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.
Highlight of the month
Starting in October
Cultivating our Practice on Tuesday evenings – a pilot 3-month calendar of sessions following our 45 minute sitting mediation
In order to make the second half of our Tuesday evening sitting group more supportive to our practice we are trialling a new calendar of sessions led by people in our sangha (community of practice). We hope these will be enriching for people at all levels of experience including newcomers. All welcome.
Coming up soon
Self Led Day Retreat on Saturday November 5th from 10am to 5.00pm
These popular, well-supported day retreats are based on Theravada Vipassana (Insight) meditation practice of sitting and walking. The retreats are not led by a teacher and no meditation guidance is given, so they suit participants who are comfortable with a basic meditation practice; for example, as experienced on a group retreat at Gaia House, a teacher-led day retreat in Bristol or an eight-week mindfulness course. More information can be found on our regular activities page.
Teacher – Led Day Retreat on Saturday 26th November from 10am to 5.00pm
‘Mindfulness, Ethics and Daily Life’
Is ‘Mindfulness’ now a cliche? How far has it gone from the Buddha’s teaching from which it sprang and is it important that ‘mindfulness’ be connected to the Dhamma, the teaching of the Buddha?”
‘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.’