Living in Northern CA for the last 20 years I have been blessed to often visit Spirit Rock Meditation Center. Spirit Rock is dedicated the practice of mindful awareness and provides silent meditation retreats, as well as classes, trainings, and Dharma study opportunities for both beginners and experienced students.
One of my favorite offerings at Spirit Rock is the Monday night Dharma Talks. I head over to Woodacre, CA at least a few times a year to listen to Jack Kornfield (and friends) give these talks. For over 30 years, a group has been gathering there and sharing the practices of awareness and compassion. It is amazing to mediate with a large group. If you are traveling to northern CA, Spirit Rock is about a half hour from San Francisco and a must-see for mindful visitors.
I have recently moved to Truckee, and it is not as easy for me to drive to Spirit Rock, but (hooray!) the Monday night Dharma Talks can now be access via the web
For a few hours you can put your life on hold and meditate via live stream
Spirit Rock is visited by an estimated 40,000 peace-seekers every year and has become one of the most influential and well-attended meditation centers in the world. The teachings of the Buddha (Dharma) and the practices of Insight Meditation (Vipassana) and loving-kindness meditation (metta) are at the heart of the programs offered at Spirit Rock
If you need an escape from everyday life where you can quiet the mind and open your heart, you can do it virtually. Check out the live webcasts, they are held every Monday night from 7:15 - 9:15pm PDT. "Spirit Rock Live: Monday Nights with Jack Kornfield and Friends." The cost of the live stream a sliding scale starting at $10. There are also many free resources on the Spirit Rock website.