Finding Refuge and Connection – the joys of listening deeply in ourselves and with others
Connection is the mysterious warm current holding us beings together like a nourishing skin. Sometimes this wondrous source of joy and support can manifest in ways beyond the usual social habits. Anchoring us into our lives by helping us find authenticity in ourselves, in our relationships, belonging and home in this world, some magic can shine through in what we share with others. In speaking and in silence, with the trees and raindrops the whispers of the wind. Let us make time to listen.
So many of us in covid times find ourselves artificially isolated and alone, or over intensely living close to others…both of which can bring challenges. In these situations and, as the Buddha saw, always in life, it is enriching and freeing to start to notice our own listening heart – to find refuge within, and to find support and authentic connection in the many myriad of ways that are in reality available to us.
In this retreat we will explore our inner connectedness through intentionally coming back to a sense of gently listening inside – in our body, with it’s rootedness in nature, and in our heart-mind – noticing the space and gentleness of awareness. Bringing these together we can explore what it is to find a quietness, listening and a home in our own being. We can also discover the richness of our connection with nature, with the earth and other beings. From our path of deep listening we can taste into the web of mutual connection – our capacity to respond in the world and also to know that we are held.
There will be several guided meditation sessions a day, teachings, opportunities for questions as well as group meetings and the possibilities for one to one meetings as needed. See the timetable example shown here?
The teachings and meditation techniques we practice are mostly based on the Theravada Buddhist tradition and are over 2,500 years old. Taking part in the retreat does not, however, require an adherence to Buddhism or any adaptation of personal faith. Retreats with Sumedha and Noon are always LQBTQI friendly.
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 format of the retreat
The retreat will take place online, using Zoom as the platform.
We will start on Thursday the 1st of April, with an Opening session 7:15-9:00pm Finnish time.
The schedule from Friday to Sunday (2nd to 4th April) will be as follows. Guided sessions are in bold.
7–7.45am Individual movement practice
7.45–8.30 Sitting meditation
8.30 Breakfast break
9.45–10.30 Peer-led silent meditation
10.30–11 Walking meditation
11.00 Guided meditation / Instructions
12.00–12.30 Walking meditation (or group meetings)
12.30 Lunch break
14.30–15.15 Peer-led silent meditation
15.15–16 Walking meditation
16.00 Dharma talk
17.30 Dinner break
18.45–19.30 Peer-led silent meditation
19.30–20.15 Walking meditation
20.15 Meditation and chanting
On Monday 5th of April, the schedule is the same until breakfast and the retreat ends with a closing session at 10:00-13:00.
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.
How much does it cost? How can I sign up?
The base price of the retreat is 30€. You may sign up by paying the registration fee and filling in the registration form. More information about the price, registration and other details.
Marianne Kautiala (+358 50 531 8228) & Jaakko Mattila (+358504949649)