Insight meditation retreat 5.-13.7.2014 in Kruusila, Finland

Embodying the awakened heart

Why meditate?

At the heart of the Buddha’s teachings is the real possibility of Awakening: our innate potential to discover inner peace and freedom, and to embody the unobstructed openness that is our deepest truth. This retreat will explore the art of Insight Meditation as an invitation to be authentic with our experience, to relax into an intimate relationship with the depth of our being, and to cultivate a genuine kind-heartedness towards ourselves and all of life. In learning to trust our life we can come to abide in the wide-open heart of awakened presence.

Insight meditation is also known as vipassana. The word vipassana means seeing things just as they are. Instruction in lovingkindness (metta) meditation is also offered. These meditation practices are over 2500 years old and draw 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 both beginners and experienced meditators. For beginners, the retreat is a great way to learn the basics of insight meditation and see its effects clearly. For experienced meditators, the retreat offers an excellent opportunity to deepen and clarify one’s practice in 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. Vegetarian breakfast, lunch, and a light dinner are served during the retreat. The venue of the retreat is The Friendship Inn in Kruusila near Salo, about 100 km west of Helsinki, Finland.

Who are the teachers?

The retreat will be taught by Yanai Postelnik and Leela Sarti. Yanai Postelnik has practised and studied Insight Meditation and Buddhism in Asia and the West since 1990 and has been teaching internationally for over 20 years. He is much inspired by the Thai forest tradition and regularly leads courses in the natural world. He lives in Devon, England, is a member of the Gaia House Teacher Council and serves Gaia House as a guiding teacher. You can listen to Yanai’s talks here.

Leela Sarti has been a student of the Buddha’s teachings and practices since she was a teenager. In addition to teaching Insight Meditation retreats she also works as a psychotherapist. She lives with her family in Luxembourg and Sweden. She is a student of the Diamond Approach and has also been inspired by the non-dual teachings of Advaita Vedanta. You can listen to Leela’s talks here.

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

The retreat is fully booked. You can sign up to the waiting list by filling in the sign-up form. There’s no need to pay the registration fee at this time.

The base price of the retreat is 200 euros. The retreat cost covers the traveling expenses of the teachers, the rent of the retreat facility, and the food expenses. The teachers and the organizers do not receive any payment for their services; instead, the retreatants may support the teachers and the organizers by donations after the retreat.

You can sign up by filling in the sign up form and paying the registration fee. We will confirm your place when we have received the sign up form and the payment.

The registration fee is 30 euros and is paid to Nirodha’s account:

Bank name: Nordea
City where bank located: Helsinki
Swift code: NDEAFIHH
Name of bank account holder: Nirodha ry
Address: Vetehisenkuja 3, 00530 Helsinki
Account number: FI60 1248 3000 2130 60
Reference number: 720144

The rest of the retreat fee (170 euros in case of the base price) should be paid by June 2nd to the same account with the same reference number. In case of cancellations the registration fee is not refundable. If the cancellation takes place before June 2nd, the rest of the retreat fee will be returned. If you pay from an account which is not your own, please write a message to, telling the name of the person owning the account, the name of the person participating on the retreat, and the date of the transaction.

If you are coming from abroad, please note that we are not able to provide any documents for visa applications because of limited resources.

We feel that financial situation should not prevent anybody from participating, so we are willing to offer the retreat for a reduced price, if needed. If the base price is too high for you, please contact us at and let us know how much you are able to pay. If you would like to support those in dire financial situation, you can pay more than the base price.

Other practicalities

The retreat starts on Saturday 5th of July. It is possible to arrive to Friendship Inn from 5 p.m. onwards. Supper will be served 6 p.m. and the program starts at 7.30 p.m. The retreat ends on Sunday 13th of July at the latest at 3 p.m. The retreat must be attended in full. We will send more information about how to get to the retreat place approximately one week before the retreat.

In Friendship Inn there are places for 40 yogis. Accommodation is usually in rooms of 2-4 people. The rooms will be assigned to yogis in the order in which they arrive. As you fill in the application form, please mention if you have special needs regarding accommodation. In Friendship Inn there may be cats and/or dogs, which do not have access to the meditation hall or bedrooms, but might be a problem if you suffer from severe allergy.

During the retreat we offer three simple vegetarian meals a day: breakfast, lunch and a light supper. At breaks there will be tea and instant coffee on offer. Please do mark any food allergies you have on the registration form.

A typical day on the retreat includes 45 minute periods of sitting, standing and walking meditation, and a 1-hour work period, during which the yogis have different tasks cleaning the house, chopping vegetables for meals, etc. During breaks and some walking meditation periods it may be possible to do your own yoga or stretching, or go for a walk. Please bring your own yoga mat, if you need one.

The retreat is a drug-free space, and smoking is possible only in a special area assigned for it. However, we do encourage people not to smoke during the retreat.

The retreat is held in noble silence, which is an important support for the practice. This means we do not talk with each other, read, write, or use mobile phones. On the retreat you only talk with the teachers. In cases of emergency during the retreat, the people close to you are advised to contact Anna Backholm (+358 40 536 2946).

Please bring your own bed-linen or a sleeping bag, unless you travel from abroad and bringing these is difficult for you. Also bring your own towel, and possible medications you may need. The managers will not be able to bring you items you miss during the retreat.

In sitting meditation, it will be possible to use either a chair, or on a cushion on the floor. There is one set of cushions (zafu and zabuton) for each, and quite a few meditation benches. If you need extra cushions, e.g. to support your knees or hands during meditation, please bring these with you. If you get easily cold during meditation, it may be good to bring your own blanket.

If you have any questions, you can contact us at

We wish a fruitful retreat to everyone!

Tuulikki Hukka (+358 50 432 9241)
Anna Backholm (+358 40 536 2946)