All Insight Dialogue Offerings

  • $675.00 – Price on or after February 27, 2017.

Retreat fee includes shared accommodation, continuing education credit, and all meals

Additional $100 for optional private accommodation, if space allows

Dana: This professional continuing education opportunity is offered in the Buddhist tradition of dana. The teachers receive no payment and offer their time, energy, and wisdom as a gift to their students. Donations offered by the students at the end of the retreat support the teachers’ livelihoods. The retreat fee covers basic expenses only. Employers offering professional reimbursement should anticipate an inclusion of this donation to teachers.

Date & Time Details: The retreat begins at 7pm Friday March 31st and ends at noon Wednesday April 5th, 2017.

Partial attendance or late arrivals require prior approval. Please consult Phyllis Hicks for permission.

Location: Hanover County, VA

Address: The retreat will be held at the Shalom House Retreat Center located in rural western Hanover County, Virginia.

Situated on 100 acres, it is 25 miles northwest of Richmond.

Information and directions can be found at the Shalom House website.

Phyllis Hicks

Awareness and Release: Practicing with Difficult Emotions

With Sharon Beckman-Brindley and Phyllis K. Hicks

March 31 - April 5, 2017

Much of the time as humans we live, not so much in life as in our mental patterns, our conditioned views about life. When an internal or external experience arises, we meet it with a mind state, a thought, an emotion or a whole story that colors the actual experience and leads to distorted views of reality and, ultimately to suffering. The practice of mindfulness reveals this process directly and opens the door to cultivating embodied awareness, spaciousness, non-identification, and release. We discover the relief of a mind at peace, we learn to work with difficult emotions as discreet phenomena that come, go, and change.

In this Insight Dialogue retreat, we will explore together the wholesome and less wholesome tendencies of the mind; we will develop wholesome practices that create a foundation for clarity and resiliency in our lives and the lives of our clients. This Insight Dialogue retreat, developed by and for mental health professionals, offers a dynamic and practical dialogue between Buddhist psychology, mindfulness meditation, and western psychotherapy. In Insight Dialogue we cultivate the stillness of concentration and the brightness of mindfulness directly in contemplation with others, allowing the heart and mind to become clear and radically present. Practicing in this way, participants learn to integrate the relational aspects of mindfulness and wisdom into their personal experience and their professional work. The natural generosity of the human heart becomes a lived experience. This leads to greater clarity about the nature of suffering and its release, to increased regulation of mental and emotional states, to more accurate insight and empathy, and to profound ease and joy in relationships. The wholesome impact on therapeutic relationships is immediate and lasting.

Program Goals

  • Therapists will be able to describe and practice key components of mindfulness meditation practice. Mindful awareness of three aspects of ordinary experience.
  • Therapists will describe six Insight Dialogue (ID) guidelines that, when practiced, can increase clinical effectiveness by balancing conceptual knowledge with skills of relational presence.
  • Therapists will apply these guidelines to remain present and self-aware while navigating pleasant and unpleasant moments in intrapersonal experience.
  • Apply these ID guidelines to remain present and self-aware while navigating pleasant and unpleasant moments in interpersonal dialogue.
  • Use these guidelines to identify and work in wholesome ways with already arisen difficult mind states, including both thought and emotion, that can interfere with presence, clear discernment and wise intervention.
  • Use these guidelines to develop and practice wholesome discernment and habits which allow one to prevent the arising of additional difficult mind states.
  • Apply these skills to the cultivation and deepening of therapists’ integrated and coherent embodied presence when working with clients’ difficult mind states and emotions


While offered as a professional training, this program is presented primarily in retreat form. Noble silence is practiced through most of the retreat except when we are actively meditating in dialogue together. Opportunities are available towards the end of the retreat for participants to speak and network more informally, further supporting the personal and professional connections that extend beyond the official frame of the retreat.


This retreat is designed for mental health professionals working in a clinical practice, although it may be appropriate for other health care providers. Previous retreat experience and an established meditation practice are considered highly advantageous, but are not required. Please read for more information on the meditation practice of Insight Dialogue.

Continuing Education

24.5 hours of Continuing Education credits for this program are awarded by Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) for: Psychologists, Social Workers, Nurses and Licensed Professional Counselors.

Nurses: As an American Psychological Association approved provider CES programs are accepted by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Every state Board of Nursing accepts ANCC approved programs except California and Iowa, however CES is also an approved Continuing Education provider by the California Board of Registered Nursing, (Provider Number CEP15567) which is also accepted by the Iowa Board of Nursing. Nurses completing this program receive 24.5 CE hours of credit.

Psychologists: Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to offer continuing education credit programs. CES maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Psychologists receive 24.5 hours of continuing education credit upon completing this program.

Social Workers: CES, provider #1117, is approved as a Provider for Social Work Continuing Education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. CES maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 10/5/15 through 10/5/18. Social Workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval. Social Workers participating in this course will receive 24.5 clinical continuing education clock hours.

Licensed Professional Counselors: Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) is entitled to grant continuing education credit for LPCs in the following states: AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, ME, MA, MO, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NC, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, UT, VT, VA, WA, WI, WY. CES maintains responsibility for this program. LPCs completing the program will receive 24.5 continuing education hours of credit.


Sharon Beckman-Brindley
Sharon Beckman-Brindley, Ph.D., is an Insight Dialogue Teacher who has taught Insight Dialogue retreats worldwide. As a clinical psychologist, Sharon has served as team leader for Metta’s Relational Insight Meditation Program. She also served on the Metta Programs’ Teachers Council. Sharon has practiced Vipassana meditation for over thirty years. Since 2001 she…
Learn more about Sharon Beckman-Brindley
Phyllis K. Hicks
Phyllis Hicks, DMin, NCLPC is an Insight Dialogue Teacher and teaches Insight Dialogue retreats worldwide. She is a co-author of the Interpersonal Mindfulness Program and serves on Metta Programs Teachers’ Council. Phyllis is a licensed psychotherapist. For thirty years she has brought together Eastern and Western understandings of psychology and…
Learn more about Phyllis K. Hicks