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Brahmavihāra and Emptiness
Dates: Oct 03, 2019 - Oct 10, 2019
Days: Thu - Thu (7 Nights)

Instructor(s): Bhikkhu Analayo

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This course will undertake a study of brahmavihāra meditation and the gradual entry into emptiness as described in the Shorter Discourse on Emptiness (Cūḷasuññata Sutta), relating both of these modes of practice to progress to awakening. A central focus during the study sessions will be the qualities pertinent to awakening (bodhipakkhiya dhammas), those qualities and practices that according to early Buddhism are central for liberation. This course is meant for experienced practitioners of meditation who wish to deepen their understanding and practice. The emphasis throughout the course will be on what is of practical relevance to actual meditation practice. The course will combine study and discussion sessions in the mornings with guided meditation instructions given during the silent practice periods of the rest of the day.

Learning Intentions:

To examine central aspects of the brahmavihāras and their potential contribution to progress to awakening; deepen understanding of the qualities pertinent to awakening (bodhipakkhiyā dhammā), their relationships and their importance in progressing on the path; explore the Buddha's teachings on emptiness, develop proper understanding of the doctrine of not-self, and consider relevant application in our own practice, both formal meditation and daily life; and understand the relationship between meditative cultivation of insight and development of the eightfold path, and how this can be applied in our own practice.

Noble Silence and Mindful Speech:

The format of this course includes dedicated periods of both noble silence and mindful speech. Participants are encouraged to actively participate in morning study and discussion groups, supported by mindful speech. Noble silence is to be upheld at all other times.


Participants need to be familiar with Bhikkhu Analayo’s approach to the Foundations of Mindfulness (Satipatthana)–particularly the hindrances and the awakening factors–by having sat a previous retreat with him on this topic or taken his online Satipatthana course. Participants should also have sat three week-long vipassana retreats. Please list in detail on your lottery application. 

Link to Lottery course details

Link to Lottery course details
  • Bhikkhu Anālayo is a scholar-monk and the author of numerous books on meditation and early Buddhism, such as Satipatthāna: The Direct Path to RealizationPerspectives on Satipatthāna, and Satipatthāna Meditation: A Practice Guide. He is a Faculty Member at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, having retired from being a professor at the Numata Center for Buddhist Studies at the University of Hamburg. His main area of academic research is early Buddhism, with a special interest in the topics of meditation and women in Buddhism. At the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies he regularly teaches residential study & practice courses, participates in online programs and undertakes research into meditation-related themes.  For a full list of Bhikkhu Anālayo’s publications, please click here.