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Voices of Awakening: An Insight Dialogue Retreat
Dates: Dec 29, 2021 - Jan 02, 2022
Online Course

Instructor(s): Ayya Anopama, Nicola Redfern

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In this New Year’s 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 by and about the first Buddhist nuns that are included in the Pali Canon. They 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 many changes to the body that come with age. The verses also give detailed accounts of the awakening experiences of these early Buddhist women with vivid descriptions and powerful imagery.  

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 contemplate deeply 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 lives with patience and perseverance, developing resilience, inspiration and joy on our own 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.

Everyone is welcome!


Online Retreat: This retreat will be hosted on the Zoom video conferencing platform and closed captions are available. The schedule for this retreat (listed in US Eastern Time) is:

Wednesday, December 29

6.30 – 9:00 pm, Opening Session

Thursday, December 30 – Saturday, January 1 

9:00 – 10:00 am, Morning Group Meditation 

11:00 am – 1:30 pm, Midday Group Practice 

3:30 – 6:00 pm, Afternoon Group Practice

7:30 – 8:15 pm, Evening Group Meditation 

Sunday, 2 January

9:00 – 10:00 am, Morning Group Meditation

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

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

Participants are asked to commit to attending the entire retreat so we can weave a deep sense of community together (exceptions will be made depending on the time zones of participants).

Please check the time of the group meetings in your timezone here, and please note that sessions will not be recorded.

Registration fees for online courses are nonrefundable after the course start date. Cancellations prior to the start date of the course will incur a $25 admin fee. Thank you for your understanding.

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.

  • 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.

  • Nicola Redfern is an Insight Dialogue teacher with an extensive background in both Zen and Vipassana meditation. She has been trained to teach Insight Dialogue by founding teacher Gregory Kramer. With a strong belief that awakening is not simply a solo endeavor, Nicola is particularly interested in getting meditation off the cushion and fully integrated into life, work, and relationships. She has also taught Nonviolent Communication and co-teaches courses on unlearning racism. Nicola lives in Santa Fe, NM.


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