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Bay Area and beyond - upcoming spirituality events (August 5, 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.

More Photos

San FranciscoJewish Film Festival (July 31-August 8)
www.sfjff.org/

Ramadan (August 1-30)
www.examiner.com/spirituality-in-san-francisco/how-to-celebrate-ramadan-2011

15th Annual Forgiveness Day (August 7)
www.forgivenessalliance.org/forgiveness-day.html

Ganesha Chathurthi Celebrations (August 10-31)
www.livermoretemple.org/hints/content/html/2011/Ganesha_Chaturthi.pdf

August 2011:

August 5-7, 2011: “Pavithrotsavam Celebrations.” Pavithrotsavam, a 3-day religious ceremony performed annually for purification to ensure “a high level of Divine Power for the deities,” also serves as “a ‘prayaschitta’ event to soften the effects of any omissions or shortcomings that might have occurred unknowingly during the worship and services performed to the deities during the year.” Special abhishekam and other purification rites performed with deities adorned with special garlands. Shiva-Vishnu Temple, Hindu Community and Cultural Center, 1232 Arrowhead Avenue, Livermore, CA. Schedule: www.livermoretemple.org/hints/content/html/2011/Pavithrotsavam.pdf.

August 5-8, 2011: “Temple Emanu-El: 150th Anniversary Celebration.” On Saturday at 9:00 a.m., participate in a special Shabbat morning minyan, followed by a discussion over brunch. On Sunday or Monday, celebrate the mitzvah of writing a new Torah. Temple Emanu-El, 1010 University Avenue, San Jose; www.templesanjose.org/. For details, including RSVP information, please visit: www.doubleknot.com/openrosters/vieworgpagelink.asp?orgkey=1480&linkkey=42803.

August 6, 2011: “Backpackpalooza.” Join members of the Burlingame United Methodist Church from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. for this fun and festive annual event in which backpacks and school supplies are collected and assembled for delivery to needy school children. To volunteer or contribute, contact Denise Ritch or Ursula Morgenstern. Location: Parking Lot, Burlingame United Methodist Church, 1443 Howard Avenue, Burlingame, CA; (650) 344-6321; www.burlumc.org/.

August 6, 2011: “Many Faces of God.” Join Sharon Noteboom for discussions Saturdays from 10:00-11:30 a.m. of books to deepen one’s faith while broadening one’s understanding of other religions. Cost: $10 to join; contact Jean Gregory: (510) 635-8838. Montclair Presbyterian Church, Room 1, 5700 Thornhill Drive, Oakland, CA; www.mpcfamily.org/.

August 7, 2011: “Benefit Concert for Muse (Musicians United for Safe Energy).” Join Crosby, Stills & Nash, Jackson Brown, Bonnie Raitt, Jason Mraz, The Doobie Brothers, John Hall, Kitaro, Sweet Honey in the Rock, and others for this all-star concert beginning at 3:00 p.m. Proceeds will support Japanese disaster relief efforts and the work of non-nuclear organizations. For details, visit: www.musiciansunited4safeenergy.org. Shoreline Amphitheatre, One Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA. Tickets $24.50-$62.85: www.livenation.com/Crosby-Stills-and-Nash-tickets/artist/734842.

August 7, 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, or visit: www.burlumc.org/.

August 7, 2011: “15th Annual Forgiveness Day.” Sponsored by the Worldwide Forgiveness Alliance, this program will be held from 7:00-9:30 p.m. in Angelica Hall, Dominican University of California, San Rafael, CA. For information, please visit: www.forgivenessalliance.org/forgiveness-day.html.

August 8-13, 2011: “Openness Mind.” Join Tibetan Nyingma Instructor Sylvia Gretchen for this retreat in which participants will study the stages of the path to enlightenment. Cost for Week: $370 (non-residential), $600 (residential). For details, visit: http://nyingmainstitute.com/page/summer-2011-workshops-and-retreats.

August 9, 2011: “Tarot Open House.” Join Sue Wilhite, author of 21 Templates That Run Your World, for this program for participants of all experience levels. Begins at 7:30 p.m. Cost: Free, but call to reserve a seat: (650) 988-9800. (Sue will also present a Tarot Celtic Cross Workshop on August 11.) East West Books, 324 Castro Street, Mountain View, CA; www.eastwest.com/event/tarot-open-house-0.

