Animal companions need nurturing, too! So attend to the spiritual needs of your pet at one of the many Blessing of the Animals events around the Bay Area in October, or explore a different side of yourself by learning 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: email@example.com. Items will be included at the discretion of the author as time and space permit.
Blessing of the Animals (October 1-2, October 8)
High Holy Days (Kol Nidre: October 7; Yom Kippur: October 8)
Spiral Dance and Samhain (Late October)
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.
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 while broadening one’s understanding of other religions. Cost: $10 to join. For details contact Jean Gregory: (510) 635-8838. Montclair Presbyterian Church, Room 1, 5700 Thornhill Drive, Oakland, CA.
October 1, 2011: “Quranic Study.” Discussions led each Saturday morning in Farsi by Dr. Rahim Nobahar, Imam and Director of Religious Education beginning at 10:00 a.m. Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California, 1433 Madison Street, 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 this retreat, which begins at 3:00 p.m. October 1st; ends at noon October 6th. Suitable for beginning to experienced meditation practitioners. Mindfulness (vipassana) and loving kindness (metta) to open one’s heart; learn 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.
October 1-22, 2011: “Diverse Visions of Harmony – An Interfaith Art Exhibit.” Sponsored by the Faith Trio (Kehilla Community Synagogue, Montclair Presbyterian Church, and the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California). Juried exhibit by artists of all faiths which “expresses a commitment to interfaith understanding, coexistence, peace and cultural exchange.” Thursday through Saturdays from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., or by appointment through October 22. People of all beliefs are invited and encouraged to attend. No special attire required. Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California, 1433 Madison Street, Oakland, CA; (510) 832-7600; firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 2, 2011: “Blessing of the Animals.” Bring your critters for special attention at most any time during this all-day event. Christ Episcopal Church, 70 Santa Rosa Avenue, Sausalito, CA.
October 2, 2011: “Ninth Annual Blessing of the Animals.” Held at the church parking lot from 2:00-3:00 p.m., this annual community outreach event is open to all. Burlingame United Methodist Church, 1443 Howard Avenue, Burlingame, CA.
October 2, 2011: “Community Memorial.” Services begin at 2:00 p.m. at the Home of Peace Chapel, Colma, CA. For more information see the web site of Congregation Sherith Israel. Congregation Sherith Israel, 2266 California Street, San Francisco, CA.
October 2, 2011: “Fall Equinox Harmonic Renewal.” Join Christy Brown and Karma Moffett for an afternoon of Yin Yoga, meditation, readings of the poetry of Rumi, and the Tibetan Bell Experience. From 2:00-5:00 p.m. Tickets: $35 (advance); $45 (at the door). Location: The Nexus, 1414 Harbour Way South, #1010 (Ford Point at Marina District), Richmond, CA.
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 events. Tibetan Nyingma Institute, 1815 Highland Place, Berkeley, CA. Cost: Free. For information, please call: (510) 809-1000.
October 5, 2011: “Death and Dying in Islamic Tradition.” Learn about Muslim beliefs, customs, and practices with respect to death and dying from Ameena Jandali of the Islamic Networks Group at this seminar sponsored from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. by the San Francisco Bay Area End of Life Coalition. Location: Vintage Golden Gate, 1601 19th Avenue, San Francisco, CA. For more information, contact Nate Hinerman: email@example.com.
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.” Gathering begins at 7:00 p.m. Expand your personal consciousness and spirituality; meet new friends in a welcoming atmosphere. San Francisco Spiritual Enrichment Center, 2118 Hayes Street, San Francisco, CA.
October 7, 2011: “Kol Nidre.” Early service begins at 6:00 p.m. in the sanctuary; late service begins at 8:30 p.m. Congregation Sherith Israel, 2266 California Street, San Francisco, CA.
October 7, 2011: “Erev Kol Nidre.” Family Service: 6:00-7:00 p.m. Main Services: 8:00-9:00 p.m. Temple Emanu-El, 1010 University Avenue, San Jose, CA
October 7, 2011: “Erev Yom Kippur.” Join us as we prepare for Yom Kippur. Candle lighting will begin at 6:26 p.m. with Kol Nidre services beginning at 8:00 p.m. Temple Beth Sholom, 642 Dolores Avenue, San Leandro, CA.
