It is customary for members of the Orlando Insight Meditation Group to be provided the opportunity to “think out loud” about a recent significant retreat experience. This verbalization supports increasing clarity for the individuals who attended the retreat about the benefits gained from the experience, while providing information and inspiration for those hearing their comments. Mitch Sullen and Charla Butler participated in the first 10-day intensive retreat provided for African-Americans at the Dharma Dhara Center in Shelburne Falls, Massachussetts, and they reported much benefit from the familiarity of the social conditions there in terms of deepening their understanding of the Dharma and the meaning of Sangha. This approach to teaching provides instruction and support for the practice of vedanupassana, which first develops high levels of concentration and tranquility, followed by rigorous, systematic investigation of physical feeling sensations throughout the body as a way to discover and release deeply embedded conditions of the mind, thereby providing liberation from dukkha. Both Mitch and Charla provided their observations of the site and retreat processes as well as their own subjective experience.
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