November 18, 2020

The Fierce Heart of Compassion: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Online Meditation Weekend Retreat

Fierce Heart of Compassion: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Online Meditation Weekend Retreat

Nakawe Cuebas Berrios, Devin Berry, Shelly Graf

Friday, January 15 – Monday, January 18

Both Webinar and Meeting Format (Some program sessions allow you to see and hear only the teacher, while other program sessions will allow you to see and hear the teacher as well as other program participants).

Selfless love, compassion and peace are all boundless heart qualities reflected in the thoughts and actions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His vision of the Beloved Community sought to bring about the loving, connected presence of all beings living together with respect and dignity. In this retreat we will explore together how we can build Beloved Community through our awakened hearts.

Compassion aims at the alleviation of suffering – that of ourselves and each other – and can be fierce as well as tender. During this retreat we will look at the embodiment of fierce compassion as exemplified by Dr. King, and the challenges of fierce compassion both in our own lives and in our current social and global conditions. We will call on our mindfulness practice to support and cultivate clarity of mind and the full embodiment of lovingkindness, compassion, equanimity, and wisdom.

These qualities can serve as a strong refuge of inner strength and clarity, acting as catalysts for awakening within family, community, sangha and the larger global collective.

With clarity of mind and an awakened heart, greater peace and equanimity can guide us into moving on this earth skillfully, as we are called to address the injustices that exist in and around us.

In this online retreat, we will cultivate continuity of mindfulness throughout all daily activities. This integrated practice will support an embodied intimacy with experience as we meditate while sitting, walking, meditating and listening to the teachings of the Buddha. Through this total integration we realize more fully that we are always in relationship with one another.

All are welcome regardless of experience. Come and explore this reality with us.

An optional daily session of mindful movement will be offered by Lissa Edmond.

Continuing education credits will be available for psychologists, social workers and nurses. Please check our CE page for more information.

For this course, sliding scale fees are $120, $155, or $300. We also offer a scholarship fee of $60, and no-fee enrollment for those who request a fee-waiver. Our “Pay What You Can Afford” system supports the cultivation of a dynamic and inclusive community and contributes to the health and vibrancy of the sangha. Select the rate of your choice when you register. Email for more information or to request a no-fee enrollment.

A note on dana (generosity)
Most IMS teachers—like insight teachers around the world—rely on the generosity of students for their livelihood, and receive no compensation from course fees. All IMS online teachers receive a modest dana advance from IMS to guarantee a minimum level of financial support. (Click here to learn more about the dana practice.) There will be an opportunity to offer a contribution to your teachers at the end of this course.


Daily Schedule – all times listed in Eastern Daylight Time EDT:
Note: all sessions (Except breakout meetings, movement and Community Birthday Celebration) will be recorded and posted so you can view it later if you miss one.

Friday, January 15
6 – 7:30 pm – Opening Session

Saturday, January 16
9 – 10 am – Guided Metta Meditation
10:30 – 11:30 am – Beloved Community breakout groups
2 – 3 pm – Guided Compassion Meditation
3:30 – 4:30 – Movement
6:30 – 7:30 pm – Dharma Talk

Sunday, January 17
9 – 10 am – Guided Mudita Meditation
10:30 – 11:30 am – Beloved Community breakout groups
2 – 3 pm – Guided Equanimity Meditation
3:30 – 4:30 pm – Movement
6:30 – 7:30 pm – Dharma Talk

Monday, January 18 – MLK Birthday
9 – 10 am – Guided Meditation
10:15 – 10:45 am – Teacher Reflections
11:30 – 12:30 pm – Beloved Community MLK Birthday Celebration, aspiration & intention guiding us for the year


Teacher Bios
Nakawe Cuebas Berrios feels blessed to be able to study and journey through different healing and spiritual traditions in her life. The common thread between the many traditions that have touched her path has been the belief that health and wellness depend on a balance between the mind, body, and heart. The healing systems that she has studied are: Midwifery, Chinese acupuncture, Ayurvedic medicine and yoga. Spiritually the practices are Lucumi (Cuba), with roots from the African Yoruba culture and indigenous ceremonies. These practices helped to strengthen her connection to the Earth and Cosmos. Her ancestral home is Puerto Rico, blending the Spanish, African and Taino Indian roots that flow from her ancestors, and give her guidance and strength daily. Her Nuyorican roots are honored by her experiences growing up in New York City.
By profession she has been a Midwife for 40 years and has worked in  community health centers in the Bronx providing services of midwifery/well women health care.
For over 20 years she has immersed herself in the teachings of the early Buddhist schools, mainly Theravada and Thai Forest. She studied in the Dedicated Practitioners Program and Community Dharma Leaders Program affiliated with Spirit Rock. She teaches Meditation through the Buddha Dharma. Presently she is in the IMS Teacher Training program, where she shares the Dharma by assisting and teaching on retreats. For 10 years she has served as a mentor with the BAUS Prisoner Correspondence course.
She believes we all have the potential to live a life of wisdom and compassion for our benefit and for the benefit and happiness of all beings. These are the teachings of liberation, the truth that she wants to share. She gives gratitude to all her teachers who have guided her throughout the years.

Devin Berry has been meditating for over 20 years. His practice is primarily informed by the classical teachings of early Buddhism and the Insight Meditation tradition. He has undertaken many periods of silent long-term retreat practice. Devin completed the Dedicated Practitioners Program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, where he is a visiting teacher. He is currently in the 2017-2021 Insight Meditation Society Teacher Training Program. Devin served as a core leader with San Francisco POC Insight Sangha. He is a community teacher at East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland, CA where he co-founded the teen sangha and the Men of Color sangha. Devin currently serves on the Board of Directors of Insight World Aid. He has recently relocated to Western Massachusetts and teaches nationally.

Shelly Graf started their meditation practice in 2004 at Common Ground Meditation Center. Since 2010, they’ve taught this practice to young adults, in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction classes, and at meditation retreats. They are a participant in the 2017-2021 IMS Teacher Training Program.

Guidelines For Your Home Retreat

IMS Online Program Etiquette

IMS Online FAQ’s