The Silence of the Heart
On this retreat we will draw attention to the mystery of the heart, Citta. The heart not only as a physical organ, but as a holistic spiritual centre of stillness.
Once the feeling resonance of the heart is activated through meditation, knowing our energies, chanting and bowing, a different recognition of our being can dawn. We can feel into the first 3 fetters of skeptical doubt, self view and attachment to rituals and they may be able to release, helping us to find freedom and depth in our lives.
In this retreat we will use some of the tools offered by the Buddha in alive and creative ways. This can support a rooting and opening in both our bodies and our hearts, to the wholeness and connectedness of our being. The retreat is open to all levels of experience and the ways in which different experiences can support each other.
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 in English. The daily routine consists mostly of sitting and walking meditation and also includes instructions for meditation, an evening talk, a working period, evening chanting and possibly other forms of practice. 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?
Sumedha (Hannah Bagshaw) grew up in the wilds of the Outer Hebrides. Inspired by this and the Forest tradition of Ajahn Chah tradition she is passionate in exploring our interconnection with nature: the different perspective this creates on ourselves, and the care it brings to how we live in the world.
Sumedha graduated in Comparative Religion from Manchester University in 1997, and spent the next twelve years practicing in the Forest tradition, as a novice and then as a nun. She was based at Amaravati and Chithurst monasteries and later Aloka Vihara in California. After disrobing in 2010 she spent a year managing Dharmagiri Hermitage in South Africa with Noon Baldwin and in 2011 they co-founded Ekuthuleni retreat place in France. The emphasis on living simply, close to the wildness of nature, and on cultivating embodied, connected awareness are all important elements in her practice. They link with cultivating a stability and warmth of heart that enable an ongoing exploration and opening to the unknown – a curiosity in keeping practice alive and real and open to all comers, inside and out.
Noon Baldwin is an ex circus artist and street performer who retired from the circus in 2004 to dedicate his life to spiritual practice, living in dhamma centers (France & South Africa) and Amaravati monastery (UK). In 2011, Noon co-created Ekuthuleni rustic retreat place with Sumedha (Hannah) Bagshaw. Ekuthuleni is a back to basics meditation center in the foothills of the french Pyrenees. The emphasis is on meditation and ecological awareness, and bringing these two together.
Noon’s influences are varied, with an interest in all spiritualities: retreats and courses with Jaya Ashmore from Open Dharma since 2008, the Buddhist tradition of Ajahn Chah since 2000, Tibetan Buddhism, sacred chanting, silent walking & movement. He enjoys how the traditional and open spirituality practices meet as one in his heart. Noon’s varied life experience brings a listening with vibrancy, an alive practice he loves to share.
Connecting with curiosity & energy, with a sense of embodying spiritual practice through in depth body grounding meditations are Noon’s fields of exploration. He is transgendered… a two spirit person all in one.
The teacher will be assisted by Anne Patrikainen, one of Nirodha’s lead instructors.
How much does it cost? How can I sign up?
The base price is 255 euros, but it is also possible to pay more or less than this. More information about the price, registration and other details.
Aini Väätti (+358 50 331 8809)
Marianne Kautiala (+358 50 531 8228)