The Dharma of Illness and Well-Being Online Retreat

With Kate Lila Wheeler & Katy Wiss

December 11-12, 2020

All who have been or will be sick are welcomed to this retreat. All who have been caregivers, or will be caregivers for ourselves or others are welcomed to this retreat. Indeed dis-ease is universal for living beings, well-being our deep-rooted concern. At this retreat we will explore the supportive role that practices of mindfulness and kindness can offer within the continuous experiences of well-being and dis-ease of mind and body.

With the support of the online retreat community, we will explore illness and wellbeing in our collective sphere and the ways that they are both mental and physical experiences. We will inquire how they are influenced by cultures of separation or inclusion; by greed, hatred, delusion and their opposites, generosity, kindness, and wisdom.

Concerns of those currently working with chronic illnesses, and those currently in caregiving roles, will be specifically referenced. There will be an exploration of self-care, as the aim of the retreat is to support us all to move through life in a more skillful way, relying on Dharma practices that can bring a sense of relief even in the midst of great challenges.

Mindfulness and compassion practices, guided meditations and group discussions will invite gentleness and letting go. Lying-down meditation will be encouraged.

There will be Dharma instructions and times for interaction with the teachers and community. Our schedule will offer generous breaks for rest and movement, and encouragement toward self-care.

Katy Wiss is a recent graduate of the Spirit Rock Teacher Training Program. She graduated in 2012 from the Community Dharma Leaders Program of Sprit Rock Meditation Center. She has also completed advanced study and practice courses at Sprit Rock, New York Insight Meditation Center and Chuang Yen Monastery (with Bhikkhu Bodhi). Her practice focuses on ways to bring together the spiritual study of insight and kindness with the academic and personal study of relational communication. Her aspiration is for relational communication to begin to repair suffering and for the attention to suffering to repair relational communication. She is also interested in meditation, pain, and chronic illness.

Kate Lila Wheeler is one of the coordinators of the 2016-2020 meditation teacher training at Spirit Rock, the most diverse Buddhist training in North American history. She was given rein to teach in the Theravada Insight tradition, Vajrayana, and the Advaita approach of HWL Poonja. Kate grew up in Latin America and has spent time in traditional Asian practice communities, as as a nun in Burma in 1988 and the caves of Tso Pema more recently. She practices at Spirit Rock, Pema Kilaya in Washington State, and some other communities in the West.