Special Events

Dharma Talk: Why Meditate?

with Shastri Ellen Rook
Thursday, September 6, 6-8 p.m.
We are delighted to continue our Dharma Talk series on the first Thursday of the month! The evening includes meditation, a talk, discussion, and time for visiting. Tea and snacks will be served.
Is meditation for me? Can it help me navigate the ups and downs of life with more joy and ease? Will it bring peace? Join Shastri Ellen Rook on September 6th for a relaxed evening of practice and conversation regarding the question: Why Meditate? The gathering will open with a discussion about the many benefits of meditation in our busy, often chaotic modern lives. Ellen will introduce the Shambhala Buddhist teachings on basic goodness and mindfulness-awareness, as well as provide meditation instruction. There will be ample time for practice, questions, and discussion. 
Shastri Ellen Rook first encountered the Shambhala Buddhist teachings in upstate New York in 1980. She has studied with both Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. For many years, Ellen served as Director of the Shambhala Meditation Center of Albany. She was appointed by Sakyong Mipham to the position of Shastri, or senior teacher, in 2012. Ellen is married with three adult daughters. She recently retired from her position as Director of Application Development for the State of New York. Ellen enjoys gardening, writing poetry, jogging, and flower arranging. She is authorized as a teacher in the Sogetsu ikebana tradition.
Everyone is welcome. 
Suggested donation: $15-20. 
Hosted by Rockland Shambhala.

Yoga & Live Cello

with Taylor Ackerman & Robin Lane
Saturday, September 29, 3-5 p.m.
Join Taylor and Robin for a special yoga class with live cello music! Together, we will enjoy hatha flow yoga with cello accompaniment. Come experience synchronicity of breath, rhythm, and creative posture flows. The practice will end with a deep relaxation to soothing cello sounds. You will leave feeling revitalized and happy. Come experience the beauty of live music during your yoga practice! 
Robin Lane is a classically trained cellist who branches out into jazz, blues, electronic/digital, and more. He uses his music to provoke conscious thought, bringing peace to the mind of the individual, society, and the environment in which we live in. Robin records, engineers, and produces his own music, as well as music for a growing number of musicians in the midcoast area. He serves as the Operations Manager at Midcoast Music Academy. 
Everyone is welcome! 
Suggested donation: $20-30

Dharma Talk: Forgiveness

with Judith Simpson
Thursday, October 4, 6-8 p.m.
We are delighted to continue our Dharma Talk series on the first Thursday of the month. The evening includes meditation, a talk, discussion, and time for visiting. Tea and snacks will be served.
When you hear the word forgiveness, what comes up for you? Have there been times in your life when it has been either easy or difficult to forgive yourself or someone close to you? What does forgiveness feel like in your body? Join Judith Simpson for an open-hearted circle dialogue and practice. The evening will begin with sitting meditation and a guided contemplation on forgiveness and letting go, and then will shift into time for sharing and listening to each other in response to open questions about forgiveness. The circle will be offered with kindness, presence, and heart.
Judith Simpson has been a practicing Buddhist for many years. She hosts the River Sangha at her home in Belfast. Her fascination with Buddhism stems from the research and science around meditation and the brain. Judith has a Masters in Public Administration and completed a long career in adult learning and management for organizations in business, health care, and education. She enhanced her work with studies in sensory awareness, yoga, meditation, and psychotherapy. Judith also completed the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction training, developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of MA Medical Center, and has taught MBSR locally.
Everyone is welcome. 
Suggested donation: $15-20. 
Hosted by Rockland Shambhala.

Third Sunday Sit

with sangha friends
Sundays, October 21, November 18, and December 16 
9 a.m. to noon
We are delighted to offer extended sitting on the third Sunday of the month. This is an opportunity to practice with a group in a relaxed and friendly environment. You can come for as much, or as little, of the morning practice as you'd like. Kindly enter and exit quietly. The morning will include alternating periods of sitting and walking meditation. Everyone is welcome, including beginners and experienced practitioners. All meditation traditions are honored. There is a timekeeper but no instruction.
Everyone is welcome! 
Suggested donation: $5-20. 
For more information or to set up one-on-one meditation instruction, please contact Rachel at [email protected] or 594-1694. 
Hosted by Rockland Shambhala.

Manjushri Unveiled

with Kendra Denny
Wednesday, October 24, 6 p.m.
Earlier this year, local artist and educator Kendra Denny spent fourteen weeks studying Tibetan thangka painting at the Center for Living Buddhist Art in Dharamshala, India. Her mentors and guides included Master Locho, his wife Sarika Singh, and their long-term student Lobsang Tsaten. This traditional style of Buddhist painting is considered an endangered art form, with only a handful of master thangka painters still practicing today. Dharamshala and the surrounding area are home to many thousands of displaced Tibetans including H.H. the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile.
Join Kendra for an evening slide show presentation of her experience in Dharamshala and the unveiling of her completed thangka painting of the Bodhisattva Manjushri.
Everyone is welcome.
Free, with donations gratefully accepted. All proceeds benefit Rockland Refuge Recovery.
Kendra Denny is an artist, teacher, and Buddhist practitioner. In 2015, she launched the Rockland chapter of Refuge Recovery, a peer-led Buddhist recovery group for people working with addiction. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Art Therapy at Lesley University and working part-time at the Farnsworth Art Museum.
Co-sponsored by The Dancing Elephant, Rockland Refuge Recovery, and Rockland Shambhala.

