January 2019

15Jan10:00 AM1:00 PMA Year to Live: How to Live this Year as if it Were Your Last [2018-2019]10:00 AM - 1:00 PM Community Meditation Center Teacher(s): Anna Douglas No prerequisite

Event Details

Date: 10:00am – 1:00pm; 2nd Tuesday of every month, 2018 – 2019. 2019 dates updated: January class moved from January 8 to January 15. February class moved from February 12 to June 18.
Sliding Scale: $300 – 480. Code AD1C18.
Registration for 2018-2019 class closed. 

In our death-denying culture, few of us contemplate the inevitability of our death or that it could happen at any time. The Buddha recommended that we do just that, not to frighten us, but to use death as an object of contemplation to help us awaken to the fragile, fleeting, and precious nature of our lives. Contemplating death as a vital part of our meditation practice and inquiring together in community encourages us to be more real, more clear about our priorities, and more courageous. Paradoxically, many discover that contemplating our mortality is vital to putting us in touch with our best and truest self.

We may resonate with the words of Dr. Martin Luther King: “You can’t choose when you will die or how you will die, but you can choose what you give your life to.” Dr. King lived this truth and his words challenge us to do the same – What do we choose to give our lives to?

This yearlong course is an invitation to meet in a class format once a month for 12 months to explore the matters that matter most when we believe our time is limited. Each monthly class meets for 3 hours and is organized around a theme – from looking at our ideas and beliefs about death, to reflections on impermanence and emptiness, to writing a life review, to re-imagining our life purpose, to preparing for death, and most importantly to engaging life here and now.

This course is inspired by the book, A Year to Live, by beloved teacher Stephen Levine. The book will be our guide, supplemented by source material from dharma teachings, and aided by inquiry, daily meditations, deep listening, journaling exercises, and practical research.

Please come prepared to participate in an intimate relational field where everyone can safely explore their views about mortality and feel supported in opening to the Deathless. Very few of us, if any, would undertake such a bold experiment in living without the support of a guide and a community of peers. In the presence of sacred community we are encouraged to rise to the level of our deepest aspirations. Please join us!

Monthly attendance and active participation are required. This is not a drop-in group.

Seniors (65+ with limited income) are invited to attend this class for $180.


General Information

Online registration for our programs is available until 12 noon of the last business day prior to the day of the event (e.g. online registration for a Monday program ends at 12 noon on the prior Friday). There is an additional $5 fee for registering at the door. If you can’t attend an event you registered for, please see our Cancellation Policy.


Visit our Online Bulletin Board for Ride Sharing to find or offer a ride.


Volunteer/Work Exchange opportunities, as well as full or partial Scholarships, may be available for this program. For more information, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at volunteering@spiritrock.org.


Even if you have been to Spirit Rock before, please review our Non-Residential Programs FAQ for useful information about what to wear, what to bring, how to get here, and more.


On-land Programs and COVID Safety Protocols. Learn More