Heart to heart, face to face
All are welcome, free of charge.
The link above opens a few minutes before each session (see schedule below).
Open Door Dharma gatherings offer simple refuge, time to rest and breathe in community.
Chanting, sitting, and reflecting together cultivates stability, clarity, compassion, and community. The format is inclusive and fluid, responsive to the group.
Living Earth has offered residential retreats and weekly dharma gatherings since 2006. We’re at home with Ram Dass but embrace the wisdom of many teachers with roots in a range of traditions and lineages.
FEBRUARY 2021, Pacific time:
Sunday Afternoons 4:30–5:45 pm
Tuesday & Thursday Mornings 8:15–9:15 am
Chanting, meditation, and reflection. Our weekday discussions this winter grow from Thich Nhat Hanh’s interpretations of the Five Precepts, from For a Future To Be Possible, along with commentaries from other teachers included in the book.
We open with simple chanting (mics are muted), sit in stillness, then reflect on wisdom that flows through the world’s cultures and spiritual traditions,* and how that relates to our lives and our world here and now. We orient toward practices and perspectives from advaita, bhakti/devotion, and Buddhist teachings, but welcome the metaphors and views from other paths as well.
NOTE: During conversation, when speaking it’s helpful if your camera & mic are both on; seeing and hearing each other feels a bit more like actually being together. If you prefer to keep your camera off, a photo on screen of you or something you love would be welcome.
Sundays include time to check in and connect in community, supporting resilience and a sense of belonging. Regular practice in community – whether called sangha, fellowship, satsang or another term – nurtures our ability to be present with whatever arises in our world.
Request Open Door email-reminders. This is a limited list to receive schedule reminders. It’s not a chat or interactive list; email addresses are never shared.
* What is this path?
More than fifty years ago, Neem Karoli Baba (affectionately called Maharajji) drew countless Western devotees to the Himalayan foothills and the timeless, simple path of devotion, wisdom, and service.
Maharajji offers a path of deep love and engaged spirituality, a way to be active in the world and remember who we really are, deep beneath the social identities we’ve been assigned and the roles we’ve adopted.
So in Open Door dharma gatherings, our eclectic tapestry of devotion and service includes Buddhist wisdom, Hindu devotional practices, chanting and meditation, woven together with accents and strands from a rich mix of the world’s spiritual traditions.
All backgrounds, experience, and curiosity are welcome here. Sweet voices and creaking pipes all chant together, and well-steeped, longtime practitioners join friends new to meditation and spiritual exploration. Together we’re learning how rich the Western dharma grown from the roots of ancient Eastern teachings of love and service can be.
In the late 1960s, a one-time professor at Harvard named Dr. Richard Alpert was among the first Westerners who somehow found themselves sitting at Maharajji’s feet in the Kumaon foothills of northern India. From their first encounter, his life was forever changed – the rest is history, as they say.
The acclaimed professor was given the Hindu name Ram Dass, meaning servant of God, and he carried Maharajji’s teachings back to the US, where countless students and scholars, housewives and hippies, activists and artists from all backgrounds were ripe to listen. The counterculture generation of that era was deeply influenced by Ram Dass’s workshops, retreats, lectures, interviews, and books, where his intellectual clarity blended with humor, devotion, and compassion, honoring his guru by his commitment, or surrender, to love and being of service in the world.
Spiraling forward from that time, what Ram Dass shared continues to echo and open hearts around the globe. He continued deepening his spiritual immersion in Maharajji’s wisdom throughout his life and went on writing and teaching until his death in December 2019. His books are available at any library, and beyond that, an ever-evolving trove of Ram Dass’s work can be found in traditional and new forms at ramdass.org.