Embodying the Heart of Kindness and Presence: An Insight Meditation and Yoga retreat in silence

The Danish Mindfulness Association is honored to welcome for the first time in Denmark Dr. David Brown and Helen Stephenson for a 7-day silent retreat.


Meditation and Yoga are natural partners in the spiritual life. Drawing on the Buddha’s teachings of mindfulness and awakening and the yoga teachings of Patanjali this retreat will combine the practices of Hatha Yoga and Insight Meditation.
The Buddha's teachings are founded upon our innate potential to discover inner peace and freedom. The practice of Insight Meditation will be offered as an invitation to relax into the immediacy of direct experience and explore the deepening of spiritual understanding.
As we learn to abide in the wide-open heart of awakened presence, our natural wisdom and kind-heartedness emerges.
The yoga is offered as a spiritual path rather than as an exercise system. The movements are simple and done slowly in tune with the rhythm of our breath. Through the practice of meditative awareness, the body becomes a gateway to inner peace and understanding, enabling us to open into an intimate connection with life.

Who is this retreat for?
This retreat is suitable for anyone wanting to deepen their mindfulness and yoga practice.
This retreat will focus on cultivating an experiential understanding of wakeful presence and of the body in meditative yoga. This will be especially of interest to those teaching or aspiring to teach in healthcare, psychology, education, science, government, or in the business and corporate sectors. Please, note that this retreat is in silence.

About the retreat
This Insight Meditation and yoga retreat will offer periods of sitting and walking meditation, mindful yoga as well as group and individual practice discussions. The teachers will also offer daily talks. These teachings and practices will emphasize quieting the mind, opening the heart, and developing clarity and depth of practice. Please notice that the teaching will be in English. Difficult phrases or words will be translated as needed.

Biography of teachers

has practiced Hatha Yoga and Insight Meditation since 1979. Initially she was taught by the late Robert van Heeckeren and in 1981 she began to study classical yoga with the Indian Yoga teacher Sri S Rajagopalan. She is a teacher, trainer and supervisor in MBSR/MBCT and MBI (mindfulness based interventions). She has been taught by Dr. Patrizia Collard, Bangor University. Helen is also the director of mindfulness:mk and runs courses and retreats in Milton Keynes and other locations. For more information please see: www.mindfulnessmk.com
Listen to one of Helen’s talks given at Gaia House: http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/373/


Dr David Brown has over 40 years of experience in meditation, investigating the nature of self/consciousness/experiencing and life/death. He usually attends intensive retreats for 3-5 weeks each year, and in total over the years he has spent nearly 4 years of his life in intensive meditation, including a 9-month period in 2004-5. He has trained in all the main streams of Buddhist meditation (Theravadin, Tibetan, Zen and Chinese Chan) and he takes a non-sectarian and non-religious approach. He emphasises presence and embodiment and the natural peace and joy which arise. When these are established, investigation into the nature of being becomes possible as a joyful quest. He integrates yoga into the Buddhist methods of meditation.
In his professional life David is a medical researcher, who has invented several major drugs (one of which was Viagra, of which he was named co-inventor on the patent, and he led the research team for 8 years). Today he works to find treatments for children with rare diseases who have no treatment options.
David and Helen have taught many retreats together.
This retreat requires no adherence to a particular faith tradition.
This retreat fulfills part of the retreat requirements for becoming a CFM/Oasis Institute Certified MBSR Teacher and is suitable for anyone teaching or aspiring to teach mindfulness in healthcare, psychology, education, science, government, or in the business and corporate sectors.

Learning Objectives

  • Practice mindfulness meditation and yoga
  • Explore the foundational underpinnings of MBSR and other Mindfulness Programs
  • Recognize the importance of embodying these foundational underpinnings when teaching Mindfulness
  • Discuss dimensions of personal practice with guiding teachers
  • Utilize mindfulness meditation and yoga in your personal and professional life
  • Participate in and contribute to a community of mindfulness-based professionals

Practical information

  • When: August 4th to 11th, 2018
  • Where: Gomde Retreat Center in the beautiful hills of Djursland, Denmark. Address is: Smedehalden 3, Esby. DK-8420 Knebel. Info on how to get there Click here


