of Ramadan (Ramadan 30).” Quranic recitation in Farsi and English begins at 7:15 p.m. Each program will also include Maghrib Prayer, Iftar, Isha Prayer, a lecture, and dua. Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California, 1433 Madison Street, Oakland, CA.

August 24, 2011: “Introduction to Heathenry.” From 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. every 4th Wednesday, learn about basic lore and concepts in the Germanic pagan tradition.

August 25, 2011: “Opening the Field of Awareness (retreat at Ratna Ling Retreat Center).” Sponsored by Tibetan Nyingma Institute of Berkeley. Learn to “rest within the open space of awareness, ‘seeing,’ ‘feeling,’ and ‘knowing’ beyond interpretations or labels. Retreat will begin with dinner Friday; continues through lunch Sunday. Co-instructors: Sylvia Gretchen, Co-Dean of the Nyingma Institute, and Barr Rosenberg, Ph.D. Cost: $375 (covers tuition, all meals, and lodging). Ratna Ling Retreat Center, 35755 Hauser Bridge Road, Cazadero, CA. For details or to register, call the Tibetan Nyingma Institute: (510) 809-1000.

August 25-27, 2011: “JustFaith.” Join Jack Jezreel, founder of JustFaith, at one of several programs being presented at churches at different times across the Bay Area. Learn how to bring JustFaith’s curriculum, which explores Christ’s call for justice and compassion through study, prayer, and life-changing moments, to your organization. Developed with Bread for the World. Events: Los Altos United Methodist Church, St. Joan of Arc (San Ramon), Sunnyvale Presbyterian, St. John Vianney (Walnut Creek), First Presbyterian (Livermore). JustFaith: www.bread.org/help/church/justfaith.html. Bread for the World: www.facebook.com/breadfortheworld.

August 26, 2011: “Evenings at the River: Feed Your Body. Feed Your Mind. Feed Your Soul.” All are welcome at this free, weekly buffet dinner, “followed by a unique, straight from the heart, high energy rock music worship experience.... Come and join in inspiring songs of praise and celebration as well as songs that speak to our shared burdens and struggles.” Fridays at 6:30 p.m. Burlingame United Methodist Church, 1443 Howard Avenue, Burlingame, CA.

August 27, 2011: “Community of Faith Breakfast.” Join United Religions Initiative member and president of Global Passport for Orphans, Hanitra Ralaiarisedy-Cabannes, for a talk from 9:00-10:30 about The experience of spiritually sensitive leaders in the modern organization with its challenges and opportunities.” Bay Area Family Church, 2305 Washington Avenue, San Leandro, CA. For information, call: (510) 483-4712, or e-mail: bafcoffice@gmail.com.

August 27, 2011: “Ganesha Chathurthi: Children’s Puja.” Seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha, Remover of Obstacles, at this special puja by children from 10:15 a.m. to noon. Prasadam distribution: 12:30-1:30 p.m. Special cultural event: 1:30-3:00 p.m. Shiva-Vishnu Temple, Hindu Community and Cultural Center, 1232 Arrowhead Avenue, Livermore, CA.

August 27, 2011: “Broceliande Harvest Concert.” Beginning at 7:30 p.m., celebrate the approach of autumn and wrap yourself in the harmonies of this celtic/medieval trio. Cost: $15 (until August 26), $20 (day of event). To RSVP, call: (650) 988-9800, or order tickets online through East West’s web site (via PayPal). East West Books, 324 Castro Street, Mountain View, CA; www.eastwest.com/.

August 27, 2011: “Outdoor Movie Night.” Begins at 8:00 p.m. Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center of Silicon Valley, 14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos, CA. For information, contact: dina@svjcc.org, (408) 357-7499.

August 27-28, 2011: “San Francisco Bay Area Tarot Symposium: 20th Anniversary.” Cost: See event web site for registration rates. Location: Golden Gateway Holiday Inn, San Francisco, CA. Speakers: Mary Greer, author of Who Are You in the Tarot?, Rachel Pollack, author of 78 Degrees of Wisdom, and James Wanless, creator of the Voyager Tarot and the Sustain Yourself Green Wisdom deck, as well as readers and exhibitors.

