Discovering the Heart’s Guidance – Going beyond the Inner Critic
A One Day Insight Meditation Retreat in Cambridge with
Saturday, September 16th 2017
Friends Meeting House, 12 Jesus Lane, Cambridge, CB5 8BA
(by kind permission of the Society of Friends)
Registration: 9.30 am Start: 10.00 am Finish: 5.00 pm
Cost: £10 in advance*, £12 on the day (+ teacher Dana**)
[Concessions (students, unwaged, retired) £7]
* To book in advance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details of the bank account to pay money into. More details at https://cambridgedayretreats.wordpress.com/about/booking-and-payment/
** The registration fee only covers running costs and travelling expenses. Teachers rely on the financial generosity of retreatants for their living; there will be an opportunity to offer contributions (dana) on the day.
The inner critic or “critical inner voice” is a concept used in popular psychology to refer to a sub-personality that is judgemental and demeaning. It is usually experienced as an inner voice attacking us, saying that we are bad, wrong, inadequate, worthless and guilty, producing feelings of shame, deficiency, and doubt.
It is a major obstacle to the path because it doesn’t allow us to simply be as we are; according to it’s narrative we always ‘should’ be another way, so we cannot be present to our body and mind and allow what is here in our field of awareness. The rigidity and judgement of the inner critic also makes it difficult for us to go deeply into ourselves.
In this day retreat, we will be inquiring into the nature of this aspect of our conditioning through meditation, and contemplation to know how the inner critic arises, what feeds this particular demon, and see beyond this critical voice to access a deeper, wiser guiding quality within our hearts.
Laura Bridgman ordained as a nun with Ajahn Sumedho in 1995, and was resident at Amaravati and Chithurst monasteries for eighteen years until she moved out to live as a solitary nun in 2010. Over the past ten years she has spent extended periods of time with the Burmese teacher Sayadaw U Tejaniya. In 2015 Laura left the monastic tradition to pursue the Diamond Heart (Ridhwan) spiritual path alongside her Vipassana practice. There is much overlap as it incorporates Buddhist principles and practices. You may have known her as Sister Kovida while she was ordained.
Please bring your own cushion or stool and mat, if desired, (there are plenty of chairs), and a packed lunch (tea and coffee will be provided). If coming by car, Park and Ride is a way to avoid difficult and expensive parking in Cambridge.
Day retreats offer a chance to practise meditation and mindfulness in a supportive environment. They include alternate periods of sitting and walking meditation, and the teacher provides guidance through meditation instruction, a Dharma (teaching) talk, and a question and answer session. Beginners are offered additional instruction and assistance. For experienced meditators the day is an opportunity to refresh and deepen practice. The retreats are normally held in silence.
Here is a poster for the day retreat – please print it out and put it up if you can.