generous-heart-handsThe Orlando Insight Meditation Group is a non-profit corporation founded in the early 1990s with the intention to provide introductory and advanced meditation training for Central Florida. We have produced one-day, weekend, and one-week retreats since then, and we are diligent in keeping the costs as low as possible and providing partial and full scholarships for whomever committed to the retreat experience. The subsidy for keeping the costs low comes almost entirely from the income from introductory meditation courses, with the fee being $50 per 4 week course (scholarships offered there as well).

Our biggest expense is for one week-retreats. The fee for the retreat barely pays for our expenses at the retreat center for room and board. It costs approximately $500 to go to a retreat, and the OIMG expenses are around $450. The weekend retreats cost approximately $230, and OIMG expenses are around $200. We are committed to providing opportunities to benefit from the life-changing intensive training experienced and subsidies so that people who have limited financial resources can attend.

The teacher charges no fee for the teaching. Participants are given the opportunity to make voluntary contributions at the end of the retreat, as is the Buddhist custom.

If you are fortunate enough financially to be able to provide tax-deductible charitable contributions, this is the time of year to be contemplating that generosity. Should you choose to practice dana, the Buddhist word for generosity, you will be contributing to the well-being of others. Practicing mindfulness and lovingkindness meditation has a ripple effect, that is, those who commit to the Buddhist path of awakening aren’t the only ones benefitting; the social benefits extend the benefits of kindness, compassion, generosity and patience to all they encounter.

We hope you will find a way to contribute to our organization.

You can contribute online using your credit card or PayPal account here.

Checks or money orders should be made out to the Orlando Insight Meditation Group and sent to Tommy Harrison, 245 Stevenage Dr., Longwood, Florida, 32779.

In response to your generosity, you will receive a letter suitable for tax deduction purposes.

We wish you well,

Peter Carlson

Stages Of Breath Awareness January 18 2017

by Peter Carlson on January 20, 2017

The evening’s activities included a guided meditation posted below: “Looking Closer Meditation.mp3”, during which Peter provided suggestions supporting a more persistent and intimate awareness regarding the sensations of breathing.

During the talk following the guided meditation, Peter drew on a book entitled “Right Mindfulness” by Thanissaro Bhikkhu (available as a free .pdf download from: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/rightmindfulness.pdf ) to emphasize the importance of being “ardent, alert and mindful” regarding breath awareness.  The word ardent means heartfelt, actively interested and engaged.  The above quoted phrase is mentioned multiple times in the book, which draws from the Pali Canon as the reference.  This investigating function supports increasing stability of attention and tranquility, setting the conditions for vipassana, investigation of self-state organizations.  There are 8 stages mentioned in the commentaries to the suttas, and these were described during the talk.  This was followed by general group discussion regarding the importance of persistent, intimate breath awareness.

Here are the notes prepared for the talk:  STAGES OF BREATH AWARENESS

Why We Meditate

by Peter Carlson on January 12, 2017

During this talk, Peter provided the participants with a worksheet:  MOTIVATIONS FOR MEDITATION.  On this sheet, folks were invited to note three considerations: the benefits of meditation, ways to reinforce commitments to daily meditation practice, and ways to integrate those benefits into daily life routines.  Peter then talked of his experience in regards to these considerations:  PETER’S MOTIVATIONS FOR MEDITATION.  This was accompanied by discussions among the participants regarding these topics.  You are invited to download the worksheet and create your own notes, perhaps discussing them with other like-minded people (See comments on “accountability partner’s” in Peter’s Motivations document).

Next week’s discussion will address the fundamentals of mindfulness of breathing practice, including some of the suggestions offered in the book “The Mind Illuminated”, along with Peter’s practice experience during 35 years of practice.

Peter’s 2016 Year End Retreat Review

by Peter Carlson on January 5, 2017

We provide an opportunity for those in the Orlando Insight meditation community who have recently completed a residential meditation retreat a chance to “think out loud” about their experience.  Research suggests that much of what happens on retreats impacts the mind’s function outside conscious awareness; talking about the retreat integrates the learned experience into conscious awareness, making it more accessible in an ongoing way.  It also provides insights and inspiration for others, perhaps motivating commitments to attend a residential retreat.

Peter spent the last two weeks of 2016 meditating in the cottage in his back yard, which is where the Orlando Insight Meditation Group meets.  During this retreat and his preceding retreat at the end of 2015, he used the 10 stage progression of practice described in “The Mind Illuminated”, and this provided the framework for this discussion.

Here are the notes prepared for the talk:  Peters-2016-year-end-retreat-1  During the next few weeks, Peter will discuss in more depth the progression described in the book.  It is hoped that this will provide support for those attending the upcoming one week Deerhaven retreat February 12-19, as well as for daily meditation practice.  Peter is also recommending that those attending the retreat consider purchasing “The Mind Illuminated” as a preparatory reference tool.

Additionally, Peter created a cushioning arrangement for long sitting periods on the chairs provided for the retreat.  Here are the notes and photos of the arrangement:  CHAIR CUSHION DHARMA

Deerhaven 2016 Seventh Night Talk

by Peter Carlson on December 30, 2016

This talk, during the last night of the retreat, focuses on how to continue to cultivate the process of awakening at home.  The results of a one week retreat endure, but the ongoing influence of persistent mindfulness practice is subtle.  Factors that contribute to retaining the benefits include regular sitting practice, reading about concepts relevant to the process of awakening, and associating with others who practice mindfulness.  Peter checked off a list of what to consider to integrate mindfulness into daily life routine.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  PRACTICING AWAKENING AT HOME

Deerhaven 2016 Sixth Night Talk

As the process of vipassana matures, the Seven Awakening Factors are developed to their fullest potential: Mindfulness, Investigation of Mental Phenomena, Energy/Effort, Joy/Enthusiastic Interest, Tranquility, Concentration and Equanimity/Internal Balance.  This talk describes the progressive, liberating insights that emerge from optimal functioning of these factors. Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  STAGES OF AWAKENING […]

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Deerhaven 2016 Fifth Night Talk

This talk fosters understanding a key concept of the Buddhist process of awakening, paticca samuppadha, typically translated as dependent origination.  Peter develops a different understanding of this concept, contingent provisional emergence.  This view is intended to emphasize the non-linear aspects of what conditions each moment of awareness, in the hope this will clarify the concept […]

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Deerhaven 2016 Fourth Night Talk

The core mental conditions to foster liberation through the practice of vipassana are called the “Seven Factors For Awakening”: mindfulness, investigation of mental phenomena, energy/effort, joy/enthusiastic interest, tranquility, concentration and equanimity.  This talk describes their functions in the process of awakening and how to cultivate them. Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  BOJJHANGA-7 […]

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