Presentations 2016



Retreat Presentations 2016

Friday, May 27


Maja Apolonia Rodé

The Field of Evolving Consciousness

with Maja Apolonia Rodé, Ph.D.

As healers, artists, and teachers of nondual awareness each of is called to develop our unique way of sharing the deepest truths we know. By connecting with the larger field of awakening consciousness to which we contribute, we tap into a powerful well of support for our work. We also add to the value of the field itself — just by being aware of it and aware of each other within it. In this presentation, Maja will share inspiring examples that reveal an emerging global culture of awakening, and guide us to connect with the purity and power of this field.

Maja Apolonia Rodé, PhD, cultivates conscious community and shares an inspiring array of creative expressions with one common purpose: to support the realization and flowering of our true nature. From sacred rituals to playful games, ethereal chants to irreverent raps, and meditative arts instruction to marketing with integrity, Maja’s work invites us into the sacred depths of our being where we can bring life to our true creative potentials — individually and collectively. Maja holds a Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology and has worked closely with Adyashanti for 16 years as the Creative Director of Open Gate Sangha.




Kent Welsh

Awareness and the Heart

with Kent Welsh

“””Who Am I?”” This was the core teaching of Ramana Maharshi, the primary inspiration for the modern satsang / nondual movement. The answer is primarily a “”not finding”” of what has been identified as self. Recently, Kent has been engrossed by the question “”What Am I?”” and its potential to bring us deeper into our essence. In this presentation, Kent will open up an exploration of the relationship between unconditional awareness identity and our home as unconditional love.”

Kent Welsh is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of Open Circle Center, which for over 10 years has been hosting satsangs and gatherings for nondual teachers in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is now hosting international online events as well. He is also a founding board member of the Center for Nondual Awareness. Kent lives in Berkeley, CA.


Shannon & Diane

Revealing The Treasure

with Shannon Pernetti and Diane Steinbrecher, LCSW, PC

Diane and Shannon will be presenting the Inner Refuge (from their soon to be released book) and how we apply nondual psychotherapy to “Reveal the Treasure” for clients in our practices. They will particularly focus on the adult reactive states and thought structures conditioned during the early formative years, when the implicit memory is unconscious. These unconscious memories are revealed in reactive states, thoughts and somatic memories, all as the psyche’s attempt to bring wholeness and consciousness of our ‘Treasure’. Following the presentation, they will facilitate a community discussion about how practitioners are working with the Inner Refuge and applying nondual awareness in their work — so we can learn from one another!

Diane Steinbrecher, LCSW, PC, and Shannon Pernetti are Archetypal Pattern Analysts who have been trained in numerous traditional, holistic, somatic, and transpersonal models of therapy, as well as extensive group facilitating experience. They have both been in private practice for over three decades.

Shannon and Diane also completed 12 years of supervision and training with Michael Conforti, Ph.D., Director and Founder of The Assisi Institute and are on the Faculty of The Assisi Institute, International Center for the Study of Archetypal Patterns.

They are both Ministers and graduates of a four year Spiritual Teacher Training Program, and have been Nondual Coaches in the Radiant Mind Program since 2010. They both continue to be in private practice doing therapy, supervision, consultation, and training.




Adam Chacksfield

Exploring Shame

with Adam Chacksfield, Ph.D.

For many of us, turning toward our evolving edges brings us into contact with the experience of shame. There can even be the sense that we’ll be destroyed if we dare open to our shadowy places. Our capacity for self-discovery and evolution often seems to be predicated on our willingness to meet such experiences of shame. In this session Adam will invite a gentle yet direct exploration of how we experience shame.

Adam is the founder of The Center for Nondual Awareness ( and the creator of “Falling Open,” a four-month online course that transforms the way participants experience life. He originally began publicly offering nondual teaching and coaching with the encouragement and support of Peter Fenner. Adam’s work has also been greatly influenced by the heart-centered teaching of Jeannie Zandi.




Hilary Farberow Stuart

Creativity, Art, and Nonduality

with Hilary Farberow-Stuart, N.D.

