9-Day Retreat - Natural Samādhi:
Boundless Love Meditation to Nibbāna
January 31st to Feb 8th
Buddha Pāda Center, Kalimpong, West Bengal
Natural Samādhi: Boundless Love Meditation to Nibbāna
A 9-Day – Loving-Kindness Meditation retreat with Bhante Ānanda
Natural Samādhi is the original teaching of the Buddha on how to develop mental collectedness (Samādhi), by way of uplifting the mind and relaxing bodily tension. This is what the Buddha called wise practice (Right effort). Learning to use the vehicle of Calm and Clarity (Samatha-Vipassanā), meditators deepen in their experience of a happy and composed mind, and drink deep, the bliss of the higher mind (Adhicitta).
For a mind well trained in this timeless wisdom and free from the five mental obstructions, there is no need to wish for happiness, since happiness pervades every moment of existence. The collected mind is happy, and a happy mind is collected (Sukhino cittaṃ samādhiyati).
Developing awareness of Loving-Kindness to Nibbāna, using right effort (6Rs). In the spirit of Tranquil Wisdom Insight Meditation (TWIM) taught by Most Ven. Bhante Vimalaramsi, Bhante Ānanda’s teacher.
Free. By donation.
Bhante Ānanda’s retreats hosted by the HeartDhamma Community are offered by the generosity of students who benefited from the practice on previous retreats. The Dhamma is priceless, it cannot be purchased. Retreats are only made possible by donations and generosity. Thank you for considering to support the retreats. 🙂
About the Teacher – Bhante Ānanda
Bhante Ānanda is a Canadian Buddhist monk trained in the teachings and the monastic way of life of early Buddhism. In 2018, after practicing and learning from a vast spectrum of different spiritual practices including Hinduism, Hatha yoga, traditional Native American wisdom, Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Vipassanā meditation and much more, Bhante Ānanda discovered the Teachings of Bhante Vimalaramsi.
Highly impressed with his meditation technique and his wisdom, he decided to go forth (Pabbaja) at his center, Dhamma Sukha Meditation Centre (DSMC) in Missouri, and spent a whole summer in the presence of Bhante Vimalaramsi. During his stay at DSMC, he had the opportunity to attend closely on his teacher and to sit on meditators’ interviews by Bhante Vimalaramsi’s side for the whole summer, directly learning from him for several months. At the end of the summer, Bhante Vimalaramsi gave Bhante Ānanda his permission to teach, before he left for Canada. Bhante Ānanda then moved to Canada as a solitary forest monk and founded the HeartDhamma community and the Heartwood Hermitage. https://heartdhamma.love
Since then, Bhante Ānanda has been teaching many meditation retreats around the globe, whether in Canada, Sri Lanka, India and even online. He received higher ordination in Sri Lanka, at a forest monastery near Balangoda. Bhante shares his time between Canada and Asia, helping many in their meditation practice, teaching retreats, studying and translating the suttas from Pāli to contemporary English while dedicatedly attending to his own practice. https://heartdhamma.love/retreats/
Embracing the whole of the Buddha’s teaching, Bhante Ānanda’s approach tends toward Natural collectedness of mind (Dhamma Samādhi) through, what he calls the two wings of awakening; Joy and letting go. Which culminates in the direct experience of Nibbāna, by way of wisely developing the seven supports of awakening (Sambojjhaṅgas) and Boundless Love (Mettā).
Among his growing number of publications, he is the author of:
Open Heart: A Guide from Boundless Love Meditation to Nibbāna
Bhāvanā: The Buddha’s Path to Awakening & Wholesome Mental Development
Pūjā: Recitals of Dhamma
On this retreat, Bhante Ānanda will be assisted by Ven. Mettānanda from America.
Most Ven. Bhante Vimalaramsi’s Teaching
On his personal journey to liberation, Bhante Vimalaramsi practiced and learned from many renowned meditation teachers from Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka and Malaysia. But it is only after many long retreats that he discovered the first modern translation of the the Majjhima Nikāya, the Buddha’s original discourses by Bhante Ñāṇamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi.
