Special 7-Day Shamatha Retreat with Venerable Aileen Barry

Venerable Aileen Barry (Thubten Chotso) became a Buddhist nun some 20 years ago. She served Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo and Venerable Robina Courtin in helping spread the dharma all over the world. She has been guiding meditation practitioners for many years across a wide variety of settings including: dharma centres, community centres, prisons, the corporate world, various online groups and as a lecturer within a Naturopathic College. Mingyur Rinpoche and Tsoknyi Rinpoche are her main meditation teachers and she has attended many retreats with both. She has also attended several retreats with Alan Wallace. She draws from a broad range of teachers, across traditions, appreciating the different perspectives they have to offer, to help deepen her understanding and experience. Regular solitary and group retreats remain an essential underpinning to support her practice. Our 7-Day Shamatha Retreat from 6-12 July is being led by her as the main teacher and Venerable Tenzin Paldron will be the assistant teacher for the sessions.

Our shamatha retreat is an excellent opportunity for beginners to learn the basic techniques of mindfulness meditation in a retreat environment. You will be guided step by step in how to focus and concentrate your mind. It is also suitable for those who are experienced in meditation. As the meditation practitioner engages in Shamatha practice, they can improve the ability of having focused attention. As a mindfulness-based program, it may also help reduce anxiety and increase empathy and self-compassion. In order to develop such a mind, we need to strengthen the qualities of mindfulness and introspection.

During the retreat, participants are introduced to the tools that are used to develop these qualities. They will also learn about the obstacles that arise when practicing Shamatha, and how they can be overcome. The training includes Mindfulness of breathing, Observing mental events, and Observing the nature of consciousness. The training is aimed at achieving body relaxation, inner silence, attention stability, and vividness.

In the sessions, sitting and walking meditation will be alternated. The meditations are guided by a Western nun in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. You will learn how to use meditation in your daily life in order to cultivate a focused, clear and calm mind, and to improve the stages of Shamatha.


7 Day Shamatha Retreat Schedule, July 2024

Day 1
1:30 – 4:00 pm – Registration & Check-In
4:00 – 5:00 pm – Introduction Talk
5:00 – 6:00 pm – Dinner
6:30 – 8:00 pm – Session 1 BEGINNING OF NOBLE SILENCE

Day 2 – Day 6
5:45 am – Wake up Gong
6:00 am – Gompa Gong
6:15 – 7:00 am – Session 1 Morning Meditation
7:00 – 8:00 am – Breakfast
9:00 – 10:00 am – Session 2
10:00 – 10:30 am – Break
10:30 – 11:30 am – Session 3
11:30 am -12:30 pm – Lunch Break
2:00 – 3:00 pm – Session 4
3:00 – 3:30 pm – Tea Break
3:30 – 4:30 pm – Session 5
5:00 – 6:00 pm – Dinner
6:30 – 8:00 pm – Session 6 Dharma talk / video

Day 7, Sunday
5:45 am – Wake up Gong
06:00 am – Gompa Gong
6:15 – 7:00 am – Session 1 Morning Meditation
7:00 – 8:00 am – Breakfast
9:00 – 10:00 am – Session 2
10:00 – 10:30 am – Tea Break
10:30 – 11:30 am – Session 3, Feedback round, Group Photo, Organizing Gompa. END OF SILENCE
11:30 am -12:30 pm – Lunch
1:00 – 3:00 pm – Check Out


Click here for upcoming dates of the Shamatha retreats.

For more information and registration, email us at [email protected] Before signing up, please read here what it means to stay at Thosamling Nunnery in a retreat environment.

Would you like to stay longer?

Would you like to stay longer? We have noticed that many participants of our courses like to stay a few days after the course in order to deepen their practice before going back into the business of daily life. We like to give you the opportunity to do so if it doesn’t conflict with the schedule of Thosamling. If you are interested, please check with the office the possibility for staying longer.