Skip to content

Hollyhock Retreat Open

 Vipassana Retreat Metta/Brahma Vihara

Vipassana Retreat Metta/Loving-Kindness

with Michele McDonald and Steven Smith

Announcing the 2016 Spring Hollyhock schedule, two retreat opportunities at one location on beautiful Cortes Island, British Columbia, at the Hollyhock Centre. Sit these meditation retreats with both Michele McDonald and Steven Smith and supportive staff. Experience seven days practicing Mette, unconditional love, and the other Brahma Viharas, wise compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity. Then stay for the second seven days, or just sign up for part two, focusing on the first of the Brahma Viharas–Metta or LovingKindness.

Participants may attend the full fourteen day practice, or come during one of the following weeks.

April 27 – May 4, 2016 – Vipassana Metta/Brahma Vihara, 
Cultivate Unconditional Love, Wise Compassion, Empathetic Joy, and Equanimity.

May 4 – May 11, 2016 – Vipassana Metta/LovingKindness, 
focus practise on Loving Kindness for oneself and others.
Joy Kerfoot will be offering mindful movement. Pari Ruengvisesh will be assisting Michele and Steven.

Request a Reservation for This Program Register early to ensure your program and accommodation choice.

Special note: The Lake Retreats have been very popular and fill quickly. Steven had decided to offer another retreat in June at this amzing Thailand location, Jungle Yoga. Keeps your eyes open and we will let you know as soon as information becomes available.


Register now for Forgiveness and Reconciliation 

January 22-30, 2016, on beautiful O’ahu.

Registration closes January 15 for both residential and nonresidential. Don’t wait!

Forgiveness and Reconciliation

With Sayadaw U Thuzana

January 22 – 30, 2016

The Buddha succeeded in establishing a community that has been a genuine force for peace and harmony, not only because of the high value he placed on these qualities but also because of the precise instructions he gave on how to achieve them through forgiveness and reconciliation. Central to these instructions is his insight that forgiveness is one thing reconciliation is something else. Sayadaw U Thuzana will teach the difference between the two as we practice forgiveness and learn how to reconcile in this seven-day mindfulness meditation retreat that is suitable to anyone who is interested in or has already been practicing Buddhist meditation. For more information about Sayadaw U Thuzana, click here.

To register please go to this web page.

MettaDana Project

Last year was a powerful turning point in the work of the MettaDana Project and we hope you can support us as we move forward in this new era.

The death of Sayadaw U Lakkhana was a true test of our 21 years of relationships in the Wachet community and a testament to the enduring vitality of the village and the many programs that Sayadaw and MettaDana put into place during his influential life. It was truly uplifting to see the beautiful results of Sayadaw’s actions to continue to blossom in the village and to find the community and the programs moving forward with integrity and metta. We were profoundly moved by the community’s sadness at Sayadaw’s death and also by the overwhelmingly wish that we return and continue our work.

This January, we will return to Wachet to hold our annual 3-week retreat at Kyaswa Monastery with Sayadaw U Pannananda, Michele McDonald, and Steven Smith (where room is still available). During this time we will check in with the various MettaDana Projects and find out how best we can continue to strengthen these vital programs.

Important developments have also taken place over the past few years that we want you to know about:

The Wachet Village School, which we created and sustained for many years, is now fully integrated into the public school system: a moving and positive result of the changing political dynamics in the country. While basic school supplies are now provided by the state, the school still depends on us to provide uniforms for all students, including robes for the many “nunlets” and “monklets” (as Michele likes to call them) and teacher bonuses for the faculty to supplement the meager wages provided by the state. We now need help to support continuing education programs for teachers in language and computer training that will allow them to provide a more robust and relevant education for the future. 

The Wachet Jivitadana Sangha Hospital is thriving and benefiting from numerous donations coming from MettaDana and other foreign supporters and healtchcare providers, as well as beneficiaries of Myanmar’s burgeoning economy. This year, we are hoping to begin a new program based on the important research on women’s health needs we sponsored last year. Two Swedish medical students who conducted the research sent us their reports and based on their findings we are hoping to begin free courses on reproductive health for members of the Wachet community. If you are interested in supporting this project or have skills that may be helpful in its development, please get in touch with our office via email.

Another team of acupuncturists will be coming this year to teach our Burmese colleagues new methods and approaches to treatment and to begin a rigorous 3-year teacher-training model so that our MettaDana-trained Burmese acupucturists can begin to spread their practices in their own communities. The team, organized by long-time MettaDana supporter Kirsten Germann, will bring back Keith Wright for a second year and will introduce Peter van Kervel and his family to the project.

Some of our nun friends will be the subject of an upcoming documentary film entitled “This Very Life.” You can watch the trailer here! We are excited to continue our support for these three nunneries as important sustainers of the pursuit of the Dhamma for women in Myanmar. Supporting their basic community needs as well as providing for a medical fund each year helps ensure that these women are able to commit to a powerful way of life guided by the heart of the Buddha’s teachings.

We want to give thanks to all who have offered their generous support of our MettaDana projects over the years. To see the fruits of these endeavors flourish and to see these projects coming into their own, independent and forward-moving, is a marvelous sign of the persistent and generous dedication of many supporters over time.

If you have not already given this year, please consider a donation to the MettaDana Project to support our wonderful projects there. Any amount that you offer has considerable impact locally and helps continue the lineage of connection and support that we are all so fortunate to be a part of. Click here to donate nowThank you so much for your generosity!

~ The Kyaswa retreat and MettaDana team

Daylong in the Spirit of Halloween and Día de Los Muertos


With Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey

October 31, 2015

Throughout the world, many cultures recognize autumn as a time to reflect on impermanence and to honor loved ones who have passed away. Join Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey for a day of meditation on death and impermanence while abiding in lovingkindness and gratitude for our loved ones who have died. For more information about the teacher, click here. Registration is preferred.