  • Registration fees include the organisation of the retreat, accommodation and vegetarian meals:
  • Single room, total cost, VAT included: 8200,00 Dkr. Single rooms are sold out -- please book double, dormitory or own tent
  • Double room, total cost, VAT included: 7500,00 Dkr.
  • Dormitory or use of own tent (campground, total cost, VAT included): 6800,00 Dkr.
  • Early Bird price reduction (before January 1st, 2018): 500,00 Dkr.
  • Price reduction for members of the Mindfulness Association: 500,00 Dkr.
    (It is only possible to get a total of 500 Dkr in price reduction)
  • Dana: The registration fee is only for the organization and does not include the fee for the teacher, so we ask for a “Dana” for the teacher. Dana (pronounced “dah-na”) is a Pali word meaning generosity. This practice dates back to the ancient times and comes from the conviction that the value of the teachings cannot be measured by any material values and that they should be accessible to all and be given freely, since they are considered priceless. Therefore, the teachers offer their work with charging any set fee. Yanai and Helen offer the teachings in this spirit of dana/generosity. However, to support their livelihood and their other teaching activities, they have to rely on voluntary donations at the end of the course. There will be an opportunity for each participant to practice generosity at the end of the retreat and to offer a financial contribution to support the teachers in their livelihood. Everyone is asked to give as much and appropriate as it is possible. You can also consider what such seminars usually cost, and if this helps, we can give you some idea of a usual cost.

To register

  • Click here to fill out the registration form/ or click “tilmeld” in the upper right corner. Scroll down to “Insight Meditation and Yoga Retreat 2018”, and fill out the registration form.
  • You will receive an invoice within 5 days, reflecting your choice of accommodation/or 2nd choice.
  • Make the payment through bank transfer as stated on the invoice.
  • After receiving your form and your payment, we will send you an email to confirm your registration.
  • Be aware that places are limited. Registrations will be confirmed ONLY after receiving the form and the payment. We advice to register as early as possible to secure your attendance.

Cancellation(must be in written form)

  • If you cancel before March 4th 2018, the fee will be refunded, except for a deposit of Dkr. 1000
  • If you cancel between March 4th and May 4th 2017, 50 % of the fee will be refunded.
  • If you cancel between May 4th and June 4th 2018, 25 % of the fee will be refunded.
  • If you cancel after June 4th 2018 no refund of the fee will take place.

If you have any questions, please email us at: Denne e-mail adresse bliver beskyttet mod spambots. Du skal have JavaScript aktiveret for at vise den. or call Ann at +45 6130 3155, Jane at +456175 5508 or Gitte at +45 2624 5499 Mon-Thurs between 5 pm and 7 pm.

We look forward to welcoming you at this retreat!

Etikken er dybt forankret i mindfulness

Af Gitte Bowman Bak, psykolog, PhD, MBSR lærer

billede1I løbet af det seneste 10 år er antallet af videnskabelige undersøgelser, som dokumenterer effekten af mindfulness, mangedoblet, og det er tydeligt, at mindfulness nu har vist sin værdi som et reelt alternativ til traditionel behandling, når vi mennesker skal forsøge at tackle livet med alle de udfordringer, som livet indimellem byder på, bl.a. ifm. stress og sygdomme. Så sent som i sidste uge kunne vi således i det anerkendte britiske videnskabelige tidsskrift, The Lancet, læse de spændende resultater, der viser, at mindfulness virker lige så godt som medicin i forbindelse med at forebygge tilbagefald efter depression.

I den danske mindfulnessforening kommer resultaterne ikke som en overraskelse, da vi alle personligt har oplevet mindfulness’ ofte store transformerende indvirkning på eget og andres liv. Vi er samtidig meget opmærksomme på, at netop videnskabeligheden er en afgørende faktor i udbredelsen af mindfulness og i sikringen af fortsatte dokumenterede gode resultater af mindfulness. Dette kræver en høj grad af ansvarlighed og integritet hos lærerne, som udbyder de forskellige mindfulnessforløb. I Mindfulnessforeningen betyder det, at vi også er optaget af at udfolde og beskrive etikken indenfor feltet og udforme etiske retningslinjer.

