“A Playful Heart”, Dharma Gathering 27.6.-2.7.2017 in Kruusila, Finland

Why join?

Spiritual practice can be a playful and creative way to engage with others and the world. As we explore how to relate and respond wisely to the changing situations of our lives, it helps to stay playful. Playfulness supports our learning and our ability to innovate, interact and connect with others and ourselves – with humour and compassion.

You are warmly invited to come and play as we learn to wake up together!

Silent retreats are not for everybody; we hope this gathering is. We are open to practitioners of all ages and levels of experience; from first timers to the fully enlightened, and we welcome families too. This event can be a time for bringing together our diversity of experience into a time of connection, and the insights of our own lives into the melting pot of real life interactivity.

On this gathering we will practice Insight meditation, also known as vipassana. The word vipassana means seeing things just as they are. This meditation practice is over 2500 years old and draws from the Theravada Buddhist tradition. However, taking part in the gathering does not require an adherence to Buddhism or any adaptation of personal faith.

What happens in the Dharma Gathering? How about children?

The program includes periods of meditation, teachings, discussions on dharma-related topics and different activities supporting our practice, as well as time for being together more freely, enjoying the summer and going to sauna. Part of the day will be spent in silence, part talking. Teachings are in English; if needed, it is possible to arrange Finnish-speaking discussion groups and translation to Finnish.

Also families are welcome to the Dharma Gathering. For children, we offer both organized program and free playing time under the supervision of adults for part of the day; this gives parents an opportunity to join other activities. We welcome children of various ages, but expect that they can take care of dressing and going to the loo themselves, and are able to listen to and obey instructions and to function in a group. It is also possible to come to the gathering with smaller children, but parents are responsible for organizing their care. There is no space for more children at the moment; if you wish to come with children, we can add you to waiting list (fill in the application form, but do not pay the registration fee). For adults there is still space.

We will offer three vegetarian meals a day: breakfast, lunch and a light dinner, plus some snacks for children. Accommodation is mainly in shared rooms of 2-4 people. The retreat Venue is Friendship Inn in Kruusila, near Salo, at the shore of lake Pernjärvi.

Who are the teachers?

The gathering is taught by Paul Burrows, who has visited Finland many times, accompanied by Finnish assistant teachers Sampo Koistinen and Juha Penttilä.

Paul Burrows is a student in the Insight Meditation tradition. He trained as a teacher with Christina Feldman, co-founder of Gaia House retreat centre and he now leads courses internationally. His exploring has led him through the monasteries and retreat centres of the Kathmandu Valley, India and the UK and through periods of intensive retreat practice in the Theravada and Tibetan Buddhist traditions. He is now making a home in North London. AwakeningCity.com. Dharma talks by Paul.

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

The base price of the Dharma Gathering is 180€ for adults, and 120€ or 80€ for children. It is also possible to pay less or more than the base price. You can reserve a place by filling in the application form and paying the registration fee. Details about the price, registration and other practicalities.

Tuulikki Hukka (+358 50 432 9241)
Anna Backholm (+ 358 40 5362 946)