August 9, 2011: “The Parables and YOU!” Join Rev. Pat Palmer for a discussion of The Meaning of the Parables by Ervin Seal to “spark revolution in your own life. Three Tuesdays in August (Aug 9, 16, 23) from 7:15-9:15 p.m. Unity in Marin at Hamilton Center, 600 Palm Drive, Novato, CA. Cost: $20 per class, $50 for the series. For details, e-mail Rev. Palmer: everevolving@earthlink.net.

August 9, 2011: “Eclipsing Empire Class.” Held weekly on Tuesday evenings 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; http://ccctiburon.net/cal-events.

August 10-31, 2011: “Ganesha Chathurthi Celebrations: Ganapathi Atharva Sheersha.” Come celebrate the festival of Ganesha, the god of wisdom, prosperity, and good fortune! Beginning at 6:00 p.m. on weekdays and at 4:30 p.m. on weekends, Ganapathi Atharva Sheersa abhishekam will be performed every day for 21 days in honor of the son of Shiva and Parvati 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; www.livermoretemple.org/hints/content/html/2011/Ganesha_Chaturthi.pdf.

August 12, 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.... join in inspiring songs of praise and celebration.” Fridays at 6:30 p.m. Burlingame United Methodist Church, 1443 Howard Avenue, Burlingame, CA; www.burlumc.org/eveningsattheriver/index.html.

August 13, 2011: “Ramadan Open House.” All members of the community are welcome and warmly encouraged to attend this special interfaith celebration, which will include a recitation of the Qur’an, a talk and panel discussion on Ramadan and Islamic spirituality, sunset prayer, and dinner (Iftar or breaking of the fast). Registration will begin at 7:00 p.m. with a program beginning at 7:15. No special attire is required. Bring a friend. Please RSVP to: info@iccnc.org, or (510) 832-7600. Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California, 1433 Madison Street, Oakland, CA. For more information, please visit: www.iccnc.org/articlePage.php?Ramadan-Open-House-at-ICCNC---August-13-2011-at-7-PM-174.

August 12, 2011: “Varalakshmi Vratam.” From 6:00-7:30 p.m., join in this woman-centered traditional festival thanking the Goddess Lakshmi for the health, wealth, and prosperity of one’s family, Shiva-Vishnu Temple, Hindu Community and Cultural Center, 1232 Arrowhead Avenue, Livermore, CA; www.livermoretemple.org/hints/content/html/2011/Varalakshmi_Vratam.pdf.

August 13, 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; www.livermoretemple.org. For details, please e-mail Smt. Madhu Ramesh: madhuramesh@sbcglobal.net.

August 13, 2011: “Grove of Hekate.” This Full Moon ritual circle is open to all self-identified women, and is designed to “create sacred space, spiritual community, and support for women witches.” Sponsored by CAYA (Come as You Are) Coven. The Enlightened Mind, 409 East Campbell Avenue, Suite 220, Campbell, CA; www.cayacoven.org/goh.html.

August 13, 2011: “Fire Monks: Zen Mind Meets Wildfire at the Gates of Tassajara.” Beginning at 7:00 p.m., join Zen Center Abbot Steve Stucky and author Colleen Busch for a free discussion of Busch’s new book that has become a primer on the Zen path, exploring the concept of meeting crises with a full presence of mind in the context of this amazing story of monks holding back a wildfire. Sponsored by Point Reyes Books. Location: Point Reyes Presbyterian Church, Point Reyes, CA. For more information, please visit: www.ptreyesbooks.com/events/colleen-busch.

August 13, 2011: “Grove of Artemis.” This Full Moon ritual circle is open to all self-identified women, and is designed to “create sacred space, spiritual community, and support for women witches.” Honor the divine in every woman; 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; www.cayacoven.org/goa.html.

August 13, 2011: “Brotherhood of the Moon.” This Full Moon ritual circle is open to all self-identified men, and is 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; www.cayacoven.org/botm.html.

August 13, 2011: “Full Moon Labyrinth Walk.” This outdoor labyrinth walk will take place from 8:00-9:00 p.m. First Congregational Church of San Jose, 1980 Hamilton Avenue, San Jose, CA; www.firstccsj.org/labyrinth.html.

August 13, 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; www.nyingmainstitute.com/page/special-events.

August 14, 2011: “Ceremony of Grand Meal Offering to the Buddha.” Held from 11:00-11:30 a.m. on the 1st and 15th day of each lunar month, these free ceremonies are open to all who wish to attend. Please call in advance to register: (925) 934-2411. Buddha Gate Monastery, 3254 Gloria Terrace, Lafayette, CA; www.buddhagate.org.

