Shastri Christopher St. John and Eunice St. John will lead a full-day meditation retreat, or Nyinthun, for the community at The Dancing Elephant, 16 School St., Sunday, Oct. 23, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The theme for the day is “Practicing Peace in Times of Chaos.” The program is by donation and open to the public. No previous meditation experience is required. Preregistration is requested.

The Nyinthun is an opportunity to practice, get to know one's mind and heart, and cultivate gratitude and gentleness. The environment is relaxed, friendly and supportive. The St. Johns will open the program at 9:30 a.m. with instruction on sitting meditation. The day will include periods of group sitting and walking, shamatha yoga and individual meditation instruction. There will be a lunch break at midday, and the program will close with a dharma talk on cultivating peace in challenging times. There is a half-day option for those who are not able to attend the whole day.

The St. Johns have been practicing, studying and teaching in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition since 1982. Eunice served as director of the Brunswick-Portland Shambhala Center from 2000 to 2005. Christopher was the resident director of shambhala training at the Brunswick-Portland Shambhala Center from 1995 to 2016. In his current role as a Shastri, or senior teacher in the Shambhala community, he oversees practice and education, including training teachers and guides within the Brunswick-Portland Shambhala Center.

The Nyinthun is open to everyone, from beginners to experienced practitioners in any tradition. The suggested donation is $35 to $75, with an option to pay what one can. For a full program description, visit To preregister or for questions, email or call 594-1694.