Why this matters
We’re sadly familiar with the damage inflicted by our modern, speedy, materialist world – on the earth and on ourselves. Even when we seem to have all we need materially, we often find ourselves stressed, dissatisfied, confused, and unhappy.
Our upcoming meditation retreat is crafted precisely to show Vanavasis a way out of this suffering, and to reveal a path to greater sanity, ease, and joy. Our principal guide – Tashi Colman – will guide us in tried and tested methods of meditation, drawn from ancient times, which will help us get to know our own minds, to understand the nature of our thoughts and emotions, and to gear our actions to benefit ourselves, others and the world at large. After leading a successful Silent Retreat at Vana in August, we are happy to have Tashi back to lead another.
We call it a “silent” retreat, not because we maintain absolute silence, but because one of our goals is to tame our chattering minds and meaningless gossip, and to cultivate mindful body, speech and mind.
What we’ll do
Our meditation sessions will include watching and listening to teachings of great masters, practising meditation, and contemplating and discussing our experience. As well as sitting meditation, we will practice walking meditation, chanting to develop mindful speech, and ways to bring mindfulness and awareness into our daily lives. We will practice sharpening our listening skills, eating mindfully, and respecting and appreciating others and our world.
Beginning with a focus on the Theravada view, methods, and shamatha practice, we will gradually introduce vipassana and Mahayana approaches and practices. However, we shall also structure the retreat to meet the goals, needs and prior experience of participants, based on your responses to a short questionnaire we’ll ask you to complete prior to the retreat.
Our beautiful space at Vana provides an ideal environment for this retreat, as does the Vana philosophy of joining wisdom, wellness, learning and service. We have already discovered in previous such retreats that over just a few days, a deep bond will naturally develop among retreat participants.
About Tashi Colman
For nearly 40 years, Tashi has been a student of some of the greatest meditation masters of our time, including Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, and Thrangu Rinpoche.
Tashi received his PhD from Columbia University, taught political science in universities for two decades, and worked as a researcher and speech-writer at the United Nations. He has authored numerous studies on population health, social wellbeing, economic security, and environmental quality, was editor-in-chief of Reality Check: The Canadian Review of Wellbeing, and for many years worked closely with the Government of Bhutan on its holistic measures of progress and wellbeing. His forthcoming book, What Really Counts: In Search of the New Economy from Nova Scotia to Bhutan, will be published by Columbia University Press.