Finding A True Refuge
In a world of change and unpredictability, in times that often feel chaotic and confusing, where do we look for ease and security? Often, in our search for a dependable refuge, we can mistakenly turn to that which is essentially unreliable and unable to provide the stability we seek.
Insight (or vipassana) meditation is the simple, direct observation of the mind/body process with relaxed, open and careful attention. As we connect with our experience from a place of spacious stillness and steadiness, we learn to meet the changing conditions we encounter with greater ease and balance of mind. As our understanding deepens, equanimity in the face of change grows, and we discover a refuge that is to a great extent independent of life’s changing conditions.
This silent retreat, open to both beginners and experienced meditators, will offer guided meditations and instructions, Dharma talks, chanting in Pali (the language of the original Buddhist teachings), meetings with the teachers, and an optional daily period of mindful movement.
The meditation practices offered on this retreat are over 2500 years old and draw primarily from the Theravada Buddhist tradition. However, taking part in the retreat does not require an adherence to Buddhism or any adaptation of personal faith.
Why attend a retreat? What happens at a retreat?
This retreat is suitable for beginning and experienced students of meditation. For beginners, the retreat is a great way to learn the basics of insight meditation and see its effects clearly. For advanced meditators, the retreat offers an excellent opportunity to deepen and clarify one’s practice with the guidance of an experienced teacher.
The retreat is held in English. The days are spent in silence and consist of sitting, standing and walking meditation, dharma talks, work period, small group discussions and individual interviews. The venue of the retreat is The Friendship Inn in Kruusila near Salo, about 100 km west of Helsinki, Finland.
Who are the teachers?
Greg Scharf began meditating in 1992 and has been teaching residential meditation retreats since 2007, including the annual 3 month retreat at the Insight Meditation Society where he is a guiding teacher. In his teaching Greg emphasizes the understanding that meditation is fundamentally an exploration of nature and natural processes. He also stresses the critical importance of bringing the qualities of kindness, compassion, and a sense of humor to practice.
Greg has a long-standing relationship with the country and people of Burma (Myanmar) where he trained as a Buddhist monk and where he works with a small humanitarian aid project – particularly targeting education, health-care, and support of Buddhist Nuns. Currently living in the high country of northern Arizona, Greg’s love of nature and the outdoors deeply informs both his practice and teaching. You can listen dharma talks by Greg here.
Marie Ericsson started to meditate 1970 with S N Goenka in Bodh Gaya, India. Since then she has also practiced in Thailand, Myanmar, England and USA. Her main teachers are Joseph Goldstein, Sayadaw U Pandita, Sayadaw U Tejaniya, and Leigh Brasington, among other Asian and Western teachers. Marie has been an active member of Vipassanagruppen in Sweden since it started 1986 and since 1998 has led the weekly sitting group as well as teaching numerous retreats.
In her teaching, Marie draws from her years of experience with different approaches to Vipassana meditation, in order to explore and practice the Buddha’s instructions in the Satipatthana Sutta. Relaxation, lightheartedness and humor are also important parts of her teaching style. Marie is the author of a book called “Kom och se – om meditation och theravadabuddhism”. (Come and see – about meditation and Theravada Buddhism). It is only available in Swedish language.
The teachers 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 220 euros. It is also possible to pay more or less than this. Retreat is full, but you can sign up to the waiting list by filling the registration form. Don’t pay the registration fee. More information about the price, registration and other details.
Patrick Vena (+358 50 530 9786)
Tuulikki Hukka (registrations, +358 50 432 9241)