August 28, 2011: “Grief Ritual: A Daylong Workshop for Collective Healing.” Open to all, this event from 9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. will benefit Spirit Rock’s Diversity Program; designed to help participants break through cultural barriers of grief. Learn to release grief over the losses endured in this lifetime – the losses of dreams, loved ones, and connections to ancestors – by following traditional model of the Dagara of Burkina Faso, West Africa. Cost: $50-$138 (in advance, plus a donation to the teachers; add $5 at the door; bring lunch). Community Meditation Hall, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Woodacre, CA.

August 28, 2011: “Many Paths to God: A Celebration of Unity.” Sponsored by Unity of Marin, special outdoor service and picnic begins at 11:15 a.m. Hamilton Amphitheater Park (across street from Unity of Marin in Palm Drive in Novato, CA).

August 28, 2011: “Transmigrating the Deceased Dharma Assembly.” Begins at 1:00 p.m. Macang Monastery, 1822 Eddy Street, San Francisco, CA. For information, call: (415) 673-2311.

August 28, 2011: “Nyingma Institute Open House.” Join the faculty and staff for light refreshments, tour the meditation garden and visit the prayer wheel, and learn about the practices of Kum Nye (Tibetan relaxation yoga) and meditation from 3:00-5:00 p.m. Institute’s regular Sunday chant and lecture activities will follow from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Participants are welcome to attend for individual activity or all afternoon and evening events. Tibetan Nyingma Institute, 1815 Highland Place, Berkeley, CA. Cost: Free. For information, call: (510) 809-1000.

August 30, 2011: “Eclipsing Empire Class.” Each Tuesday evening from 7:00-8:30 p.m., explore one of the most important and most often misinterpreted theologians in history, the Apostle Paul. Community Congregational Church of Tiburon, 145 Rock Hill Drive, Tiburon, CA.

August 31, 2011: “Ganesha Chathurthi Day.” Celebrate the elephant-headed god Ganesha at this festival from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Thank Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati, for bestowing wisdom, prosperity, and good fortune. Shiva-Vishnu Temple, Hindu Community and Cultural Center, 1232 Arrowhead Avenue, Livermore, CA. Full schedule on the Temple's web site.

August 31, 2011: “(Shawal 1) Eid-ul-Fitr.” A special Eid prayer and celebration will begin at 8:30 a.m. Prayer will be lead in English by Dr. Rahim Nobahar. Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California, 1433 Madison Street, Oakland, CA.

August 31, 2011: “Contemplative Worship Service.” Join the Rev. Dr. Boyung Lee for contemplative worship service, held the final Wednesday of each month. Begins at 8:00 p.m., Chapel, Burlingame United Methodist Church, 1443 Howard Avenue, Burlingame, CA. For information, contact Rev. Lee: (650) 477-9026, or blee@psr.edu.

September 2011:

September 1-3, 2011: “Ganesha Chathurthi Celebrations”. Continuing celebration of Ganesha, the son of Parvati and Shiva. Navaneetha Alankaram (butter) and Sahasranama Archana: Sep 1, 6:00 p.m. Sakambari Alamkaram (vegetables) and Saharanama Archana: Sep 2, 6:00 p.m. Sahasrnama Archana: Sep 3, 6:00 p.m. Shiva-Vishnu Temple, Hindu Community and Cultural Center, 1232 Arrowhead Avenue, Livermore, CA.

September 2, 2011: “San Francisco Gay & Lesbian Spirituality Gathering Meetup.” Meet and greet gathering will begin at 7:00 p.m. Expand your personal consciousness and meet new friends in a welcoming atmosphere. San Francisco Spiritual Enrichment Center, 2118 Hayes Street, San Francisco, CA.

September 3, 2011: “Many Faces of God.” Join Sharon Noteboom for monthly discussions Saturdays from 10:00-11:30 a.m. of books to deepen one’s knowledge and faith; broadening your understanding of other religions. Cost: $10 to join. Details? Call Jean Gregory: (510) 635-8838. Montclair Presbyterian Church, Room 1, 5700 Thornhill Drive, Oakland, CA.

