Dialectics in Meditative Experience

With Linda Modaro and Nelly Kaufer

April 30 – May 4, 2021
Online via Zoom

To appreciate the art of investigating the diversity of meditative experience, it helps to value the richness and complexity of our meditation. In Reflective Meditation, we encourage meditators to “get on their own side” and meditate in a caring, holding environment; inner exploration comes out of that container. Nelly and Linda have put together several dialectics that are noticeable within our meditative experience. We can point to them, see how they combine with each other, and how they contribute to ethical awareness in our uncertain, unpredictable daily life.

During this online retreat, we will teach an open meditation practice that is followed by reflection and journaling. The roots of this practice are to be found in the Buddha’s early teachings and are based on learning to trust the ways of knowing that develop in meditation, enabling you to be more responsive and present in your life.

We offer a schedule that includes several meditation sessions per day, dharma talks, small group reflection, along with free time. If you have not been on a retreat with us before, please schedule a time to speak with one of the teachers so you can better acquaint yourself with our philosophy.

For retreats and larger workshops we have established our registration fees and dana as a range, rather than setting one amount to cover expenses with a request for an additional donation for the teachings. The low end of the range covers expenses for the online retreat. Payment at the higher ranges support the teaching for Linda and Nelly, and students experiencing financial challenges. We do not want to turn anyone away for lack of financial resources. Your support will benefit both Linda and Sati Sangha, and Nelly and Pine Street Sangha.


Deposit: $50 non-refundable deposit

Suggested Fees and Support Range: $100-$700

Pandemic Assistance: Please give as you can.

Sati Sangha will be taking care of the dana for this retreat and splitting it with Pine Street Sangha. Deposits and support/dana can be given via PayPal or check. Please note that it is for the online retreat. https://satisangha.org/donate/



Friday night, April 30, 2021 *All times are in PDT

5:00-6:30pm          Introductions and Orientation

7:30-8:30pm          Meditation and reflection

Saturday – Tuesday, May 1-4th (Tuesday ending at 6:30pm)

9:00-10:00am          Daily online group – short talk, meditation, reflection, short sharing

10:30-11:30am        Reflection Group – longer time to explore your experience in meditation

3:30-4:30pm          Meditation and reflection

5:00-6:30pm          Dharma conversations and small group conversations

7:30-8:30pm          Meditation and reflection


• Beginning with self honesty – being truthful with yourself

• Respecting autonomy – the right for you to control the direction of your meditation practice

• Avoiding actions that harm yourself and other participants during our sessions

• Practicing confidentiality

• Treating different kinds of experience and people equitably


• Choose a comfortable position – we will be meditating for 30-40 minutes. You can choose to meditate for a shorter amount of time.

• Let your thoughts, feelings and sensations move, holding your body relatively still. You may start with any practice you feel comfortable with, and change the focus of your practice at any time during the sitting.

• If you feel overwhelmed at any point you can open your eyes, you can bring your focus to an object (your body, a phrase or picture, the breath), or you can get up and move around.

• At the end of your meditation session, reflect back upon your experience by writing it down or simply remembering.

• We encourage you to explore your experience in meditation daily in the small reflection groups.


• Log in a few minutes early for meetings. Your device will be muted upon entry. Please keep silence when you come on the call.

• In the upper right hand corner of the video you can choose speaker view or gallery view. Speaker view allows you to see the speaker full screen, and gallery view shows all participants full screen.

• Mute and stop video functions are in the lower left hand corner. Locations may be different on iPad or smartphone.

• Unmute when you choose to speak. You can choose to turn your video on or off. Please keep your video off during meditation sessions. If you are using an iPad or smartphone, please stabilize the device. If you move around, please turn off the video.

• We request that you use a private room whenever possible. A headset with a built in microphone is optimal, but not required.

• For optimal video conferencing, please consider rebooting your computer (and modem in some cases) some time before the meeting, and closing out all browser windows when on the call.

• Please understand that we will not be able to offer technical assistance once each session has started. You can email before or after the sessions and we will try to help at those times.


Linda Modaro is the founder and lead teacher at Sati Sangha, a vibrant online meditation community that offers daily virtual meditation sittings, online retreats and in-person retreats throughout the year. Linda began teaching Buddhist meditation in 2008 after she completed her intensive training for meditation and dharma teaching in Recollective Awareness Meditation with Jason Siff. Previously, she had a thriving acupuncture practice in Santa Monica, California, for more than 20 years. A master of Qi Gong, Linda also created a best-selling, four-part instructive Qi Gong video series called (and now offered freely on the Sati Sangha website). Now teaching Reflective Meditation, Linda and Sati Sangha collaborate with Nelly Kaufer of Pine Street Sangha to creatively evolve the practice and the ways it is offered. After receiving two grants from the Hemera Foundation to design a curriculum for Healthy Buddhist Communities, the online course Ethical Reflecting was born. It is open to all Buddhist meditation and Mindfulness meditation teachers, and peer group meditation leaders who want to explore their ethical concerns and dilemmas and address power dynamics that arise within communities. She is accountable to a Council, her mentees, and her students as well as to a peer group of teachers – Nelly Kaufer, Anna Markey, and Jenny Taylor. Her self-care includes hiking in nature with her family and friends, singing, reading, and individual therapy.
Nelly Kaufer is the founder and lead teacher at Pine Street Sangha, a meditation center in Portland, Oregon. Nelly was introduced to Vipassana (Mindfulness) meditation in 1978 on retreats taught by Ruth Denison and began teaching women meditation soon thereafter, as there were no female teachers in her community at that time. She co-authored A Woman’s Guide to Spiritual Renewal (HarperOne,1994), a book for which she interviewed women about their spiritual experiences. She completed two intensive teacher trainings, one in Vipassana with Jacqueline Mandell and the other in Recollective Awareness Meditation with Jason Siff. Nelly is a psychotherapist in private practice, integrating Buddhist psychology into her clinical orientation and has been teaching continuing education workshops for mental health professionals for about twenty-five years. Thanks to a grant from Hemera, a Buddhist foundation, she is creating a one-year, in-depth CE certificate program for mental health professionals which will nurture a meditative and contemplative practice, along with an experiential knowledge of Buddhist psychology –that integrates into their clinical orientation and interventions.
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“Thanks to this gentle and spacious orientation to meditation, I had time to really pause, feel my vulnerability, as well as take in the good. It takes guts to be gentle!”

Another added: “I loved the talks and conversations! They were excellent, insightful and not overly complicated but enabled deep contemplation.”

Online Retreat Testimonials

“This set up allows people all over the world to participate.”

“(I benefited from) creating a space to set aside to deepen the practice; having a set schedule to follow.  During the last half hour of the retreat, both my phones were ringing and leaving messages that needed tending. Afterwards I found myself attending to them in such a different frame of mind – as part of my practice. Having that mind-set is very helpful.”

“Meditators are concerned with the carbon footprint and climate justice. I don’t have to travel so less carbon footprint.”

“All the benefits of a traditional retreat without the multiple expenses of travel, lodging, pet-sitter, time off work, etc.  I was able to participate in this retreat because I could do so online.  I am grateful for the opportunity, and I am pleased that an online retreat, such as this one, is more accessible to people of limited financial means, or who are not able to travel.”

From our recent online retreat: “Journaling and sharing my thoughts has been a challenge for me in the past. On this retreat, though, I found it surprisingly easy to share with the group. Not quite sure why, though…perhaps feeling safe and secure in my home, and thus more willing to be open…? For whatever reason, this online format really worked well for me.”