Silent Insight Meditation Retreat 7. – 12.3.2017 in Kruusila, Finland

“Mind the Heart” – breaking the addiction to the mind

In our daily life we are confronted with friction, pain, loss, stress, grief, discomfort, a seemingly endless wave of unsatisfactoriness. We also experience moments of joy, happiness, love, connection and fulfilment. However, these pleasant experiences inevitably will come to an end. A truth that again can cause suffering.
How can we can we meet the truth of inevitable pain with kindness?

How can we meet the moments of suffering with compassion?

How does it feel to bathe in the silent pond of equanimity, knowing that we are all capable of attaining a peaceful mind state?

And what about the joy we experience when we get in touch with the different aspects of the path of the Buddha? A path leading to awakening and liberation.

In this insight meditation retreat we will direct our kind awareness towards the four truths of unsatisfactoriness, truths offered by the Buddha with wisdom and clarity. We will investigate these four truths with the emotional power of the Buddhist heart practices.

In the Buddhist tradition of meeting greed with generosity, hatred with love and ignorance with understanding, we will focus on taking a first step in breaking our addiction to the thinking mind, thus opening space for us to uncover the qualities of the wise and loving heart. We will discover and expand our ability to be mindful of breath and body, consciously freeing ourselves from our innate tendency to cling to (and to identify with) our thoughts.

With mindfulness as a foundation, we will then learn to open up our heart in brave vulnerability, embracing our more difficult emotions with true kindness, directing our kind awareness towards the four truths of unsatisfactoriness, truths offered by the Buddha with wisdom and clarity.

We will explore the ways in which true spiritual practice is an engagement with life itself, an engagement that goes against the norms of our confused society and is therefore an act of inner rebellion. Instructions in meditation and guidance in the subversive Buddhist path to liberation will be offered.

This meditation technique is over 2500 years old and draws 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 beginning and long-term practitioners. The retreat is held in English. This is a fully silent retreat, which means that there will be no communication between retreatants. Retreatants will also be asked to refrain from reading, writing, phone conversations  and/or accessing the internet for the duration of the retreat. The days are spent in silence and consist of sitting 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 Friendships Inn in Kruusila near Salo, about 100 km west of Helsinki, Finland.

Who is the teacher?

Paul Burrows is a student in the Insight Meditation tradition. He trained as a teacher with Christina Feldman, co-founder of Gaia House retreat centre and he now leads courses internationally. His exploring has led him through the monasteries and retreat centres of the Kathmandu Valley, India and the UK and through periods of intensive retreat practice in the Theravada and Tibetan Buddhist traditions. He is now making a home in North London. More details see Awakening

Paul’s dharma talks can be found

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

The base price of the retreat is 155 € 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.

Applying for this retreat has been closed.

Your place is confirmed when you pay the registration fee 30 € to Nirodha’s account.

Account number: FI83 3636 3010 8888 24
Bank name: S-Bank Ltd
Bank address: Fleminginkatu 34, 00510 HELSINKI, Finland
Swift code: SBANFIHH
Name of bank account holder: Nirodha ry
Address of the account holder: Vetehisenkuja 3, 00530 Helsinki
Type of account: business account
Reference number: 3017032 (It is important to use this reference number in the payment!)

Please include the name or names of participants in the message field if you are not paying only for yourself from your own account.

You can also use PayPal. The recipient’s email address is

If you send money by PayPal, we will charge you also the PayPal fee which is about 7 € for the whole retreat price. This fee will be charged when you pay the rest of the retreat fee.

The rest of the retreat fee (125 euros in case of the base price) should be paid by February 10th 2017. In case of cancellations the registration fee is not refundable. If the cancellation takes place before February 10th 2017, the rest of the retreat fee will be returned.

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.

If you have any questions, you can contact us at

Best regards,
Markku Ilo  (+358 404136833)