Dharma Talk: Poetics of the Wild

with Cynthia Trone
Thursday, November 1, 6-8 p.m.
We are delighted to continue our Dharma Talk series on the first Thursday of the month. The evening includes meditation, a talk, discussion, and time for visiting. Tea and snacks will be served.
What is the relationship between ancient Buddhist wisdom and modern engagement in the health of the planet and human flourishing? In this evening gathering, Cynthia will share how Buddhist teachings reveal universal truths that may help us understand the potential of human nature, even in light of the disastrous effects of human behavior on the planet. The Buddhist wisdom of mindfulness, compassion, interdependence, and impermanence can guide us as we navigate this unprecedented era of human and environmental suffering. Positive, radical change is urgent and essential, and we need to look inward for answers. Drawing on the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism, through both ancient and modern poetry and literature, Cynthia shares a realistic and gentle view of individual responsibility and compassionate action.  
Cynthia Trone earned her Master’s Degree in Mindfulness Studies from Lesley University in 2017. Her work focuses on the connection of ancient wisdom to modern crises. In 2016, Cynthia travelled to Tibet to better understand the oppression and culture of Tibetan Buddhism, and in 2017, she attended the Dalai Lama’s Kalachakra teachings in Bodhgaya, India. She currently develops and manages youth programs at Georges River Land Trust’s Langlais Sculpture Preserve in Cushing. Cynthia coordinated the Sacred Art Tour’s first visit to Maine in 2018 and looks forward to welcoming the monks of the Drepung Gomang Monastery in Mundgod, India back to midcoast Maine again next year.
Everyone is welcome. 
Suggested donation: $15-20. 
Hosted by Rockland Shambhala.

Chant with Swan Kirtan

with Ashok Nalamalapu & friends
Saturday, November 10
6-7:15 p.m. Chant with Swan Kirtan
7:15-7:30 p.m. Tea Intermission
7:30-8 p.m. Chant with Cy & Melanie Scofield and friends

Swan Kirtan is a devotional chanting group of musicians from Maine. We play a fusion of Eastern and Western music. We offer chants from multiple faiths. Our kirtan is in traditional Indian raaga style.

"What a band. Beautiful Kirtan." - Jai Uttal, Grammy Nominee.

"I really love your CD. I am listening to it all the time in the car. It's really beautiful" - Edit Mello

Sample chants: 


Bios :

Ashok Nalamalapu was born in India and has been a devotee since his childhood. He has been leading multi-faith chants and playing harmonium since 2011, singing in the traditional Indian Raga style. Ashok has been studying with Indian classical musicians and grammy nominee, Jai Uttal. As part of his spiritual path, he has led kirtan at many festivals across the country including Bhakti Fest in California, Lovelight Festival in Maryland and Maine Yoga Fest. Ashok has also led kirtan at colleges, temples in India and the US, and yoga centers such as Kripalu, Ananda Ashram and Integral Yoga Institute. In addition, he has served as a Master of Ceremonies, inspiring the audiences at all the major US kirtan festivals. He is a lead vocal singer at Swan Kirtan band. His debut album, "We are all One" is released recently and is available on cdbaby.com. You can reach him at [email protected]

Cy Scofield is a multi-instrumentalist, yoga teacher, and kirtan leader living in Rockport, Maine. Cy grew up in a musical family in Maine and learned to play many instruments throughout his childhood. Cy recieved his bachelor's degree in music from Brown University, and then went on to study Hatha Yoga at Yasodhara Ashram in British Columbia, Canada. During his time at the Ashram he was introduced to the bhajans and kirtans of Indian devotional music, which he developed a deep love for. He recieved his Hatha Yoga Teacher Certification in 2012 and then moved back to his home area in Maine where he now teaches yoga and leads kirtans with his wife Melanie. 

Melanie Scofield studied music in college, spending two years at The Boston Conservatory studying clarinet and voice, and two years at Berklee College of Music studying percussion and world music. After college she traveled to India for 4 months to study Tabla in Pune with a renowned Tabla teacher Rajeev Devastali. Music has always been part of Melanie's life. Right now she enjoys collaborating with her husband Cy on various music projects, including a Funk band called "Bottomless Funk" where she plays clarinet, percussion, and sings, and also offers kirtan every other month in Rockland where she plays tabla and sings. 

Other musicians will be announced as we get closer to the date.

People of all faiths are welcome. No prior experience is needed. This event is hosted by Soul Cafe. No one is turned away for lack of sufficient funds. Free for children under 12.

Rockland Shambhala Sangha Gathering

with sangha friends
Tuesday, December 11, 6-8 p.m.
Gather with new and old friends for an evening of practice, sharing, and good cheer before the holidays. Instruction will be provided in shamatha meditation, and there will be time for questions, discussion, and visiting. This is an opportunity to connect with sangha friends - and get support for your practice - as we turn the corner into winter.
Everyone is welcome. Donations appreciated.

Winter Solstice Yoga Class

with Rachel Nixon, Yoga Instructor
Thursday, December 20, 5:30-7 p.m.
The Winter Solstice is a time of turning towards the light. It is a time for reflection, renewal, and joy. Join us for a nourishing evening of gentle yoga, meditation, relaxation, and music -- all to beautiful glowing candlelight. 
Everyone is welcome. 
Suggested donation: $15.