Concentration or serenity meditation (samatha) is one of the three major practices of the Buddhist path, which also include sila (wholesome living), and vipassana (insight meditation). In concentration practice, we return our awareness to one object of meditation to the exclusion of everything else, thereby collecting and unifying the mind stream. Samatha practice is often referred to as “purification of mind” and it does that in two ways. First, the practice reveals with a heightened clarity our habitual patterns that cause us to suffer both on and off the cushion.
Second, as we build the capacity to turn away from these patterns, a laser-like awareness can develop that can lead to profound stillness and joy, as well as the possibility of the arising of deep meditative absorptions known as the jhanas.
The 2-week retreat focuses on unique aspects of concentration meditation as it is intended—as a practice designed to purify the mind stream. We will explore the major landmarks that yogis encounter as the mind begins to cohere into a unified awareness, and as serenity allows for a deep settling. We will also explore the further reaches of the samatha practice—the meditative absorptions known as “jhanas” that can potentially emerge as the fruition of practice. This retreat offers an overview of concentration meditation as taught in the lineage of Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw of Burma, considered by many to be the leading living teacher of samatha practice and the jhanas.
The retreat will be held in a beautiful retreat centre on the hills of Reggio Emilia. For more information on the place and how to get there, please, fill out the form below. We will answer you as soon as possible.
From 14:30 of the o3rd of March 2018 to 11:00 of the 16th of March 2018. If you need to stay for an additional night, please, tell us promptly so we can book a room for you.
Tina’s warm, supportive style and bright clarity helps students recognize their contact with their deeper nature, both on the cushion and in daily life. She has a decades long commitment to cultivating her own and others’ deep spiritual unfoldment while functioning in everyday life.
Tina learned to meditate in 1976, at age 13. In 2003, after years of practice in Buddhist (Vipassana and Tibetan) and non-dual traditions, she was drawn to undertake an intensive year-long solo retreat during which a profound awakening to true nature occurred. In 2005, Tina attended a retreat with Burmese meditation master Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw, who ordained her as a Buddhist nun. During the retreat, Tina became the first Western woman to complete the entire Samatha path in this lineage.
After these life-changing experiences, at first Tina felt a strong pull to become a “cave yogi” and turn away from householder life. As the realization matured, functioning from this perspective while in the world became a more compelling life’s path. As an offering of gratitude to the dharma, in 2006, Tina and her husband Stephen Snyder wrote the book, Practicing the Jhanas, which was later published by Shambhala. In 2007 Tina became the first Western woman authorized by the Sayadaw to teach. Tina and Stephen now lead retreats and offer spiritual guidance to practitioners worldwide.
Tina has also worked as an organization development consultant and coach for more than 25 years. She completed her Ph.D. in 1995, and has authored several published books on humanistic business practices.
Described as warm-hearted with a resonant presence, Stephen finds fulfillment in supporting students as they re-discover deeper inherent authenticity in the unfolding of their true nature. This deepening authenticity leads to a more profound, experiential knowing with greater refinement in everyday life.
Stephen has been a Buddhist practitioner for more than 35 years. After traveling through Asia as a youth, Stephen began practicing Buddhist meditation in 1976 at the age of 19. Following his awakening experience at 28, he continued the opening process of deepening and integrating the “unconditioned” in his everyday life.
In 2005, Stephen attended a two-month retreat with the Burmese meditation master, Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw. He completed the entire Samatha path as presented by the Sayadaw, becoming the first American male to complete this attainment. The Sayadaw authorized Stephen to teach in 2007. With his wife and teaching partner Tina Rasmussen, Stephen wrote the book, Practicing the Jhanas, published by Shambhala Publications in 2009. Stephen and Tina now offer retreats and spiritual mentoring to students worldwide.
Tina and Stephen are a married couple. They met in June of 2004 and married a few months later.
Who is it for
The complete retreat is open to those who have already taken part in a retreat of at least two days and who meditate regularly.
If requested we welcome beginners who may wish to have this experience for a week only, starting only as from the 3rd March 2018. It’s advised to have already meditated in the past and already taken part in a whole day of meditation.
If you have any questions, please, contact us through the contact form. We’ll give you all the details in order to make an informed choice.
As usual, we want to follow our tradition and offer the retreat. The € 900 fee, in fact, only covers the costs of organizing the event, your accomodation and the teachers’ one. If you want, you can make a free offer (dana) at the end of the retreat. This year, we have also introduced a Crowd Funding for people who can’t afford to pay the full fee but are motivated to join us. For more information, please refer to the documents we will send you after filling out the form below.
How to register
To request more information on this event, please, fill out the form below and we’ll get in touch as soon as possible. Thank you.