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Ease & Freedom: Exploring the Three Characteristics with Insight Dialogue

Residential Program
Dates: Mar 01, 2024 - Mar 06, 2024
Days: Friday - Wednesday
Number of Nights: 5 nights

Instructor(s): Nicola Redfern and Bart Van Melik

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Program Description:

The insight that can arise from exploring the three characteristics of impermanence, suffering (dukkha), and not-self is a powerful way to free the heart-mind from clinging. It can be challenging for us to engage with this teaching in an embodied way, to bring it out of the conceptual and into the experiential realm. With Insight Dialogue, we have an opportunity to experience and give voice to these characteristics in meditation with a partner.

In our time together, we will: 

  • investigate how being present to impermanence in both its obvious and subtle manifestations can ground our understanding in direct experience
  • attend to the felt experience of the rising and falling of discontent (dukkha), to strengthen our awareness of how resistance and avoidance tend to deepen our suffering
  • become familiar with the process of the “self” coming into being and fading and how this recognition supports freedom from the suffering of identification. 

When we come to know impermanence, dukkha, and not-self as our own felt experience our capacity to be with things as they are is strengthened. This leads to a greater sense of ease and freedom in our lives, as well as a deepening of compassion for ourselves and each other.

This program is open to those with previous experience in Insight Dialogue as well as those new to this practice.

Noble Silence:
This program includes dedicated periods of both wise speech and noble silence. Some contemplative exercises may involve mindful speaking and listening. Noble silence is to be upheld at all other times.

Experience Level:
Suitable for beginning and experienced practitioners.

Cancellation Policy:
This policy applies to all residential and Path programs. Please note cancellation fees are at most $50 for those receiving financial assistance. Prior to six weeks before the program start date, cancellation fees are $50 for all programs more than two nights and $25 for programs two nights or less. 50% of your deposit is forfeited if you cancel between two and six weeks of the program start date. 100% of your deposit is forfeited if you cancel less than two weeks before the program start date.

Covid-19 Safety Protocol:
Please review our Covid-19 Safety Protocols here: https://www.buddhistinquiry.org/covid-19/.

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):
  • Nicola Redfern is an Insight Dialogue Retreat Teacher with an extensive background in both Zen and Vipassana meditation.  With a strong belief that awakening is not simply a solo endeavor, Nic is particularly interested in getting meditation off the cushion and fully integrated into life, work, and relationships. She has taught multiple courses on climate emergency, unlearning racism, and Nonviolent Communication, as well as programs for LGBTQIA+. Nicola is originally from the UK and now lives near Santa Fe, NM.

  • Bart van Melik has been teaching insight meditation and Insight Dialogue meditation since 2009, with a special focus on diverse communities. He brings the practice to juvenile detention centers, homeless shelters and NYC public schools, and is passionate about supporting people in finding new ways to relate to life’s stresses. Bart is the Guiding Teacher of the Community Meditation Center in New York City.