White Heron Sangha

"Not Self" in the Brain, A Weekend Workshop with Rick Hanson, Ph.D

  • 19 May 2012
  • 9:30 AM
  • 20 May 2012
  • 1:00 PM
  • Morro Bay Vets' Hall, 209 Surf St, Morro Bay 93442


  • The workshop fee covers both days but does not include a payment to the teacher. The teachings are given on a donation basis only. Please be generous with your offering to the teacher, which can be made online on our donations page or by check or cash at the retreat.
  • * I understand the retreat price is $40, but I can't afford the full retreat fee and will pay what I can. If you pay online, enter the amount you're able to pay and an adjustment will be made to the invoice later.
  • Help with retreat tasks before, during, or after retreat in lieu of fee. Contact Carole Maurer: (805)528-8018.

Please come early to the retreat if you're paying at the door.

Special arrangements can be made if you find you cannot pay the full fee. No one will be turned away for non-payment of the registration fee.

We try to keep our retreat fees at a minimum so that you can be truly generous with your donation to the teacher. You can donate to the teacher online on our Donations webpage or by check or cash at the retreat.
Registration is closed

"Not Self" in the Brain -

A Weekend Workshop

with Rick Hanson, Ph.D


We all experience having a particular identity which helps us navigate in the world – but that very sense of self is also a great source of suffering, as we cling to its wants and react to how others treat it.

The Buddha taught that not-self was one of the three fundamental characteristics of existence, alongside impermanence and suffering – but what he actually meant by that has been the subject of much discussion ever since.

In this workshop, we will examine the apparent “self” – and its release – in light of Buddhism, evolution, and modern brain science; these perspectives inform each other, and together they offer powerfully practical tools for deconstructing the apparent self.

We’ll explore:

  • Presumptions about the apparent “self” in Western philosophy, psychology, and everyday life
  • The actual, direct experience the compounded, transient, and dependently arising nature of “selfing”
  • The distributed, variable, conditioned – thus “empty” – nature of self-ing in the brain
  • The costs and benefits of the apparent “me, myself, and I”
  • The paradoxical importance of taking in healthy “narcissistic supplies” to relax selfing
  • How to activate the lateral networks in the brain that support open, spacious awareness and minimal selfing

The workshop will consist of presentations, discussion and practice periods.


Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a neuropsychologist and author of Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom (in 20 languages) and Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time (in 8 languages). Founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom and Affiliate of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, he’s been an invited speaker at Oxford, Stanford, and Harvard, and taught in meditation centers worldwide. His work has been featured on the BBC, NPR, FoxBusiness, Consumer Reports Health, U.S. News and World Report, and O Magazine and he has several audio programs with Sounds True. His weekly e-newsletter – Just One Thing – has over 36,000 subscribers, and also appears on Huffington Post, Psychology Today, and other major websites. For more information, please see his full profile at www.RickHanson.net.


Rick began meditating in 1974 and has studied and practiced in several traditions. At the end of 2008, he completed a nine-year term on the Board of Spirit Rock Meditation Center. A graduate of the Community Dharma Leader training program, Rick leads a weekly meditation group in San Rafael, California, and has taught at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, New York Insight, the Sati Center, and other meditation centers.


Saturday, May 19, 2012, 9:30AM-4:30PM

Sunday, May 20, 2012, 9:30AM-1:00PM


Morro Bay Veterans' Hall
209 Surf St, Morro Bay, CA 93442 (map)



$40, which covers the expenses of the sangha in putting on the event, but does not include a payment to the teacher.

Arrangements can be made if the fee is excessive for you. We encourage you to attend both days in order to appreciate fully the teachings.

The teachings are offered freely. The retreat fee covers the retreat expenses; none of the event fee goes to the teacher. A dana (donation) basket will be available to help support the work of the teacher. We try to keep our fees at a minimum so that you can be truly generous with your donation to the teacher. You can donate to the teacher online here: dana or by check or cash at the retreat.


You can register and pay online (through PayPal, including credit card) or at the door (cash or check only). Pre-registration is preferred but is not required.

Bring your lunch for Saturday. Tea and snacks will be provided both days. Bring a mat and cushion if you want to sit on the floor. Chairs will be available. For questions, contact Carole Maurer at camaurer@sbcglobal.net or 528-8018.

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