During this popular, annual silent 5-day retreat, we will explore the Brahma Viharas, or Divine Abodes – four practices that open and nurture the heart.
In the Buddhist teachings, these four practices – loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity – are considered the highest qualities of heart and emotional wellbeing.
On our retreat, we’ll not only begin to sense into these qualities of heart, but practice abiding and dwelling in them as well. Over time, these practices can become our true home, as well as the atmosphere in which we deepen our mindfulness practice and intimacy with life.
Pat Coffey, MEd, began his meditation practice over 30 years ago and has taught meditation since 1996. He studied with numerous Asian and Western teachers in the Theravada, Tibetan, and Zen traditions. Pat is founder of the Insight Meditation Community of Charlottesville, co-founder of the Meditation Teacher Training Institute, and co-founder of the Blue Ridge Prison Project. Pat was selected and trained as a meditation teacher in the joint teacher training program of the Insight Meditation Society in Massachusetts and Spirit Rock Meditation Center under the tutelage of Jack Kornfield and Joseph Goldstein. Down-to-earth, real-world, practical dharma is the hallmark of his teaching. The father of two children, owner of several businesses, and holder of several patents, he draws on his varied and rich life experience to articulate the dharma.
Shell Fischer, founder and guiding teacher of Mindful Shenandoah Valley, offers almost 30 years of mindfulness practice and study. She trained in the Theravada tradition in the 2-year Meditation Teacher Training Institute of Washington, D.C., with Tara Brach, Jonathan Foust, Hugh Byrne, and Pat Coffey. In 1994, Shell received her master’s degree from Naropa University, a Tibetan, Shambhala Buddhist-based university in Boulder, CO. Prior to teaching, she wrote about meditation for national magazines. Her intention is to share her own experience of the teachings from a place of deep honesty and heart, and with a touch of humor.