August 14, 2011: “Temple Beth Sholom Open House.” Tour the historic Little Shul, the main Sanctuary with its beautiful stained glass windows, thriving preschool, and library and learning center from 11:00 a.m.-noon. Enjoy lunch and meet members of the temple. Temple Beth Sholom, 642 Dolores Avenue, San Leandro, CA; www.tbssanleandro.org/.

August 16, 2011: “Eclipsing Empire Class.” Held weekly on Tuesday evenings 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; http://ccctiburon.net/cal-events.

August 18, 2011: “‘Answering Difficult Questions about Islam and Muslims’ and ‘Bullying Prevention Training.’” This free back-to-school webinar series for parents of junior and senior high school students will be presented from 1:00-2:30 p.m. Pacific time and repeated again on August 20th from 12:00-1:30 p.m. Increase understanding; prevent discrimination and conflict in our communities across the Bay Area and beyond. Sponsored by ING in collaboration with MPAC and ISNA. For details, visit: www.ing.org/events/events.asp?num=1117.

August 18, 2011: “Happiness Is Preventive Medicine.” Join Steve Smith, LMFT, for an exploration of the “emotional vitamin” known as happiness. Learn about the impact of positive emotions on thinking and performance; gain new tools to increase your happiness. Cost: $20 (in advance); $25 (day of event). The Enlightened Mind, 409 East Campbell Avenue (next to Moonfyre Metaphysical), Suite 220, Campbell, CA; www.theenlightenedmind.net/the_enlightened_mind_005.htm.

August 18-24, 2011: “The Logos of Your Heart.” Active in improving Muslim-Christian dialogue, Olga Louchakova-Schwartz, neuroscientist and founding director of the Neurophenomenology Research Center, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, will lead this retreat for beginners and advanced practitioners. Through guided and silent meditation, Prayer of the Heart, readings, work with sacred images, and other exercises, participants will focus on the central them of “Logos, the Divine intelligence in one’s Spiritual Heart. Cost: $610 (overnight), $530 (commuter). Mercy Center, 2300 Adeline Drive, Burlingame, CA; www.mercy-center.org/Flyers_2011/0818NonDuality/retreat.html.

August 19, 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.” Fridays at 6:30 p.m. Burlingame United Methodist Church, 1443 Howard Avenue, Burlingame, CA; www.burlumc.org/eveningsattheriver/index.html.

August 19, 2011: “Muppets on the Labyrinth.” Delicious potluck dinner and The Great Muppet Caper (Rated: G, 1981) on the labyrinth. Bring your lawn chairs and sleeping bags for the kids. Holy Cross Episcopal Church, 19179 Center Street, Castro Valley, CA; www.holycrosscv.org/Holy_Cross_Episcopal_Church/Current_Events/Entries/2011/6/17_Walk-in_Movies_on_the_Labyrinth_files/walk-in%20movie2011.pdf.

August 19, 2011: “Musical Shabbat.” Enjoy this musical celebration presented by the temple orchestra and choir, beginning at 8:00 p.m. Temple Beth Sholom, 642 Dolores Avenue, San Leandro, CA; www.tbssanleandro.org/.

August 20, 2011: “Songs of Experience: Commentary by Venerable Geshe Ngawang Dakpa.” Continuing from June 18th, this 4-part series of talks Saturdays from 3:00-5:00 p.m. (August 20, September 17) will be presented for students of all experience levels to learn more about the heart of the Buddha’s teachings. Participants may attend all lectures or single event. Cost: $20 (each lecture; no one turned away for lack of funds). Gyalwa Gyatso Buddhist Center, Campbell, CA. Tickets, please visit: http://gyalwagyatso.givezooks.com/events/songs-for-spiritual-experience-commentary.

August 21, 2011: “Soul Food Conversation: Jung’s The Red Book. Join psychologist Dr. Jane Reynolds for this 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; www.ptreyesbooks.com/events/jane-reynolds.

August 23, 2011: “Eclipsing Empire Class.” Held weekly on Tuesday evenings 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; http://ccctiburon.net/cal-events.

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. Details: www.thespiralpath.org/calendar/view_entry.php?id=212&date=20110525.