Explore art and creativity from “This.” This exploration allows us to tune in to an inner flow, which has no prerequisite outcomes, does not require planning, and encourages artistic expression through various forms of play. Be prepared to get messy! Bring an apron and/or clothes you don’t mind getting dirty.

With a B.A. in Psychology, Hilary Stuart was led to the Naturopathic profession by a deep passion for understanding who we are, what illness is, and how healing happens. Hilary graduated from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine (NCNM) in Portland, OR, in 1987. In private practice since then, her fascination with the realms beyond the physical have led her to study with many teachers, both internal and external. She is currently on the Board of the Center for Nondual Awareness, and is the cofounder and on the Board of the Naturopathic Psychospiritual Collaborative. In the last few years she has delved into art, specifically painting, from the nondual perspective.




Saturday, May 28


Jan Hodgman

Edge? What Edge?

with Jan Hodgman

An experiential invitation to dissolve the edge. Let’s look at our English language and sense how, by its very nature, it reconstructs duality. How can we use words to go beyond words?

Jan Hodgman is a Zen priest with 8 years monastic experience, and is also a Focusing trainer. She facilitates Radiant Mind gatherings and offers Luminous Awareness gatherings and telecalls. Jan has been a board member of the Center for Nondual Awareness since its inception.


Sonya Amrita Bibilos

Evolution and Paradigm Shifts

with Sonya Amrita Bibilos

When we embody awakened consciousness, we create a new way of living based on truth, alignment, and love. We still often don’t realize how deeply we can liberate any aspect of life and move into completely new paradigms of living. Over time, the way we live can create ripple effects of evolution in the communities around us; we become agents of certain kinds of evolutionary change. In this talk, Sonya will discuss the anatomy of a paradigm shift and open doors of possibilities for evolutionary liberation in any area of life. After the talk, Sonya will lead a guided visualization and deep inquiry, followed by a facilitated discussion about our individual and collective evolutionary edges and opportunities.

A gifted teacher, energetic healer, and intuitive guide, Sonya Amrita Bibilos experienced a series of life-changing awakenings while working at a Silicon Valley software company, and later while serving as the Program Director for her spiritual teacher, Adyashanti. For over 12 years she has been supporting individuals and couples to awaken and live their awakening through every area of their lives.




Sara Cristina Naon

A New Paradigm of Sexuality in Spiritual Embodiment

with Sara Cristina Naon

Sara’s current edge of exploration in her nondual practice is the role of sexual healing in awakening and embodiment of True Nature—including its role in the individuation of consciousness. Through her presentation and guided experiential practice in diads, Sara will explore what happens when we recognize sexuality as part of the divine experience in human bodies and what it could be like to be seen openly in our experience of it without shame, embarrassment, or fear. She will explore what a new paradigm in human society might look like when sexual energy is reclaimed as the powerful, innocent, and clean force of the sacred that it is.

Sara Cristina Naon has been inquiring into the nature of her own consciousness for 20 years. Through many loving connections, grace and guidance from teachers, she grew and unfolded in her spiritual journey and continues to do so. In 2015 she was given a blessing by her teacher to share from awareness and has been engaged in one-on-one sessions ever since. Most recently her consciousness has drawn her into deep embodiment and to sexual healing for both men and women. She practices as a healer as well as an awakening coach, and is the treasurer and administrative assistant for The Center for Nondual Awareness.




Bruce & Elly

A Frank Conversation About Survival and Surrender

with Bruce Nygren and Elinor Nygren Szapiro, MA, LPC

Fight, flight, and solve are strategies hard-wired into our body-minds, activated automatically when we are faced with physical and psychological difficulties. In extreme or long-lasting painful situations, the One who surrenders is eclipsed by the immediate demand to react, and our hypervigilance can often persevere for quite a long time. How, in these situations, can we come back into contact with our ever-present, unconditioned True Self? After a short, clarifying talk and a guided meditation, we will have the opportunity to dig deep into this issue together, fellow travelers along the road to nowhere.

Bruce and Elly Nygren have been consistent meditators for almost 50 years and in the 1970’s co-created a monastic-like community in B.C. where they had life-altering awakenings to Spirit.

