Daylong retreats with James Baraz on July 25 – 26, 2015

Nirodha will organize two daylong insight (vipassana) meditation retreats with James Baraz on July 25 and July 26, 2015 in Helsinki, Finland. Each retreat lasts from 10 AM to 6 PM. It is possible to sign up for one or two days. The retreats are held in English.

Saturday, July 25: The Power of Intention

Intention is a key principle in dharma practice. It is the basis of all karma. In each moment we sow the seeds of suffering or happiness based on our intentions. The second link in the Eight-Fold Path is sometimes referred to “Wise Intention”, meaning our spiritual
aspiration or vision of what we want to create in our lives. The clearer we are about our aspiration to awaken, the more we fuel the process with heartfelt motivation. As a Tibetan wisdom teaching says, “Everything rests on the tip of one’s motivation.”

How can we deepen the connection to our highest aspiration and apply our understanding of the power of intention into our daily lives?

This daylong suited for beginners and experienced students will include meditation instructions, periods of silent sitting and walking meditation, and talks on the theme of the day. There will also be an opportunity to discuss your meditation practice with the teacher both in group and individual interviews. In addition, individual interviews will be offered by Jane Baraz.

Sunday, July 26: Equanimity: Finding Balance in Our Practice

Equanimity or Upekkha is a highly valued quality in Buddhist teachings. It is one of the Four Divine Abodes (along with loving-kindness, compassion and joy), one of the Seven Factors of Enlightenment, one of the Ten Paramitas. When highly developed it is the precursor to the experience of awakening. But what is equanimity? How can we cultivate it in our meditation practice? Even more how can we access it in our daily life, especially in times like these with so much uncertainty, fear and sadness over the suffering in the world?

Our theme for this daylong, which will include silent periods of sitting and walking, will be on developing equanimity in our formal practice. In addition, we will explore various aspects of equanimity that can be pragmatically applied to our life off the cushion. For new
and experienced practitioners, including instructions, dharma talks, group and individual interviews. In addition, individual interviews will be offered by Jane Baraz.

Who is teaching?

The main teacher is James Baraz. He has been teaching meditation since 1978 and the popular online Awakening Joy course since 2003. He is a founding teacher of Spirit Rock Meditation Center where, in addition to leading retreats, he created the Community Dharma Leader program and the Kalyana Mitta (Spiritual Friends) Network and is the teacher-advisor to the Spirit Rock Family and Teen program. James is co-author of the book Awakening Joy, based on his course. He lives in California with his wife, Jane.

Jane Baraz offers private interviews during the retreats. She has been meditating since 1976 and teaches Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center. She also teaches Awakening Joy workshops with her husband, James, both locally and internationally. In addition, she teaches Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer’s Mindful Self-Compassion. Jane loves supporting people to make wiser choices and live happier lives. She enjoys teaching people to be kinder to themselves, knowing that when we are more compassionate with ourselves, we naturally extend that attitude toward others. She encourages people to change their internal dialogue from “Am I good enough?” to “What’s good for me?”

Where’s the retreat venue? What to bring?

The venue for the two daylongs is Joogakoulu Shanti, Runeberginkatu 43, 00100 Helsinki, 4th floor. See here for a map. We will send an email reminder to the participants about a week before the retreat. Please note that we are not able to arrange accommodation for those who’d like to take part in both daylongs.

You can bring your own lunch and there are restaurants near by. Tea and instant coffee will be offered. It is possible to sit on the floor or on a chair. Nirodha will provide some meditation mats, cushions and benches to the participants. We’ll let you know about a week before the retreat if there are not enough mats and cushions for everyone, so you’ll know if you need to bring your own.

How much does it cost? How can I sign up?

The retreat fee is 20 euros for one day and 40 euros for both days. The fee helps us to cover the rent of the retreat venue and a part of the travel expenses of the teacher. The teacher won’t receive any payment for his work, but there will be an opportunity to give a donation to the teacher after the retreat.

You can sign up by paying the retreat fee to Nirodha’s account IBAN FI6012483000213060, BIC NDEAFIHH, reference number 720157, and filling out the registration form. In case of cancellations, the retreat fee is not refundable.

We feel that financial situation should not prevent anybody from participating, so we are willing to offer the daylongs for a reduced price, if needed. If the retreat fee is too high for you, please contact us at ilmo@nirodha.fi and let us know how much you are able to pay.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at ilmo@nirodha.fi.

With warm regards,
Helena Creutz (+358 40 513 1442)