Teaching – Australia

AUSTRALIA: December 2019 – January 2020

Nine-day Insight Meditation retreat – Wilton, NSW

Sydney Insight Meditators

Almost full – book soon to avoid missing out

Releasing and renewing: strengthening the two wings to Awakening

Traditionally, the New Year is a time to take stock of our lives, to let go of what no longer serves, and to reconnect more fully with what inspires us.

In service of this, SIM’s annual New Year’s retreat provides an opportunity to deepen an experiential understanding of insight meditation, exploring a variety of different practices taken from the Four Foundations of Mindfulness as well as the four brahmavihara heart practices, of kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity.

Together, we will strengthen both the wisdom and compassion wings of awakening, through a mix of guided and silent sitting meditation, walking meditation, group discussion and individual meetings with the teacher.

There will be a period of relational meditation each afternoon on the first two and last two days, while the middle days will be in full silence.  Relational or interpersonal meditation involves working in dyads (pairs) to practice mindful speaking and listening, using the guidelines of Insight Dialogue. For more information about the practice of Insight Dialogue, please see https://metta.org/insight-dialogue-3/

There will also be a period of optional, gentle mindful movement each day.

Experience level: This retreat is best suited to people who have done at least one previous insight meditation weekend retreat

Time and dates: 5:00 p.m. Friday 27 December 2019 – 1:00 p.m. Sunday 5 January 2020
Location: Brahma Kumaris Meditation Centre 150 MacArthur Dr, Wilton NSW 2571
Phone: +61 2 4630 8124
Cost: $1260 twin share /  $1530 single room /  $1125 concession + dana*
More info: https://www.sydneyinsightmeditators.org/events-calendar.html
To register: https://www.trybooking.com/book/sessions?eid=470125

Five-day Insight Meditation retreat – Medlow Bath, NSW

FULL for women – apply to be on waiting list

As the New Year rolls in, this four-day residential retreat will provide a rare opportunity to slow down, take stock, release what’s no longer needed, and re-connect with our deepest aspirations.

In support of this process, we will deepen the practice of insight meditation through a range of different techniques found in the Satipatthana Sutta, the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, as well as the brahma-vihara practices of kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity.

Most of each day will be spent practising silent sitting and walking meditation, with some guided meditation instructions, dyad (pairs) meditation, and opportunities for individual and group meetings with the teachers.

This retreat is suitable for beginners as well as those with some previous meditation experience.

Time and dates: 4:00 p.m. Wednesday 15 January  – 1:00 p.m. Sunday 19 January 2020
Location: Blue Mountains Insight Meditation Centre 25 Rutland Road Medlow Bath NSW
Phone: +61 2 4788 1024
Cost: $420 single room + dana*
More info: http://bmimc.org.au/rgb-retreats/210/new-year-new-beginnings/
To register: https://bmimc.secure.retreat.guru/program/new-year-new-beginnings/?form=1&lang=en

AUSTRALIA: June-July 2020

Seven-day combined Insight Meditation and Insight Dialogue workshop – Douglas Park, NSW

Freedom Here and Now

1/3 full – book soon to avoid missing out

This seven day retreat draws on the strengths of both silent and relational insight meditation to support an engaged exploration of the Buddha’s core teachings on freedom: freedom from afflictive states such as anger, fear, sadness, greed; and freedom to live with more ease, happiness, and peace.

In conjunction with the Newcastle Insight Meditation and Insight Dialogue communities*, this retreat is offered as a rare opportunity to strengthen both silent and relational insight meditation practices together.

The retreat as a whole will be grounded in noble silence, with daily instruction in insight meditation each morning. Each afternoon, there will be a 1-2 hour session of Insight Dialogue. This involves practising together in pairs or small groups to learn the six guidelines of Insight Dialogue, which support deep inquiry into the dharma, the Buddha’s teachings.

Over the course of the week, we will explore a variety of practices from the Four Establishments of Mindfulness, alongside the four brahmavihara heart practices of kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity, to directly experience these different aspects of freedom for ourselves.

Each day, there will be sessions of guided and silent sitting meditation, walking meditation, Insight Dialogue practice, individual meetings with the teacher, and a period of optional, gentle mindful movement.

For more information about the practice of Insight Dialogue, please see https://metta.org/insight-dialogue-3/

*This retreat is being offered in conjunction with the Newcastle Insight Meditation and Insight Dialogue communities. If you are coming from Newcastle and would like to coordinate your travel to the venue, please contact Donna Lavell 0412541393 or Susan Burgoyne 0438931362

Experience level: This retreat is best suited to people who have done at least two previous insight meditation weekend workshops, but prior Insight Dialogue experience is not required.

Teachers: Jill Shepherd; mindful movement offered by Donna Lavell

Time and dates: Saturday 6 June – Friday 12 June 2020
Location: St Mary’s Towers 415 Douglas Park Drive Douglas Park NSW 2569
Cost: sliding scale $950-$750 + dana*
To register: https://events.humanitix.com.au/insight-meditation-insight-dialogue-seven-day-retreat-nsw

June 2020 Six-week class series – Sydney and Blue Mountains, NSW

Foundations of Buddhist Study and Practice 1:

Establishing a relationship with the Buddha’s teachings  

This six week course offers an introduction to the study and practice of some of the Buddha’s key suttas or discourses. It is intended as the first in an ongoing series, and will cover preliminary themes and practices taken from the Four Noble Truths, the Four Establishments of Mindfulness and the Four Brahmaviharas.

Each week, we will explore a text from the Pali canon using a variety of different approaches, to distill the essential, practical wisdom of these teachings so that it can inform – and transform – our daily lives.

The course is best suited to people who have sat at least one seven-day silent meditation retreat, but prior Buddhist study is not necessary.

Because this is a group learning process, participants are asked to make a commitment to attend all six sessions of the course, and to allow at least two hours a week for personal study and reflections to be shared with the group.

Feel free to contact Jill if you have any questions about this.

Time and dates – Sydney: 
Saturdays 2:00-4:15 p.m. Saturday 13 June – Saturday 18 July 2020
Location: Booler Community Centre 25-27 Lambert Street Camperdown NSW
Cost: $120 for all six classes + dana*
To register: https://events.humanitix.com.au/six-week-dharma-study-class-series-sydney

Time and dates – Blue Mountains:
Sundays 10:00-12:15 p.m. Sunday 14 June – Sunday 19 July 2020
Location: BMIMC 25 Rutland Road Medlow Bath NSW 2780
Cost: $100 for all six classes + dana*
To register: https://events.humanitix.com.au/six-week-dharma-study-class-series-blue-mountains

AUSTRALIA: June 2021

June 2021 Two six-day study and practice retreats led by Bhikkhu Anālayo – Sydney NSW

Bhikkhu Anālayo plans to return to Australia to offer two identical six-day study and practice retreats on the theme of the Brahmavihara practices and Emptiness.

Details to follow – for now, please save the dates: June 5-11 and June 12-18, 2021

Registration will open in mid June 2020 and will be a lottery process. If you’d like to be added to Jill’s email list to be notified when registration is open, please sign up here: http://eepurl.com/Muk8T

NOTE: These retreats are open to people who have completed at least three previous silent nine-day insight/vipassana retreats


In most Buddhist traditions the teachers are not paid to teach. Instead, the teachings are given on a ‘dana’ basis – dana being the Pali word for generosity or giving freely. At the end of the course, participants are invited to reciprocate this generosity by offering dana to support the teacher. Jill is an independent meditation teacher and is not financially supported by any meditation centre or Buddhist organisation. She relies on dana for her livelihood, and pays for all the expenses incurred in offering a retreat, including most international airfares, herself.