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Voices of Awakening: An Insight Dialogue Retreat

Online Program
Dates: Dec 29, 2023 - Jan 02, 2024

Instructor(s): Ayya Anopama, Nicola Redfern

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Program Description:

In this program, 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.

Online Schedule:
This program is hosted on Zoom and closed captions are available. 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:

Friday, December 29

3:30 - 6:00 pm ET Introduction & Group Practice

Saturday, December 30 - Monday, January 1

9:00- 9:45 am ET Group Meditation 

11:00am – 1:00 pm ET Group Practice 

3:00– 5:00 pm ET Group Practice

7:00 - 7:45 pm ET Group Meditation 

Tuesday, January 2

9:00- 9:45 am ET Group Meditation

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

NOTE: Group meditation may include light guidance. Group Practice sessions may include silent meditation and Insight Dialogue practice, reflection and dharma contemplation as well as movement and walking practice.

Please note that sessions will not be recorded.

Cancellation Policy:
Registration fees for all online programs are nonrefundable after the program start date. Cancellations prior to the program start date incur a $25 cancellation fee. Application-based and online path programs incur a $50 cancellation fee in 2023 and a $100 cancellation fee beginning 2024.

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):
  • Ayya Anopama is a Theravadian Buddhist nun who offers teachings and retreats across continents. She has spent several years in intensive retreat in Burma, where she was ordained with the Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw and has also studied with various teachers of Early Buddhism and in the Tibetan tradition. Prior to becoming a nun, she worked as a cultural policy advisor and yoga therapist in the UK. She teaches meditation in English, Spanish, and German, emphasizing wakefulness, inquiry, and compassion in silent and relational practice. She is affiliated with Tilorien Monastery in Belgium and a member of the Insight Dialogue Teacher Development Cohort.

  • 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.