Opening the Heart into a World of Kindness

Opening the Heart into a World of Kindness

A Seven-Day Meditation Retreat for Experienced Practitioners
with Susie Harrington & Brian Lesage

Offered by the Santa Fe Vipassana Sangha and the Albuquerque Insight Meditation Center

September 17 – 24, 2024

Our Lady of Guadalupe Abbey in Pecos, NM

Join us to practice the timeless teachings of the Buddha as a pathway to discover inner peace, freedom, and the kind heart. We will be cultivating the beautiful quality of Metta (loving-kindness) as we gather to practice together. This retreat will allow our hearts to deepen into kindness. There will also be an opportunity to nurture Samadhi and the deeper states that can arise within that realm.

This retreat is for practitioners who have done at least two week-long residential retreats in the Insight Meditation tradition. The retreat will be
held in silence and will include practice discussions, daily instructions, and Dharma talks.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Abbey is about 30 miles east of Santa Fe. It is on the Pecos River surrounded by juniper forest native to the area. The Center is isolated and large enough to provide for seclusion and the quietness needed to support the practice.

The Retreat will begin at 4:00 pm on Tuesday, September 17, and complete around noon on Tuesday, September 24, 2024.

Accommodations: Accommodations are simple rooms with private bathrooms. Vegetarian meals will be provided from dinner on Tuesday evening through breakfast on Tuesday morning. A full meal will be served at lunch, with light breakfast and evening meals. We can accommodate some special dietary needs, but not all. Please check with the contact person below if you have special needs of any sort.

Please bring your preferred sitting equipment: zabuton, zafu, bench, and/or backjack. Chairs are available.

Dana: Since the time of the Buddha, the teachings have been given freely, as they are considered to be priceless. This 2,600-year-old tradition is today sustained with the practice of dana, which allows yogis to offer support to their teachers, who receive no other financial compensation. There will be an opportunity to offer dana at the end of the retreat, so please bring either checks or cash for your offering.

Fee: The fee for the retreat is a sliding scale of $750 to $1,000. The estimated cost to our sangha for the retreat is $797. Please pay as much as you can so that we can offer this retreat to all regardless of their financial situation. Payment plans and scholarships are available so that anyone interested will be able to attend. If you need scholarship or deferred payment information, please send your queries to Sarah Grant,

Covid 19 Protocol: We will be consulting the guidance offered by the NM Department of Health, the CDC and an infectious disease physician familiar with silent retreats of this sort.

Lottery and Waiting List: This is a lottery retreat. Registration is now open (link below). We will draw names for the lottery in early May and will send emails out to all those who have registered after we draw the lottery. Those who have been accepted will be invited to send in a non-refundable $150 deposit to hold their place.

All those who do not win a space in the lottery will be placed on the waiting list. The top ten waiting list people will be informed of their position on the list. This information will be updated frequently so that waiting list folks will know where they are on the list. People who register for the retreat after the May 1 deadline will also be added to the waiting list.

In the past couple years we have found that most folks who win a space send us their deposits and attend the retreat. However, some reject their space, and we are able give it to someone on the waiting list. Some who have sent deposits find that they can’t attend, and their spaces also go to the waiting list. Some folks on the waiting list drop off.

We live in a dynamic world; everything is changing all the time. Over the last 2 years we have found that by the time the retreat happens, all the people who were on the waiting list have gotten in! Sometimes folks who apply after the registration deadline also get in. The waiting list should not be seen as a bad place to be!

Registration: To register for this retreat, please fill out the questionnaire using the link below. Within 7 business days, you will receive an email acknowledging the acceptance of your questionnaire. Applications for the lottery are due by May 1st. You will be notified by May 15th whether you are in the retreat or on the waitlist. If you are picked in the lottery for the retreat, you will need to pay a non-refundable deposit of $150 within two weeks of being notified. This will secure your place in the retreat.

Register Here

Questions? Please email Sarah Grant: Please allow up to 7 business days for a response. Thank you.

Brian Lesage has practiced Buddhist meditation since 1988 and has taught meditation since 2000. He has studied in the Zen, Theravada, and Tibetan schools of Buddhism. He was ordained in the Rinzai Zen tradition in 1996. His training in Vipassana Meditation includes extended retreats in Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, and India as well as numerous retreats in the U.S. He leads retreats and teaches meditation courses nationwide. Brian also has a private practice in Somatic Experiencing, which is a naturalistic approach to healing trauma. For more information, go to

Susie Harrington has trained in the Insight tradition since 1989, and in 2005 was invited to teach. While her root tradition is with Thai Forest and Burmese lineages of Theravadan Buddhism, she has also practiced extensively with Tibetan Dzogchen and Mahamudra teachers. She teaches internationally, is the guiding teacher for Desert Dharma, and serves communities in the Southwest near her home in Moab, Utah. Her teaching is deeply grounded in the body, and  Susie brings the skills of inquiry, relational dharma, and the psychological/spiritual interface from her training in HakomiTherapy and the Diamond Approach. Believing nature to be a profound teacher, and a gateway to our true self, she often offers retreats outside. For more information, go to