Liberation of Heart and Mind: Online Meditation and Lovingkindness Retreat
Michele McDonald, Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey, Pari Ruengvisesh and Darine Monroy
Thursday, June 3 – Sunday, June 6
Meeting format (During program sessions, you will be able to see and hear the teacher, as well as other program participants, and they will be able to see and hear you).
This intensive online retreat is an opportunity to 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. With guidance and support from the teachers, both new and experienced meditators will be encouraged to deepen their trust in their own practice.
For this course, sliding scale fees are $160, $210, $260, or $400. We also offer a scholarship fee of $80, and no-fee enrollment for those who request a fee-waiver. Our “Pay What You Can Afford” system supports the cultivation of a dynamic and inclusive community and contributes to the health and vibrancy of the sangha. Select the rate of your choice when you register. Email email@example.com for more information or to request a no-fee enrollment.
A note on dana (generosity)
Most IMS teachers—like insight teachers around the world—rely on the generosity of students for their livelihood, and receive no compensation from course fees. All IMS online teachers receive a modest dana advance from IMS to guarantee a minimum level of financial support. (Click here to learn more about the dana practice.) There will be an opportunity to offer a contribution to your teacher at the end of this course.
Daily Schedule – all times listed in Eastern Time (ET):
Note: all sessions will be recorded and posted so you can view it later if you miss one.
Thursday, June 3 – Sunday, June 6
9 – 9:45 am – Sit with instructions – Darine
10 – 10:45 am – Walking with Instructions – Pari
12 – 12:45 pm – Sit – Darine or Pari
3 – 3:45 pm – Sit with Instructions – Michele or Jesse
5 – 6 pm – Questions and Answers – Michele and Jesse
8 – 8:45 pm – Dhamma Talk – Michele or Jesse
9 – 9.45 pm – Metta Chanting and Sit – Jesse or Pari
Michele McDonald co-founded Vipassana Hawai’i in 1984 with Steven Smith. She has taught Insight meditation for thirty two years. Beyond her commitment to the Vipassana Hawai’i Sangha, she teaches extensively throughout the United States, in Canada, Burma, and various locations around the world. Michele has been a quiet pioneer having being the first woman to teach a formal retreat in Burma, side-by-side with a senior monastic figure, Sayadaw U Lakkhana, Abbot of Kyaswa Monastery. Having worked with a wide range of Asian and Western teachers, Michele is most inspired by her practice with Dipa Ma and Sayadaw U Pandita and more recently in Burma with the Mya Taung Sayadaw. She appreciates teaching at many levels of practice and has enjoyed teaching three-month retreats for experienced students as well as developing meditation retreats for youth. Her style of teaching emphasizes helping individuals find entry points into stillness that are natural for them. She encourages an understanding of the path of insight and a gentle strengthening of mindfulness and concentration so that, ultimately, people can access the peaceful depths of their experience in every moment. Michele is thrilled when students begin to love their practice as their own.
Jesse Maceo Vega Frey‘s teaching aims to inspire the skills, determination, and faith necessary to realize the deepest human freedom. He is a student of Michele McDonald and his approach is rooted in the tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma. As a teacher of Vipassana (insight) meditation within the broader context of Theravadan Buddhism his teaching encourages an exploration of the relationship between ethics, insight, and action. Perpetually intrigued by the dynamics between inner and outer change, Jesse is a writer of numerous essays and author of Insurgent Heart: A Vipassana Manual for the Guerrilla Yogi. Links to his writing can be found on his website: www.dolessforpeace.org as well as links to his weekly musical radio show, Mind to Mind: The Transmission. He is a spoon carver who loves to teach people about how to work with their hands and explore the relationship between labor, ownership, and kamma. He is the resident teacher for Vipassana Hawai’i and teaches around the world.
Pari Ruengvisesh was born and raised in Thailand. Her practice is rooted in the Mahasi tradition under the guidance of Sayadaw U Pandita, Sayadaw U Lakkhana, Sayadaw U Vivekananda, Michele McDonald and Steven Smith. A graduate of the Spirit Rock Community Dharma Leaders Program, Pari is committed to practice on intensive retreats and applying the teachings in her daily life.
Darine Monroy has been a student of Michele McDonald and Steven Smith since 2011. She has taught for Mindful Schools and has completed the Hakomi Comprehensive Training. Darine was born and raised in Mexico, and meditation retreats have been among the most meaningful experiences of her life.