Future Retreats through Tri State Dharma:

Tri-State Dharma presents a 7 day Vipassana Retreat:

Doorways Into Deepening Awareness & Wisdom

with Heather Sundberg

October 6-13, 2017


This silent retreat will consist of alternating periods of sitting and walking meditation, plus teachings, and optional daily Qi Gong practice.  Instructions for insight meditation and all the Brahma Viharas (lovingkindness/compassion/joy/equanimity) will be offered.  We will initially focus on developing Body Awareness & Concentration, followed by an in-depth exploration of Awareness & Wisdom from the perspective of the Thai forest tradition.  To support deepening practice, participants will check in individually with the teacher every three days.

Pre-requisite: You must have attended at least one prior retreat of at least 5-nights in Insight Meditation in order to attend this retreat.  In addition, retreatants must be able to attend the entire retreat in order to participate. Please do not sign up if you cannot be there for the entire retreat from the opening through the closing.


Heather Sundberg has taught Insight Meditation since 1999 and has completed the Spirit Rock/IMS Senior Teacher Training.  Beginning her own meditation practice in her late teens, for the last 25 years, Heather has studied with senior teachers in the Insight Meditation (Vipassana) and Tibetan (Vajrayana) traditions and has sat 1-3 months of silent retreat a year for the last 20 years.  She was the Spirit Rock Family & Teen Program Teacher & Manager for a decade.  Between 2010-2015 she spent a cumulative one-year in study, practice, and pilgrimage in Asia.  Since 2011, she has been a Teacher at Mountain Stream Meditation Center and sister communities in the CA Sierra Foothills.  She teaches retreats nationally & internationally, and has a long-term connection with Spirit Rock Meditation Center & Abhayagiri Monastery.  Her teaching emphasizes Awakening through the Body (1st foundation mindfulness), the Heart Practices (Divine Abodes), and Awareness Practices out of the Thai forest tradition.  For more information about Heather visit heathersundberg.com.


Heather is a wonderful teacher, deep and caring and skillful in guiding students at all levels. ~ Jack Kornfield


Heather Sundberg has risen over decades through the training programs for teachers at Spirit Rock and has become an esteemed and respected and admired teacher by colleagues and students. The fact that she led the Spirit Rock Young Adult and Family Program for ten years added the skill of being able to translate Dharma to all ages and levels of competency. Heather has been faithful to her many long-term teachers across traditions but it would not be correct to say that she is like any one of them: My delight, as one of Heather's teachers, is that she seems to me just like herself. When teachers share what they know from their own deep convictions, they come across and both genuine and inspiring. Her teaching style is warm and accessible. She remains alert and attentive to everyone in the room, moving the discussion to keep the material relevant to everyone. She is a refreshing new voice in the world-wide Dharma scene.Sylvia Boorstein


The Retreat will be held at Oakwood Retreat Center

The retreat begins with supper on Friday evening, and ends with lunch on the last day.


Cost of the Retreat: $800

The cost of the retreat covers room and board and Tri-State Dharma’s expenses. Meditation teachers in this tradition are able to continue their work through Dana, or generous, voluntary giving by students. At retreat’s end, students have an opportunity to practice Dana by offering contributions. There is no specific contribution amount expected; give what feels right. Generosity is an integral part of the practice. 

Tri-State Dharma

P.O. Box 36528

Cincinnati, OH  45236

register at: http://tristatedharma.org/Residential.htm






August 25 – September 4, 2017
10 Day Jhana Retreat withMary Aubry
Oakwood Retreat Center - $1400

October 6-13, 2017
Weeklong Vipassana Retreat
Doorways Into Deepening Awareness & Wisdom with Heather Sundburg
Oakwood Retreat Center - $800

 for more information or to register online. www.tristatedharma.org


First Retreat Experience

I attended my first retreat over New Years weekend at the Oakwood Retreat Center.  It lasted from Friday evening until Tuesday lunch and was led by Joan Staubach and sponsored by TriState Dharma. Near the end of the retreat, Mary Ellen  gave a short talk on dana.  She asked two questions--"Why did you come here?" and "What do you take away from here?"

Why did I come?  Mostly because it was suggested by people who have practiced much longer than I.  So far their suggestions had been good, so I trusted their advice to go on a retreat.

I was also just curious.  What would it be like to be silent for four days?  What would happen if I meditated for hours every day?

I was full of anticipation and fear.  Talk with the same friends who encouraged me to go helped me face the fears, find the trust, and move on with an open mind, body, and spirit.

And what did I take away?  When she asked that question, tears literally began streaming down my face.  I had no idea the spaciousness that could be found given time and support. My meditation and spiritual growth went to a depth that I don’t think would have been possible without the intensity of prolonged devoted time.  My daily praactice has not led me to experience so profoundly the exquisitiveness of the breath and the delight of stillness. Though there were only glimpses, I had a taste of the deeper fruits of insight meditation.  I had never truly understood the connection between insight and meditation.  But given the time, space, and support of the retreat sangha , I had  the  experience of insight that just arises unbidden by my brain, body, or self. A true gift.

One difference I have noticed in my practice since the retreat is that I approach the time with much greater ease.  I don't seem to worry as much about what I'm "supposed" to be doing.  I am much more willing to just do nothing.  

I hope to do the retreat again next year and to do other, longer retreats.  As Joan said repeatedly, "We're not done doing nothing yet."

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