Mind the Heart!

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Mind the Heart!

15 – 22 July 2016

Venue: The High Heathercombe Centre

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.

We’ll follow a daily schedule of sitting, walking and dharma talks. There will also be the opportunity to meet 1-on-1 with the teacher. Outside of meditation instructions, talks, and meetings with the teacher, the retreat will remain in silence throughout.

The retreat is suited for beginning and more experienced meditators.

The retreat is offered freely as the organisers intend to fundraise in advance to cover all costs (we anticipate these will be about £150 per person). Donations will be invited at the end of the retreat and these will be used to fund retreats in the future. This gives retreatants the opportunity to practice generosity by making it possible for future retreats to also be offered freely.

Teachers do not receive a fee for leading retreats, whilst giving enormously of their time and energy. Dharma teachings are considered priceless and therefore teachers offer their understanding freely. The livelihood of most Insight Meditation teachers depends wholly, or to a large extent, on voluntary contributions from retreatants who value their guidance and wish to support the ongoing teachings of the Dharma. Your generosity to the teacher is greatly appreciated, and at the end of each retreat there will be an opportunity to offer them a donation.


Coming on retreat can be an invaluable boost for your practice whether you’re only just beginning with meditation or have been practising for decades. Everything is set up specifically to help you feel supported and to foster the calmness of mind necessary for meditative insight.

One of the conditions that we find particularly helpful to offer retreatants is an opportunity for shared silence. We agree as a group not to converse with each other for the duration of the retreat*, we turn off our phones and gadgets, we disconnect from social media, and we put down our books.

Why do we do this? Because silence provides the opportunity to develop a new relationship with ourselves and the world, rather than simply being a gap to be filled. Free from the usual distractions that stimulate the mind, we begin to experience an altogether different and sublime dimension to life, one that was hiding there all along. And as silence starts to reveal its irresistible and profound beauty we allow the possibility of our innate wisdom to show itself.

* During the week there will be talks, meditation instructions and opportunities to meet either in small groups or individually with the teacher. Outside of these times the retreat will remain in silence but the coordinators are always present and can be communicated with via notes if any problems arise.

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