September 4, 2011: “Communion and Healing Prayer.” Held the first Sunday of each month. Burlingame United Methodist Church, 1433 Howard Avenue, Burlingame, CA; (650) 344-6321.

September 4-5, 2011: “Ganesha Chathurthi Celebrations.” Continued celebration of the son of Shiva and Parvati. Samoohika (group) Laksha Dhurva archana will be offered September 4th, beginning at 8:00 a.m. Ganesha Nimajjanam (Immersion in the Sea) will be held September 5th, beginning at 11:0 a.m. (Devotees will be provided fee-based transportation to the sea.) Shiva-Vishnu Temple, Hindu Community and Cultural Center, 1232 Arrowhead Avenue, Livermore, CA.

September 7, 2011: “9/11 Commemoration.” Please join in this interfaith program, which will be held from 6:30-9:00 p.m. to memorialize the victims and all who died trying to save others on this tragic date. Program will begin with documentary, Love Hate Love, chronicling 3 families torn apart by terrorism Presented by Islamic Networks Group (ING) in partnership with Roman Catholic Diocese of San Jose, South Bay Jewish Community Center, Jewish Community Relations Council of Silicon Valley, and Silicon Valley Inter-religious Council. Location: McAfee Performing Arts and Lecture Center, Saratoga High School, 2030 Herriman Avenue, Saratoga, CA. For information about the film, visit: http://lovehatelovemovie.com/.

September 8, 2011: “The Role of the Media in Times of Violence.” Sponsored by Facing History and Ourselves. Free seminar begins at 5:00 p.m. Learn how to educate spiritual people about issues of human rights abuse and ensure their capacity to become a force for good rather than evil. Location: Glendale Professional Development Center, Glendale, CA.

September 8, 2011: “Living Light Cinema: The Narnia Code.” Is there a special code contained in The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis that can be unlocked with a “magic key?” Join fellow Narnia fans to watch this film at East West, and find out. Cost: Free, but call to reserve a seat: (650) 988-9800. East West Books, 324 Castro Street, Mountain View, CA.

September 9-11, 2011: “Joy and Spaciousness (retreat at Ratna Ling Retreat Center).” Sponsored by Tibetan Nyingma Institute of Berkeley. Join instructors Sylvia Gretchen, Co-Dean of the Tibetan Nyingma Institute and Jack van der Meulen for relaxing weekend of Kum Nye (Tibetan yoga) and nourishing vegetarian meals amidst beautiful Redwood forests and rolling hills. Begins with dinner Friday; continues through lunch Sunday. Cost: $300; covers tuition, all meals, and lodging at beautiful Ratna Ling Retreat Center, 35755 Hauser Bridge Road, Cazadero, CA. To register, call the Tibetan Nyingma Institute: (510) 809-1000.

September 10, 2011: “Sanskrit Classes.” Classes held the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month for children 6-18 years of age and adults from 9:30-11:00 a.m. No prior Sanskrit knowledge needed. Parent/adult advised to attend with child(ren). Pre-registration is required: sanskritclass67@gmail.com. Shiva-Vishnu Temple, Hindu Community and Cultural Center, 1232 Arrowhead Avenue, Livermore, CA.

September 10, 2011: “Bhagawad Gita Class.” Free classes held the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month from 12:15-1:00 p.m. Kanaka Durga Shrine (at the back of the temple), Shiva-Vishnu Temple, Hindu Community and Cultural Center, 1232 Arrowhead Avenue, Livermore, CA. For details, please e-mail Smt. Madhu Ramesh: madhuramesh@sbcglobal.net.

September 11, 2011: “Contemplative Service for Peace.” From 4:00-5:00 p.m., Community Congregational Church of Tiburon, 145 Rock Hill Drive, Tiburon, CA.

September 11, 2011: “Karma Moffett: The Tibetan Bell Experience.” Join in this labyrinth walk for peace to commemorate the 10th anniversary of September 11th. Suggested donation: $15-$30. Fairfax Community Church, 2398 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, Fairfax, CA. www.fairfaxcommunitychurch.net; www.karmamoffett.com.

