Uncontrived mindfulness; From awareness to wisdom

10-19 September

Due to covid-19 this retreat is likely to host ten people only, so that everyone gets a bedrom to themselves and so that we can keep our distance. Every individual is responsible for their own travel both there and home again. More information (in Swedish):

If we cannot offer this retreat in person due to the pandemic and current restrictions we are likely to offer the retreat online instead. We will try to make a decision about this at least two weeks before the start of the retreat. If you have any questions - contact us: info@stockholmsbuddhistcenter.se

This retreat is for mitras and order members in the Swedish sangha.

The retreat is led by Vajradevi (UK, see bio further down) and supported by Viryabodhi.

Awareness is crucial to Insight, but a Dharma perspective is even more important. Without 'Right View' informing what we're aware of, we run the risk of reinforcing 'wrong views'. Wrong views are naturally present in the unenlightened state, but we can train ourselves to become aware of those ideas and distortions through learning to watch our minds. Mind watching reveals how we are relating to whatever is happening in experience, whether it be a thought, an emotion, or an arising through one of our senses.

We can relate to experience with acceptance, interest, and impartiality. Or we can resist and proliferate around what is happening, seeing a painful state grow before our eyes, feeling that we are seemingly powerless to stop it. All our dukkha; our dis-ease, dissatisfaction and disappointment come from this resistance.

We can see Right View as a 'curative' perspective. It helps us see how we cling and how through that clinging we create our own suffering. Mindfulness and Right View give us tools to relate to ourselves in ways that don't create further suffering for ourselves or others. We have freedom from fixed views and wise attentiveness in the palm of our hands.

There will be talks and led meditations, using the framework of the Satipatthana Sutta, the Buddha's primary teaching on Mindfulness. We’ll relate the sutta to the aspects of Spiritual Death and Spiritual Receptivity in our Mandala of Practice. To facilitate turning inwards the retreat will mainly be in silence.

We will meditate using all 4 postures (walking, sitting, standing and lying down). The emphasis is on continuity of awareness outside of formal practice times. You will receive encouragement to stay present to whatever is happening, and whatever is needed, in any moment. This is a receptive and flexible approach to awareness with kindness as an implicit thread running through it, and understanding and wisdom, a potential in every moment.

Vajradevi started meditating in 1984 in London, after travelling in Asia. She was ordained into the Triratna Buddhist Order in 1995 and has worked within many 'Right Livelihood' settings in Triratna. These include managing the Cherry Orchard vegetarian restaurant in London, working as Centre Director of the Cambridge Buddhist Centre, and fundraising for and setting up Akashavana in the Spanish mountains, where women have been ordained since 2007.

Her interest in practising and then teaching mindfulness with a strong insight dimension, emerged over 20 years ago. To further her practice, she has studied with satipatthana specialists including Joseph Goldstein and with the Burmese teacher Sayadaw U Tejaniya.

Vajradevi's style is relaxed and natural, and encourages both receptivity and precision of observation, in learning to watch the mind.

You can read her meditation blog at www.uncontrivedmindfulness.net

The cost includes a booking fee of 500 SEK, see terms for registration.

Enter the price you'll be paying below. The reduced price is primarily for students, unemployed, retirees and others with low income. If the reduced price is too high for you, or you would need to pay by instalments, contact the centre and we will find a solution. It is important for us that those who want to participate can do so, regardless of their financial situation. If possible, please consider giving a donation (dana) when booking, which allows us to cover both our costs and to give lower prices to those who need.