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Retreat Dharma Talks

The Heart of Wisdom: Monastic Retreat

Led by ordained monastics from the Canadian Forest sangha, this silent retreat, open to all, will explore a core aspect of the Buddha’s timeless teachings – the liberating quality of emptiness. As we abandon the illusion of a separate and distinct sense of self, and come to know the essential emptiness of all phenomena, we discover the heart of wisdom.

This retreat is an invitation to all to experience a taste of monastic life. The traditional eight precepts will be observed – this includes abstaining from eating after noon. Each day’s schedule will include sitting, standing and walking meditations, talks about the teachings, devotional chants, and dedications for the welfare of all beings.

2019-04-16 (9 days) Insight Meditation Society - Retreat Center

2019-04-17 The Winds of Change - A Guided Meditation 33:27
Ayya Medhanandi
We are here, on the mountain, with a tremendous view. Let the breath speak to us. Stay and watch, even the suffering, investigate patiently like a parent, even if their child objects and runs away - patiently keep trying, be receptive, be available. Gently soften, mellow, give the mind back to the moment, trust, receive it and discover its hidden truths.
2019-04-18 The Night of the Poison Arrow 32:23
Ayya Medhanandi
How to guard the mind against the hindrances and pull out the poison arrow of craving.
2019-04-19 Baptismal Breath: A Guided Meditation 58:00
Ayya Medhanandi
See present moment experience in its most simple expression so as to notice the breakdown of all fearsome qualities. This seeing is insight which delivers us from the conceptual prison of beliefs into the freedom of direct intuitive understanding.
2019-04-20 Lifetime Vow 41:17
Ayya Medhanandi
To vow for life: not to compromise our faith, our virtue, or our goodness - even in a moment of terror - is a powerful spiritual ally. Not cowering nor retaliating even in a hopeless-feeling-moment, we learn to stay present with compassion and kindness. As long as we remember to keep the practice alive within, we will have the stamina to grow in generosity, equanimity, and wisdom. So, at all times, make good-will the mantra of your heart.
2019-04-22 The Face of Holiness 31:28
Ayya Medhanandi
Through the lens of Truth, mindful and attentive, we pierce anger, sorrow, fear and complacency. We are on the cusp of realizing who we are. Clear present awareness leads us inwards. We are on track to let go, relinquish and abandon all that is harmful. Discarding ancient beliefs one after another with microscopic insight, we empty out the rubbish from the mind. Radical awareness directly knows the impersonal, imperfect and empty nature of all that we experience. Now we see the face of holiness. Giving our hearts to truth, we are set free.
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