Insight meditation retreat 16.­-24.7.2016 in Kruusila, Finland

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 access naturally relaxed open hearts and clear quiet minds. It is from these lovely states that insights into how we’ve become unnecessarily distressed will naturally arise. These are the insights that heal us, uplift us and ultimately free us.

Why meditate?

Insight meditation is a simple direct practice of the moment-­to-­moment careful attention to our mind/body process with a relaxed and interested attitude. By staying present we learn to meet ourselves and life from a place of greater connectedness and balance. As our practice unfolds, a clear seeing and understanding manifests which supports the way of liberation. Loving­kindness meditation will be part of the retreat as it develops the heart’s capacity to open and relate to experiences with greater kindness and compassion.

The meditation practices offered on this retreat 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, standing and walking meditation, dharma talks, work period, small group discussions and individual interviews. The venue of the retreat is The Friendship Inn in Kruusila near Salo, about 100 km west of Helsinki, Finland.

Who is the teacher?

James Baraz has been a meditation teacher since 1978. He is creator and teacher of the Awakening Joy course (since 2003). He leads retreats, workshops and classes in U.S and abroad.

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

The base price of the retreat will be 200­-220 euros. The exact price will be confirmed later this spring. The retreat cost covers the traveling expenses of the teacher, the rent of the retreat facility, and the food expenses. The teachers 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 apply for the waiting list by filling in the sign up form. Do not pay the registration fee if you are applying for the waiting list.

For those already sign up, the registration fee is 30 euros and should be paid to Nirodha’s account:

Bank name: S-Bank
City where bank located: Helsinki
Swift code: SBANFIHH
Name of bank account holder: Nirodha ry
Address: Vetehisenkuja 3, 00530 Helsinki
Account number: FI83 3636 3010 8888 24
Reference number: 7201611

The rest of the retreat fee (170­-190 euros) should be paid by June 10th to the same account with the same reference number. In case of cancellations the registration fee is not refundable. If the cancellation takes place before June 10th, the rest of the retreat fee will be returned. If you pay from an account which is not your own, please write a message to, telling the name of the person owning the account, the name of the person participating on the retreat, and the date of the transaction.

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 16th of July. It is possible to arrive to Friendship Inn from 5 p.m. onwards. Supper will be served 6 p.m. and the program starts at 7.30 p.m. The retreat ends on Sunday 24th of July at the latest at 3 p.m. 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. We well organize ride-sharing for those who need it.

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.

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. In cases of emergency during the retreat, the people close to you are advised to contact Veikko Hari (+358 404 144 123).

Please bring your own bed­-linen or a sleeping bag, unless you travel from abroad and bringing these is difficult for you. 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

May you have a fruitful retreat!

Markku Ilo (+358 40 413 6833)
Veikko Hari (+358 404 144 123)