June 2021

Dedicated Practitioners Program (DPP7)Program Dates: April 2022 - May 2024; Applications due August 15, 2021Year Around Event (2021) Upper Retreat Hall Teacher(s): Tempel Smith; Bonnie Duran, MPH, DrPH; Kaira Jewel Lingo; Gullu Singh; and John Martin; along with other senior vipassana teachers No prerequisiteOpen

Event Details

APPLICATIONS DUE AUGUST 15, 2021
Dates: April 2022 – May 2024
Sliding Scale: $13,700 – $3,700. Code: DPPT22


PROGRAM DATES: April 2022 – May 2024

All retreats held in-person at Spirit Rock Meditation Center:
Retreat 1: April 30, 2022 to May 6, 2022
Retreat 2: November 11, 2022 to November 17, 2022
Retreat 3: April 15, 2023 to April 21, 2023
Retreat 4: November 11, 2023 to November 17, 2023
Retreat 5: April 28, 2024 to May 4, 2024

PROGRAM PREREQUISITES

  • A minimum total of 50 nights residential retreat practice in the Insight Meditation (Vipassana) tradition
  • A minimum total of 5 years daily dharma practice
  • A letter of recommendation from a sponsoring teacher (someone who currently teaches at the Insight Meditation Society, Spirit Rock, Gaia House or is a recognized vipassana teacher), knows you and your meditation practice, and is supportive of your application to DPP
  • For those who identify as white, completion of a White Awake multi-week program, either through Spirit Rock or through other respected organizations
  • Personal and interpersonal maturity regardless of age, including:
    • Maturity displaying emotional and relational intelligence, including the capacity to work with personal suffering
    • Interpersonal maturity, to navigate relational difficulties with peers and teachers
    • Interest and capacity to interact with people who will have different histories, stories and views than your own and a willingness to engage and discover with others

PROGRAM DETAILS:

Become a part of a community that will challenge, broaden, and vitalize your understanding and embodiment of the earliest Buddhist teachings. The Dedicated Practitioners Program (DPP), designed as an intensive lay practice period, offers a comprehensive curriculum on the Buddha’s early teachings over two years. In addition to attending five 6-night in-person residential retreats, participants commit to maintaining a formal daily meditative practice, monthly coursework, monthly group meetings, a monthly “dharma buddy” meeting and contact with a mentoring teacher over the full period of DPP.

While the retreats are a very powerful part of the program, most of DPP is the personal engagement with the eight-fold path in the six months between retreats. Students who participated in the past six cycles of DPP reported a profound impact on their own meditation practice, providing a focus and inspiration for deepening their understanding of Buddhism, and bringing the dharma alive in new and unexpected ways.

We use the Dharma, our meditation practice, and our Sangha to explore the ways suffering and freedom are created in our own hearts, including an exploration of the gross and subtle manifestations of social suffering, and its impact on personal and collective well-being. Our intention is to create a diverse and vibrant community of dedicated practitioners who support one another in waking up and in bringing more wise compassion into the world. We are committed to having a minimum combined 50% BIPOC and LGBTQI+ participation in DPP.

Please note: DPP is not a teacher training program. Spirit Rock does periodically offer programs such as the Community Dharma Leaders Program, which trains participants in leading community dharma communities, the Dharma & Yoga Training Program for aspiring yoga teachers, and the Mindful Leadership Program geared toward leadership in social and environmental justice.

PROGRAM COMPONENTS and REQUIREMENTS

  • Attendance at all five 6-night residential retreats
  • Completion of monthly readings, practices and reflections with personal engagement with the eight-fold path in the six months between retreats.
  • Attending a monthly teacher-led group meeting. Traditionally DPP groups have formed in San Francisco, Marin County, the SF East Bay, Redwood City, Los Angeles, Seattle and Vancouver, BC and have met in person and now groups may be offered by zoom. The groups are asked to support the teachers with dana.
  • Monthly meetings with “dharma buddies” in the program
  • Maintain regular contact with mentoring teacher focusing on formal practice, DPP homework, and personal dharma development and integration. Mentoring meetings may be offered monthly or every other month, in person or by zoom at the teacher’s discretion, and will be offered held on a dana basis. We encourage you to reach out to teachers (including your sponsoring teacher) to see if they might be willing to mentor you in DPP. If needed we will support you in finding one.
  • Interest and commitment to increase individual awareness of structural oppression internalized oppression and privilege (class, race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.)
  • The practice of dana (generosity) to support program teachers, group leaders and mentoring teachers
  • Meeting all financial obligations outlined in this application relating to program fees
  • Access to email and the internet, either through your own computer, through a DPP buddy, or through a family member or friend who would be willing to pass along all the messages related to DPP.

