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 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.

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.

Coming up in 2018

Cultivating our Practice sessions on Tuesday evenings

Have a look at our new programme of peer led sessions following our Tuesday evening mediation.

Self-Led Day Retreat on Saturday 3rd March 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.

This month’s talk will be up soon. You can find the link to previous recorded talks here.

Please consider making a donation to help Dharmaseed.org who make these recordings available free of charge. Details of how to do this are give at the end of the recorded talk. Thank you.

Day Retreat on Saturday 24th February from 10am to 5.00pm

Cultivating Refuge in a Changing World

Julia for 24th FebAndrea fr 24th Feb

Julia Wallond and Andrea Hosfeld

In a world which appears increasingly unstable, bewildering and unkind the need for refuge can feel ever more important. And while meditation and ‘retreats’ are often viewed as safe havens, for many of us, our internal landscape continues to reflect the turbulence in the outside world. What might it look and feel like to be safe, resourced and grounded in a world that will continue to shift beneath our feet? And what role do joy, wonder and gratitude play in meeting that which feels uncertain and unsteady? In the face of global instability is it possible to cultivate a more flexible conception of refuge – one that is informed by both wisdom and compassion, and doesn’t constitute a figurative or literal ‘running away’?

More information about this day retreat can be found here. To book a place please use this link

‘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