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Gladdening the Heart-Mind: Bringing Joy to the Fore On and Off the Cushion

Residential Program
Dates: Apr 04, 2023 - Apr 09, 2023
Days: Tuesday - Sunday
Number of Nights: 5 nights

Instructor(s): Susan Morgan, Bill Morgan

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Program Description:

Without gladdening the mind when it needs to be gladdened, realization will not be possible. ~Bhikkhu Analayo 

In the West, we often focus a bit too much on the dukkha aspect of the Buddha’s teaching and not enough on the sukka, or happiness, side of experience. Sukka is a product of joy! Without joy, happiness eludes us, and without happiness, meditation stagnates.

Too often joy is underappreciated and not prioritized as a quality to cultivate. But joy enables our meditation practice to grow, develop, and bloom. 

Joy is an essential ingredient in the pursuit of awakening, in moving toward less suffering and more ease of well being. Featured in two traditional lists, the Bojjhanga or Awakening Factors and the Brahmaviharas, joy gives the uplift necessary to skillfully work with the hindrances that we inevitably encounter.

So, what brings joy to the fore? How can we cultivate it in our meditation practice? What helps sustain joy? 

During our time together we will explore this wholesome heart quality. Our teaching style is practical, focusing on the establishing and developing of a mindfulness practice that is relevant and sustainable to our lives. We will utilize a variety of meditation instructions, guided meditations, and practices. Periods of teaching will alternate with sitting and walking meditation. There will also be time for group discussion and dyadic mindful communication exercises.

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.
    About the Instructor(s):
  • Susan Morgan, CNS, is a psychotherapist in Cambridge, MA. She is a board and faculty member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy and contributing author to Mindfulness and Psychotherapy. Susan has a longstanding meditation practice and recently completed a four-year meditation retreat at the Forest Refuge. She has been leading retreats, primarily for caregivers, for the last 15 years. Lovingkindness and mindfulness of the body are integral to her teaching.

  • Bill Morgan, Psy.D., is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Cambridge, MA. He has participated in many intensive retreats in meditation practice over the past 40 years and recently completed a four-year meditation retreat at the Forest Refuge in Barre, MA. Together with Susan Morgan, he has been leading mindfulness retreats for 15 years.