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Voices of Awakening: An Insight Dialogue Retreat

Online Program
Dates: Nov 16, 2022 - Nov 20, 2022

Instructor(s): Nicola Redfern, Ayya Anopama

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Course Description:

In this retreat, we will explore the path to freedom and the obstacles that hinder us by contemplating the Verses of the Elder Nuns (Therīgāthā), a collection of poems from the very first Buddhist nuns. These verses give detailed accounts of the awakening experiences of these early Buddhist women with vivid descriptions and powerful imagery. They also describe the very different life circumstances from which these women came to the Dharma, often including the challenges of constantly caring for others, the loss of loved ones, and the experience of aging.

We will be drawing from some of the more literal translations as well as free translations–contemporary poems inspired by the Pali verses. Through the practice of Insight Dialogue, we will meditate together on the voices of awakening in these poems and invite them to come alive in us. Together we will explore how we can meet ourselves fully, with compassion, and encounter the challenges in our own lives with patience and perseverance, developing resilience, inspiration and joy on the path.

This retreat will include silent meditation as well as Insight Dialogue in pairs and small groups, bringing together meditative awareness, wisdom teachings, poetry, and the power of relational practice to develop liberating insight and deep compassion while investigating present moment experience.


An established meditation practice is required for this retreat.

Online Schedule:
This program is hosted on Zoom and closed captions are available. Our intention is to build sangha and provide meaningful virtual interactions with each other and with teachers in our online programs. We encourage you to participate as fully as you are able. 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:

Wednesday, November 16

6:30 - 9:00 pm ET Introduction & Group Practice

Thursday, November 17- Saturday, November 19

9:00- 10:00 am ET Group Meditation 

11:00am – 1:30 pm ET Group Practice 

3:30– 6:00 pm ET Group Practice

7:30 - 8:15 pm ET Group Meditation 

Sunday, November 20

9:00 - 10:00 am ET Group Meditation

11:00am – 1: 30 pm ET Group Practice & Closing

Please note that sessions will be recorded and will be available within 48 hours of each session for courses and 48 hours of the final session for retreats and events. These recordings are not downloadable. Retreat recordings will be available for 2 weeks and event recordings will be available indefinitely.

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):
  • 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 is currently co-teaching the ‘Heart of Freedom’ program offered jointly by IMS and BCBS for experienced dharma practitioners. 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.

  • Ayya Anopama has practised Buddhist meditation for over two decades and spent extensive time in solitary retreat in Burma where she ordained as a Theravadin Buddhist nun with the Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw. Her teachers include Ashin Tejania, Bhikkhu Analayo, and Ajahn Brahm as well as Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo and Mingyur Rinpoche. She has spent over five years in retreat, mostly in silence. Her approach to meditation focuses on wakefulness and compassion to develop calm and wisdom and integrates the interpersonal practice of Insight Dialogue as a powerful vehicle for awakening. She serves Tilorien Monastery in Belgium, Sarana Vihara in Spain, the Global Insight Dialogue Community, and Bodhicharya Caribbean.