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Experiencing the Joy of a Focused Mind

Residential Program
Dates: Sep 13, 2022 - Sep 18, 2022
Days: Tuesday - Sunday
Number of Nights: 5 nights

Instructor(s): Shaila Catherine

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Course Description:

This retreat is part of a year long path program called Cultivating Concentration and the Absorption States of Jhāna. Please click here for more information on the full program.

This five-night retreat will introduce ways to use the breath as the primary meditation object and lay the foundation for strengthening concentration (samadhi). This initial retreat will focus on nurturing conditions that dispel hindrances, enhance focused attention, develop balanced effort, and clarify the importance of right concentration. Deep tranquility, equanimity, and joy associated with concentrated states will launch our 10-month training in samadhi. 

This retreat will include sitting and walking meditation, dhamma teachings, and consultations with the teacher. The majority of the time will be devoted to silent meditation practice with teacher guidance. There will be opportunities for group discussions to nurture community connections among practitioners dedicated to strengthening concentration.

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 intermediate and advanced practitioners.


This program is intended for experienced meditators. Participants must have an established daily sitting practice of at least 30 minutes for two years, and have attended multiple insight meditation retreats that add up to more than 20 days of retreat time.

Please read the introduction and chapters 1–2 of Focused and Fearless prior to the retreat.


This course will be offered by application. Applications will open on March 14th, 2022 and close at 11:59 PM US Eastern time on May 31st 2022, and spaces will be offered June 10th. Payment will be due two weeks from notification of acceptance.

Cancellation Policy:
During the pandemic, there is a cancellation fee of $50 for all residential programs longer than two nights and $25 for weekend programs.

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):
  • Shaila Catherine is the founder of Bodhi Courses, an online Dhamma classroom, and Insight Meditation South Bay, a Buddhist meditation center in Silicon Valley. She authored two books on concentration and insight—Focused and Fearless: A Meditator’s Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity, and Wisdom Wide and Deep: A Practical Handbook for Mastering Jhana and Vipassana. She began practicing meditation in 1980 and has dedicated more than nine years to silent retreats. Shaila has been teaching meditation internationally since 1996.