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Sitting in the Fire: Awakening Through Speech and Relationship
Dates: May 13, 2022 - May 16, 2022
Days: Fri - Mon (3 Nights)

Instructor(s): Nolitha Tsengiwe, Oren Jay Sofer

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As social beings, our lives are inextricably interwoven. The Buddha emphasized the immense power of social harmony, spiritual friendship, and wise speech as factors conducive to awakening. During this weekend retreat, we will explore Dhamma teachings and relational practices that foster peace, clarity, and compassion both internally and externally.

An integral part of this three-day retreat will be the practice of wise speech, a skillful vehicle for expressing the Dhamma fully into our whole lives. We will study, contemplate and practice the Buddha’s teachings using Nonviolent Communication and restorative dialogue practices to explore suffering and transformation on personal, interpersonal, and social levels. These interpersonal practices bring the insight and tranquility of traditional Buddhist meditation into our interactions with others. Through an attentive weaving of dialogue practice, silent mindfulness and kindness meditation, mindful movement, and time in nature, we will deepen the essential qualities that support living in this complex relational world with clarity, integrity, and compassion.

Noble Silence: 

Noble silence will be observed following the evening session through breakfast the following morning, with some extended periods of silence during the day.

Experience Level:

A silent meditation retreat of four days or longer, plus familiarity with social justice issues and/or Nonviolent Communication is required.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

Three spaces will be held for self-identified BIPOC participants until eight weeks before this course begins when they will be released generally. Therefore, we encourage you to join the waitlist even if the course appears full as additional spaces may become available. Please see our diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies for more information.

As we work to become a more inclusive, equitable, and diverse 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.

  • Nolitha is a mindfulness teacher, psychologist and executive coach in South Africa. She has been a meditation practitioner for more than twenty years under Kittisaro and Thanissara, who are students of Ajahn Chah. Nolitha completed CDL4 (Community Dharma Leadership) at Spirit Rock and is currently in a four year meditation teacher training program at the Insight Meditation Society (IMS). She is a mentor for 25 students training through Spirit Rock and Sounds True to be meditation teachers. Nolitha facilitates race work, using Insight Dialogue (Relational Mindfulness). She is a guiding teacher at Dharmagiri KZN, South Africa.

  • Oren Jay Sofer has practiced meditation in the Theravada Buddhist tradition since 1997. He holds a degree in Comparative Religion from Columbia University, is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner for healing trauma, a Certified Nonviolent Communication Trainer, and a member of the Spirit Rock Teachers’ Council. Oren is the Founder of Next Step Dharma and author of the book, Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication.