Thinking Thinking • A Vipassana Retreat Sept. 6-8, 2019
The Hermitage • Denman Island, BC
A commonly held misperception about meditation is that meditation is about stopping our thoughts. Not only is this an unrealistic endeavour but as any practitioner will attest, a futile one as well. As Jack Kornfield (a teacher and former student under the tutelage of Mahāsi Sayadaw) taught Whit on retreat many years ago:
“Just as it is the nature of the salivary glads to secrete saliva, so too it is the nature of the mind to secrete thoughts.”
Our practice thus becomes not about attempting to control and subdue the activity of mind but about cultivating the ability to observe the activity of mind without becoming immersed within it, without having to finish the story line. The result is the opportunity to see how pyscho-physical phenomena behave naturally when unadulterated by the mind.
From the vantage point of the impartial observer, the meditator begins to gain insight into the ephemeral, unsatisfactory and the uncontrollable nature of phenomena, the essence of vipassanā meditation. These transformative insights support the practitioner to continue treading the path towards its goal, the cessation of suffering.
Over the course of this three-day weekend retreat practitioners will receive instruction in the vipassanā methodology of revered Burmese meditation master, Mahāsi Sayadaw, and as passed down to Whit by various teachers in the Mahāsi lineage.
Although shorter in duration, this retreat is a wonderful and accessible opportunity for those new to silent practice as well as for those with experience, particularly in the Mahāsi method, to amplify their practice with a weekend intensive.
“The great Burmese Master Mahasi Sayadaw's approach to meditation is very clear, very precise and ‘to the point,’ faithfully adhering to the method of the Buddha in his own successful search for Enlightenment. Whit Hornsberger's experiences of intensive monastic meditation in Burma, combined with his studies of Yoga and other forms of Eastern Spirituality, have given him a unique ability to communicate to Westerners a classical approach to meditation, one that is deeply rooted in the profound Burmese tradition.” - Lama Rodney Devenish.
This silent retreat will include sitting and walking meditation along with dhamma talks by the teacher.
Whit, a remarkable teacher particularly of the Burmese Mahasi Sayadaw tradition of meditation, will lead you in a light, clear, knowledgable manner, designed for Western practitioners of meditation. This retreat is suitable for both beginners and advanced practitioners.
Teacher's Program Fee: Dana – the teachings are offered by donation.
Food and Accommodations: $130 to $190 based on selection + dana