August 3, 2020

Strengthening the Heart-Mind: A Retreat for Experienced Dharma Practitioners

Strengthening the Heart-Mind: A Retreat for Experienced Dharma Practitioners

Caroline Jones and Bhante Buddharakkhita

Register for this 5-Day recorded program, and enjoy unlimited access to each recorded session through our replay library.

Cost is sliding-scale: $160, $260, or $400, your choice.


During this online retreat we will focus on strengthening our meditation practice and wholesome qualities such as patience, calm, mindfulness, investigation, kindness and equanimity. When they are well developed, these qualities empower us to relate wisely and compassionately to our own struggles and to the suffering of others. These qualities also have the power to dispel the ignorance that keeps us distracted from natural ease and freedom. This learning process will be supported through reflections and suggestions on formal meditation practice, Dharma talks and some optional Q&A sessions.

Applicants are expected to have attended at least one four-week structured and teacher-led insight meditation retreat, or four similar one-week retreats.

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 teachers at the end of this course.

Retreat Sessions:
Click the links below to access individual retreat sessions.  The times listed are suggestions. We recommend watching the sessions in order: 1-14. All sessions are listed here.


Day 1:

10 am – 11 am – Opening Talks – Caroline

12 – 12:30 pm – Welcome Talk – Bhante*

2 pm – 3 pm – Further Introduction & Meditation Guidance – Caroline


Day 2:

8 am – 9 am – Meditation Instructions & Suggestions – Caroline

10 am – 11 am – Guided Meditation – Caroline

2 pm – 3 pm – Dharma Talk – Bhante


Day 3:

8 am – 9 am – Meditation Reflections & Guidance – Caroline

10 am – 11 am – Guided Meditation – Caroline

2 pm – 3 pm – Dharma Talk – Caroline


Day 4:

8 am – 9 am – Meditation Instructions & Suggestions – Bhante*

10 am – 11 am – Guided Meditation – Caroline

2 pm – 3 pm – Dharma Talk – Bhante


Day 5:

10 am – 11 am – Closing Session – Caroline


Teacher Bios

Venerable Bhante Buddharakkita was born in Uganda, Africa. He first encountered Buddhism in 1990 while studying and living in India. He was ordained as a Buddhist monk by the late Most Venerable U Silananda in 2002 at the Tathagata Meditation Center in San Jose, California. He then spent eight years under the guidance of Bhante Henepola Gunaratana at the Bhavana Society, West Virginia.  He is the founder and Abbot of the Uganda Buddhist Center in Uganda.

Besides spending time at the Uganda Buddhist Center, he is a visiting professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York City and the spiritual director of Radiance Retreat Center in Magnolia, Mississippi. He is long-time member of Global Buddhist Relief’s advisory council in New Jersey.

He has been teaching mindfulness meditation in Africa, the U.S., and worldwide since 2005, and he is a much-loved teacher in many countries. His book, Planting Dhamma Seeds: The Emergence of Buddhism in Africa, tells the story of his religious and spiritual work in the continent of his birth.

Caroline Jones, a member of the Gaia House Teacher Council, has been practicing meditation for 30 years and teaching since 2009. In teaching, she encourages students to discover and deepen ways of engaging with the Dharma to bring healing and liberation.