APPLICATION TIMELINE and PROCESS

June 1 – August 15, 2021 – Applications accepted between these dates.  Incomplete applications without an attached digital photo cannot be processed.
August 15, 2021 – Deadline to submit application. All applications sent after this date will be put in a waitlist reserve to only be reviewed if space opens up in the program.
October 1, 2021 – Notification of your status will be sent no later than this date via email.
November 1, 2021 – Commitment and payment deadline; 25% deposit required at time of acceptance; $100 non-refundable fee for all applicants, if cancel prior to Jan 1, 2022.

Applications will open June 1, 2021. Close August 15, 2021.

A few things to consider and gather before getting started:

  • This is an online-only application. You will receive a copy of your submitted application upon its completion.
  • Allow yourself at least 30 minutes or more to complete this entire application.
  • Gather details on your previous retreat experience; you will have to list your retreat time; Example format: date (month/year), location of retreat (what center), teacher(s), style of retreat (metta or vipassana, etc.), # of nights.
  • Digital photo of yourself (headshot/”selfie”); take or choose a digital photo of yourself to be attached at the end of the application.
  • Get prior approval from your sponsoring teacher before listing them on the application. You will be asked to submit a letter of recommendation from the sponsoring teacher.
  • The form is compatible with mobile, tablet and computer devices.

TUITION

Participation in DPP requires a financial commitment. Payment plans are available for all levels of the sliding scale. Scholarship support is available to help with payment of fees but it will be limited. A 25% deposit will be due upon acceptance.

Sliding Scale:
Supporter – $16,900 (guaranteed single room)
Benefactor – $13,700
Sustainer – $10,700
Base – $7,700

Scholarship Sliding Scale:
Scholarship Rate 1 – $5,700
Scholarship Rate 2 – $3,700

Tuition includes:

  • Accommodations and meals at all five residential retreats
  • All handouts and program materials
  • Access to social media and online community building groups

Tuition does NOT include:

  • Teacher support (dana)
  • Transportation costs to/from your home to Spirit Rock
  • Dana for mentor teacher support and monthly group teacher support

IMPORTANCE OF SANGHA

With the spread of mindfulness outside of traditional Theravadin countries, often taught by teachers with little direct contact to the Pali teachings, every generation must take time to find the roots of their understanding in the recorded words of the Buddha and his earliest community. If we study alone, we often feel a limited understanding of these ancient texts, yet together they can come more alive. Also, many past students of DPP have forged life-long friendships from within the program.

During free time around non-silent meals on the retreats, and any time in the months between retreats, students are encouraged to organize self-led student groups on topics of shared interests. This is to further extend the Dharma presented formally by the program teachers and to raise topics not covered in the formal DPP curriculum.

All who meet the prerequisites are welcome to apply. Spirit Rock and the organizers of DPP7 are deeply committed to creating a community of practitioners from diverse backgrounds and cultures – a mix of races, genders, ethnicities, classes, sexual orientations, ages, and abilities – to support each other’s Dharma practice.


Testimonials from Past DPP Participants

One of the things I’ve appreciated most about my practice on silent meditation retreats is the chance to just drop my habitual patterns of relating to people. Upon re-emerging into the world of social contact after a silent retreat, I have usually noticed subtle shifts in how I relate to people: over time, some of my habitual patterns have gotten weaker. With the interactive practices offered in the DPP, the shifts have been dramatic. Mindful interactive practices were for me a radical experience of authenticity in communication. Having experienced that level of authenticity and sharing in a safe environment, I find myself more willing to be authentic in daily life interactions. For me, the DPP has been as much about exploring community as about exploring the Dharma. The experience of trust and intimacy with such a large group of people has been extremely powerful. — Rachel

One of the greatest benefits of the DPP program was the “Dharma Buddy” element.  For years I sat silent retreats with total strangers who now, thanks to DPP, are my closest friends. It doesn’t matter who you choose to be your dharma buddy; each of us is a teacher and a student in our own unique way. I started out buddying up with an acquaintance who was in the program, and then a total stranger asked to be my buddy, so we became three. And then, during the course of the two years, I deeply connected with several other people who I adopted (or perhaps they adopted me) as dharma buddies. I speak on the phone or email those is distant cities, and we visit each other. Those who are local have formed a Kalyana Mitta (Dharma Friends) group that meets monthly. By the end of the program I had more than a half dozen close dharma buddies with whom I will undoubtedly continue sharing the dharma for years to come. — David

As a parent, the DPP gave me the focus and permission to deeply commit to my practice for two years. While I was uncertain initially about the impact on my family, the depth of practice has deeply served us and I have come much closer to the parent I always wanted to be! — Maureen

Participating in DPP has been one of the best experiences of my life. After two years of guided practice and study of the dharma, I feel confident and happy to go on with my life with a sense of meaning and connectedness. This is the greatest gift from life one can get. — Alicia

QUESTIONS? Please email us. 

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