September 2018

17Sep(Sep 17)3:00 PM23(Sep 23)11:30 AMTransforming the Judgmental Mind3:00 PM - 11:30 AM (23) Upper Walking Hall Teacher(s): Donald Rothberg Prerequisite

Event Details

Dates: Monday, September 17, 3:00pm – Sunday, September 23, 11:30am; 6 nights
Sliding Scale: $1505 – $685, PLUS a donation to the teacher(s) and retreat staff. Code 393R18.
16 CE credits available for $160 for psychologists and California licensed MFTs, LCSWs, LEPs, LPCCs, nurses, and chiropractors.

This retreat is already in progress.

Retreat Description:

Pre-requisite: Completion of one retreat (at least a weekend; residential or non-residential) in mindfulness practice, or permission of the coordinating teacher.

Judgments of a reactive nature are very strong in most of our lives, and in the dominant culture. They can distort our perceptions, make relationships difficult, and undermine our work in the world. In this retreat, we will explore such judgments (and their difference from non-reactive discernment) and how to transform them. We will cultivate mindfulness of judgments; inquiry into the deep roots of judgments; and heart practices such as lovingkindness, forgiveness, joy, and compassion. We will also explore the somatic and social dimensions of judgments and how to cultivate skill in speech and interaction in the midst of judgments. These tools will help us to preserve the intelligence and energy often found in judgments, using them for discernment and compassionate action, while working through judgments’ destructive, compulsive aspects. The retreat will be held mostly in silence, along with group and individual practice discussions. Those attending the retreat will have the option of continuing with follow-up sessions after the retreat.

Donald will be assisted by Eve Decker, Robin Gayle and Shahara Godfrey (bios below).

Eve Decker has been practicing Insight Meditation since 1991, and has taught groups, daylongs, and short retreats since 2006, particularly at Spirit Rock, the East Bay Meditation Center, and elsewhere in the Bay Area. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley, and of Spirit Rock’s Path of Engagement and Community Dharma Leader training programs, and has been trained in the Hakomi approach to body-based psychotherapy. Eve is also a singer/songwriter (formerly a member of Rebecca Riots) and song leader who has, in groups and on CDs, combined the power of music and dharma practice. Her most recent CD is IN: Chants of Mindfulness & Compassion. Much of her teaching and some of her songwriting has focused on themes related to working with the judgmental mind, including groups on “Metta for Self” and “Working with Judgments,” mentored by Donald Rothberg.

Robin Gayle, Ph.D, M.Div, MFT, is a Tara Mandala Authorized Teacher under the direction of Lama Tsultrim Allione, teaching retreats and seminars, and a Feeding Your Demons™ psychotherapist in private practice in Marin County, CA. She currently serves as Professor of Counseling Psychology and Acting Dean of the School of Education and Counseling Psychology at Dominican University of California. She has studied with such Asian teachers as Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey, H. H. Dalai Lama, Ven. Yangthang Tulku Rinpoche, and Ven. Gyaltrul Rinpoche, and Western teachers B. Alan Wallace, Tsultrim Allione, Jack Kornfield, and Donald Rothberg. For the past three years she has led small groups in “Working with the Judgmental Mind,” with guidance by Donald Rothberg.

Shahara Godfrey, Ph.D, has followed the teachings of the Buddha since 1989, with her primary practices in Compassion and Social Activism. She has completed the Community Dharma Leadership Program, the Dedicated Practitioner Program, and the Path of Engagement programs at Spirit Rock, and received her Ph.D. in Humanities with a focus on Transformative Learning and Change from the California Institute of Integral Studies. In addition, she is a core teacher at the East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland, CA. She has been leading groups on working with judgments and helping to teach daylongs with Donald Rothberg in this area for the last five years.

Spirit Rock extends a special invitation to young adults (age 18-26) who wish to attend this retreat at a rate of $35 per night, on a first come, first serve basis. A limited number of special rates are available, please apply early.

Teachings are appropriate for health care professionals as well as the general public. Health care professionals will be able to incorporate the tools and practices offered in this program in ways beneficial to clients or patients. Continuing Education (CE) credit available. See below for attendance requirements and more information.

Learning Objectives for participating health care professionals-
Based on the content of this program, you will be able to:

  • Utilize perspectives on the nature of the judgmental mind, in ways that will help guide one’s practical work with both oneself and clients;
  • Incorporate techniques to develop insight into core beliefs that generate chronic judgments, in ways that may be used to reduce self-criticism, anxiety, depression, and stress in the workplace;
  • Utilize techniques of loving-kindness meditation in ways that improve emotional regulation;
  • Utilize techniques of lovingkindness focused on “difficult” people, in ways that may reduce reactivity;
  • Utilize the application of loving-kindness as an antidote to distress related to the arising of strong negative judgments of self or other;
  • Utilize techniques to develop compassion and respond wisely to distress;
  • Utilize techniques to develop forgiveness and reduce emotional exhaustion;;
  • Utilize mindfulness practices in daily life in ways that reduce stress in the workplace;
  • Utilize lovingkindness practices in daily life in ways that improve patient care;
  • Utilize several methods of developing skillful speech through following ethical guidelines, in ways that can lead to more effective communication and better clinical outcomes;
  • Incorporate practicing mindfulness of the judgmental mind in ways that improve patient care.

**UWH = upper Walking Hall: This retreat is designed as a smaller and more intimate retreat and as such, it is held in the upper Walking Hall. This hall is located at the top of a flight of stairs adjacent to the main meditation hall. It is not accessible by wheelchair or scooter. If you have mobility limitations such that you cannot climb a flight of stairs, this retreat is not appropriate for you. Please call the registration department for more details BEFORE you register for this retreat if you have concerns related to accessibility to the upper Walking Hall.

General Information

Online Bulletin Board for Ridesharing

Also remember that the cost above is priced as a sliding scale. Please pay at the highest level of the sliding scale that you can afford. This allows others who need to pay less the opportunity to attend. Fee is for room and board. Teaching and staffing of the retreats is by donation at the end of the retreat. For more information, see Retreat FAQ.

Continuing Education

This course offers 16 CE credits for $160 for psychologists and California licensed MFTs, LCSWs, LEPs, LPCCs, nurses, and chiropractors. If you have a different license and are interested in CE credit, please check with your licensing Board to see if credits for programs from APA or BRN approved providers are accepted.


Continuing Education credit is co-sponsored by Spirit Rock and the Spiritual Competency Resource Center.


  • The Spiritual Competency Resource Center is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Spiritual Competency Resource Center maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • Spirit Rock is a provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP16905 for 16 contact hours.
  • The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE credits for license renewal for programs from APA approved agencies.
  • The California Board of Chiropractic Examiners Code of Regulations 361(h)(2) provides that continuing education requirements may be met by taking continuing education courses by any California Healing Arts Board approved provider, including those approved by the BRN.

Credit is awarded for instructional time only and does not include extended silent meditation. To qualify to receive CE credits participants must sign-up for the credits before the retreat begins, and attend and sign-in to all required sessions. The list of required sessions will be available at the beginning of the retreat. No partial credit for partial attendance. For more information about CE credit at Spirit Rock, please see Continuing Education (CE) Credit.


Cancellation Policy: Refunds are available for residential retreat CE fees. If you would like a refund for your CE fee, you must cancel by 4:00pm at least two (2) business days prior to the event. If you contact us at least two business days preceding the retreat, we will refund your CE fee minus a $50 cancellation fee. If you cancel beyond the deadline stated above, you will not receive a refund. Please contact the Retreat Registrar at: retreats(at)


  • Donald Rothberg, PhD

    Donald Rothberg, PhD

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