September 12, 2011: “Full Moon Chant.” Nyingma students and friends will chant the Vajra Guru Mantra and meditate from 8:00-9:30 p.m. Tibetan Nyingma Institute, 1815 Highland Place, Berkeley, CA. Cost: Free. If attending for the first time, please call: (510) 809-1000.

September 13, 2011: “Money and Soul.” From 7:00-9:00 p.m., conversation between Lynne Twist, author of The Soul of Money and founder of the Pachamama Alliance, and Charles Gibbs, executive director of URI. Location: Presidio Chapel, 130 Fisher Loop, Presidio, San Francisco, CA. Suggested donation: $20; RSVP to Erica Ernst at ebernst.sfic@gmail.com.

September 15, 2011: “Twilight by the Lake.” All are welcome to exhale, mingle, and enjoy complimentary appetizers and live music, 5:00-7:30 p.m. The Cathedral of Christ the Light, 2121 Harrison Street (at Grand Avenue), Oakland, CA.

September 16-18, 2011: “Harvest Home Sabbat.” Celebrate the Witches’ Thanksgiving festival, honoring and thanking the Mother for nurturing and feeding us physically and emotionally for the winter ahead. CAYA (Come As You Are Coven).

September 17, 2011: “The Art of Pilgrimage: Walking the Wild Path.” Join Steven Harper and Jeremy Levie for an exploration of walking as a form of modern pilgrimage. Program begins at 9:30 a.m. at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center with an introduction to zazen (basic sitting meditation) and kinhin (walking practice). Remainder of the day (until 5:30 p.m.) will involve mindfully walking hiking trails in Marin (3-6 miles) to include silence, instruction, and informal discussion. Bring a bag lunch. Cost: $45 ($40.50 for San Francisco Zen Center members or $36 for those with limited income). To register: (415) 383-3134. Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, 1601 Shoreline Highway, Muir Beach, CA; ggfoffice@sfzc.org.

September 17, 2011: “Teachings of the Buddha Dharma: The Law of Cause and Effect.” Join Dharma Master Fa Zang Rinpoche for an exploration of the concepts of Dharma and cause and effect. Drop in for single talk, or attend Sundays at 10:00 a.m. each week. Macang Monastery, 1822 Eddy Street, San Francisco, CA.

September 17, 2011: “Songs of Experience: Commentary by Venerable Geshe Ngawang Dakpa.” Continuing from June 18th, the final event in this 4-part series will be held from 3:00-5:00 p.m. for students of all experience levels to learn more about the heart of the Buddha’s teachings. Cost: $20 (no one turned away for lack of funds). Gyalwa Gyatso Buddhist Center, Campbell, CA.

September 18, 2011: “15th Annual Polish Festival.” From 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Folk dance ensemble performances at 1:00 p.m., 2:15 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. Traditional Polish food, games for children, silent auction, and Polish exhibits and gifts, including books, souvenirs from Poland, and cookbooks. Proceeds will benefit the Polish Mission. St. Brother Albert Polish Pastoral Mission, 10250 Clayton Road, San Jose, CA.

September 18, 2011: “Centering Prayer Introduction.” Traditionally called “contemplative prayer,” Centering Prayer opens the mind and heart “to God, the Ultimate Mystery, beyond thoughts, words and emotions” and helps one to rest in God. Join Ruah Ball and Catherine Regan, Ph.D., for series of 3 Sunday programs (Sept 18 from 1:00-5:00 p.m., Sept 25, Oct 9 from 1:00-4:00 p.m.). Cost: $60 (series), $40 (first session only). Mercy Center, 2300 Adeline Drive, Burlingame.

