Date & Time Details: Feb 20, 2020 - Feb 23, 2020

Location: Barre Center for BUddhist Studies

Address: Barre Center for Buddhist Studies
149 Lockwood Road, Barre, MA 01005

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Friendship on the Path: Meeting Life’s Challenges Together

With Janet Surrey and Bart van Melik

February 20 - 23, 2020

This course will explore the central importance and practice of noble friendship (kalyāṇa-mitta) in engaging the four noble truths of suffering and the end of suffering. We will introduce the guidelines of Insight Dialogue as a formal practice of noble friendship. Walking the path together, we can investigate how to fully receive and be with the challenges of our lives. We will contemplate classical texts on spiritual friendship in relation to the five recollections of illness, aging, death, loss, and separation. In addition, there will be an investigation of the power of relational practice in turning toward the contemporary environmental crisis and an exploration of how this crisis is entwined with the oppressive power structures of patriarchy, colonialism and white supremacy. By tending to our shared aspiration for awakening, we can recognize that which divides and separates us from each other and from our power in relationship.

Learning Intentions:

To learn the meditation guidelines of Insight Dialogue as a foundation for Noble Friendship in our lives; learn the impact and power of engaging each of the Four Noble Truths together; experience and practice facing and holding together the natural challenges of illness, aging, death, and loss; and experience and practice facing and holding together the human-created challenges of climate change.

Noble Silence and Mindful Speech:

This course will be held in noble silence with periods of speaking and listening in sessions of Insight Dialogue and informal guided dharma sharing during some meals.

Experience Level:

Suitable for both beginning and experienced practitioners.


Janet Surrey
Janet Surrey, PhD is an Insight Dialogue Teacher. She teaches Insight Dialogue retreats worldwide and leads a monthly practice group in the Boston area. Jan has been a faculty member of Metta’s Relational Insight Meditation Program and serves on Metta Programs’ Teachers Council. Jan has studied with a number of Vipassana…
Learn more about Janet Surrey
Bart van Melik
Bart van Melik, MA is an Insight Dialogue Teacher. Bart has been teaching personal meditation and Insight Dialogue since 2009, with a specific focus on working with diverse populations. He is a graduate of the Community Dharma Leaders Program at Spirit Rock and is currently in the Spirit Rock/IMS teacher…
Learn more about Bart van Melik

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