Past Events

"What Are
You Practicing?"

Guest Speaker

Gullu Singh

 

Moderated by Eric McCullum

 

July 13, 2021

An Online Zoom Presentation 

This special event was an opportunity for us to consider what happens when we are intentional about what we practice and how the streams of habit take control if we do not. Our guest speaker, Gullu Singh, guided us in meditation before our discussion of mindfulness about our practice. We took a deep dive into the “negativity bias” that can grip our mind and color our experience and emotions. And, we explored “planting the seeds” of metta to encourage wholesome states of being.

"Exploring the Paramis:
Essential Qualities of a Wise Heart"

Guest Speaker

Karen Redding

 

Moderated by Eric McCullum

 

June 8, 2021

An Online Zoom Presentation 

Our guest speaker, Karen Redding, views the world creatively, through the lenses of the Dharma, and her camera. She shared images  from her travels as a compass to guide us through reflections on the first two paramis, the generous heart and the ethical heart. As a psychologist, a dharma teacher, a photographer, and a world traveler, Redding's insights brought forth the fruits of bodhicitta. During our interactive discussion, her images and our impressions led us on a journey to discover regions of our own awakening hearts. 

"Spring Breeze"

Haiku Workshop

Guest Teacher

Deborah P Kolodji

 

Moderated by Peggy Kersulis

 

March 14, 21 ,28, 2021

An Online Zoom Presentation 

Our "Spring Breeze" Haiku Workshop was an exploration into the art of haiku as a mindfulness practice. This was the kick-off event in our Community Connections, Dharma Workshops initiative. Our guest teacher, Deborah P Kolodji, presented ways to become aware of dharma moments in a our everyday lives, and how to translate these experiences of "wordless poems" into haiku. We also took a Haiku Walk through the gardens of the Mary and Joseph Retreat Center. Haiku submissions by our sangha were shared and discussed in our Haiku Review. We discovered new ways of expressing our senses of acceptance, interconnectedness and gratitude. You can read the haiku here.

Awake in the Wild

Mindfulness in Nature

Guest Speaker

Kelli Schonher

 

Moderated by Peggy Kersulis

 

February 28, 2021

An Online Zoom Presentation 

Our guest speaker, Kelli Schonher introduced us to the art of meditating in nature. She gave us tips for preparing to sit outdoors and then guided us through a sense-based meditation practice. We shared our experience using the dyadic communication method in small groups. We listened to poetry and learned how it could be used to enrich our appreciation of nature. If you missed this special event, and would like to know the resources Kelli shared, you can view them here.

Yoga Nidra

Waking Up to Deeper Intentions

 Year-End Event Community Event

 

Guest Speaker

 Valyn Carenza-Pack

 

Moderated by Peggy Kersulis

 

December 27, 2020

An Online Zoom Presentation 

This special event was devoted to setting an inspired sankalpa, or intention for the new year in the Yoga Nidra tradition. Our guest speaker, Valyn Carenza-Pack, presented an introduction to the method and the benefits of this sleep-base meditation from the ancient texts of the Upanishads. We were guided through a process of relaxation to experience insight, compassion, and a deeper level of consciousness and to set intentions that reflect the authentic desires of our hearts.  To practice Yoga Nidra, and set or reinforce your sankalpa, listen to a recording of this event in our Resources section on the Meditations page, here

Anniversary

Celebration

Presented by The South Bay InsightLA Teaching Collective

 

Moderated by Christen & David Sussin

with BhaktiMa Kirtan

 

October 27, 2020

An Online Zoom Presentation 

Our Anniversary Celebration was an event that brought all of our teachers together with our Community. The theme was "Taking Refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha at South Bay InsightLA." Trudy Goodman, InsightLA founder, sent her congratulatory wishes in a video message. We meditated and chanted to music that was composed and performed by BhaktiMa Kirtan especially for the theme of our event. Our interactive portions gave us an opportunity to share some laughter and some new ideas about practicing together in our Community.  We recorded this special event and you can view it in our Resources section on our Video page here.

