Silent Insight Meditation Retreat 26.4.–3.5.2024 in Kruusila, Finland: Yahel Avigur and Juha Penttilä

Liberating wisdom

Insight into emptiness is at the heart of the Buddha Dharma, and the emptiness of self is a central gateway into this wisdom. On this retreat, we will focus on the traditional meditative practices of letting go which will support an experiential understanding of how the self is fabricated and how it can be compassionately loosened, liberated, and recreated differently. 

Through practice, we will become more familiar with the mind’s intuitive tendency to identify with the objects of experience; we habitually conceive of the bodily sensations, thoughts, mind states, emotions and moments of consciousness as either belonging to ourselves or as parts of our selves. In this meditation, we learn to compassionately and joyfully let go of this habitual identification and see all experience as neither self nor belonging to self. We will also complement these explorations with analytical meditation practices from the buddhist tradition.

These meditative approaches will support the deepening of an experiential understanding of the empty, illusory nature of the self and all the aggregates that constitute experience, opening the door to the abundant compassion such understanding may bring.

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 vegetarian. Participants stay in 2-4 person rooms. The retreat will take place at the Friendship Inn, which is located in Kruusila, near Salo, on the shore of beautiful Lake Pernjärvi.

Who are the teachers?

Yahel Avigur is a devoted meditator and Dharma teacher. In 2013, After practicing in Theravada and Insight Meditation traditions, he met the Dharma teacher Rob Burbea and became his student. He was encouraged by Rob to teach the path of Emptiness to its depth; his unique approach to the Jhana practice; and to train in teaching Soulmaking Dharma. Yahel is also trained in the Hakomi approach of assisted self study.

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, but it is also possible to pay more or less than this. Sign up for the retreat and find out more information about the price, registration and other practical details here.


Marianne (Nella) Woodbury, registration,