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HomeTassajaraGuest SeasonRetreats Mindful Living: Livelihood, Visioning, Leadership, Well-being

Finding Equanimity in a Difficult Profession: A Retreat for Lawyers

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Zenki Mary Mocine
with Zenki Mary Mocine
May 27 - May 31, 2015 (Wednesday-Sunday)

Learn how to find equanimity, even joy, in the practice of law and to skillfully handle the anger and other strong emotions that can arise.

The practice of law is intense and intimate, often evoking strong emotion and attachment to opinions. We ignore those emotions or attachments at our peril. Law practice can bring satisfaction, even delight, and be of great use, when we practice with awareness. Mindful awareness of our inner experience is key to being useful to the clients we serve and to finding true balance in our practice lives. In this workshop we explore this approach, look at our judging mind, and work with the issue of substance abuse. The retreat schedule includes plenty of time for relaxation, meditation, and individual meetings with the teacher.

In this retreat we usually meditate a few times during the day. Instruction is offered for beginners. We have a lecture and discussion most days. The content grows out of your experience and questions arising out of your law practice. It can be intense as this is a chance to really work with issues that we rarely get to due to the pressures in the profession to be “the expert who knows.” Most afternoons we are led in gentle mindful stretching/movement by Julia TenEyck, a long-time yoga student and student of mindful movement. Most afternoons are free with time to hike, have a massage, read, luxuriate at the baths and/or swim. One of the days you will be given a choice to go on a silent hike or to work in the famed Tassajara kitchen. The afternoon will be entirely open. That evening we will meet to discuss what we learned that day. Other evenings, you are free to return to the baths, simply hang out, go to a discussion with a senior Tassajara student in the office, join student meditation in the zendo or attend a lecture if one is available.

4 hours MCLE: 2 ethics, 1 elimination of bias and 1 substance abuse. An MCLE retreat for lawyers and law professionals

Retreat fee: $340 ($289/Member)

Please note that the retreat fee does not include accommodations. Retreats begin late afternoon on the indicated start date and end in the morning on the indicated end date. Visit the Rooms & Rates section and determine your preferred accommodations before making your reservations request online.


Tim Lannen, criminal defense attorney from Los Angeles:

“I have attended the meditation retreat for lawyers at Tassajara on five occasions, both alone and with my girlfriend who is not a lawyer. Mary Mocine’s program is structured to provide instruction and insight into dealing with stress in my criminal defense practice, as well as developing techniques for bringing a mindfulness practice to relationships with clients. Plenty of time is allowed for enjoying the beauty of Tassajara and spending time with my partner in the baths and pool, on the hiking trails, in the zendo, and of course, in the dining room.”


Linda Joy Kattwinkle, transaction attorney, San Francisco:

I look forward to the Lawyers’ Retreat as my annual respite from my law practice, as well as my anchor for my law practice. The retreat is both an escape from the stress of the profession and a deep and insightful inquiry into the emotional and spiritual experiences that allow me to approach my work with integrity and compassion. Sharing such inquiry with colleagues, in the exquisite and quiet space of Tassajara, is a pure joy.


Farley Tolpen, former personal injury attorney, San Francisco:

Having attended the course run by Mary for 4 years, I always found it to be open, confidential, professional, relaxing and a marvelous learning experience. Mary creates an environment that allows one not to worry about how one looks, feels or thinks and to allow one to relax into awareness and spend time with one's self in a way that is non-threatening and lovely. Combine this with the surroundings of beauty and great food and it makes for an experience that I will always treasure. I would highly recommend the program with Mary especially for those with high stress jobs and lives.

Julia TenEyck, family and juvenile law attorney in San Francisco and east bay:

I have participated in Mary Mocine's Lawyers’ Retreat for the past seven years. I have come to look forward to this annual retreat, in the peaceful beauty of Tassajara, as a nourishing break from my very stressful solo family and juvenile law practice, as well as a time to gain deeper insights and tools for bringing mindfulness, awareness, kindness and uprightness to my daily professional challenges. Mary provides a wise, safe and skillful container and arena in which participants can let down their guard and explore together the question of how to balance and integrate our spiritual and legal practices.



Related Bio(s):

Zenki Mary Mocine

Mary Mocine is a Zen priest who trained at San Francisco Zen Center and was ordained in 1994. She received dharma transmission from Sojun Mel Weitsman in 2005. Mary practiced law for 18 years and now leads a dharma group for lawyers.