Guardians of the Mind & Heart, An Insight Meditation and Brahma Vihara Retreat
September 27 - October 4, 2022
This retreat is intended as both an introduction to and a deepening of the practices of Insight Meditation and the four brahmaviharas: lovingkindness, compassion, joy and equanimity.
At this vulnerable and destabilizing time in our inner and outer world, we are fortunate to be drawn to take refuge in the stabilizing and protective practices of Insight Meditation and the four brahmaviharas.
Insight meditation (Vipassana) calms the mind and heart while clarifying the distinction between reactions and responses, that either open or close our minds and hearts to life.
The Sanskrit term, brahmavihara, is often translated as a divine or sublime abode or immeasurable state of mind. As each of the four brahmaviharas is cultivated, they reveal their value as mind and heart liberating practices that guide our thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors in the direction of an overall sense of wellbeing. As a result, we begin to experience increasing inner balance, ease, trust, and fluidity in the way we respond to the “ten thousand joys and sorrows” that come and go throughout this precious existence.
The brahmaviharas are:
Metta that transforms fear and ill-will into loving-kindness and benevolence, in our relationship with ourselves and others.
Karuna transforms a lack of empathy and cruelty into the tender heartfelt quality of compassion or commiseration, with all forms of suffering within oneself and others.
Mudita transforms jealousy and resentment into the response of joy that’s inspired by the happiness that occurs in life, whether it be one’s own or others.
Upekkha transforms indifference and disregard, that’s lacking in care or concern for others, into a state of equanimity or nonreactivity, mental balance, even-mindedness, equipoise and serenity in viewing all beings equally – with kindness, compassion and sympathetic joy.
Generally held in noble silence, the daily retreat schedule will include periods of sitting and walking meditation, morning instructions, a discussion period, scheduled individual meetings with DaeJa and an evening Dharma Talk.
This retreat is open to both new and experienced practitioners.
Until further notice, registration for our residential programs is restricted to individuals who have or will receive their final Covid-19 vaccination at least two weeks before their arrival on site. We will be restricting total retreat capacity to allow for comfortable, unmasked participation, as well as the option of outdoor dining. Please be prepared to present proof of your vaccination upon request. We also require all registered participants to present negative results from a Covid test performed in the 3 days prior to the start of your retreat AND that you consent to being tested upon your arrival at Southern Dharma. Any rapid antigen test is acceptable for testing, including over-the-counter at-home tests.
Thank you for your understanding as we work to ensure the safety of our staff, teachers, retreatants, and larger community!
Check-in from 4-6pm; Early arrivals may be accommodated – email firstname.lastname@example.org to request.
Departures will take place by 2:00pm on the last day of retreat. Please make sure that you can attend the full program before registering.
For our 2022 retreats, three fee tiers are offered. Please choose the option that best fits your ability to give in this time. Any amount paid above the Base rate is a tax deductible contribution to Southern Dharma Retreat Center. Your confirmation email is your receipt for tax purposes.
We are deeply grateful for your support.
Note that registration fees do not include dana for the teacher(s). In the Buddhist tradition the teachings are offered freely and teachers are not paid for their offerings. They rely on dana contributions from students. Similarly, Southern Dharma keeps registration fees low to ensure the Dharma is accessible to all. Fees cover only a fraction of Southern Dharma’s operating expenses. We appreciate your practice of generosity to continue the dissemination of the Dharma.
Housing and all meals are included in the program fee. We are currently offering six housing options:
- Bed in Lodge, shared double room (2nd floor)
- Bed in Lodge, dorm with privacy partitions (3rd floor)
- Unheated kuti (single cabin, outdoor bathroom)
- Heated kuti (single cabin, outdoor bathroom)
- Canvas Tent (furnished, outdoor bathroom)
- Basic Tent Platform
Please use the appropriate field in the registration process to let us know your preferences in regards to housing, if any, and also specify if you insist on or prefer being housed with others of the same gender. All housing options are priced the same except for the Basic Tent Platform.
Southern Dharma is now offering 50% scholarship awards for BIPOC and Young Adults in addition to those with financial need. Indicate your interest in a Southern Dharma in-house scholarship during the registration process.
This program is also eligible for Hemera Contemplative Fellowships. Please note that you must apply for the Fellowship prior to registering for any program. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.