October 7, 2011: “Kol Nidre.” Begins at 8:00 p.m. at the Civic Center. Tickets required. For details, see the Congregation Rodef Sholom web site.
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. See Kehilla's web site for details.
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 the St. Vartan Armenian Dance Ensemble. St. Vartan Armenian Church, 650 Spruce Street, Oakland, CA. See flyer for times.
October 8, 2011: “Yom Kippur.” Early service begins at 8:30 a.m. in the sanctuary; youth service: 8:30-10:30 a.m.; late service: 11:30 a.m. Tot Yontif: 10:45-11:30 a.m., Newman Hall. Study Session: 1:00 p.m., Bart Hall. Community Gathering and Sharing: 2:00 p.m., Bart Hall. Afternoon and Healing Service: Begins at 3:15 p.m. in the sanctuary; Memorial Service: 4:30 p.m.; Closing Neilah Service: 5:30 p.m.; Final Shofar: 6:30 p.m. Break-the-Fast: 6:45 p.m., Newman Hall. (All services in the sanctuary of Congregation Sherith Israel; special programs in various synagogue rooms.) Tickets are required to attend. Congregation Sherith Israel, 2266 California Street, San Francisco, CA.
October 8, 2011: “Yom Kippur.” Children’s Service: 9:00-10:00 a.m. Main Services: 10:00-11:0 a.m. Break the Fast: 6:15-8:45 p.m. Temple Emanu-El, 1010 University Avenue, San Jose, CA.
October 8, 2011: “Yom Kippur.” Morning services will begin at 9:00 a.m. with the children’s service starting at 10:30 in the Little Shul. Afternoon workshops will be held from 1:30-4:00 p.m. with Yizkor, Mincha, and Neilah beginning at 4:00, 5:00, and 7:00 p.m., respectively. Break the Fast begins at sundown. Temple Beth Sholom, 642 Dolores Avenue, San Leandro, CA.
October 8, 2011: “Yom Kippur.” Services begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Civic Center and at the synagogue. Children’s service (ages 6 and under) begins at the JCC at 1:00 p.m.; services for children 7-11 begin at the synagogue at 1:00 p.m. A Healing Service will be held at the Green Room of the Civic Center beginning at 1:00 p.m. with an Adult Discussion program held in the Civic Center Auditorium beginning at 2:30 p.m. Teen Program: Begins at 3:30 p.m. in the JCC Lounge. Afternoon services/Yizkor begin at 3:30 p.m. at the Civic Center and at the synagogue. Concluding Service/Ne’ila: Begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Civic Center Auditorium and at the synagogue. Break-the-Fast begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Redwood Foyer of the Civic Center. Some programs require tickets; others are open to the public. See the Congregation Rodef Sholom for details.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. Shiva-Vishnu Temple, Hindu Community and Cultural Center, 1232 Arrowhead Avenue, Livermore, CA.
October 8, 2011: “Blessing of the Animals.” Begins at 3:00 p.m. Orinda Community Church (Chauncy Blossom Courtyard), 10 Irwin Way, Orinda, 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: email@example.com.
October 8, 2011: “Celebration of the Birthday of Imam Reza (AS).” Beginning at 7:00 p.m., this special program will include prayer, a lecture by Dr. Rahim Nobahar, and refreshments. Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California, 1433 Madison Street, Oakland, CA.
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; 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 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: “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 people; to register, call: (415) 383-3134. Cost: $110 ($99 for current San Francisco Zen Center members; $88 for those with limited income); lunch included. Conference Center, 308 Page Street; firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 11, 2011: “Bringing Balance into Everyday Life.” Shanti Rubenstone, MD helps attendees explore ways to bring happiness and peace into their lives by analyzing the interplay of attitude, energy, attunement, devotion, intention, and right-mindedness. Free, but call to reserve a seat: (650) 988-9800. East West Bookstore, 324 Castro Street, Mountain View, CA.