September 19, 2011: “Interfaith Retreat Day.” Sponsored by Marin Interfaith Council, this program from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. will be jointly led by Sister Colleen McDermott, O.P. and Seido Lee de Barros. De Barros, a Zen Buddhist priest for 40 years in the Shunryu Suzuki lineage who has brought the dharma to the dying, homeless, and senior citizens over the years, is the Buddhist Chaplain at San Quentin and a teacher at the Dharma Eye Zen Center. McDermott, a Dominican Sister of San Rafael, has been involved in social justice for 25 years who is interested in woman-centered rituals and activist spirituality. Cost: $35-70 (sliding scale; includes lunch; partial scholarships available). Location: Anubhuti Retreat Center, 820 Bel Marin Keys Boulevard, Novato, CA. Payments and RSVPs by September 12th: programs@marinifc.org.

September 23, 2011: “An Evening with Shirley MacLaine.” The award winning actress will discuss her life, artistic career, and spiritual journey beginning at 8:00 p.m. Tickets: $49-69. Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa, CA.

September 24, 2011: “Building Bridges of Understanding – Marin Youth: Our Realities.” Co-sponsored by Marin Interfaith Council, this first of a 4-part series will be held from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Individual events offer presentations from a faith perspective, roundtable discussions, plans for community’s future, and musical performances. Location: Dominican University, Creekside Room (on Magnolia), 50 Acacia Avenue, San Rafael, CA. Details: (415) 472-6959, or (415) 382-7834.

September 24, 2011: “Spiritual Activation: Manifesting Spirit into Action.” Join Julia Butterfly Hill and Katchie Ananda for this exploration of the ways individuals may use the gifts gained from meditation and yoga to make a difference in the world. Bring a journal, pen, and yoga mat. Cost: $65-$108 (sliding scale; bring your lunch; Code: JH1S11). Community Meditation Hall, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Woodacre, CA.

September 24, 2011: “Sanskrit Classes.” Classes held the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month for children 6-18 years of age and adults from 9:30-11:00 a.m. No prior Sanskrit knowledge needed. Parent/adult advised to attend with child(ren). Pre-registration is required: sanskritclass67@gmail.com. Shiva-Vishnu Temple, Hindu Community and Cultural Center, 1232 Arrowhead Avenue, Livermore, CA.

September 24, 2011: “Bhagawad Gita Class.” Free classes held the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month from 12:15-1:00 p.m. Kanaka Durga Shrine (at the back of the temple), Shiva-Vishnu Temple, Hindu Community and Cultural Center, 1232 Arrowhead Avenue, Livermore, CA. For details, please e-mail Smt. Madhu Ramesh: madhuramesh@sbcglobal.net.

September 28, 2011: “Introduction to Heathenry.” From 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. every 4th Wednesday, learn about basic lore and concepts in the Germanic pagan tradition.

September 28, 2011: “Contemplative Worship Service.” Join the Rev. Dr. Boyung Lee for contemplative worship service, held the final Wednesday of each month. Begins at 8:00 p.m., Chapel, Burlingame United Methodist Church, 1443 Howard Avenue, Burlingame, CA. For details, contact Rev. Lee: (650) 477-9026, or blee@psr.edu.

October 2011:

October 1, 2011: “Blessing of the Animals.” Beginning at 10:00 a.m. on the church patio (between the church and Mullen Commons), participants will celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi during this annual blessing of pets. St. John Vianney Catholic Church, 1650 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek, CA 94598.

October 1, 2011: “Many Faces of God.” Join Sharon Noteboom for monthly discussions Saturdays from 10:00-11:30 a.m. of books to deepen one’s knowledge and faith; broaden your understanding of other religions. Cost: $10 to join. For details, call Jean Gregory: (510) 635-8838. Montclair Presbyterian Church, Room 1, 5700 Thornhill Drive, Oakland, CA.

October 1-6, 2011: “Mindfulness and Metta: True Liberation (A Retreat for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex & Same-Gender Loving Communities).” Join Arinna Weisman, Larry Yang, et. al. for retreat, which begins at 3:00 p.m. October 1st. Ends at noon October 6th. Suitable for beginning to experienced practitioners. Mindfulness (vipassana) and loving kindness (metta). Open one’s heart; learn to deal with challenges of today's world and difficult emotions. Cost: $435-$860 (sliding scale). Upper Retreat Hall, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Woodacre, CA.

October 2, 2011: “Blessing of the Animals.” Christ Episcopal Church, 70 Santa Rosa Avenue, Sausalito, CA.

