Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County presents a series of monthly retreats on compassion where each retreat is dedicated to the teachings of a specific faith tradition. The opening retreat, held on March 10, 2019 at San Damiano Franciscan Retreat Center in Danville, California, was focused on the teachings of Buddhism. M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi® School of Islamic Sufism® will present a full-day retreat on Islam and Sufism on June 2, 2019. During this opening retreat all attendees participated in a collective group discussion with topics on meditation, prayer, art, and community relations. Representatives from Sufism, Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, and Catholicism were in participation. In addition to the discussion, the group gathered in the garden to plant flower seeds, a teaching that represents planting and nurturing the seed of compassion and hope. As Hazrat Salaheddin Ali Nader Angha states in the book The Secret Word, "Hope is planted seed in fertile ground that bears fruit. In the land of my heart the plant of despair never grows."