Christina Feldman and Dr John Peacock
Preference will be given to mindfulness teachers and teachers in training but the retreat is open to mindfulness teachers, teacher trainees and people with an established mindfulness meditation practice, ideally with some retreat experience.
Personal meditation practice is an essential foundation for anyone who works with mindfulness-based interventions and participation in teacher-led mindfulness meditation retreats is part of all Good Practice Guidelines, including those of the Mindfulness Teachers Association of Ireland ( mtai.ie).
This retreat will explore the foundations of Mindfulness, as taught in the Satipaṭṭhāna discourse given by the Buddha. This is a profound teaching that encourages us to place the path of freedom and compassion in the classroom of our lives, nurturing a heart that is receptive and unshakeable. Developing the capacity to encounter our own inner and outer experience with equanimity and curiosity creates a foundation for meeting the experiences of our students and clients, in offering mindfulness-based interventions.
Each day will offer a schedule of formal meditation practice (both Insight and Metta), group meetings, q & a with the teachers, Dharma talks and instructions. As we cannot all be together in a physical retreat environment we are invited to set things up as best we can to reduce our engagement in our normal day to day lives, so that we can be as present as possible for the retreat. This creates a mutually supportive environment for everyone.
We understand that everyone's situation is different and many of us will have demands that must be met outside of the retreat. The important thing is the spirit of silence, mutual support and each of us doing our best to turn up to all of the sessions. We will have a timetable closer to the time. The zoom gatherings will be interspersed with periods of walking meditation and self-practice, away from the camera.
These times are IST/BST - This is a guide and there may be some changes:
Christina Feldman is of the generation of dharma teachers that began teaching in the west in 1975 after spending some years in Asia studying and practicing in both the Mahayana and Theravada traditions. She is a co-founder of Gaia House and has served as a guiding teacher of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre Massachusetts since its early days. More recently, she is a co-founder of Bodhi College, which is dedicated to the study and practice of the early teachings of the Buddha.
Christina teaches Buddhist psychology in several university settings in Europe, and she teaches both traditional retreats and study programmes. She has been involved in the evolving exploration of mindfulness in contemporary settings. Her latest book Mindfulness: Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Psychology, is co-authored with Willem Kukyen.
Dr John Peacock has been an academic and a Buddhist practitioner for forty years. Trained in India in the Tibetan Gelugpa tradition, he subsequently spent time in Sri Lanka studying Theravada. He lectured in Buddhist Studies at the University of Bristol, he was Associate Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre and teacher on the Master of Studies programme in MBCT (Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy) at Oxford University until recently. John has been teaching meditation internationally for more than twenty five years and is a Gaia House guiding teacher. He is a co-founder of The Bodhi College, which is dedicated to the study and practice of the early teachings of the Buddha.
Mat Schencks is a long-term meditator and mindfulness practitioner. Mat has spent over 18 years studying Insight Meditation (the origin of Mindfulness) and has attended many silent meditation retreats in the UK and in Asia and teaches Insight Meditation as well as Mindfulness. As a Mindfulness teacher, Mat works closely with other practitioners, keeping up-to-date with the latest research and techniques. He is fully trained to offer the full MBCT course curriculum and has been supervised in his teaching methods.