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

August 26, 2011: “Evenings at the River: Feed Your Body. Feed Your Mind. Feed Your Soul.” All are welcome. Free weekly buffet dinner, “followed by a unique, straight from the heart, high energy rock music worship experience.... join in inspiring songs of praise and celebration.” Fridays, 6:30 p.m. Burlingame United Methodist Church, 1443 Howard Avenue, Burlingame, CA; www.burlumc.org/eveningsattheriver/index.html.

August 27, 2011: “Ganesha Chathurthi: Children’s Puja.” Seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha, Remover of Obstacles, at this special puja performed by children from 10:15 a.m.-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. For registration information: www.livermoretemple.org/hints/content/html/2011/Ganesh_Puja.pdf.

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/event/broceliande-harvest-concert.

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; www.svjcc.org/events/.

August 27-28, 2011: “The San Francisco Bay Area Tarot Symposium: 20th Anniversary.” Cost: See web site for various registration packages: www.dodivination.com/sf_bats/. 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; 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 the cultural barriers of grief. Learn to release the grief over the losses endured in this lifetime – the losses of dreams, loved ones, and connections to ancestors – by following the 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 your lunch). Community Meditation Hall, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Woodacre, CA. For details and to register, visit: www.spiritrock.org/calendarDetails?EventID=3048.

August 28, 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. The Institute’s regular Sunday chant and lecture activities will follow from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Participants welcome to attend for an individual activity or all afternoon and evening events. Tibetan Nyingma Institute, 1815 Highland Place, Berkeley, CA. Cost: Free. For information, please call: (510) 809-1000, or visit: http://nyingmainstitute.com/page/sundays.

August 30, 2011: “Eclipsing Empire Class.” Held weekly on Tuesday evenings 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; http://ccctiburon.net/cal-events.

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: www.livermoretemple.org/hints/content/html/2011/Ganesha_Chaturthi.pdf.

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. Full schedule: www.livermoretemple.org/hints/content/html/2011/Ganesha_Chaturthi.pdf.

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

September 4, 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, or visit: www.burlumc.org/.

September 4-5, 2011: “Ganesha Chathurthi Celebrations.” Continued celebration of the son of Shiva and Parvati. Samoohika (group) Laksha Dhurva archana: September 4th, beginning at 8:00 a.m. Ganesha Nimajjanam (Immersion in the Sea): September 5th, beginning at 11:00 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. For the full schedule for both days, visit: www.livermoretemple.org/hints/content/html/2011/Ganesha_Chaturthi.pdf.

September 8, 2011: “The Role of the Media in Times of Violence.” Sponsored by Facing History and Ourselves, this free seminar will begin at 5:00 p.m. and will explore the importance of educating spiritual people about issues of human rights abuse, ensuring their capacity to become a force for good rather than evil. Location: Glendale Professional Development Center, Glendale, CA; www2.facinghistory.org/campus/events.nsf/HTMLProfessionalDevelopment/.

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?” Get together with other Narnia fans to watch this film at East West, and find out more. Cost: Free, but call to reserve a seat: (650) 988-9800. East West Books, 324 Castro Street, Mountain View, CA; www.eastwest.com/event/living-light-cinema-narnia-code.

September 9-11, 2011: “Joy and Spaciousness (retreat at Ratna Ling Retreat Center).” Sponsored by the Tibetan Nyingma Institute of Berkeley. Join instructors Sylvia Gretchen, Co-Dean of the Tibetan Nyingma Institute and Jack van der Meulen for a relaxing weekend of Kum Nye (Tibetan yoga) and nourishing vegetarian meals amidst beautiful Redwood forests and rolling hills. The retreat will begin with dinner on Friday and will continue through lunch on Sunday. Cost: $300, which will cover tuition, all meals, and lodging at the beautiful Ratna Ling Retreat Center, 35755 Hauser Bridge Road, Cazadero, CA; www.ratnaling.org. 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; www.livermoretemple.org.

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; www.livermoretemple.org. For details, please e-mail Smt. Madhu Ramesh: madhuramesh@sbcglobal.net.

September 11, 2011: “Contemplative Service for Peace.” Begins at 4:00 p.m. at the Community Congregational Church of Tiburon, 145 Rock Hill Drive, Tiburon, CA; http://ccctiburon.net/cal-events.

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; www.nyingmainstitute.com/page/special-events.

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). For information, visit: http://cayacoven.org/sabbats.html.

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). The 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: “Songs of Experience: Commentary by Venerable Geshe Ngawang Dakpa.” Continuing from June 18th, the final event of this 4-part series of talks 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; http://gyalwagyatso.givezooks.com/events/songs-for-spiritual-experience-commentary.

