Holistic Dharma: integration of body, heart and mind.

The Buddha taught meditation as part of a path through life that brings ease and leads to freedom. Meditation is an act of compassion that supports clarity, joy and healing; it is a training in which we practice facing the difficult, embracing the beautiful, and letting go of what causes us to suffer. During this retreat, we will draw on practices and teachings that strengthen our capacity to live with awareness and kindness. There will be sitting and walking meditation, dharma talks, small group and one-to-one meetings with a teacher. There will also be optional sessions including speaking and listening in pairs.

Why meditate?

The retreat environment can be an oasis of simplicity in a complex world. Whilst there is a rich variety of styles and techniques within meditation practice, the heart of it all can be understood as a return to simple, open and tender presence. With loving and patient curiosity we can sit upright amidst the world of changing experience and let ourselves be nourished by a simple setting. Step out of a busy world and come join us for this week, as we explore the timeless and profound teachings of the Buddhist traditions.

On this retreat we will practice insight meditation, also known as vipassana. The word vipassana means seeing things just as they are. Instruction in lovingkindness (metta) meditation is also offered. These meditation techniques are over 2500 years old and draw from the Theravada Buddhist tradition. However, taking part in the retreat does not require an adherence to Buddhism or any adaptation of personal faith.

Why attend a retreat? What happens at a retreat?

This retreat is suitable for both beginners and advanced meditators. For beginners, the retreat is a great way to learn the basics of insight meditation and see its effects clearly. For advanced meditators, the retreat offers an excellent opportunity to deepen and clarify one’s practice in the guidance of an experienced teacher.

The retreat is held in English. The days are spent in silence and consist of sitting and walking meditation, dharma talks, work period, small group discussions and individual interviews. Vegetarian breakfast, lunch, and a light dinner are served during the retreat. The venue of the retreat is The Friendships Inn in Kruusila near Salo, about 100 km west of Helsinki, Finland.

Who are the teachers?

The retreat will be taught by Caroline Jones and Paul Burrows. Caroline Jones has been practising meditation since 1989. She started teaching in 2006, and now teaches at Gaia House and internationally. She has also covered periods at Gaia House as resident teacher. Caroline teaches in Finland annually. You may find some of her talks at

Paul Burrows has practised in ashrams, Buddhist monasteries and retreat centres in the UK, India and Nepal, and began leading retreats in the Insight Meditation tradition in 2007. Some of his talks may be downloaded at

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

The base price of the retreat is 195 euros. The retreat cost covers the traveling expenses of the teachers, the rent of the retreat facility, and the food expenses. The teacher and the organizers do not receive any payment for their services; instead, the retreatants may support the teachers and the organizers by donations after the retreat.

The retreat is now fully booked, but you can still sign up for the waiting list. When you sign up for the waiting list, you don’t need to pay the registration fee immediately. You will only need to pay in the event that you are actually offered a place on the retreat; at that time you will be asked to pay the entire retreat fee (195 euros) to confirm your place  on the retreat.

You can sign up by filling in the sign up form and by paying the registration fee 30 euros to Nirodha ry’s account. Nordea Bank IBAN FI60 1248 3000 2130 60 (reference number 1020144). The rest of the retreat fee (165 euros in case of the base price) should be paid by September 15th 2014. In case of cancellations the registration fee is not refundable. If the cancellation takes place before September 15th 2014, the rest of the retreat fee will be returned.

If you are coming from abroad please note that we are not able to provide any documents for visa applications because of limited resources.

We feel that financial situation should not prevent anybody from participating, so we are willing to offer the retreat for a reduced price, if needed. If the base price is too high for you, please contact us at and let us know how much you are able to pay. If you would like to support those in dire financial situation, you can pay more than the base price.

Other practicalities

The retreat starts on Saturday 18th of October. It is possible to arrive to Friendship Inn from 5 p.m. onwards. Supper will be served at 6 p.m. and the program starts at 7.30 p.m. The retreat ends on Saturday 25th of October at the latest at 3 p.m. There is a possibility to stay for an extra night in the Friendships Inn. The retreat must be attended in full. We will send more information about how to get to the retreat place approximately one week before the retreat.

In Friendship Inn there are places for 40 yogis. Accommodation is usually in rooms of 2-4 people. The rooms will be assigned to yogis in the order in which they arrive. As you fill in the application form, please mention if you have special needs regarding accommodation. In Friendship Inn there may be cats and/or dogs, which do not have access to the meditation hall or bedrooms, but might be a problem if you suffer from severe allergy.

During the retreat we offer three simple vegetarian meals a day: breakfast, lunch and a light supper. At breaks there will be tea and instant coffee on offer. Please do mark any food allergies you have on the registration form.

A typical day on the retreat includes 45 minute periods of sitting, standing and walking meditation, and a 1-hour work period, during which the yogis have different tasks cleaning the house, chopping vegetables for meals, etc. During breaks and some walking meditation periods it may be possible to do your own yoga or stretching, or go for a walk. Please bring your own yoga mat, if you need one.
The retreat is a drug-free space, and smoking is possible only in a special area assigned for it. However, we do encourage people not to smoke during the retreat.

The retreat is held in noble silence, which is an important support for the practice. This means we do not talk with each other, read, write, or use mobile phones. On the retreat you only talk with the teachers.

Please bring your own bed-linen or a sleeping bag unless you travel from abroad and bringing these is difficult for you, there is a possibility to rent these from the Friendships Inn. Also bring your own towel, and possible medications you may need. The managers will not be able to bring you items you miss during the retreat.

In sitting meditation, it will be possible to use either a chair, or on a cushion on the floor. There is one set of cushions (zafu and zabuton) for each, and quite a few meditation benches. If you need extra cushions, e.g. to support your knees or hands during meditation, please, bring these with you. If you get easily cold during meditation, it may be good to bring your own blanket.

If you have any questions, you can contact us at
We wish a fruitful retreat to everyone!

Best regards,
Tuulikki Hukka (+358 50 432 9241)