Retreat with Kate Johnson - 11-11-2023 - IN-PERSON

in-person/hybrid at the Florence Civic Center, 90 Park St, Florence, MA

The Dharma of War and Peace 

with Kate Johnson

Saturday, November 11, 2023; 2:00-4:00pm; followed by light refreshments and time for informal conversation.
This page is for in-person registration only. Click here to register to attend via Zoom.

11/10/23 Update: We learned this afternoon that Kate is unable to travel to MA and will be joining us via Zoom. We will still gather at the Florence Civic Center and watch Kate together on a big screen TV (hybrid of a different sort!).

Suggested donation: $15-$30 registration + teacher donation* (we encourage you to consider giving teacher dana equal to or greater than what you gave for registration)*

If you registered for Kate's offering in February, you do not need to sign up again - please just let us know if you're coming in person or on Zoom. If you're not sure if you signed up in February, feel free to email [email protected] and ask.

BIPOC Practitioners: BIPOC registrants are also invited to a potluck affinity gathering with Kate the night before (11/10). If you're interested in learning more, please email [email protected].


In times of war, when it’s nearly impossible not to cause harm – how can we cause the least harm possible?  

This conversation will explore the complexity of practicing the first precept of not harming – a core commitment on the Buddhist path of liberation – during times of violence and instability.  

Our inquiry will weave in Buddhist teachings on wise view, wise speech, compassionate action, grief and forgiveness, as well as more contemporary spiritual and political perspectives on nonviolence, armed resistance, and transformative justice.  

Attendees will be invited to contemplate what true peace means for them, and will move towards clarifying they might embody peace in their personal practice, in their intimate relationships, and in their interrelationship with all of life.  

This offering will be followed by light refreshments and time for informal conversation.

A note from IWM: 
To read more about Radical Friendship or to buy Kate's book, click here. Kate was scheduled to come to IWM in February and postponed due to illness. In preparation for her original visit, IWM hosted a “Common Read” of Kate’s book Radical Friendship. This was a way for everyone to come together in reading and discussing this transformational book, which takes the Buddha’s teachings about friendship and applies them to our lives, and our care for others and for the world. 

IN-PERSON LOCATION: Florence Civic Center90 Park St, Florence, MA

Chairs available; if you prefer to sit on zabuton/cushion, please bring your own.

Please bring your own covered water bottle.

COVID Protocols (if the protocols change for Nov 11, IWM will inform all registrants):

• Masks optional

• Participants are encouraged to test the day before the offering

• If you have COVID concerns (new symptoms or think you've been exposed), please stay home and join us via Zoom.

• Field Control Trio Plus portable air purifier will be running (H13 HEPA with an ultraviolet light component)

• There are windows we can open to provide fresh air.

See Zoom link below.

Kate Johnson is a meditation teacher, facilitator, writer and mother.  She has practiced Theravada Buddhism in the Western Insight lineage, rooted in the Thai Forest and Burmese Sayadaw traditions, since her early 20’s, and has participated in many multi-month retreats and multi-year teacher trainings since.  Kate became an authorized retreat teacher in 2020 through Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s four-year retreat teacher training, under the leadership of Gina Sharpe, Larry Yang and Lila Kate Wheeler.  Kate began facilitating spiritual and political practice through organizational training and retreats after helping to co-found the Meditation Working Group at Occupy Wall Street in 2011. She later joined the faculty of the MIT’s Presencing Institute, and has spent much of the last decade consulting with leaders and organizations committed to equity, sustainability, and the practice of wise relationship, using awareness-based and embodied practices to support communication, strategy, and relational culture.   Recently, she became the Co-Director of Programs and Partnerships at Buddhist Peace Fellowship.  Kate holds a BFA in Modern Dance from the Alvin Ailey School/Fordham University and MA in Performance Studies from NYU. She is the author of the book Radical Friendship: Seven Ways to Love Yourself and Find Your People in an Unjust World. In her off hours, she can be found exploring Philly with her kid, sipping tea with friends, and looking for all manner of good trouble.

*In keeping with the Buddhist tradition of dana (generosity), the suggested registration amounts for our classes and retreats do not include any payment for the teacher. The teachers are paid entirely out of the students' generosity. Please consider giving a donation to the teacher in order to support their ability to continue to share the dharma. We encourage you to consider teacher dana equal to or greater than the amount you gave for registration. You may give a donation at the time of registration and/or give later donations through our teacher dana link or in-person at the course/retreat. Everyone is welcome to all of our offerings regardless of ability to donate.

You can give online, in-person, or send checks to Insight Western Mass, 116 Pleasant Street, Suite 242, Easthampton, MA 01027. FYI: we check for mail once per week.

Zoom Link
Password: 242. 

Dial in by phone for audio only: Call (646) 558-8656. Meeting ID: 943 156 1684. Password: 242

Or cut and paste this URL into your browser:

Registration - Benefactor

Max Quantity:20

Registration Option $30

Max Quantity:20

Registration Option $23

Max Quantity:20

Registration Option $15

Max Quantity:20

Registration - no one turned away for lack of funds. Please consider giving teacher dana as you are able.

Max Quantity:20

Donate by check

Send checks to: Insight Western Mass, 116 Pleasant Street #242, Easthampton, MA 01027. When sending a check, please specify how much is for registration and/or teacher dana.

Max Quantity:20