Elly has an M.A. in Buddhist and Western Psychology and was faculty (clinical supervisor and group leader) in The Naropa University Contemplative Psychology Dept for most of the 1980’s. She has been a licensed psychotherapist in private practice for 40 years and became a Non Dual Coach in the Radiant Mind program in 2005. In her psychotherapy practice she helps people heal core issues through an intuitive blend of nonduality and deep somatic based therapies, such as Brainspotting and EMDR.

Bruce is a retired woodworker who founded two successful businesses, along the way designing and building the entire line of listening stations and store displays for the publishing company Sounds True. He has studied deeply in all spiritual traditions and with several teachers, most notably Adyashanti. Looking to the conscious living of Life itself for spiritual revelation, his greatest teacher has always been his heart.

Bruce and Elly offer satsangs and nondual workshops in person and online through their organization, Spacious Presence.


Roberta Pyx Sutherland

Brush with Bliss

with Roberta Pyx Sutherland

Dip a brush into the ink of this moment and the koan of stillness can arrive on paper. “This” becomes a gesture, often called painting. Allow brush to follow breath. To think is superfluous. Forget the self. The materials — ink, brushes, and papers — will be provided.

Roberta Pyx Sutherland, an artist for life, is deeply influenced by Zen art practices and is exploring lineage and mentorship.




Sunday, May 29


Caverly Morgan

Surrendering to Awareness

with Caverly Morgan and Barnaby Willett

Often in spiritual practice there is the encouragement to observe. From that place of observation we attempt to “be with” what arises. When does that intention get colonized by the ego? Who is it that is “being with”? What is it that is “being with”? What shifts in our practice when we surrender what is arising to awareness? What shifts when we recognize ourselves as awareness?

Caverly Morgan is the founding meditation teacher of One House of Peace. Her teachings integrate the original spirit of Zen with a contemporary nondual approach. Caverly has been dedicated to practice since 1995, including eight years as a monk at a silent Zen monastery. She lives in Portland, Oregon and leads meditation workshops, retreats, and online courses. Caverly is also the founder and director of Peace in Schools and created the first accredited high school mindfulness course in the United States. This course is currently offered in five high schools in the Portland area and continues to grow.




Barnaby Willett

High School Mindfulness

with Barnaby Willett and Caverly Morgan

How can we go beyond the basics of mindfulness when working with youth? What if mindfulness was a for-credit discipline in high schools? Learn how Peace in Schools, a Portland nonprofit, launched the nation’s first semester-long mindfulness class — now in five high schools. Hear how students go beyond basic instruction and develop integrated and transformative mindfulness practices. Our teens are learning to live from a place of compassion and unconditional love. We’re finally at a point where the world is ready to see mindfulness awareness practices become an integrated part of public education.

Barnaby Willett is Director of Communications and a mindfulness instructor for Peace in Schools. He has studied in various meditation traditions since 1994. Barnaby has worked with teachers such as Toni Packer, Peter Fenner, and Caverly Morgan. He believes strongly in making mindful awareness practices accessible to everyone.




Sonya Amrita Bibilos

Visioning Circle for the Center for NonDual Awareness

with Sonya Amrita Bibilos

At the end of the retreat, Sonya Amrita will lead a sacred visioning process for the Center for Nondual Awareness. This sacred circle will give participants an opportunity to deeply tune into the essence and potential of the Center and its members in order to gain fresh insight, wisdom, and clarity about the Center’s future and possible offerings. This visioning circle is optional, and we would love to have you join us if you are:

* Feeling connected to the Center, its purpose, mission, and potential.
* You would love to see how the Center could support you more in your work and life.
* You would love to participate and engage more with the Center.

A gifted teacher, energetic healer, and intuitive guide, Sonya Amrita Bibilos experienced a series of life-changing awakenings while working at a Silicon Valley software company, and later while serving as the Program Director for her spiritual teacher, Adyashanti. For over 12 years she has been supporting individuals and couples to awaken and live their awakening through every area of their lives.


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