Trekking retreat 1.-8.8.2019 in Kilpisjärvi area in Sápmi (Lapland)

A Pilgrimage into the Untamed Heart

This trekking retreat offers a precious opportunity to practice Dharma (Buddhist teachings) in the wild beauty of Lapland, together with a like minded community of practioners and fellow humans: A community co-created by each of us; held by and being part of the wider community of the natural world.

Entering the wilderness of Lapland with respect, receptivity and sensitivity each step we take may become a pilgrimage to the unfathomable and untamable depth of our heart with its capacity for kindness and compassion, joy, beauty and meaningfulness.

We will devote time for walking in noble silence and cultivating meditative calm, as well as exploring ways to nurture spiritual companionship.

There will be dharma reflections, formal practices and instructions and also space for sharing and simply enjoying hanging out with each other.

The retreat is taught in English. Personal guidance is also available in Finnish.

On this retreat we will practice Insight meditation, also known as vipassana. The word vipassana means seeing things just as they are. This meditation practice 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.

May this be a time of nourishment for all of us. May it deepen wisdom and compassion in our hearts for the welfare of all beings everywhere.

Who are the teachers?

The retreat will be taught by Kirsten Kratz. She has practised Buddhist meditation in Asia and the West since 1993. In 2006 she started to teach and since 2008 teaches group retreats in Gaia House where she also supports those on long term personal retreat. One of her particular passions is exploring how wisdom teachings can foster appropriate responses to the challenges of our time. Kirsten is co-initiator of the Dharma Action Network for Climate Engagement (DANCE). Kirsten led the trekking retreats in 2015 and 2017, and fell in love with the wilderness of Lapland already the first time. Talks by Kirsten can be found here.

Sampo Koistinen will also participate as an assistant teacher. He has practiced the dharma since 2004, co-founding Nirodha in 2006, and facilitating events since 2008. He has completed Gaia House Teachers’ Council’s Community Dharma Leader program, and is currently in teacher training, being mentored by Rob Burbea, Caroline Jones and Martine Batchelor.

Who can join? What will the trek be like?

You can join the trekking retreat if you have previous experience of either meditation retreats (at least one 5-day silent retreat) or trekking (at least one 5-day trek). In addition you need a reasonable level of fitness, and some sense of adventure. Please also note that what is being offered is primarily a meditation retreat, not just any trek.

We will trek in Kilpisjärvi area, in the Käsivarsi Wilderness Area, in Lapland. We will walk approximately 5-10 kilometers a day, carrying all our camping equipment and food in our backpacks. The day trips are mostly not very long, but silent meditative trekking with the heavy load brings its challenges.

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

The base price of the retreat is approximately 220-270 euros (will be confirmed later), but 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 in the registration form. Don’t pay the registration fee! More information about the price, signing up and other details can be found here.


Aino Sirén (+358 40 753 4784)
Marianne Kautiala (registrations, +358 50 531 8228)