Retreat Talks


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2016 June – Heart of Mindfulness Practice Retreat

Reclaiming the Attentional Commons – Frank Musten

In this talk, Frank explores how our attention has been conscripted by social media and our need to reclaim the “attentional commons”. The Commons was an area where people could freely access grazing ground for their cattle and sheep; it was accessible on the basis of need and not forced use. He also discusses how, under such duress, we are often motivated by “survival ethics” rather than an ethic of good will and well being.

Antidotes to Fear and Loathing – Lynette Monteiro

Lynette explores how to live with uncertainty in “interesting times”, times that evoke fear for our survival and perhaps even loathing for ourselves for feeling fearful (or loathing for others we target as the cause of our fear). It comes to having  a whole-hearted practice and that involves cultivating compassion and equanimity. Using the brahma-viharas (loving-friendliness, compassion, equanimity, resonant joy), she explores how we can face the reality of suffering, its cause, its potential, and its call to practice.

2014 June 13-15 – Heart of Mindfulness Practice Retreat

Opening talk & Respect for Mortality

This is the opening talk of the retreat. Lynette introduces the them for the retreat and that “we are going to be “really practicing. Practicing reality.” Frank introduces the Five Skillful Habits which set the direction of our mindfulness practice and explores the First SH, Respect for Mortality. (The noise of the fan in this recording is a wonderful door to practice too!)

Generosity & Inner Riches

In the first talk on Saturday morning, Frank opens with an exploration of the Second Skillful Habit, Generosity. Lynette uses the writings of Etty Hillesum to guide an exploration of how our hearts resonate with the suffering around us and break open in order to transform that suffering.

Setting Limits

In the Saturday afternoon session, Frank explores the Third Skillful Habit, Setting Limits, and how we can do things that are good to us rather than just doing things that are good for us.

Igniting Your Life

Continuing on Saturday afternoon and using a zen teaching story, Lynette examines what happens when we feel the passion in our life has died out and how we can reignite our life.

Mindful Speech & Consumption

For the last talk of the retreat on Sunday morning, Frank connects The fourth and fifth Skillful Habits, Mindful Speech and Mindful Consumption. Using current authors (economists) who have written on the reasons why we are depleted, he describes the cycles of demands that throw us back to autopilot and reactivity.

Which is Real Life?

In the closing talk, Lynette draws from the Chinese folk tale and Zen teaching story of Sen-jo and how that reflects the challenges we face in figuring out which is our “real life.”


2014 April 05

Interview with Ted Meissner, the host of the podcast Present Moment: Mindfulness Practice and Science.

Episode 19 :: Dr. Lynette Monteiro and Dr. Frank Musten :: Mindfulness Starts Here: An Eight-Week Guide to Skillful Living



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