He was then so inspired by the Buddha’s own words that he left for a cave in Thailand, where he started practicing directly from the Buddha’s own words. His discovery was life changing and shortly afterwards, he synthesized a meditation technique which called Tranquil Wisdom Insight Meditation (TWIM). Teaching how to use the four immeasurable states of the heart: Boundless Love, boundless compassion, boundless joy and boundless calm, in a natural, gradual and linear sequence, using as a compass what he called the 6Rs (Recognize, Release, Relax, Re-Smile, Return, Repeat). The culmination of which leads to a perfectly clear and still mind and the direct experience of Nibbāna. Thousands of meditators have now greatly benefited from Bhante Vimalaramsi’s teaching and have experienced profound levels of liberation, freedom and happiness.
About Ven. Mettānanda
Ven. Mettānanda received the going-forth as a sāmaṇera under Ven. Bhante Vimalaramsi in 2020. He has experience with several meditation traditions, including Tibetan Buddhism, Advaita Vedanta, Qi Gong, and he is also a certified Hatha & Ashtanga Yoga teacher with 800 hours in Nepal and Indonesia.
Formerly, Ven. Mettānanda (then Liam McClintock) received a BA from Yale and founded FitMind, a meditation app and podcast. He holds an MS in applied neuroscience from King’s College London and now consults on meditation research for Harvard Medical School and Mass General Hospital. He is now furthering his knowledge and monastic training under the guidance of Bhante Ānanda.
The retreat welcomes you with a grounding orientation, along with beginning Loving-Kindness (Mettā) meditation instructions on the first day, as well as how to use the 6Rs.
Waking up early to make the most of the day, meditators gather in the meditation hall every morning to freshen their minds with renewing their virtue and remembering the highest refuges, and letting their minds soak in a few short essential sayings of the Buddha.
Meditation periods are flexible and alternate between sitting and walking meditation, as per everyone’s level. There are mainly two blocks dedicated for meditation, which allows advance meditators to sit for longer periods of time, without being disturbed and insures that those who begin on this path, have the freedom to follow their own needs, under the guidance of the teacher.
Participants will receive personal guidance from the teacher, on meditators’ interviews. This ensures that each participant’s meditation is carefully nurtured by insightful advice and ensures good, steady progress. Since this meditation changes and evolves constantly, close monitoring is necessary and new meditation instructions are usually given during these personal interviews.
Breakfast is served early and lunch is taken before noon to allow an optimal diet for meditation, following the Buddha’s advice. Tea is available in the afternoon and no evening meal is served in order for meditators to enjoy lightness and strength in their meditation. An exception is made for participants with a medical condition who require an evening meal.
Every evening at 7 pm, all meditators gather in the hall of a discourse on the Buddha’s teaching (Dhamma). The talks are framed around the original discourses of the Buddha (Suttas). Themes vary and include practical, down to earth meditation instructions, methods to let go of mental distractions, the development of the Buddha’s wisdom, the cultivation of wholesome, skillful mental states and so forth… Meditators will get to hear various suttas complimented with anecdotes, real life stories, relevant and inspiring poems along with a certain dose of good humor.
Rest and Sleep:
Bedtime is at 10 pm. Rest during the day is recommended, especially in the beginning, to ease the transition from the busy house life, to the purely meditative lifestyle of retreat. Feeling rested is essential in this practice.
05:30 am – Wake up
06:00 am – Refuges, Virtues and Meditation
07:30 am – Breakfast
08:00 am – Meditation
09:00 am – Personal Interviews
11:00 am – Lunch
01:00 pm – Meditation and interviews
05:00 pm – Tea
07:00 pm – Discourse
08:30 pm – Meditation
10:00 pm – Sleep or Personal Meditation
At lunch, Bhante Ānanda comes for alms in the dining area.
Participants may get a chance to practice their generosity and offer food in his bowl and receive a good wishes.
The retreat will begin on the evening of Jan 31st with a brief orientation
and will end on the morning of Feb 8th after breakfast.
Simple single bedroom
Lots of storage place