October 2, 2011: “Communion and Healing Prayer.” Held the first Sunday of each month. Burlingame United Methodist Church, 1433 Howard Avenue, Burlingame, CA. Call (650) 344-6321.

October 2, 2011: “Nyingma Institute Open House.” Join faculty and staff for light refreshments, tour the meditation garden and visit the prayer wheel, and learn about the practices of Kum Nye (Tibetan relaxation yoga) and meditation from 3:00-5:00 p.m. Institute’s regular Sunday chant and lecture activities will follow from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Participants welcome to attend for individual activity or all events. Tibetan Nyingma Institute, 1815 Highland Place, Berkeley, CA. Cost: Free. For details, call: (510) 809-1000.

October 5, 2011: “Death and Dying in Islamic Tradition.” Sponsored by the San Francisco Bay Area End of Life Coalition. Learn about Muslim beliefs, customs, and practices with respect to death and dying from Ameena Jandali of the Islamic Networks Group. From 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Location: Vintage Golden Gate, 1601 19th Avenue, San Francisco, CA. For details, contact Nate Hinerman: nphinerman@usfca.edu.

October 7, 2011: “Grove of Hekate.” Full Moon ritual circle open to all self-identified women; designed to “create sacred space, spiritual community, and support for women witches.” Sponsored by CAYA (Come as You Are) Coven. Location: The Enlightened Mind, 409 East Campbell Avenue, Suite 220, Campbell, CA.

October 7, 2011: “San Francisco Gay & Lesbian Spirituality Gathering Meetup.” This gathering will begin at 7:00 p.m., and will be a meet and greet. Expand your personal consciousness and spirituality and meet new friends in a welcoming atmosphere. San Francisco Spiritual Enrichment Center, 2118 Hayes Street, San Francisco, CA.

October 7-8, 2011: “Kehilla High Holydays 5772.” Sponsored by Kehilla Community Synagogue, High Holydays will be held at the Scottish Rite Center on Lake Merritt in Oakland.

October 7-8, 2011: “Bazaar and Food Festival.” Enjoy authentic Armenian food, dance, music, and cultural activities. Games for kids, church tours, food to go. Performances at 8:30 p.m. each night by St. Vartan Armenian Dance Ensemble. St. Vartan Armenian Church, 650 Spruce Street, Oakland, CA.

October 8, 2011: “Sanskrit Classes.” Classes held the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month for children 6-18 years of age and adults from 9:30-11:00 a.m. No prior Sanskrit knowledge needed. Parent/adult advised to attend with child(ren). Pre-registration is required: sanskritclass67@gmail.com. Shiva-Vishnu Temple, Hindu Community and Cultural Center, 1232 Arrowhead Avenue, Livermore, CA.

October 8, 2011: “Bhagawad Gita Class.” Free classes held the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month from 12:15-1:00 p.m. Kanaka Durga Shrine (at the back of the temple), Shiva-Vishnu Temple, Hindu Community and Cultural Center, 1232 Arrowhead Avenue, Livermore, CA. For details, please e-mail Smt. Madhu Ramesh: madhuramesh@sbcglobal.net.

October 8, 2011: “Grove of Artemis.” Full Moon ritual circle open to all self-identified women; designed to “create sacred space, spiritual community, and support for women witches.” Honor the divine in every woman as you celebrate the Goddess Artemis, a powerful symbol for women’s empowerment. Sponsored by CAYA (Come as You Are) Coven. Location: Berkeley Yoga Studio (Studio C), 2121 Bonar, Berkeley, CA.

October 8, 2011: “Brotherhood of the Moon.” Full Moon ritual circle is open to all self-identified men; designed to “create sacred space, spiritual community, and support for the Divine Masculine that is found in every man.” Sponsored by CAYA (Come as You Are) Coven. Location: Berkeley Yoga Studio (Studio 209), 1250 Addison, Berkeley, CA.

