Welcome to Bristol Insight Meditation. Our aspiration is to build a community that nurtures wisdom and compassion: for ourselves, for others and for the world we live in. Through our groups and activities, 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.
Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn,
a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter.
If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things,
this is the best season of your life.
Chinese Zen master Wu Men
To have an unclouded mind and to see a little more deeply into life is perhaps what Insight meditation is all about. Bristol Insight exists to support us in the endeavour to see with a greater clarity and to respond to life with a deeper appreciation.
We offer a range of regular activities, a programme of day retreats and occasional longer courses 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.
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 along and check us out.
In general, as you go round the website, just click on the pictures for more information.
Tuesday evening sitting group
The sitting group meets every Tuesday evening at the Central Quaker Meeting House, Champion Square, Bristol BS2 9DB. These evenings are a good way to meet others and have a taste of what we have to offer. All are welcome.
Daytime sangha meetings
These once a month meetings are open to all, and give an additional daytime opportunity to get together in a small group in a spirit of sangha. The meeting will include a period of sitting meditation, some sharing, and discussion on any topics of mutual interest arising.
Radical dharma: a radical practice with Lama Rod Owens
In this daylong retreat, Lama Rod will explore deepening commitment to community and integrating social justice and dharma practice through meditation, discussions, small group interactions, and movement practice. All are welcome.
Saturday self-led day retreats
These popular, well-supported day retreats are a great way to create spaciousness and stillness in our busy, daily lives. They are based sitting and walking meditation. They are not led by a teacher and no meditation guidance is given, so they suit participants who are comfortable with a basic meditation practice.
Sangha walk – a wander down the Cam from Hinton Blewett
Sangha walks are an opportunity to socialise with other sangha members, ground ourselves in our natural environment, take gentle exercise and to practice mindful walking. All are welcome.
Discovering the heart’s guidance – going beyond the inner critic with Laura Bridgman
This retreat we will contemplate a natural sense of ease with ourselves as we are, and explore what gets in the way of that – in particular the conditioning of the inner critic. All are very welcome. Please note new venue at Glenfrome School.
A day of soulful practice with Catherine McGee
What might be gained by liberating ‘soul’ from any unhelpful associations, and picking up the rich resonances of the concept and bringing them in to our Dharma practice? All are welcome.
Cultivating care and wisdom with Zohar Lavie
Zohar has been practicing meditation since 1995. This journey has taken her from the meditation cushion into exploring further ways of expressing truth and love and in 2004 she co-founded SanghaSeva. She now spends most of her time facilitating retreats that offer service as a spiritual path around the world. Since 2006 she has been … Continued