September 18, 2011: “15th Annual Polish Festival.” From 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Special folk dance 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; www.saintalbert.us/e107/news.php.

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 this series of three Sunday programs (September 18 from 1:00-5:00 p.m., September 25 and October 9 from 1:00-4:00 p.m.). Cost: $60 (series), $40 (first session only). Mercy Center, 2300 Adeline Drive, Burlingame, CA. To register, visit: www.mercy-center.org/Flyers_2011/0918CPIntro/series.html.

September 19, 2011: “Interfaith Retreat Day.” Sponsored by the Marin Interfaith Council, this program will run from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., and 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. Make payments and RSVPs to the Marin Interfaith Council by September 12th: programs@marinifc.org; www.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. Details and tickets: http://wellsfargocenterarts.org/tickets/calendar/view.aspx?id=476.

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; www.spiritrock.org/calendarDetails?EventID=3081.

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. Details: www.thespiralpath.org/calendar/view_entry.php?id=212&date=20110525.

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 information, contact Rev. Lee: (650) 477-9026, or blee@psr.edu.

October 2011:

October 1, 2011: “Blessing of 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; www.sjvianney.org.

October 1, 2011: “Many Faces of God.” Join Sharon Noteboom for discussions Saturdays from 10:00-11:30 a.m. of books to deepen one’s faith while broadening one’s understanding of other religions. Cost: $10 to join; contact Jean Gregory: (510) 635-8838. Montclair Presbyterian Church, Room 1, 5700 Thornhill Drive, Oakland, CA; www.mpcfamily.org/.

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 this retreat, which will begin at 3:00 p.m. October 1st; ends at noon October 6th. Suitable for beginning to experienced meditation practitioners. Instruction in mindfulness (vipassana) and loving kindness (metta) to open participants’ hearts, enabling them to deal with difficult emotions and the challenges today’s world presents. Cost: $435-$860 (sliding scale). Upper Retreat Hall, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Woodacre, CA; www.spiritrock.org/calendarDetails?EventID=2944.

October 2, 2011: “Blessing of the Animals.” Christ Episcopal Church, 70 Santa Rosa Avenue, Sausalito, CA; www.christchurchsausalito.com/home/node/656.

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, or visit: www.burlumc.org/.

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. The Institute’s regular Sunday chant and lecture activities will follow from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Participants welcome to attend for an individual activity or all afternoon and evening events. Tibetan Nyingma Institute, 1815 Highland Place, Berkeley, CA. Cost: Free. For information, please call: (510) 809-1000, or visit: http://nyingmainstitute.com/page/sundays.

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

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 Oakand; www.kehillasynagogue.org/article.php/20080730162815260.

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; www.livermoretemple.org.

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; www.livermoretemple.org. For details: madhuramesh@sbcglobal.net.

October 8, 2011: “Grove of Artemis.” This Full Moon ritual circle is open to all self-identified women, and is designed to “create sacred space, spiritual community, and support for women witches.” 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; www.cayacoven.org/goa.html.

October 8, 2011: “Brotherhood of the Moon.” This Full Moon ritual circle is open to all self-identified men, and is 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; www.cayacoven.org/botm.html.

October 9, 2011: “Turning Ghosts into Ancestors: Healing the Unseen Injuries of War.” Participants will practice with experienced meditation teachers and explore how the trauma of war from PTSD, physical, and other injuries can teach us to find peace in our lives by transforming suffering. From 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. 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; Joseph Bobrow, founder of San Francisco’s Deep Streams Zen Institute. Upper Retreat Hall, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Woodacre, CA; www.spiritrock.org/calendarDetails?EventID=3088.

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 release stuck survival energies. Enrollment limited to 25 ; to register, call: (415) 383-3134. Cost: $110 ($99: current San Francisco Zen Center members; $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; www.nyingmainstitute.com/page/special-events.

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, has been designed to enable physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers to better communicate with their Muslim patients and their families. The presentation will be held from 2:30-5:30 p.m., and will provide an overview of Islam and Muslim cultural practices, along with discussions about healthcare and cultural issues associated with birth and death, diet, men’s and women’s health, blood transfusions, autopsies, and other various medical procedures. Location: Grace North Church, 2138 Cedar Street, Berkeley, CA. For information, contact Lauren Van Ham: lauren@chaplaincyintitute.org.

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; www.cypresslawnheritagefoundation.com/events.html.

