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Deepening Into Emptiness and Suchness from the Thai Forest Tradition

Online Program
Dates: Nov 11, 2023 - Nov 12, 2023

Instructor(s): Heather Sundberg

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Course Description:

When we understand that direct experience is not solid and not separate in the ways it normally appears (Emptiness), we can embrace experience in its changing conditions with the heart of compassion and inclusion born of non-clinging (Suchness). This offers us the freedom to respond with wisdom and care to the challenges we experience in ourselves and in the world, rather than reacting out of habitual conditioning. As we release reactivity, we uncover our inherent capacities for joy, connection and creative responses.

With a group of experienced practitioners, we will have the conditions to take a deep dive into the teachings and direct experience of Emptiness and Suchness as this online weekend retreat unfolds. You will be invited to deepen your explorations on the themes through teachings, guided meditations, inquiry, daily life instructions, and discussion with the teacher.

Specific areas for exploration include the interface between Emptiness-Suchness relating to:

The physical body

The sense of self

Mental-emotional activity

Objects at the six sense doors

External phenomenon 

Teachings and practices will be offered from the perspective of the Southern Thai forest tradition in the lineage of the MahaSati Emptiness-Awareness. For more information about MahaSati Emptiness-Awareness, which Heather teaches, please visit www.mahasati.info.

To support deepening practice, there will be a couple of optional sign up Small Groups, as well as daily opportunities to ask questions about the teachings and practices. 

This will be an immersive retreat. Participants are encouraged to take time off from work and not schedule social engagements during this retreat time. In this way, participants will get the most out of the retreat time, by fully focusing on the teachings and practices offered.

Experience Level:
Suitable for intermediate and advanced practitioners.


Participation in at least 25 nights of silent retreat (residential or online) in any Buddhist tradition and at least five years of Buddhist practice is required to register for this retreat. In addition, attendance at all sessions is required.

Online Schedule:
This program is hosted on Zoom and closed captions are available. You can check the time of the group sessions in your timezone here: https://www.worldtimebuddy.com. The schedule of Zoom meetings for this program (shown in US Eastern Time) is as follows:

Saturday, November 11 

11:00 - 12:30 pm ET

 3:30 - 5:00 pm ET

7:00 - 8:30 pm ET

Sunday, November 12

1:00 - 12:30 pm ET

 3:30 - 5:00 pm ET

7:00 - 8:30 pm ET

Please note that sessions will not be recorded.

Cancellation Policy:
Registration fees for online programs are nonrefundable after the program start date. Cancellations prior to the program start date will incur a $25 cancellation fee. For intensive, application-based programs, the cancellation fee is $50.

As we work to become a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community, we invite feedback/suggestions you may have regarding ways that we can make participation in the program more accessible and welcoming. Please email us at contact@buddhistinquiry.org.
    About the Instructor(s):
  • Heather Sundberg has taught insight meditation since 1999, completed the Spirit Rock/IMS Teacher Training program under Jack Kornfield and Joseph Goldstein, and is currently a member of the Spirit Rock Teacher's Council.  For the last three decades, Heather has studied with senior teachers in the Insight Meditation and Vajrayana traditions, completing 3 accumulated years of retreat.  Her teaching emphasizes embodiment, heart practice, and wisdom-awareness practices.  www.heathersundberg.com.