Silent Insight Meditation Retreat 12.–18.9.2022 in Kruusila, Finland: Kirsten Kratz and Sari Markkanen

“Not-Self” and the Dance of “Selves”

The Buddhist teachings on not-self can be easily misunderstood. They invite us to explore how self is constructed. Looking closer we discover that ‘self’ is not per se the problem. The Dharma unveils unexamined ways we perceive and construct self and then believe in these fabrications with their accompanying limiting narratives and patterns.

We will enquire into how we create self, other, world; seeing their creation as a spectrum from the dense to ever more refined and subtle levels and aim to cultivate a liberating pliability that can celebrate the unique, personal expressions of self as well as its emptiness.

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?

This retreat is not suitable for beginners, some previous retreat experience or basic understanding and experience of Mindfulness/Insight Meditation practices is required.

Teachings are offered in English. The daily routine consists mostly of sitting and walking meditation and also includes instructions for meditation, an evening talk, and a working period. 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?

Kirsten Kratz has practised Buddhist meditation in Asia and the West since 1993. She started teaching in 2006 and since 2015 she has been ‘teacher in residence’ supporting those on personal retreat in Gaia House. Her love and understanding of Dharma has been strongly influenced by, among others, the teachings of her friend and teacher colleague, Rob Burbea. One of her particular passions is exploring how wisdom teachings can foster appropriate responses to the challenges of our time, and Kirsten sees her involvement in activism as an important expression of her practice. Kirsten is co-initiator of the “Dharma Action Network for Climate Engagement” (DANCE) and supporting teacher of Freely Given Retreats. Kirsten led the trekking retreats in 2015, 2017 and 2019 and fell in love with the wilderness of Lapland already the first time. Talks by Kirsten can be found here.

Sari Markkanen has practiced meditation on long retreats in Asia and Europe, especially in Gaia House, in the UK. Sari has completed Gaia House’s Community Dharma Leader programme and became an Insight meditation teacher under the guidance of Rob Burbea, Martine Batchelor and Caroline Jones. Previously, Sari has taught mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), and mindfulness-based self compassion (MSC) practices and is a pioneer in teaching mindfulness practice to children. She has written two books related to children’s minfulness and compassion practices. Nowadays, Sari is a full-time Dharma teacher.

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

The base price is 250 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.


Ulla Sillanpää (+358 40 536 4181), registration

Suvi Rinkineva (+358 50 5955628), manager