Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Reflective Meditation: Vulnerability and Self-Compassion

This event will be scheduled online rather than in person. Details coming soon.

Compassion, in Buddhism, is born from a direct experiential knowledge of hurt and vulnerability. Compassion is turning towards the pain with care and kindness, rather than running from its sting.

On this retreat, meditation can cocoon you from your difficulties. You may be able to stay with them longer; creating a vantage point from which you can soften and make adjustments. A trusted sangha or community can mirror back to you their understanding and compassion. This interest in and awareness of your vulnerabilities will directly affect your development of compassion.

With Linda Modaro and Nelly Kaufer
Friday, September 25, 2020 – Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Taos, New Mexico – Columbine Inn and Conference Center

During this five-night, six-day residential retreat, we will teach an open meditation practice that is followed by reflection and journaling. We welcome continuing students, mentees who want to offer this orientation to their communities, as well as, meditators who are new to our orientation towards meditation practice and retreats. 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 believe that you can learn beneficial ways of meditating by seeing how your mind operates within meditation. This kind of “seeing” can be naturally developed through recollection and reflection, whether done in a journal or expressed verbally to an experienced teacher or peers.

Most likely you will have a goal in mind when you come to meditation practice. What is in your mind and heart matters deeply and does not need to be separated out from your meditation practice. Much of the learning comes from your own recognition and insight, rather than from an authority, a tradition, or any dogmatic and rigid way of thinking about meditation. More on this is here:

Feel free to reach out and contact us to better acquaint yourself with our philosophy:
Linda Modaro:  or  Nelly Kaufer:


We offer a schedule that includes several meditation sittings sessions per day, dharma talks, small group reflection, individual sessions if desired, and free time.

The retreats are held in silence, and you can bring reading materials, as well as equipment for your daily exercise routine.

Three meals per day – vegetarian, and a lighter meal at dinner. We will cater our lunch and dinner and can accommodate food allergies, but there might be an extra charge.

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.

Our orientation to meditation seems to help develop some of these aspects and qualities:

• An independent, flexible meditation practice that can be done anywhere, anytime.
• Relief from reactivity by being able to tolerate and appreciate the range and complexity of difficult mental and physical states.
• The cultivation of a self-honest and safe inner environment where you can learn to meet whatever your mind comes up with.
• Peaceful, relaxed and stress-free states of mind which allow you to rest, take ease, and be less impulsive.
• The development of qualities such as awareness, kindness, patience, curiosity, friendliness and generosity.
• By articulating and describing your meditation sittings, you can learn to discern many experiences which are not often languaged in meditation or life.
• Becoming aware of your patterns and habits in meditation can facilitate personal insights into your behavior and relationships.


Sati Sangha has a desire to lead a generous, respectful life and to share it with others. Your giving and generosity for the teachings will be received with gratitude.

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 only out-of-pocket expenses for the retreat center and teachers. Payment at the higher ranges support the teaching and living expenses for Linda Modaro, honorariums for co-teachers, and students experiencing financial challenges. We do not want to turn anyone away for lack of financial resources. Those who cannot afford the lowest range should talk to Linda; we will try to find a way to work it out.


Suggested Fees and Dana Range: $870-$2370

Deposit due: $200 on June 15, 2020

Final payment due: August 26, 2020 (no cancellations after this date)


I started “seeking” in my early twenties. Unsure what I was looking for, I experimented with many eastern practices and landed in traditional Chinese medicine studying and teaching Qi Gong, Tai Ji and Acupuncture for over fifteen years. Taoist philosophy led to Buddhist philosophy and psychology after a near death experience in 1998 and changed the course of my spiritual practice, teaching, and work with others. I trained and worked closely with the teachers in the Skillful Meditation Project and Recollective Awareness Meditation, put together by Jason Siff. Eventually, I had to leave the SMP home, and founded Sati Sangha so that I could continue teaching Buddhadharma and Reflective Meditation. Thirty years of listening, observing, teaching and being taught by patients and students; traveling to China, Nepal, Iran, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada integrating aspects of their cultures. I try to hold this all lightly, yet I cannot deny the sense of having ‘a calling’ rather than a job.
Nelly Kaufer is the founder and lead teacher at Pine Street Sangha, a Meditation center in Portland, Oregon. Witnessing an intimate understanding of dharma along with a kind regard for the variety of meditative experiences, she teaches Reflective Meditation. Nelly was introduced to Vipassana (Mindfulness) meditation in 1978 on retreats taught by Ruth Denison and began teaching women meditation soon there after, 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. In the 1990s she completed a 3-year mindfulness teacher training with Jacqueline Mandell. Nelly met Jason Siff at a Buddhism and Psychotherapy conference in 2004, entered the Skillful Meditation Project teacher training several months later and completed this in-depth training in 2008. Nelly is a psychotherapist in private practice, integrating Buddhist psychology into her clinical orientation and in continuing education workshops for mental health professionals. I think what really attracts me about this approach is the spirit of exploration and the quality of kindness to myself and others that seems to arise from the practice.
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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.”

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