Access to Insight Retreat

2019 Samye Ling Access to Insight Retreat Tuesday 3rd- Sunday 8th December 2019 with Heather Regan-Addis and Choden

The cost of the retreat is £400.00 payable in four monthly installments of £100.00. To book please contact Please book your accommodation with Samye Ling directly.

This five day retreat provides an opportunity for experienced Mindfulness practitioners and/or teachers to attend an access course to Insight and then enrol on the Mindfulness Association Level 3 training in Insight. This is open to experienced mindfulness/Buddhist meditation practitioners and/or teachers of:

  • MBSR
  • MBCT
  • Breathworks 8-week courses

Normally the Mindfulness Association requires practitioners to first attend Mindfulness and Compassion trainings before enrolling on Insight. However, this access course allows those who are suitably qualified to go straight to Insight.

The path of Mindfulness leads to insight into our habitual patterns and to freedom from self-created suffering. For this to happen we need first to settle and stabilise the mind through mindfulness practice. This helps us to accept our minds as they are. We then bring compassion to ourselves. Kindness and compassion are crucial for creating the conducive inner environment for insight. This then matures into compassion for other people and for appreciating our interconnection with all of life. These are the pre-conditions for Insight and they are the basis of the Access to Insight Retreat.

During the retreat we will teach the unique Mindfulness Association method of settling, grounding, resting and support as a core mindfulness sitting practice. We will also teach background and practices which cover key areas:

  • The RAIN (recognising, allowing, intimate attention and non-identification) practice as a basis for acceptance.
  • The self-compassion practice drawn from the Mindful Self-Compassion approach of Chris Germer and Kristin Neff.
  • Introduction to the Four Immeasurable Qualities (loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity) as the basis for compassion for others.

With this as a foundation, we will teach the Undercurrent and Observer model developed by Rob Nairn. This is the gateway to Insight and is a navigating tool for clarifying what arises involuntarily in our minds (Undercurrent) and how we relate to what arises (Observer). This model introduces the key focus of Insight training – turning 180 degrees to face the Egocentric Preference System (EPS) in the Observer.

Through Insight training we learn to become acquainted with the subliminal mechanisms that hold this preference system in place (i.e. the contracted sense of ‘I’ that is ruled by our habitual likes and dislikes). We learn to accept this but not feed it. As a result, we learn to rest in open awareness, in which all of our experience becomes the meditation.

The retreat will involve teachings, guided practices, inquiry and periods of silence.