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Retreats

photo by Ralph Davis

Vipassana Hawai‘i offers a variety of programs aligned with Buddhist Theravadic teachings  in Hawai‘i, the US mainland, Canada, and Southeast Asia. Whether you are a beginner or an seasoned yogi, we provide a diverse range of practice opportunities throughout the year. Click through to learn more about us, or to join our Hawai‘i sangha at Sunday sittings.

Upcoming Retreats


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December 29, 2017 – January 8, 2018

 New Year’s Abiding in the Wild: Nurturing Love, Awareness, and the Heart’s Deep Release

Vipassana Retreat with Mindful Movement

with Steven Smith and assisted by Jake Davis

Mindful movement with Julie Seibt

Jungle Yoga, Thailand

Filled, waitlist only.

We will begin each day sitting together in the stillness of this remote jungle lake, as dawn slowly brings on the indescribable jungle chorus of cicadas and gibbons. Together, we will learn to cultivate seamless awareness in all sense fields, nourished by dedicated cultivation of the ‘divine abidings’: unconditional friendliness, wise compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity. In each moment of returning gently to the present, we develop the ability to abide with clarity and kindness in the midst of both subtle and strong emotions.


burmahand

January 12 – February 2, 2018

Kyaswa Monastery Fusion Retreat

Three-week meditation retreat in the tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw,

With Sayadaw U Pannabhinanda, Michele McDonald, Steven Smith and assisted by Sayalay Ma Kamala

Kyaswa Monastery, Sagaing Hills, Myanmar

This retreat is currently filled. 

Please email our managers if you would like to be placed on the waitlist.

This unique 3-week retreat offers a rare opportunity to practice Metta (lovingkindness) and Vipassana (insight) methods with skilled Burmese monastic and Western lay teachers in the Sagaing Hills of Upper Burma. The first 5 days will focus on Metta practice to lay the foundation for a deeper emphasis on Vipassana during the rest of the retreat. 

Filled with centuries-old pagodas, monasteries, and nunneries, the Sagaing hills are regarded as the spiritual heart of Burma and one of the most important practice centers of Theravada Buddhism. Kyaswa Monastery is itself a 600 year old practice and study center that plays a vital role in the health and vibrancy of nearby Wachet village. 

Yogis are supported in every way by  the heritage of living Dhamma and benefit from a rigorous schedule, individual interviews, carefully prepared food, nightly chanting from local nuns and accommodation in individual kutis nestled along the scenic hillside. 


February 3 – 19, 2018 (16 nights/17 days)

Ultimate Reality Pilgrimage
The Buddha Smile Tour, India

With Grahame White

Retreat is now full.

The opportunity has now arisen to be able to offer a seven-day Vipassana retreat in Bodh Gaya, the site of the Buddha’s awakenings, with permission given by the Abbot, at the new Burmese Vihara in Bodh Gaya, India. This will be the inaugural retreat, and hopefully becoming an annual event.

Following this retreat, we will head off on our nine-day pilgrimage. We will be visiting famous sites such as Nalanda, Rajgir, Vultures Peak, Vaisali, Kushinagar, Varanasi and Sarnath. From Varanasi we will fly to Bopal for a short bus ride to the UNESCO listed site of Sanchi Stupor where we will stay two nights and explore this site. After Sanchi we will fly back to Varanasi and bus back to Bodh Gaya where we will end our pilgrimage.

An exciting trip is being offered and we invite you to join us for this for this wonderful Buddha Smile Pilgrimage. There are a number of tour options available. Further details are available here.


February 23 to March 3, 2018

Finding Peace and Balance in your life through the practices of

Loving-kindness, Compassion, Appreciative Joy and Equanimity

 With Bhante Buddharakkhita

Palolo Zen Center, Honolulu, Hawai’i

Do you find peace and happiness within you? Do you experience difficulties in your relationships? And do you have balance in daily life?

We will explore the theory, practice and role of the Four Divine Abodes in removing difficult emotions and cultivating wholesome emotions in order to gain peace, happiness and freedom.

Bhante will begin with an introduction to mindfulness practice and then, using these basics, allow participants to explore loving-kindness, compassion, appreciative joy and equanimity in order to work through difficult emotions like anger and into tap into freedom of the heart and mind.

This silent retreat will include walking, sitting, standing meditation as well as guided meditation instructions and Dhamma talks.


March 2 – March 10, 2018

Seven day retreat

With Steven Smith

Blue Mountains Insight Meditation Centre

Medlow Bath – Blue Mountains Australia

Anchored in the Theravadan Buddhist Burmese lineage of Mahasi Sayadaw since 1974, Steven Smith was trained and sanctioned as a teacher by the late revered monk and meditation master Sayadaw U Pandita. Steven teaches Vipassana and the Divine Abodes (loving-kindness, compassion, joy, equanimity) in meditation retreats in Asia, Hawai’i, North America and Australia. He co-founded Vipassana Hawai’i in 1984 and in 1995 founded the MettaDana Project for educational and medical projects in Burma. Also in 1995 Steven helped establish the Kyaswa Valley Retreat Center in Burma, headed by the late Sayadaw U Lakkhana, Abbot of Kyaswa Monastery.

This retreat is suitable for beginners and experienced meditators.


April 25 – May 9, 2018

Metta Vipassana:  Awareness As A Path to Liberation

With Steven Smith and Michele McDonald

assisted by Pari, and with Joy Kerfoot-mindful movement

Hollyhock on Cortes Island, British Columbia, Canada


May 25 – June 3, 2018

Liberation of Heart and Mind: Insight Meditation and Lovingkindness Retreat

With Michele McDonald and Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey

assisted by Pari Ruengvisesh & Darine Monroy

Insight Meditation Society, Barre, Massachusetts

This two-week course, held in an environment of silence, is a precious opportunity to experience the depth of practice that a longer retreat allows. We will explore the Buddha’s teachings on liberation by touching into the wordless depths of our own heart with an emphasis on lovingkindness, compassion, empathetic joy and equanimity. By practicing with interest, acceptance and kindness, we develop greater understanding and compassion. In this way, we increase our ability to meet life’s changes with ease and serenity.