October 26, 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. Details: www.thespiralpath.org/calendar/view_entry.php?id=212&date=20110525.

October 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 information, contact Rev. Lee: (650) 477-9026, or blee@psr.edu.

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 has written extensively about Thomas Merton, his spiritual director at the Abbey. Mystics explored in this retreat: Merton, Meister Eckhart, John of the Cross, Theresa of Avila, Mechtild of Magdeburg, Julian of Norwich. Following Friday night’s opening , retreat will be silent; will close with Sunday liturgy. Cost: $265 (overnight), $225 (commuter). For suggested readings and to register, visit: www.mercy-center.org/Flyers_2011/1028JamesFinley/retreat.html. Mercy Center, 2300 Adeline Drive, Burlingame, CA.

November 2011:

November 3, 2011: “Visionary Marin: Honoring Sam Keen.” Save the date for this annual dinner, which celebrates the life of a Bay Area community leader and raises funds in support of the work of the Marin Interfaith Council. Sam Keen, former professor of religion and philosophy, bestselling author, and co-producer of the award-winning PBS documentary, Faces of the Enemy, was the subject of Bill Moyers’ Your Mythic Journey. Program will be held at the Mill Valley Community Center, beginning at 6:00 p.m. For more details, visit the Marin Interfaith Council’s web site: www.marinifc.org.

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 (depending upon type of room selected; includes lodging, meals, program fee). The Garrison Institute, Garrison, New York. For information call: (845) 424-4800, or visit: www.garrisoninstitute.org.

November 5, 2011: “Thomas Merton and the Inner Journey: Beyond Interreligiosity.” Cost: $125 ($100 for CIIS community and members). See CIIS web site for times and other details. California Institute of Integral Studies (Main Building), San Francisco, CA: www.ciis.edu/News_and_Events/Event_Calendar/Montaldo_Savastano_Thomas_MErton_FA11_(lec).html.

November 6, 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, or visit: www.burlumc.org/.

November 10, 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; www.nyingmainstitute.com/page/special-events.

November 11, 2011: “Grove of Hekate.” This Full Moon ritual circle is open to all self-identified women, and is designed to “create sacred space, spiritual community, and support for women witches.” Sponsored by CAYA (Come as You Are) Coven. The Enlightened Mind, 409 East Campbell Avenue, Suite 220, Campbell, CA; www.cayacoven.org/goh.html.

November 12, 2011: “Bhagawad Gita Class.” Free classes 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; www.livermoretemple.org. For details: madhuramesh@sbcglobal.net.

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. www.ciis.edu/News_and_Events/Event_Calendar/Tarnas_Understanding_Our_Moment_FA11_(lec).html.

November 12, 2011: “Grove of Artemis.” This Full Moon ritual circle is open to all self-identified women, and is designed to “create sacred space, spiritual community, and support for women witches.” Honor the divine in every woman; 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; www.cayacoven.org/goa.html.

November 12, 2011: “Brotherhood of the Moon.” This Full Moon ritual circle is open to all self-identified men, and is 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; www.cayacoven.org/botm.html.

November 15, 2011: “Refuge in the Three Jewels.” For those new to Buddhism or needing a refresher course, this series of six classes on Tuesday evenings from 7:00-9:00 p.m. (Nov 15, Nov 22, Nov 29, Dec 6, Dec 13, Dec 20) will explain about karma and the essential practices of refuge, as well as ways to find a path in life, which offers protection from suffering and the opportunity to achieve fulfillment. Land of Medicine Buddha, 5800 Prescott Road, Soquel, CA. For information: office@medicinebuddha.org, or (831) 462-8383; http://landofmedicinebuddha.org.

December 2011:

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; www.spiritrock.org/calendarDetails?EventID=3086.

December 18, 2011: “The Annual Christmas Concert at St. Peter’s Chapel, Mare Island. The Vallejo Choral Society will perform beginning at 2:00 p.m. Advance ticket purchase is strongly advised; seating in this historic chapel will be limited to 200. For tickets, call: (707) 280-5742 or (707) 557-1538. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the following venues in Vallejo, CA: Mare Island Museum, Railroad Avenue and 8th Street on Mare Island; Vallejo & Naval Historical Museum, 734 Main Street; or Vallejo Convention and Visitors Bureau; http://mareislandhpf.org/news.html.

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 more information, contact the Mountain Stream Meditation Center: (530) 887-9400, or info@mtstream.org; www.mtstream.org/.

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