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meditation and dharma

Brett teaches secular mindfulness, meditation and Buddhist practice in a number of settings for adults, teens, and incarcerated people.

This page is dedicated to that practice and to resources for those interested in meditation.


What is it?

Mindfulness meditation, whether secular or not, involves the nonjudgmental attention to what is happening in our experience. Mindful attention focuses less on the content of what is happening and more on the simple observation of what it is like for any particular experience to be happening. In some traditions, this kind of attention involves what is called the “suchness” of things as they are. Other traditions suggest a light noting or question without answering, for example, “anger is like this,” or “what is this like?” Whatever technique one uses, mindfulness practices cultivate a connection to awareness and a curiosity in what is happening over an identification with one’s experience or an analysis of what it means or where it came from. Many practitioners of mindfulness observe that with this practice of nonjudgmental awareness, other qualities such as kindness, joy, curiosity, equanimity, peace, and even love follow naturally, as they connect more to being aware and less on the changing content of what they are aware of. Take a look at Daniel Goleman’s recent discussion of how meditation can help with anxiety and depression: CLICK HERE


Current

Other work

Brett currently teaches actively with others as part of Buddhist Pathways Prison Project, where he also chairs the board of directors. His group offers weekly meditation and teaching at Solano State Prison. He has also taught daylong meditations at Solano and High Desert State Prison.

Brett is also the lead facilitator at Mule Creek State Prison in the program Guiding Rage Into Power, a violence prevention and emotional intelligence program that began at San Quentin and has expanded under the leadership of Jacques Verduin to several other institutions in California. This is the third year of the program at Mule Creek. It has helped to transform the lives of inmates throughout the state, in particular those with life sentences, whether they are eligible for parole or not. Of the hundreds of people who have gone through the program, and the many who have since been released, all but one have have stayed out of prison.

Brett has taught and helped staff teen retreats through Inside Bound Mindfulness Education, Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s New Years Teen Retreat, at Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, at the HUB in Oakland, and elsewhere in the Bay Area.

Current teaching: No current teaching events scheduled.

Resources:

There are many sitting groups and resources for beginning meditation as well as for continuing practice. For those interested in insight meditation, the following, in addition to resources listed above, are retreat centers or resources for sitting groups devoted to secular and Buddhist mindfulness practices, particularly in Northern California:

Spirit Rock Meditation Center

Insight Retreat Center

Sitting groups led by insight teachers

Sitting groups in various traditions