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 12-23, 2011: “Goddess Kanaka Durga Prathista, Kumbhabhishekam and Sata Chandi Homam.” Shiva-Vishnu Temple, Hindu Community and Cultural Center, 1232 Arrowhead Avenue, Livermore, CA. See temple’s web site for full schedule.
October 14, 2011: “Point Richmond Acoustic Series: The T-Sisters.” First United Methodist Church, 201 Martina Street (corner of West Richmond Avenue), Richmond, CA.
October 15-16, 2011: “East West Psychic Fair.” Receive angelic guidance, be healed astrally or bodily, or have a past life regression done by a channeler. Sign-up on site for appointments; fees vary. East West Bookstore, 324 Castro Street, Mountain View, CA. www.eastwest.com/event/east-west-psychic-fair
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: email@example.com.
October 20, 2011: “Twilight by the Lake.” All are welcome to relax, mingle, and enjoy live music and complimentary appetizers at this free event sponsored by The Cathedral of Christ the Light from 5:00-7:30 p.m. 2121 Harrison Street (at Grand Avenue), Oakland, CA.
October 23, 2011: “A Journey with Mercy Ships.” Come hear John Creech talk about his trip to Africa with Mercy Ships. Program begins after worship services. Orinda Community Church, 10 Irwin Way, Orinda, 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. Special ordination of deacons and acolytes, followed by anniversary banquet (baked lamb wrapped in philo dough) at 12:30 p.m. in the Church Hall. Presentation of Hye Spirit Award. Donation: $45 (adults), $25 (students and 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. See St. Vartan's web site for details.
October 23, 2011: “Classical Music Concert with Rebecca Rust, Friedrich Edelmann, and Vera Breheda.” Internationally renowned cellist Rebecca Rust, student of Mstislav Rostropovich, et. al., will perform the music of Handel, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Bloch, Frackenpohl, and Kahn with pianist Vera Breheda and bassoonist Friedrich Edelmann beginning at 5:00 p.m. Cost: $10 (suggested donation). Edelmann is the former principal bassoonist of the Munich Philharmonic, and has performed under numerous major conductors, including: Barenboim, Blomstedt, Leinsdorf, Levine, Maazel, Masur, and Solti. Breheda made her debut with the San Francisco Symphony at the age of 14, received early training at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and made her New York debut at Carnegie Hall in 1983. First United Methodist Church, 201 Martina Street (corner of West Richmond Avenue), Richmond, CA.
October 24, 2011: “Contemplative Service.” Experience readings from a different tradition at each service, as well as congregational chants and time for silence at this new monthly service from 6:00-6:30 p.m. Marin Lutheran Church, 649 Meadowsweet Drive, Corte Madera, CA.
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.
October 28-30, 2011: “Tibetan Singing Bowl Group Meditation, Individual Healings, and Professional Training.” Experience the wisdom and gentle, but effective therapeutic techniques of master healer and teacher, Suren Shrestha. Suren, a Nepal native who was trained by Tibetan monks and the yogi Tahalkishor Maharaj to heal others using the sacred sound current, will present a group healing session at 7:30 p.m., October 28. Individual healing sessions may be scheduled with Suren on October 30. Beginning to advanced training for healthcare professionals and other healers (Sound and Vibration) to incorporate singing bowl healing into their practices will be conducted on Saturday, October. 29. Call (650) 988-9800 now; Suren’s sessions book quickly. Costs vary; see the East West web site for details: East West Bookstore, 324 Castro Street, Mountain View, CA.
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: 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.
October 29, 2011: “32nd Annual Spiral Dance.” All are welcome to join in this family-oriented, drug and alcohol-free gathering of remembrance of ancestors and all those who have crossed over. Affirm the renewal of life. General admission: $20-100+ (sliding scale). Doors open: 6:00 p.m. Ritual begins: 7:30 p.m. (Come early to listen to pre-ritual music and view the altars.) Proceeds benefit the Reclaiming Community. Location: Kezar Pavilion (near Haight and Stanyan Streets), San Francisco, CA.