Mindfulnessforeningen i Danmark har netop fejret 2 års fødselsdag, og i den forbindelse afholdt vi i foreningen et seminar for alle medlemmerne, hvor omdrejningspunktet var etik. For tiden arbejder et etik-udvalg i foreningen på at udforme mindfulnessforeningens etiske retningslinjer, og seminaret indgik som en naturlig del af denne proces. Dette betød at vi medlemmer for en stund stoppede og nærmest ”kiggede os selv lidt i sømmene”. For etikken handler jo i høj grad om den ansvarlighed, som man må have, når man påtager sig opgaven at undervise andre i at ”vågne op” og blive nærværende i sit liv. Det kræver stort nærvær og nænsomhed fra lærerens side, hvorfor etik i mindfulness også bliver noget meget personligt, som den enkelte lærer må forholde sig til. Etik i mindfulness er således mere end en række retningslinjer for mindfulness lærere. Undervisning i mindfulness kommer indefra, og etikken er således også forankret i den ”gode” mindfulness lærer, som ikke bare underviser i teknik eller værktøjer. Det var meget spændende at konstatere, at etik faktisk allerede er indlejret i mindfulness undervisningen, når underviseren er mindful! Dette var også en af konklusionerne på den netop afholdte årlige mindfulness konference ved Center for Mindfulness på UMass i USA, hvor etikken også var hovedfokus.

Til at hjælpe med at udfolde den spændende proces omkring etikken i mindfulness havde den danske mindfulnessforening bl.a. inviteret en deltager fra et MBSR-foløb (MBSR står for Mindfulness Baseret Stress Reduktion), Ditte Zachariassen, og hun fortalte på en meget bevægende måde om sin rejse igennem det traditionelle behandlingssystem frem til mødet med mindfulness, og især mindfulness læreren, som med sin indstilling endelig gav hende en helt ny indgangsvinkel til at tage vare på sig selv nænsomt, hvilket var starten på hendes bedring og helingsproces. Dittes rejse gjorde stort indtryk på os alle og var en stor hjælp til at tune os ind på de virksomme processer i mindfulness, hvor etikken er en vigtig grundsten.

Mange ting faldt på plads for os, da vi fik besøg af den næste oplægsholder, Günter Hudasch, som, foruden en oprindelig uddannelse som biolog, arbejder som business konsulent og MBSR lærer og siden 2005 har været formand for den tyske mindfulnessforening, som han er medstifter af. Günter Hudasch var med til at afdække de mange lag, som indgår i etik, og hjalp os med at skelne meta-etiske overvejelser omkring grundværdier for vores menneskeliv fra moralske værdier, normer og etiske principper for vores særlige arbejde. Vores tyske søsterorganisation har ydet et stort stykke arbejde i formuleringen af de etiske retningslinjer for de tyske mindfulnesslærere, som bl.a. indeholder grundreglen ”primum non nocere” (”først af alt, gør ikke skade”), krav om transparens og en ombudsmandsfunktion, beskrivelse af det asymmetriske forhold imellem lærer-deltager og det særlige ansvar i denne forbindelse samt den nødvendige opretholdelse af undervisningens indhold. Alt dette stiller store krav til lærerens egen uddannelse og fortsatte praksis, som medvirker til sikring af kvaliteten af mindfulness undervisningen. Vi er meget taknemmelige for, at vi kan få indsigt i det flotte arbejde, som den tyske forening har gjort, og som kan hjælpe os i vores arbejde.

Sidst, men ikke mindst, blev vi yderligere hjulpet på vej i udforskningen af etikken og især det vigtige, personlige arbejde, som er forudsætningen for at kunne undervise i mindfulness, da vi fik besøg af Jacob Piet, som er psykolog og ph.d. ved Dansk Center for Mindfulness ved Århus Universitetshospital. Jacob Piet gav os en meget levende og hjertevarmende beretning fra den internationale mindfulness konference i Massachusetts, og satte mange tanker og følelser i gang hos os omkring etik som et i høj grad personligt ansvar, hvor lærerens integritet og sindsligevægt er afgørende for kvaliteten af arbejdet. Det handler om at tage vare på sig selv som menneske, først og fremmest, førend man kan tage vare på andre og undervise dem. Han pegede bl.a. på vigtigheden af - som lærer - at praktisere selv, løbende at checke sin egen motivation og intention og villigheden til at tage ved lære af sine fejl. Ifølge Piet er det i dette løbende arbejde en stor hjælp at tilhøre et fællesskab og have en eller måske flere lærere.