photo of a buddha statue

At Bristol Insight, we support the practice and study of Buddhist Insight Meditation also known as Vipassana (literally translated as ‘seeing deeply or clearly’). This is the practice of developing a calm and mindful investigation into the nature of experience, leading to wisdom, compassion and the end of suffering. Through our groups and activities, we aspire to build a community that nurtures wisdom and compassion: for ourselves, for others and for the world we live in.

We offer a range of regular activities and a programme of day retreats to support meditation practice. Our longstanding association with Gaia House, a well-known retreat centre for Insight Meditation, means we regularly invite their teachers, as well as those from other linked traditions, to lead our own retreat days and courses. These are reputable, highly experienced teachers who commit to a code of ethics.

You can find out more about our story, our aims and values and our organisation here.

Our approach emphasises inquiry, experiential exploration and mindfulness amongst many other influences. It is not important to hold particular beliefs or to consider yourself a Buddhist to attend our activities and events, all are welcome.

If you like the sound of what we do, then please feel free to come and check us out.


Our First Annual Sangha Celebration Day
Saturday 25th June 2016 : 10am to 4pm

St Michaels on the Mount Parish Hall, St Michaels on the Mount School, Old Park Hill, off Perry Road, Bristol BS2 8BE

To celebrate all that we do and to develop our sangha (our community of support and practice) a new special day is being created – our ‘Annual Sangha Celebration Day’, to which everyone who participates in Bristol Insight activities is warmly invited.

During the day we will be able to celebrate our community through practice, workshops and fun, joyful activities. 

We also want to celebrate all the hard work undertaken to reach Charity status. Supporting practice has been at the heart of this development and it is now carefully enshrined in our legal requirements as a charity. During the day there will be an opportunity to collectively consider ideas to develop Bristol Insight and how to reach out to other people and groups in Bristol. There will be a short AGM and if you are a registered supporter you can help elect a new team of trustees, or become one yourself perhaps! You can register as a supporter on the day too.

There will be a shared lunch at 1:00pm. If enough parents request it, we could also organise a crèche, so let the team know if you would like this. 

Please come and make it a great day. You are very welcome.

Five Week Course with Catherine McGhee

We are delighted to let you know that we are able to offer another meditation and dharma practice course led by Catherine McGee this Autumn. Theme and further details to be announced soon. The group will be suitable for experienced practitioners and newer practitioners who already have a grounding in the basics of Insight Meditation.

CatherineMcGee01The course consists of one whole day and four evening sessions:
♦ Sunday 25th September 10am to 4pm
♦ Wednesday evenings – 6.45pm to 9.15pm
♦ September 28th, October 5th, 12th (peer-led) and 19th.

The venue will be in central Bristol.

If you would like to register for a place please contact bristolinsightmeditation@gmail.com and put Catherine’s course in the title to the email. Or call 07952 662 552. Further details will be posted on this website when they are fixed.

Teacher-Led Day Retreat Programme

We have a rich and varied programme for the 2016 Day Retreats. We are thrilled that Chris Cullen, Martine Batchelor, Martin Aylward and Bhante Bodhidhamma will be visiting us this year, with additional days on Insight Dialogue and Focusing.

Our next Day Retreat ‘A Day of Insight Dialogue : Waking Up Together’ will be on Saturday 14th May and will be facilitated by Jane Cutler and Jane Whitehead.

For details of our Teacher-Led Day Retreats and booking instructions see the Day Retreats page.

‘How we live is important, particularly at the level of mind. Every time you’re willing to acknowledge your thoughts, let them go, and come back to the freshness of the present moment, you’re sowing seeds of wakefulness in your unconscious. After a while what comes up is a more wakeful, more open thought. You’re conditioning yourself toward openness rather than sleepiness. You might find yourself caught, but you can extricate yourself by how you use your mind, how you actually are willing to come back just to nowness, the immediacy of the moment. Every time you’re willing to do that, you’re sowing seeds for your own future, cultivating this innate fundamental wakefulness by aspiring to let go of the habitual way you proceed and do something fresh.’
Pema Chodron