Silent Insight Meditation Retreat 25.7.-1.8.2024 in Kreivilä, Finland: James Baraz, Kerstin Deibert & Juha Penttilä

Connecting Mind and Heart

The Mind and the Heart are not separate. We’ll take this week of silence to explore and put into practice various skillful means to let go of unproductive habits of mind. We can then experience insights that heal, uplift and ultimately free us. This results in a clear, quiet mind and a relaxed open heart.

The retreat will consist of silent sitting and walking practice, meditation instructions, interviews with the teachers and dharma talks. The meditation techniques we practice are over 2,500 years old and are mostly based on the Theravada Buddhist tradition. Taking part in the retreat does not, however, require an adherence to Buddhism or any adaptation of personal faith.

Why take part in the retreat? What happens on a retreat?

The retreat is suitable for both beginners and experienced practitioners. Beginners have a chance to become familiar with basic meditation techniques and to see their effects clearly in practice, so a retreat is a good way to begin a meditation practice. For experienced meditators, a retreat is a great opportunity to deepen and clarify their practice under the guidance of qualified teachers.

Teachings are offered mainly in English. The daily routine consists mostly of sitting and walking meditation and also includes instructions for meditation, an evening talk, a working period and a voluntary exercise of mindful movement. The retreat is held in silence except during individual or group interviews with a teacher.

The retreat includes a daily breakfast, lunch and light dinner, all vegan. Participants stay in 2-4 person rooms. The retreat will take place at the Kreivilä course centre, which is located in Matku, near Forssa, on the shore of Lake Matkujärvi.

Who are the teachers?

James Baraz has been a meditation teacher since 1978. He leads retreats, workshops, and classes in the U.S and abroad. He is a co-founder of Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California and the co-author of the book Awakening Joy: Ten Steps to Happiness as well as Awakening Joy for Kids and has led a popular online course by that name since 2003 ( James is also an advisor to One Earth Sangha, a virtual EcoCenter devoted to Buddhist responses to Climate Change. You can listen to dharma talks by James here.

Kerstin Deibert has been practicing meditation for more than 20 years, sitting intensive retreats in the US, Asia and Europe. She is a mentor for mindfulness practitioners and a trained MBSR teacher. A guiding question for her is how to apply the teachings of the Buddha to the global challenges of our times, and she has worked as an activist, conflict mediator and trainer for nonviolence with NGOs and activist groups around the world.

Juha Penttilä has been practicing meditation since 2002. He has spent extended periods of time on retreats and in monasteries in Asia and Europe and is one of the founding members of Nirodha, the Finnish Insight Meditation practice community. Juha completed his Insight Meditation teacher training in 2020. In addition to exploring meditation, Juha’s teaching is influenced by the current climate crisis and engaged perspectives into the Dharma.

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

The base price is 290 euros. It is also possible to pay more or less than this. More information about the price, registration and other details.


Marianne (Nella) Woodbury (registrations)
Havu Pellikka (manager)