October 9, 2011: “Turning Ghosts into Ancestors: Healing the Unseen Injuries of War.” Practice with experienced meditation teachers; explore how the trauma of war from PTSD, physical, and other injuries can teach us to find peace in our lives by transforming suffering. The day’s programming, from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., will include meditation, lively talks, film, poetry, and interactions with veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan and their families. Proceeds benefit Coming Home Project and Spirit Rock. Cost: $90-$150 (sliding scale in advance; add $5 at the door; bring your lunch). Presenters: Sharon Salzberg, co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society, Barre, MA and author of The Force of Kindness and Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience; Zoketsu Norman Fischer, Zen Abbott and author of Taking Our Places: The Buddhist Path to Truly Growing Up; and Joseph Bobrow, founder of San Francisco’s Deep Streams Zen Institute. Upper Retreat Hall, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Woodacre, CA.

October 9, 2011: “Meeting Trauma and Finding Balance: A Somatic Approach to Zen Practice.” From 10:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m., join Jiko Jane Lazar and Patricia Meadows for a 1-day workshop using mindfulness to be present with and then release stuck survival energies. Enrollment limited to 25 people; to register, call: (415) 383-3134. Cost: $110 ($99 for current San Francisco Zen Center members or $88 for those with limited income); lunch included. Conference Center, 308 Page Street; ggfoffice@sfzc.org.

October 11, 2011: “Full Moon Chant.” Nyingma students and friends will chant the Vajra Guru Mantra and meditate from 8:00-9:30 p.m. Tibetan Nyingma Institute, 1815 Highland Place, Berkeley, CA. Cost: Free. If attending for the first time, please call: (510) 809-1000.

October 19, 2011: “Healthcare for Muslim Patients.” Sponsored by the Chaplaincy Institute for Arts and Interfaith Ministries, this presentation by Ameena Jandali, Content Director for the Islamic Networks Group, will help physicians, nurses, and others better communicate with their Muslim patients and their families. From 2:30-5:30 p.m., this program will review Islam and Muslim cultural practices and explore healthcare and cultural issues associated with birth, death, diet, blood transfusions, men’s and women’s health, autopsies, etc. Location: Grace North Church, 2138 Cedar Street, Berkeley, CA. For information, contact Lauren Van Ham: lauren@chaplaincyintitute.org.

October 20, 2011: “Twilight by the Lake.” All are welcome to exhale, mingle, and enjoy complimentary appetizers and live music from 5:00-7:30 p.m. The Cathedral of Christ the Light, 2121 Harrison Street (at Grand Avenue), Oakland, CA.

October 23, 2011: “54th Anniversary Celebration: St. Vartan Armenian Church.” Under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Armenian Church, Divine Liturgy-Badarak will begin at 10:00 a.m. eacons and acolytes to be ordained, followed by anniversary banquet (baked lamb wrapped in philo dough) at 12:30 p.m. and Hye Spirit Award presentation. Donation: $45 (adults), $25 (students/children under 13), $10 (pasta and chicken strips for children ages 3-12). St. Vartan Armenian Church, 650 Spruce Street, Oakland, CA. Advance registration required.

October 25, 2011: “Gargoyles, Food Dogs and More: Interesting and Unusual Monuments.” Free Saturday afternoon walking tour of the Cypress Lawn Cemetery with Terry Hamburg sponsored by the Cypress Lawn Heritage Foundation. Administration Office, Cypress Lawn Cemetery, 1370 El Camino Real, Colma, CA. For details, call: (650) 550-8810.

October 28-30, 2011: “Following the Mystics through the Narrow Gate.” Join Jim Finley, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and former Trappist monk at Kentucky’s Abbey of Gethsemani. Finley, author of Merton’s Palace of Nowhere and The Contemplative Heart, has led numerous retreats throughout the U.S. and Canada and written extensively about Thomas Merton, his spiritual director at the Abbey. Mystics studied will include Merton, Meister Eckhart, John of the Cross, Theresa of Avila, Mechtild of Magdeburg, and Julian of Norwich. Following Friday night’s opening, retreat will be silent; closes with Sunday liturgy. Cost: $265 (overnight), $225 (commuter). Mercy Center, 2300 Adeline Drive, Burlingame, CA.