We Sit

Together

Virtual 

Half-Day Retreat

Presented by Peggy Kersulis and Eric McCullum

Qi Gong with Gayla Gabriel

 

May 31, 2020

An Online Zoom Presentation 

Our virtual retreat was a precious opportunity to focus on community as a key component in navigating through uncertainty and change. We practiced tonglen, guided meditation, and the mindful movement of Qi Gong. In our discussions, we offered up time to consider our community - who we are, ways of staying connected, and how to reach out to others, especially those that are suffering from injustice.

The Power of

Remembering

Guest Speaker

Jason Siff

Moderated by Ali Hedayat

 

May 19, 2020

An Online Zoom Presentation 

Our guest speaker, Jason Siff, introduced us to Recollective Awareness Meditation. We explored the importance of memories and subconscious thoughts during meditation. Rather than returning to the breath, we were encouraged to be with whatever arose so we could consider its meaning. During our discussion we talked about the difference between disciplining the mind versus following our thoughts, and the benefits of both methods in our practice.

Equanimity and

The Worldly Winds

Virtual 

Half-Day Retreat

Presented by Peggy Kersulis and Eric McCullum

 

March 21, 2020

An Online Zoom Presentation 

This virtual retreat allowed us to practice in community with each other online.  We explored the resources we have to "fill our cup" and to experience the full blossom of our practice, equanimity. Through guided meditations, we embodied grounded presence, and softened our hearts to let go of fear and grief. The multi-media, interactive format and the sharing opportunities brought focus to our intent, and reminded us to sit with resolve.

Nirvana & Samsara:

Suffering, Liberation, and Balancing it All

Guest Speaker 

Trudy Goodman

Moderated by Eric McCullum

 

February 25, 2020

Beach Cities Health District Chapel Room 

Our guest speaker, Trudy Goodman, was present for a very special evening of meditation and discussion about taking refuge in the Buddha to stay centered in the balancing act known as life. Through personal experiences and reflection on questions posed by those who attended, she encouraged the pursuit of wisdom by working with our challenges and transforming them into catalysts for breaking free from our conditioned minds.

Connecting with 

Our Buddha-nature

Guest Speaker 

Scott Tusa

Moderated by Eric McCullum

 

January 9, 2020

Beach Cities Health District Chapel Room 

This special event began a new year, and a new decade with inspiration for our practice. Through a combination of meditation and experiential learning, we explored how to connect with our Buddha-nature and embody this intrinsic wisdom in our daily lives.

Dharma

Book Exchange

Year-End Community Event

Moderated by Peggy Kersulis and Eric McCullum

 

December 22, 2019

Mary and Joseph Retreat Center 

Our year-end celebration was a practice in the first paramita of generosity. We had great turn-out of community members who brought offerings of Dharma books and magazines. During our discussion, we heard personal takes on the classics, and learned about new books on Buddhism, meditation, psychology, neuroscience and more. We even had two authors attend to share their publications. Everyone left with something they were looking forward to reading, and were grateful to close out the year, and the decade, with a new tradition for bringing our community together. 

Opening to the

Sacred in the Everyday

Daylong Retreat

Presented by Peggy Kersulis and Eric McCullum

Tai Chi with Valyn Carenza-Pack

 

November 3, 2019

Mary and Joseph Retreat Center 

This daylong retreat offered sitting, walking, and movement meditation to open up to the connectedness in our everday lives. It was an opportunity to deepen silence so the chatter of self could drop away and expose the beauty all around us.

Beyond Mindfulness: An Introduction and Exploration of the Buddhist Path of Awakening

Guest Speaker 

Scott Tusa

Moderated by Eric McCullum

October 3, 2019

Beach Cities Health District Chapel Room 

Through a combination of experiential learning and meditation, this talk explored the intersections of core Buddhist principles and our everyday lives, where integrative meditation practices meet the world around us.