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Register now for retreat with Michele and Steven in Canada

We hope you will be able to join us for two springtime opportunities to sit with our guiding teachers Steven Smith and Michele McDonald at Hollyhock, Vancouver. The April 21 – 23, 2017, Metta Vipassana Meditation Retreat is nonresidential and the April 26 – May 10, 2017, Metta Vipassana: Awareness as a Path to Liberation is residential.



April 21 – 23, 2017

Metta Vipassana Meditation Retreat 

With Steven Smith and Michele McDonald

Sponsored by HollyhockAsian Centre at UBC in Vancouver, Canada

Vipassana meditation (insight or mindfulness practice) unites the stillness of concentration with the immediacy of moment to moment silent 6 sense door awareness. By calming body and mind, intuitive wise knowing arises — opening to the truth of each moment’s experience within and around us. In this way, we increase our ability to meet life’s ups and downs with graceful ease and peace.

Metta (Lovingkindness) meditation practice calls forth the beautiful spiritual emotions within our heart: lovingkindness, compassion, empathetic joy and equanimity. Mindfulness of these qualities strengthens and matures them, which leads to a constancy of thinking, acceptance and reverence for our bodies, as well as speaking and acting from the purity of these emotions.

During this silent weekend retreat, new and experienced students are encouraged to deepen their liberation practice in an atmosphere of relaxed affectionate awareness. The program provides meditation instruction, guided meditations and question and answer periods. Sitting and walking sessions are alternated. There will be Dhamma teaching talks and small group discussions with the teachers.

Register here.


April 26 – May 10, 2017

Metta Vipassana: Awareness As A Path to Liberation

With Steven Smith and Michele McDonald

Experience seven days practicing Metta (unconditional love and kindness) and Vipassana (insight) meditation, followed by seven days of cultivating mindfulness, on beautiful Cortes Island.

Discover the four immeasurables (unconditional love, wise compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity) through meditations that fuse these fundamental spiritual emotions with the intuitive wisdom of Vipassana. Develop compassionate awareness and a more loving heart with a unique melding of mindful movement alongside the Metta and Vipassana practices.

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

April 26 – May 3 – Metta Vipassana Practice
Cultivate Unconditional Love, Wise Compassion, Empathetic Joy, and Equanimity. The Immeasurables are beautiful capacities of the heart which fuse innate spiritual emotions with intuitive wisdom.

May 3 – May 10 – Mindfulness Practice
Cultivate Mindfulness with a 6 sense-door awareness practice including affectionate awareness and reverence for our bodies, liberating the heart-mind with clarity, ease and authenticity.

Hollyhock on Cortes Island, British Columbia, Canada

Register here

Join us for our next retreat in Honolulu


January 20 – 28, 2017

Unraveling Our Emotions through the Practice of Loving-kindness, Mindfulness, and Insight Meditation

With Bhante Buddharakkhita

Would you like to gain a deeper understanding of the nature of emotions and how they impact your life and the people around you? Do you want to learn how to turn difficult emotions like fear, anger, and self-criticism into opportunities for courage, loving-kindness, and acceptance?

Palolo Zen Center, Honolulu, Hawai’i

Ven. Bhante Buddharakkhita was born in Uganda, Africa. He first encountered Buddhism in 1990, while studying in India. After living in Asia for seven years, Bhante decided to continue his meditation practice at Insight Meditation Society, Barre, Massachusetts. In November 2002 he received higher ordination by his Preceptor the late Venerable  Sayadaw U Silananda at Tathagata Meditation Center, California. He continued his meditation practice and teacher training under the guidance of Ven. Bhante Gunaratana for eight years at the Bhavana Society, West Virginia. Author of Planting Dhamma Seeds, founder of the Uganda Buddhist Centre, Uganda, and the Spiritual Adviser of Flowering Lotus Meditation Center, Mississippi, Bhante teaches meditation in the United States, Europe and worldwide.

Wise and Compassionate Presence Weekend Retreat

Zendo with Buddha (1)

October 21 – 23, 2016 

Wise and Compassionate Presence” 

With Mary Grace Orr

This weekend retreat, suitable for both beginners and experienced students, will focus on mindfulness as a path to insight and to opening the heart.  We will have a special emphasis on the practices of gratitude as a way of supporting wisdom and compassion.  The retreat will be held in silence, with periods of sitting practice as well as walking practice.  There will be opportunities to speak with the teacher. Retreat starts Friday night and continues to Sunday afternoon. Residential participation is required. Some exceptions may be made by the teacher in advance for experienced people.

Join Mary Grace Orr to explore Wise and Compassionate Presence.

Registration now open.

 Palolo Zen Center, Honolulu, Hawai’i

Weekend Retreat “Meditation as an Act of Love”

Registration open now.


We hope you will be able to join Anushka Fernandopulle “Meditation as an Act of Love” September 16 – 18, at the Palolo Zen Center, Honolulu, Hawai’i.

When we develop meditation as loving awareness, we cultivate a beautiful way of living that supports wisdom and balance. We pay attention well to what we love and we learn to be present with a warm, open gaze for whatever shows up. This kind, gentle awareness brings mindfulness and metta (lovingkindness) practice together as one. We can learn about the truth of the way things are and learn to bear life’s difficulties with grace.

We will be practicing meditation from the Buddhist tradition in silence together through mindful sitting, walking,eating, and listening. Practice will be supported by guided meditations, Dharma talks, and time for practicequestions with the teacher. You will be asked to let go of reading, writing, and technology for the weekend to learn to listen well to the heart. Join Anushka Fernandopulle to explore meditation as an act of love.

Anushka Fernandopulle teachs meditation, works as an organizational consultant, and conducts leadership coaching with individuals and teams. Her work brings Eastern practices to Western modern life, making them accessible for individuals and organizations. She is currently writing a book on Mindfulness and Leadership (Parallax Press, Fall 2016). Fernandopulle has been involved in movements for social justice and civil rights and has work with many community organizations. She was born and raised on the US East Coast soon after her family immigrated from Sri Lanka.

Fernandopulle has been formally trained in Buddhist meditation since 1989, primarily Vipassana or Insight Meditation (the root of secular Mindfulness meditation).  After studying Buddhism at Harvard, she spent four years in full-time intensive meditation training in monasteries and retreat centers in the US,India and Sri Lanka. In the twenty years since then she has continued to practice in daily life, studied the Pali Canon, and spent at least one month in intensive silent retreat most years.

Her Buddhist teaching lineage runs through Mahasi Sayadaw (Burma), Ajahn Chah (Thailand), and Sri Lankan Buddhist monastics. She teaches meditation workshops and retreats in organizations and retreat centers around the world.