“Seeing with Wisdom”
Understanding and practicing meditation from the perspective of the Buddha
Five one-day retreats to do as you wish, or a full cycle to commit for 5 months.
February, March, April, May, June
These 5 retreats are designed as a cycle progressing in crescendo, starting from the general conceptual framework of our practice, towards ever more finesse in discernment. Each of them is part of a same coherent system, gradually completing the picture of the path to awakening traced by the Buddha. Each retreat, however, addresses a theme that is complete and accessible separately, without having participated in the others. Please note, however, that for the last three, it will be necessary to already have meditation experience and some knowledge of the basic concepts of Buddhism, in order to benefit and find meaning in them.
Retreat themes :
Each theme will be supported by texts drawn mainly from Buddhism, but also at times from other traditions. We also will draw upon some of the understandings of modern science.
1) February: The 4 noble truths:
The backbone of all of the Buddha’s other teachings. In his first speech, he offers us a way of envisioning our spiritual path that is meaningful, accessible and fruitful. Without understand this basis of Buddhism, it is difficult to find cohesion in the rest of the teachings.
2) March: Compassion:
“Wisdom and compassion are like the two wings of a bird” Buddha.
There is no wisdom without compassion, and there is no compassion without wisdom. Compassion is especially an antidote to the inner critic as well as judgment of the world around us. March will be dedicated to the practice of compassion, to better understanding the crucial issue of the integration of this practice in the spiritual path, and to revel in the feeling of love, both in meditation and in our daily life. A sensible practice, which is a far cry from “everyone is beautiful, everyone is nice, ” and which frees our capacity to love without fear.
3) April: Clinging and letting go:
In meditation, the concept of grasping describes what happens when our attention is caught by a thought rather than letting it pass, which creates distraction and restlessness. We will examine in detail this process, and we will implement in our meditations the advice from the Buddha on this specific subject. The parallel with everyday life will of course be addressed. We will also discuss the notion of letting go, which is so essential and complex at the same time – just like the concept of attachment, which is sometimes so misunderstood that it becomes unrealistic and inhuman.
4) May: Construction and solidification:
Our mind participates in the construction of the reality that we perceive. Memory turns the beauty of a moment into a simple repetition of the past. We will learn to recognize these processes, and to no longer be imprisoned by them, to regain the child’s gaze, full of simplicity and wonder. We will learn to recognize the mental constructions that do not serve us, to detach ourselves from them, and to recognize those that do serve us in order to nourish them, all the while knowing that these are constructions and not ultimate truths.
5) June: Not-self and the Emptiness of phenomena:
“The understanding of not-self eliminates the agitation due to believing in something that is not really there “. Buddha
Between Realism (the view that what we perceive is real) and Nihilism (the view that what we perceive is unreal), the Buddha proposes a ‘’Middle Way”, a way of seeing our experience which enables the deepest letting go. We will dedicate the month of June to the understanding and practice of this major and unfathomable theme of Buddhism.
After each retreat, you will receive the recordings of the talks and guided meditations on the theme that we will have explored together. This will allow you to practice it during the whole month if you wish, to really make it yours.
1) registration fee: The registration fee is € 30 per retreat, or € 120 for the whole cycle (you can register to the first one to see, and then pay 90€ for the four next ones if you wish to). This sum will allow Dharma Nature to cover the costs related to this retreat (in particular those of renting the place where I go on self-retreat for 6 days to be well prepared, the Zoom platform, the yoga teachings, a router to have a good connection, etc.). The exceeding money will be used to support the running and projects of Dharma Nature. To send us some money, see this page.
2) Donation: At the end of each session (or of the cycle if you participate in all of them), you can make a donation, which will constitute my remuneration for organizing and teaching. See this page if you are not familiar with this approach.
Saturday : 12/02, 19/03, 16/04, 21/05, 25/06
To support your practice we also offer optional meetups from 7:45 p.m. to 9:00 p.m (London time UTC+0) on the:
03/01, 04/04, 05/05, 07/06
No need to register for attending to these meetings.
Days retreats 7am/7pm (London time UTC+0) :
7.00am : Meditation
7.45am : Movements*
8.30am : Meditation
9.00am : Breakfast
10.45am : Talk11.30am : Meditation + Q&A
12.30am : Lunch
2h30pm : Meditation
3.15pm : Talk
4.00pm : Tea break
5.00pm : Meditation + Q&A
6.00pm : Closing circle
7.00pm : End
* The movements sessions will be led by Nicholas Barret, founder of Yoga Tree of Life (https://www.yogatreeoflife.co.uk/). He has been practicing and teaching yoga since 23 years.
The gentle movement sessions that he will lead are optional, you ar of course welcome to do your own practice in this time.
1) Send the corresponding registration fee to Dharma Nature (see how on this page).. Please don’t forget to add the 10€ membership fee if you haven’t participated in any of our activities this year, or haven’t paid it in any other way. Important: Do mention your name and the name of the retreat.
2) Send an email to Debbie: firstname.lastname@example.org , with:
-your name (the same one as the one used to send money)
-your mobile number
-Specify how you have sent the fee (Paypal, Bank transfer, check,…)
-tell us how you heard about this retreat
3) You will receive an email confirming your registration.
It is helpful for us that you do these two steps at once.
Testimonials from the previous cycle of home retreats :
« It was an amazing Sunday. Thank you for proposing it and managing it with so much loving-kindness in the way you teach.
I enjoyed setting up a mini “altar” with candle, incense, a Buddha you gave me while in India and another given by my grandson, to create an atmosphere conducive to retreat. I appreciated giving myself this time for myself, at home, without being in a hurry because of an appointment or disturbed by the phone or music. It is possible and I happily experienced it yesterday. Following your advice, I had planned my meals so I was able to take the time to eat mindfully and read while waiting for the retreat to start again.
I think the phrase “retreat at home” will help me more easily to set up a daily meditation than following a classical retreat, the decor being now installed and conducive to practice. Thank you for your generous teachings. »
« I want to thank you for this incredible rich day. Thank you for sharing with us your own discoveries, it is the first time I hear someone talk about their meditative experience in such an exciting way! And I find you to be a real pedagogue, especially since the subject is far from easy! I immediately had the intuition that my own practice was going to be transformed and it is already the case! Infinite gratitude for this . »
« The retreat went really well. Since then I have been practicing, practicing, and reading on the subject. And since I have set up a special place in my home for the first retreat, it makes it much easier for me to go back now and do my little work on this topic. This period feels very dense, intense and rich and this retreat represents an immense support in my life situation which I certainly wouldn’t have lived in this way if I weren’t in continuous contact with meditation and with your teachings in particular. In fact, there really is a change of vision that has taken place since the month of November when I followed your teachings. Thanks again.
“Being on retreat at home, on retreat from habits I am not truly aware of, on retreat from the habitual and unthinking ways of inhabiting my space and my time. The setting up of my meditation space the night before almost put me in a kind of “travel mode.” Anticipating something special. Simply moving the unnecessary furniture and putting a blanket on the floor in order to mark a territory that I will not enter with my slippers on, and thus begin to awaken my attention by creating space. The phone is turned off, the email box remains closed. There are no expectation from the outside world. Today, relationships will take place in another direction. The feeling of being contained by the structure of the retreat prolongs itself when I leave the meditation area to go and cook and eat mindfully. There is no temptation to get back into the usual routine. There is curiosity to see how these well-known walls suddenly feel new, as if something is different.”