October 30, 2011: “3rd Annual Oktoberfest.” Enjoy great German food, fellowship, and music beginning after worship services. Orinda Community Church (Fellowship Hall), 10 Irwin Way, CA.
October 30, 2011: “Samhain Ritual 2011.” All are welcome to join in this participatory, kid-friendly, drug and alcohol-free event. Cost: $10-40 (sliding scale). Proceeds benefit North Bay Reclaiming events. Gathering begins: 6:30 p.m. Ritual begins: 7:00 p.m. Location: Sebastopol Community Center, 390 Morris Street, Sebastopol, CA.
November 3, 2011: “MIC Sixth Annual Visionary Marin: Honoring Sam Keen.” From 6:00-8:30 p.m., celebrate the life 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 raises funds in support of the work of the Marin Interfaith Council. Location: Mill Valley Community Center, 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley, CA. For details, visit the Marin Interfaith Council’s web site.
November 4, 2011: “San Francisco Gay & Lesbian Spirituality Gathering Meetup.” Gathering begins at 7:00 p.m. Expand your personal consciousness and spirituality; meet new friends in a welcoming atmosphere. San Francisco Spiritual Enrichment Center, 2118 Hayes Street, San Francisco, CA.
November 5, 2011: “Faith Trio Harvest Dinner.” Join members of the Kehilla Community Synagogue, Montclair Presbyterian Church, and the Islamic Cultural Center for this interfaith dinner and program. For more information contact Jean Mudge: (510) 548-7268. Montclair Presbyterian Church.
November 4-6, 2011: “Advancing the Science and Practice of Contemplative Education.” Teachers, school administrators, health professionals, researchers, policymakers, and media 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 on type of room selected; includes lodging, meals, program fee). The Garrison Institute, Garrison, New York. For information call: (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 times and other details. California Institute of Integral Studies (Main Building), San Francisco, CA.
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.
November 9, 2011: “Taizé Candlelight Service.” From 7:30-8:30 p.m., this weekly service offers participants spiritual renewal through meditation. Participate in or simply listen to and experience singing, quiet meditation, prayer, and the available blessings for healing weekly or as often as your busy schedule permits. Trinity Episcopal Church, 1668 Bush Street, San Francisco.
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 precedes discussion, followed by light lunch. Location: Berkeley Buddhist Temple, 2121 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA. For more information, contact Diane Ames: firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 15, 2011: “Refuge in the Three Jewels.” For those new to Buddhism or needing a refresher, this series of 6 classes on Tuesday evenings 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, as well as ways to find a path in life offering protection from suffering. Land of Medicine Buddha, 5800 Prescott Road, Soquel, CA. Details: email@example.com, or (831) 462-8383.
November 21, 2011: “Islam and Authors.” Talk by Dr. Omid Safi, author of Memories of Muhammad: Why the Prophet Matters. Cost: $10 (general), $5 (students). Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California, 1433 Madison Street, Oakland, CA.
December 2, 2011: “San Francisco Gay & Lesbian Spirituality Gathering Meetup.” Gathering begins at 7:00 p.m. Expand your personal consciousness and spirituality; meet new friends in a welcoming atmosphere. San Francisco Spiritual Enrichment Center, 2118 Hayes Street, San Francisco, CA.
December 7, 2011: “Taizé Candlelight Service.” From 7:30-8:30 p.m., this weekly service offers participants spiritual renewal through meditation. Participate in or simply listen to and experience singing, quiet meditation, prayer, and the available blessings for healing weekly or as often as your busy schedule permits. Trinity Episcopal Church, 1668 Bush 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. Register online at Spirit Rock's web site.
December 18, 2011: “Annual Christmas Concert at St. Peter’s Chapel, Mare Island.” Vallejo Choral Society performs at 2:00 p.m. Advance ticket purchase strongly advised; seating in this historic chapel limited to 200. For tickets, call: (707) 280-5742 or 557-1538, or 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 18, 2011: “Yule (Winter Solstice) with Starhawk.” Begins at 7:00 p.m. Sponsored by North Bay Reclaiming. Location: Sebastopol Community Center, 390 Morris Street, Sebastopol, CA.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.