Relaxing into Presence: Exploring the Refuge of Awareness

A Day of Mindfulness Facilitated by Cheryl Slean

Saturday May 30,

9:30am -4:00pm



Awareness is your refuge: awareness of changingness of feelings, of attitudes, of moods, of material change and emotional change. Stay with that, because it’s a refuge that’s indestructible. It’s not something that changes. It’s a refuge you can trust in.
– Ajahn Sumedho

The term presence can be understood in far-reaching terms, starting with the simple state of being mindfully present with what’s happening now, being embodied and aware rather than lost in rumination. Presence is what remains when we wake up from the “ego trance” that’s obsessed with controlling, interpreting and manipulating experience, trying to engineer an ideal future, but instead creating stress, dissatisfaction and pain. Experiencing the peace of compassionate presence reveals the paradoxical reality pointed to by the Buddha: that lasting happiness can be found only by letting go of resistance to the way things are. As the title of the day suggests, re-discovering awareness as a refuge and source of responsive wisdom within ourselves is a process of learning to relax/release our habitual ego striving.

This daylong retreat will offer teachings and meditation practices that encourage a deeper experiential understanding of presence/intuitive awareness and what blocks our access to it. How can we cultivate more moments of presence? How can we step out of the way and let intuitive awareness fill this moment, guiding our hearts and choices and lives?


Sliding Scale $45 – $65 plus dana for the teacher.
Scholarships and work study are available
No one is turned away for lack of funds

The retreat is suitable for practitioners of all levels.

Please bring a sack lunch.

Cheryl Slean has been practicing Buddhist meditation since 1995 and studying Vipassana since 1998. She was invited to teach by her teacher, Rodney Smith, and has subsequently taught meditation at many secular and spiritual venues including Seattle Insight Meditation, Swedish Medical Center, Michael’s House for Addiction Recovery and Insight Community of the Desert where she is a founding board member. Cheryl is also a witer, filmmaker and educator working in the arts, healthcare research and environmental sustainability.

This will be held at 4300 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 90029