The Courses and retreats listed here are led by the teachers on the Teachers page. The page is current - listings appear in date order and are taken down one day after the start date. Buttons take you to the relevant websites with all information and application processes.
Courses & Retreats
Foundations of a Soulmaking Dharma: Re-evaluating Emptiness, Imagination, Sacredness and Desire
Catherine McGee and Yahel Avigur10th September 2023 - 10th December 2023
This course offers a thorough grounding in the foundations of Soulmaking Dharma. It will support a practitioner to then build a Soulmaking Dharma practice if they should wish and be more confident in navigating and practising with Rob’s many Soulmaking Dharma talks.
Completion of this programme will allow participation in a number of different Soulmaking courses with Catherine and Yahel. It can also simply act as a stand-alone course in its own right to support and vivify one's main Dharma practices.
Foundational Skills of Attention and Samadhi
Juha Penttilä4th October 2023 - 15th November 2023 - 7 weeks, 7-9pm UK
The unfolding and deepening of meditation is dependent on a number of foundational skills of attention. These include things like the ability to direct the attention to an area of one’s experience, developing a steadiness and continuity of mindfulness to allow it to rest with a single object, the development of a delicacy of attention and sensitivity to the whole body of sensations, being able to notice different qualities of wellbeing through the experience of the body, as well as all the tools needed to work with the variety of hindrances that will inevitably arise.
These skills play an important role in all kinds of practices from metta and compassion to working with the breath as well as developing insight into the nature of things. On this course we will be working with cultivating and strengthening these foundational skills of attention and samadhi in relation to the body and the breath both in formal practice and in one’s daily life.
Figure and Ground: Meditative Explorations of Solidity, Space, and Absence
Susy Keely18th October 2023 - 15th November 2023 - Tuesdays 6-7.45pm UK
The premise of this online course for experienced meditators is to offer a chance to play with how we perceive space, awareness, and absence through applying different meditative instructions. Cultivating perceptions of spaciousness, openness, and lack of obstruction can open lovely aspects of samādhi and mystical states of consciousness. They can also offer a basis for exploring some of the subtle aspects of the manner in which experience is fabricated.
The HAF Annual Retreat - Freedom in Everything; Exploring the View of Emptiness
Yahel Avigur and Juha Penttilä1st December 2023 - 7th December 2023 + optional extra night for informal sangha time
Colehayes Park, Devon UK
On this retreat, we will engage in Samadhi, Metta and Insight practices as presented by Rob Burbea. These practices will support the harmonisation of the body and heart, our attunement to joy and steadiness, and open experiential understandings of dependent origination and emptiness. We will complement these explorations with analytical meditations explained in Seeing that Frees. Throughout the history of the Buddhist meditative tradition, these practices have served as a central vehicle for internalising the view of emptiness. They support opening a profound understanding of the nature of phenomena, the self, the world and all appearances. Although often unexplored, the analytical approaches can help us open to a powerful and liberating understanding when applied in the crucible of one's meditation practice.
With this combination of approaches, we will move towards a multifaceted view of emptiness beyond the paradigm of letting go.
As well as silent times for meditation, instructions and talks, there will be opportunities to explore some of these practices in pairs or small groups for those who choose to do so. Aside from these, the retreat will be held in silence.
This retreat is for those who:
- have participated in at least two week-long silent meditation retreats in a Buddhist tradition.
- have some experience in Ways of Looking/Emptiness practices, informed by how they are presented in Rob Burbea’s talks and book.
- who are interested in and available to explore teachings of emptiness.
You are welcome to listen to these talks, recorded by Juha and Yahel during a course on analytical practices:
Gladdening the Heart - The 4th annual Samadhi and Jhana retreat
Yahel Avigur and Sari Markkanen5th January 2024 - 12th January 2024
This retreat will support deepening the practice of Samadhi and Jhana. Over our years of practice under the guidance of Rob Burbea we have found amazing beauty and resources in this line of practice. We invite you who already have some familiarity with these practices and want to explore more of the subtle, delicate beauty they offer to a week of dedicated and supported practice.
During the retreat, we will touch on the beauty and benefits of the Jhana practice. We will also explore how the practice of Jhana connects with wisdom practices and how it supports the firsthand understanding of dependent arising and emptiness.
This retreat offers individual support with the practice and a possibility to practice together, sharing our love and interest for the Jhanas. Retreatants will receive practical help to deepen in skill and understanding of the samadhi and practice.
Susy Keely and Yahel Avigur14th January 2024 - 10th March 2024 - 8 weeks, 5-7.15pm UK
Exploring insight & emptiness practice based on Rob Burbea’s presentation of the Buddhist path.
In this course, we will offer ways of working that unburden the heart and the mind. These practice approaches are rooted in Buddhist teachings and were presented in a clear, comprehensive, and innovative way in the insight teachings of Rob Burbea.
These ways of working lead to liberation in three ways. The first way is an immediate freedom that can be opened in our present experience through practice. The second way is encouraging the development of the kind sensitivity and discernment that open the doors to more subtle and profound ways of working. Lastly, and most importantly, the methods and framing of the dharma we will explore can place us firmly on a path that leads to an ever-deepening understanding of the emptiness of all things, and the way that human consciousness and experience are formed.