in Dark times

Shantigar Community
Spring Meditation Challenge

Thank you for this and the other brief offerings on meditation. They are more helpful than just about anything I’ve encountered in helping me to meditate. Holding space, observing from a yet intimate distance my situation, lifting the agenda and the judgment. Please keep going with these.

—Priscilla Auchincloss, NY

Reading and practicing fall rituals from Tea With Demons. Taking care of my home today. Jean-Claude writes, “Home is the sole guiding agency of the person.... Sensual details, such as those we cultivate in our surroundings at home, are seeds that carry within themselves the whole world.”

Thank you, Jean-Claude.

—Barbara Gelfand, NJ

Thank you to all the other participants in the group for your presence. Thanks also to Jean-Claude, Marissa, Michael, and Josh for the daily words of inspiration. I always check for those emails first thing in the morning and will feel their absence when we are ending the 21-day session.

—Martha, MA

I am so appreciative of the Meditation Challenge, it is helping me to rekindle my practice.

Katharine, MA

I am very pleased with the Meditation Challenge. I really found out I have to put it in my morning routine, not to feel 'guilty' the rest of the day. I enjoyed getting your inspiring and practical e-mails every day.

—Olga, The Netherlands

Jean-Claude, last summer you posted a video of the Vertical Gesture—your practice of standing in place with a hand above your head and gradually bringing it down to the belly, a way of grounding yourself and becoming aware of your body in the present moment. You mentioned it could be helpful before going on stage. On that very day, I was gearing up for a dress rehearsal of a play I was doing and I was beating myself up. There was a long monologue that just wasn't where I wanted it to be, and those typical actor feelings of insecurity and self-doubt. Well, I glommed right on to using your Vertical Gesture and continued using it before each of the next 32 performances. I entered the present moment accepting who and where I was without judgment, and then invited the character that I was playing to enter in. Voila—once I was out of the way, things went so much better. The Vertical Gesture reminds me of the usefulness of having a practice. Thanks for the Vertical Gesture and for the 21-day Meditation Challenge!

—Don Paul, NY

Many thanks for the collective energy.

—Connie, NY

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Opportunity in Dark Times

Shantigar Community
Spring Meditation Challenge

starts Wednesday, April 1, 2020



Seasoned Meditator or Beginner—commit to 21 days sitting practice


starts Wednesday, April 1, 2020 @ 8:00 PM EST group phone call


Check in, listen, and encourage like-minded friends


  • 3 phone calls with guided meditation and dharma talk (April 1, 12, and 21)

  • 21 daily inspirational emails

  • sharing on Shantigar's FB Group: Clearing the Path

Register by clicking this button:

Excerpt Meditation Call

Opportunity in Dark Times


Paradoxically, thanks to the virus,

our world's spiritual crisis,

we have time and opportunity to retreat,

to live more at home,

to deepen and become more what we truly are—meditating artists.

We can listen like Milarepa to the quality of our own silence.


From that deep place,

we create in a more spontaneous way

and each in our unique language

can share with like-minded friends

our intimate take on the eternal questions:

Where do I and my family come from?

What moves me now?

Where can I, and we, go from here?



April 1,

tax deductible contribution: $36 or give what you can


Shantigar volunteer coaches: Jean-Claude van Itallie, Michael  Schreiber, Marisa Viola, and Josh Adler.

(413) 339-4332

63 Davenport Rd, Rowe, MA 01367, USA

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