Calming the Restless Mind

A Daylong with Sally Armstrong

Saturday January 23, 2016

10:00am – 4pm

2701 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA


Most of us come to meditation practice with an interest in developing more peace, calm and harmony in our minds, our bodies and our lives. So we practice meditation with these intentions, but when we sit down to meditate, let’s face it – we spend a lot of time thinking. What do we think about? The heart of these movements of the mind is answering the questions, “Am I OK?”, “Was I OK?”, and “Will I be OK?” We need to look at the core issues that lead us to dwell on these questions if we are to create a more skillful relationship to our thoughts. The Buddha talked about this kind of thinking, and called it unwise attention that leads to all kinds of suffering. Our obsession with these questions is the cause of a huge amount of restlessness. Restlessness is one of the major hindrances to calming the mind and deepening our meditation, and can be seen as both the cause and the effect of all the other hindrances. The hindrances are those energies in meditation that obstruct clear seeing – desire, aversion, sleepiness, restlessness and doubt.

In this daylong we will explore simple calming meditation techniques, as well as learning to work with skillfully with whatever is a disturbance — whether it is the gross forms of the hindrances, or the subtlest manifestations of restlessness. We need to understand these processes and find the stillness in our experience here and now. Then we can truly be with things as they are, and cultivate calm, clarity and understanding in our meditation and our lives.

Cost: $35-75 sliding scale registration plus dana to support the teacher. Monthly supporters at the $100+ level pay no registration fee.


About the Teacher: Sally Armstrong began practicing vipassana meditation in India in 1981, and started teaching in 1996. She is a co-guiding teacher at Spirit Rock, and led Spirit Rock’s Dedicated Practitioners Program for 12 years. She has a keen interest in supporting students who want to deepen their practice and understanding, and regularly teaches the long retreats at Spirit Rock and IMS.