Home » Oakwood Online Meditation Retreat | Fall 2020

Deep Spring Center
2020 Fall Silent Meditation Retreat

When Everything Falls Apart, What Remains?

A week of meditation and spiritual inquiry with Barbara Brodsky, John Orr and Aaron

SATURDAY, October 3 — Saturday, October 11, 2020
our retreat has three inter-woven themes: vipassana meditation, practice with the non-duality of relative and ultimate experience, and living from the open heart

vipassana meditation, online retreat

Where: Online only. Because of Covid19 and safety issues, Oakwood retreat will be via Zoom this year. Students and teachers will be on Zoom.

Teachers: Barbara Brodsky, John Orr, Aaron* and The Mother**

Level:  All levels

Suggested donation: $225-$450
No one will be excluded for financial reasons.

Click here to REGISTER

Zoom link will be sent the day before the retreat begins. You will use the same Zoom link for the entire retreat. Please save it in your email or on your computer for daily access.

Registration deadline:
Saturday, September 26, 2020

Deep Spring Center teachers offer their time freely on a dana basis, joyfully sharing the teachings. Your free-will offerings to the teachers are strongly encouraged.

Teachers do not receive funds from Deep Spring Center. Donations to Deep Spring Center are used to cover technical management and DSC expenses.

Donations to Barbara Brodsky

Check (made out to Barbara Brodsky)
3455 Charing Cross Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48108

Donations to John Orr

Check (made out to John Orr)
2301 Hermitage Rd., Hillsboro, NC 27278


Our world has seen a massive upheaval as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. We are all having to deal with changes in our lives and the communities we live in. At times it may seem like everything is falling apart and we are left with a profound feeling of uncertainty. Now more than ever the dharma and our meditation practice can be a refuge to meet the present challenges.

During this retreat we will explore the ancient teachings of impermanence (this too shall pass), dissolution (when everything falls apart, what remains?) and non-duality.

Our meditation draws on mindfulness, Vipassana and Pure Awareness.  Clear instruction will be offered for all levels.

Heart centered practices Such as guided metta (loving kindness) meditation and chanting are also part of our week together. Darshan offers us yet another way to experience our radiant hearts. A special focus of the week will be how to practice and hold our hearts open with the discomfort, stress and pain of today’s world.

Being with spiritual community is especially helpful during these times and you are invited to join us for an in-depth week of dharma.

The days will include early morning meditation, chanting, daily instruction, small group meetings, an evening dharma talk, sitting meditation live, with the zoom group or on your own, and guidance for walking meditation on your own. On two afternoons, optional darshan with the mother will be offered.

We recognize that some people participating with Zoom from home will have others in the home and will not be able to observe total silence. Please just do the best you can, with mindfulness of the home and people around you. In our week-long retreat in April, many people found the retreat a helpful way to integrate retreat and home and learn how to do deeper practice at home.

We look forward to sharing this October retreat week with you.


*Aaron is a discarnate entity channeled by Barbara Brodsky. Learn more about Aaron.
**Darshan and The Mother, channeled by Barbara Brodsky is an event in consciousness—an interaction between the human and the divine, which focuses and raises the consciousness of the human. The Mother – trance-channeled through Barbara – takes each person’s hands and looks into his/her eyes. She may offer a few words. Many people are deeply moved because, with unconditional love, she mirrors back to each his/her own divinity, the Divine Mother in each of our hearts. For this reason, we call the work with the Mother, “Remembering Wholeness.” She doesn’t “fix” us; she doesn’t offer many words.  She reminds us of our own wholeness and divinity. This is very consistent with the non-dual aspects of our dharma practice, where we observe objects such as thoughts, sensations and emotions arising and passing away, impermanent and “not-self” in nature. We rest in Pure Awareness, conscious of distortions but also remembering our innate perfection. We attend skillfully to the distortions, release self-identification with them, and rest in our true being.  It is fine to come with a skeptical mind. No special beliefs are required for darshan, just a willingness to open our hearts to this powerful love.

VIPASSANA or “insight meditation” is a practical method of self-awareness which makes it possible to encounter the tensions of daily life in a calm and balanced way. Vipassana trains us to be awake, noticing the moments of life with a compassionate heart. This practice has been handed down through the centuries from its origins in Theravadan Buddhism but as we practice it here, no special beliefs are involved. We learn from our own direct experiences. Except for instruction periods, dharma talks, group meetings, and some periods of structured dialogue, the Retreat is held in Silence, giving us an opportunity to move deeply into our own experiences and heart centers. This Silence is a highly valuable opportunity. We encourage each person to give the gift of Silence to others by making every effort to observe with spaciousness their impulses which lead to a break in Silence.

We deepen in the wisdom that the emotions and body sensations with which we have become so self-identified, are really just arising out of myriad conditions and passing away. If a storm comes during a picnic, we cannot stop the rain. It comes and it will pass. Our suffering, or not suffering depends on how we relate to the storm.  Just so with our emotions and physical body sensations. Awareness notes from a spacious perspective that fear, pain, sadness, or whatever has arisen. That which is aware of fear is not afraid. That which is aware of anger is not angry.  And yet, there is pain, fear, anger, sadness.  Aaron says, “It’s there, and it’s not there.”  We deepen in compassion for all humans who do experience such challenging expressions of our humanity. 

Compassion is supported by our darshan experiences with the Mother. She tells us she is a combination of many expression of the Divine Mother such as Mother Mary, Kwan Yin, and others, and that she expresses different aspects of herself depending on the needs of each person.

We have found that the combination of a silent Retreat with meditation and darshan with the Mother,* is a very powerful way of releasing long-held conditioned beliefs about the self and coming home to our true Buddha Nature/Christ Consciousness, our own deepest divinity. Mornings will include vipassana instruction and practice.