June 7 – 10, 2018

Liberation of Heart and Mind:  Lovingkindness Retreat and Insight Weekend

With Michele McDonald and Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey

Insight Meditation Society, Barre, Massachusetts

This silent weekend course, open to all, is an opportunity to explore the Buddha’s teachings on liberation, with an emphasis on the practice of metta, or lovingkindness. Through learning to connect with our mind/heart/body process with interest and acceptance, we touch into the wordless depths of our own heart, and develop greater understanding and compassion. In this way, we increase our ability to meet life’s changes with graceful ease and serenity.


June 12  –  22, 2018

 June Abiding in the Wild: Nurturing Love, Awareness, and the Heart’s Deep Release

 Vipassana Retreat with Mindful Movement

with Steven Smith and assisted by Jake Davis

Mindful movement with Julie Seibt

Jungle Yoga, Thailand

Now open for registration.


July 20 – 28, 2018

Topic to be announce

With Grahame White and Yoga with Sarah Hegarty Davis

Palolo Zen Center, Honolulu, Hawai’i


 

August 10 – 19, 2018

Affectionate Awareness as a Path to Liberation

With Michele McDonald and Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey

Vallecitos Mountain Ranch, New Mexico

Develop your heart’s capacity for clarity and kindness with this unique integration of Metta (lovingkindness) and Vipassana (insight) practices. Experience the richness of quietude in the beautiful Vallecitos wilderness while cultivating the wisdom of Vipassana and the tenderness of the 4 Brahma Viharas: Unconditional Love, Compassion, Appreciative Joy, and Equanimity.


August 24 – September 2, 2018

Vipassana Retreat at Sea to Sky

With Michele McDonald and Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey

Vipassana meditation (Insight or Mindfulness practice) is the moment-to-moment investigation of the mind / body process through calm and focused awareness. As insight deepens, wisdom and compassion arise.

Sea to Sky Retreat Centre is a secluded 40 acre site of extraordinary natural beauty in British Columbia’s coastal mountain range.

Sponsored by BCIMS  Sea to Sky Retreat Centre, Daisy Lake, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada


September 13 – 22, 2018

Freedom Through Understanding: Insight as a Path to Peace

With Michele McDonald and Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey

True North Insight, Arnprior, Ottawa, Canada

The teachers will be offering Vipassana practice rooted in deepening our understanding of mindfulness as the intention to understand our experience rather than to judge and control it.
Learn to develop a field of awareness that can be narrowed or broadened, that can incline toward clarity or compassion, depending on the needs of the circumstance. Learn to move with courage toward difficulty when mindfulness and equanimity are strong, and to infuse one’s awareness with gentle care when the challenges seem overwhelming.
The practice is grounded firmly in the Theravada teachings of the Buddha and offered in the spirit of our times. All four foundations of mindfulness will be taught so that yogis can access deeper levels of insight and peace.


October 19 – October 27, 2018

Seven day retreat

With Steven Smith

Blue Mountains Insight Meditation Centre

Medlow Bath – Blue Mountains Australia

Anchored in the Theravadan Buddhist Burmese lineage of Mahasi Sayadaw since 1974, Steven Smith was trained and sanctioned as a teacher by the late revered monk and meditation master Sayadaw U Pandita. Steven teaches Vipassana and the Divine Abodes (loving-kindness, compassion, joy, equanimity) in meditation retreats in Asia, Hawai’i, North America and Australia. He co-founded Vipassana Hawai’i in 1984 and in 1995 founded the MettaDana Project for educational and medical projects in Burma. Also in 1995 Steven helped establish the Kyaswa Valley Retreat Center in Burma, headed by the late Sayadaw U Lakkhana, Abbot of Kyaswa Monastery.

This retreat is suitable for beginners and experienced meditators.


October 26 – 28, 2018

With Jesse

To be announced.

Kahumana Cafe and Retreat Center, Waianae, O’ahu

 


November 23 – December 1, 2018

Dhamma: Pure, Deep, and Simple

With Steven Smith and Michele McDonald

Palolo Zen Center, Honolulu, Hawai’i


December 29, 2018 – January 8, 2019

 New Year’s Abiding in the Wild: Nurturing Love, Awareness, and the Heart’s Deep Release

Vipassana Retreat with Mindful Movement

with Steven Smith and assisted by Jake Davis

Mindful movement with Julie Seibt

Jungle Yoga, Thailand

We will begin each day sitting together in the stillness of this remote jungle lake, as dawn slowly brings on the indescribable jungle chorus of cicadas and gibbons. Together, we will learn to cultivate seamless awareness in all sense fields, nourished by dedicated cultivation of the ‘divine abidings’: unconditional friendliness, wise compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity. In each moment of returning gently to the present, we develop the ability to abide with clarity and kindness in the midst of both subtle and strong emotions.


If you are interested in or have questions about any of the upcoming retreats please feel free to contact us by email.

Please note our Cancellation Policy:
If you cancel more than 45 days prior to the retreat: We will refund all fees less paypal fees – usually $50.00- $100.00
If you cancel 10-44 days prior to the retreat: We will refund all fees less $200.00. Cancellation insurance recommended.
If you cancel less than 14 days prior to the event: Unfortunately we cannot afford to offer a refund. Last-minute cancellations are costly and sometimes mean that others cannot attend the retreat. 
* Daylong retreats within Hawai”i comply with a different cancellation policy, as noted on the registration pages.