• November 19, 2022
  • 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Online (Check-In Begins at 9:45 a.m. PST)
Add to Calendar 11/19/2022 10:00 am 11/19/2022 5:00 pm America/Los_Angeles Navigating Through Your Dark Night of the Soul Join Marisa Handler and Donald Rothberg for a supportive experiential workshop exploring the dark night of the soul phenomenon as it manifests both personally and collectively. Online (Check-In Begins at 9:45 a.m. PST) false MM/DD/YYYY


Workshop start time is in PST. Find the start time in your timezone.

Regular Registration: $100–$180
Member Registration: $80–$144
(Learn how to become a Member)

Important Event Information 

  • This workshop will be live online.
  • Portions of this workshop will be recorded, and limited access to a recording will be made available to those who attend the live event.

If you need to request accessibility accommodations, please email publicprograms@ciis.edu at least one week prior to the event. For more information, explore our Accessibility web page.

At some point in many of our lives, we pass through a “dark night of the soul,” or an extended encounter with the darkness. In this time, it may feel as though we have utterly lost ourselves, and our lives have been drained of joy and hope. This may manifest as depression, anxiety, or a breakdown affecting our ability to function in the world and baffling ourselves as well as our loved ones. In the Western world, we have little framework for these kinds of experiences, and they are often hidden and regarded with shame.  
But in many other cultures, dark times are viewed as key to the evolution of an individual’s psyche. When we are open to the gifts dark times can bring, these experiences can be times of powerful transformation and purification, leaving us changed for the better.  

Join Marisa Handler and Donald Rothberg for a supportive experiential workshop exploring the dark night of the soul phenomenon as it manifests both personally and collectively. Marisa and Donald offer a map of this terrain, and of the dark night as a component of the awakening process. They share perspectives and practices to help participants move through these challenging periods and be open to greater perspectives.  

In this workshop participants understand the role such experiences play in the awakening process and discover an array of tools for navigating through these times. This workshop offers periods of both silent and guided meditation, reflective writing, as well as small and large group sharing.    

We live in challenging times. Many are going through individual periods of darkness, in addition to sensing a collective dark night. When we are prepared as individuals to navigate these experiences, we can then provide space for others to grow and heal, ultimately supporting us all passing through this portal.

Marisa Handler color portrait made into a circle
Marisa Handler
—writer, singer-songwriter, teacher, and coach—is the author of the memoir Loyal to the Sky, which won a Nautilus Gold Award for world-changing books. She has practiced Insight Meditation in retreats and daily life since 2002, including teaching since 2012, and is a facilitator of The Work of Byron Katie. She also has long-term practices in Authentic Movement, Somatic Experiencing, and Ecstatic Dance. Marisa has taught widely on creativity, transformation, and meditation, including at Esalen, Stanford, Spirit Rock, and the California Institute for Integral Studies. She teaches writing as a tool for deepening our experience of awakening and has published on her own multi-year journey through the Dark Night. Marisa earned her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and her essays, fiction, and poetry have appeared in numerous publications. She works one-on-one with clients as a Creative and Life Coach. Learn more at Marisa’s website.

Donald Rothberg color portrait made into a circle
Donald Rothberg
, PhD, a member of the Teachers Council at Spirit Rock in West Marin, and a teacher at the East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland, teaches retreats and groups on concentration and insight meditation practice, lovingkindness practice, transforming the judgmental mind, mindful communication, working skillfully with conflict, and socially engaged Buddhism. He has practiced insight meditation since 1976, and has also received training in Tibetan Dzogchen, body-based psychotherapy, and trauma work. He has helped guide many six-month to two-year training programs in socially engaged spirituality, both Buddhist-based and interfaith, and is the author of The Engaged Spiritual Life: A Buddhist Approach to Transforming Ourselves and the World, and the co-editor of Ken Wilber in Dialogue. Learn more at Donald’s website 

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