Online retreat June 7–12 2020, with Zohar Lavie and Nathan Glyde

Coming to Life – Waking up and getting intimate with existence

On this retreat we will creatively explore the practices of calm abiding and insight. Calmness stabilises the journey to the heart of life; allowing us to open to the full diversity of our existence, while also coming closer to all of life. From here we can come away from habits and learned tendencies as we adjust our way of relating to life; bringing insights alive; releasing tension; and opening to freedom.

Many elements in today’s global situation – including climate chaos and now the coronavirus – can feel very challenging. And yet they are presenting us with a unique opportunity to pause, reflect and connect to resources that are available to us.

The meditation techniques we practice are over 2,500 years old and are mostly based on the Theravada Buddhist tradition. Taking part in this online offering does not, however, require an adherence to Buddhism or any adaptation of personal faith.

Why take part in an online retreat? What happens on a retreat?

The current conditions we are living in open up challenges as well as possibilities. We can turn to practice as an immediate resource, and as an opportunity to deepen our practice and understanding.

A home based retreat offers a chance to nourish our practice through support from teachers as well as the community of other practitioners. We will offer a daily structure of teachings, meditations and opportunities to connect in small groups and one to ones with the teachers.

We are aware that the conditions vary between us in terms of how much available time we have, whether we can immerse in silence or are living with others, and our responsibility towards those around us. We would like this retreat to support the whole range of conditions that participants find themselves in.

We will offer a full schedule, so that those who wish and are able to can engage in continuity of practice. This is balanced with flexibility, so that those who have responsibilities to others are able to do less. There are 3 periods in the day which we ask that you attend, they are at 9:30–10:30, 15:30–16:15 and 19:30–20:30. These are the times when we will offer meditation instructions, guided meditations and Dharma talks.

The retreat schedule is below – please remember this is offered as a support to your practice. There is no pressure to attend more than the ”essential” components, in bold, if that is not possible for you. Times are Finnish summer time (UTC + 3).

6:30 Personal mindful movement or exercise
7:15 Sitting meditation
8:00 Breakfast

9:30 Meditation with instructions
10:30 Walking meditation / Optional Q&A
11:00 Walking meditation continued
11:30 Sitting meditation
12:15 Walking meditation / Group interviews
13:00 Lunch

15:30 Guided meditation
16:15 Walking meditation / Group interviews
17:00 Sitting meditation
17:30 Walking meditation
18:00 Supper

19:30 Meditation and Dharma talk
20:30 Walking meditation
21:00 Sitting meditation
21:30 Rest or further practice

Here are some ideas how to prepare for a home based online retreat.

Who are the teachers?

ZOHAR LAVIE has been practising meditation in different traditions since 1995. This journey has taken her from the meditation cushion into exploring further ways of expressing truth and love and in 2004 she co-founded SanghaSeva. She now spends most of her time facilitating retreats that offer service as a spiritual path around the world. Since 2006 she has been teaching on silent retreats and Dharma gatherings in India, Europe and Israel.

NATHAN GLYDE began meditating in 1997, and teaching retreats in 2007. From continued exploration grew a deep love for meditation’s alive stillness and creative silence. Feeling the potential for all of life to play a part in awakening opened an interest to cultivate attentiveness in every experience. In 2004 this led to co-founding SanghaSeva to offer retreats combining meditation with engaged action. Nathan’s articles and complete teaching schedule can be viewed at

Price and donations

The base price for the online retreat is 30 euros. This covers the practical expenses of the retreat. 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 help sponsor someone who does not have the financial means to pay the full price, you are welcome to pay more than the base price.

The teachers and organizers do not receive any payment for their services but offer them freely so that as many as possible have the chance to benefit from the teachings regardless of financial situation. This principle of generosity is very central to the teachings of the Buddha and has made it possible to continue the practice of meditation still 2,500 years after his life. The teachers live primarily off of donations. Retreat participants may support the teachers and organizers by donations at the end of the retreat.

Registration and cancellation policy

You can sign up for the retreat by filling in the registration form and paying the retreat fee. You will get a confirmation email after we have received the form and the retreat fee. Pay the full retreat fee (30 euros) to the following bank account:

Account number: FI84 4108 0010 3769 97
Bank name: Oma Säästöpankki
Bank address: Valtakatu 32, 53100 LAPPEENRANTA, Finland
Swift code: ITELFIHH
Name of bank account holder: Nirodha ry
Address of the account holder: Vetehisenkuja 3, 00530 Helsinki
Type of account: business account
Reference number: 3020061 (It is important to use this reference number in the payment!)

If you pay from an account that is in someone else’s name, please tell that in the registration form.

Alternatively, you can pay via PayPal. Make the payment to Please include the reference number above in the “note” field.

PLEASE NOTE. The registration form was designed for a residential retreat. You do not have to answer the questions regarding your diet and emergency contact person, and we do not expect people to completely refrain from email, phone and internet usage on the online retreat. Please fill in all the other fields, however.

In case of cancellation, please inform us as soon as possible. Unfortunately we cannot refund the retreat fee.

If you have anything to ask, please contact us at We wish everyone a rewarding and meaningful online retreat!


Havu Pellikka (+358 50 499 1131)
Ulla Sillanpää – registration (+358 40 536 4181)