The focus on this retreat is using the form of Insight Dialogue in a safe and supportive space to explore mindful conversation and inquiry so our deeper truth can be heard and received enabling authentic relationship, understanding, and healing.
Insight Dialogue is an interpersonal meditation practice. It brings the mindfulness and tranquillity of silent meditation directly into our experience with other people. As humans, we are relational beings; as we begin to wake up, clarity and freedom can illuminate our relationships with others and we can touch the release of suffering together. Insight Dialogue rests on the foundation of silent practice, and includes speaking and listening as part of our meditation practice.
This residential retreat, led by Buddhist monk Ajahn Sukhacitto and Janet Surrey, will introduce the meditation guidelines of Insight Dialogue and offer an opportunity to explore Insight Dialogue, alongside the origins of suffering as well as the potential of cultivating the factors of awakening together, including mindfulness, concentration, equanimity, loving kindness and compassion. We will investigate Speaking and Listening as meditative practices held and nourished by the deep foundation of silent practice. There will be periods of silent practice, alternating with meditation together in dyads, triads and small groups.
Bhikkhu Sukhacitto is an Insight Dialogue Teacher. He was born in Germany in 1963 and first came into contact with Buddhism in 1986 in Thailand when he attended a meditation retreat, offered through Wat Suan Mokkh. He ordained there as a novice in 1989 and as a monk in 1990. He moved to the West in 1993 where he has lived at various monasteries , including Dhammapala Monastery in Switzerland for six years and Amaravati Monastery, UK, for 4 years. On his first Insight Dialogue retreat in 2005, he was amazed by the powerful experience of meditating together with other people and subsequently joined many more Insight Dialogue retreats. In 2010 he began his teacher training with Gregory Kramer and other teachers. In his experience, interpersonal meditation is an extremely helpful aid for the development of wholesome qualities. It bridges the gap between traditional silent meditation and our everyday lives and relations with other people. He sees Insight Dialogue as an important tool for liberation.
Janet Surrey, PhD, is an Insight Dialogue Teacher. She teaches Insight Dialogue retreats worldwide and leads a monthly practice group in Boston, USA. She has been a faculty member of Metta’s Relational Insight Meditation Program and serves on Metta Programs’ Teachers’ Council. She has studied with a number of Vipassana teachers for over 25 years, and has worked with Gregory Kramer since 2007. Her original teacher was Vimala Thakar, but she has also done many retreats with Thich Nhat Hanh and Joanna Macy. In 2008 she completed a two and a half year Community Dharma Leader training at Spirit Rock Meditation Centre. She is a practising clinical psychologist and founding scholar of the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute at the Wellesley Centres for Women. She is on the faculty and board of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy, and is dedicated to a life-long exploration of the power of relationships to create suffering and the power of relationships to liberate and transform suffering. She lives in Newton, Massachusetts.