November 2011:

November 3, 2011: “Visionary Marin: Honoring Sam Keen.” Celebrate the life of Bay Area community leader and raise funds in support of the Marin Interfaith Council. This year's dinner will honor Sam Keen, former professor of religion and philosophy, bestselling author, co-producer of the award-winning PBS documentary, Faces of the Enemy, and the subject of Bill Moyers’ Your Mythic Journey. Location: Mill Valley Community Center, 6:00 p.m.

November 4, 2011: “San Francisco Gay & Lesbian Spirituality Gathering Meetup.” Gathering will begin at 7:00 p.m., and will be a meet and greet. Expand your personal consciousness and meet new friends in a welcoming atmosphere. San Francisco Spiritual Enrichment Center, 2118 Hayes Street, San Francisco, CA.

November 4-6, 2011: “Advancing the Science and Practice of Contemplative Education.” Teachers, school administrators, health professionals, researchers, policymakers, and media will examine the science behind the use of contemplative education to improve the lives of children and their families, teachers, and society. Keynote: Dr. Mark Greenberg, Director of the Prevention Research Center at Penn State University with additional panel presentations by Myla Kabat-Zinn, et. al. Cost: $350 to $490 (Depends upon type of room selected; includes lodging, meals, program fee.) The Garrison Institute, Garrison, New York; (845) 424-4800.

November 5, 2011: “Thomas Merton and the Inner Journey: Beyond Interreligiosity.” Cost: $125 ($100 for CIIS community and members). See CIIS web site for details. California Institute of Integral Studies (Main Building), San Francisco, CA.

November 12, 2011: “Understanding Our Moment in History: An Archetypal Perspective with Richard Tarnas.” Cost: $15 ($10 for members and CIIS community). California Institute of Integral Studies (Main Building), San Francisco, CA from 7:00-9:00 p.m.

November 13, 2011: “The Changing Role of Women.” Join Ameena Jandali of the Islamic Networks Group, Buddhism practitioners, and other Bay Area community leaders for this important interfaith panel discussion from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Short Buddhist service will precede discussion, followed by light lunch. Berkeley Buddhist Temple, 2121 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA. For details, contact Diane Ames: diane94530@yahoo.com.

November 15, 2011: “Refuge in the Three Jewels.” For those new to Buddhism or needing a refresher, this series of 6 classes on Tuesdays from 7:00-9:00 p.m. (Nov 15, Nov 22, Nov 29, Dec 6, Dec 13, Dec 20) explains karma and the essential practices of refuge, and presents ways to find a path in life that protects from suffering and helps one to achieve fulfillment. Land of Medicine Buddha, 5800 Prescott Road, Soquel, CA; office@medicinebuddha.org, or (831) 462-8383.

December 2011:

December 2, 2011: "San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Spirituality Meetup." This gathering will begin at 7:00 p.m., and will be a meet and greet. Expand your personal consciousness and meet new friends in a welcoming atmosphere. San Francisco Spiritual Enrichment Center, 2118 Hayes Street, San Francisco, CA.

December 10, 2011: “How to Be an Adult about Spirituality.” Join David Richo, author of How to Be an Adult in Faith in Spirituality, for this workshop from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Cost: $65-$108 (sliding scale; bring your lunch). Community Meditation Hall, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Woodacre, CA.

December 18, 2011: “The Annual Christmas Concert at St. Peter’s Chapel, Mare Island." Vallejo Choral Society will perform at 2:00 p.m. Advance ticket purchase advised; seating in this historic chapel limited to 200. Tickets: (707) 280-5742, or (707) 557-1538; also available for purchase at: Mare Island Museum, Railroad Avenue and 8th Street on Mare Island; Vallejo & Naval Historical Museum, 734 Main Street; or Vallejo Convention and Visitors Bureau.

December 19-24, 2011: “Insight Meditation at the Solstice: Embracing the Dark, Inviting the Light.” Join John Travis, Donald Rothberg, and Heather Sundberg for this 5-night retreat at Spirit Rock, Woodacre, CA. For details, contact the Mountain Stream Meditation Center: (530) 887-9400, or info@mtstream.org.

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