ICMC is happy to announce the start of registration for our 2015 spring retreat with Wisconsin teacher Santikaro. The retreat will be held from Thursday, April 30th to Sunday, May 3rd at the Portiuncula Center in Frankfort, IL.

Breathing & Grounding, Seeing & Healing

Grounded in the living body, the breathing is a vehicle for mindfulness and clear seeing in all areas of life. We will give special attention to areas of hurt and suffering in order to awaken compassion for ourselves and others, personally and socially. Compassionate inquiry into the sources of distress enables us to release the clinging & egoism that inflicts the most pain. This opens up a Dhammic life of freedom and service.

SantikaroSantikaro trained for almost two decades as a Theravada bhikkhu, mostly at Suan Mokkh in Southern Thailand where he lived with Ajahn Buddhadasa and became his primary translator. His training continues here in the Midwest, as an upasika, where he is the founder of Liberation Park, a modern expression of Buddhist practice, study, and social responsibility, located in rural southwestern Wisconsin. He has been teaching in the Chicago area since his return home in 2000.

For more details and how to register, go to http://icmc2015spring.eventbrite.com/. Email Nicholas at registrar@insightchicago.org with any questions.

Greg-Kramer-color-photo-smallThe Family Action Network (FAN) is sponsoring 4 days of events with Gregory Kramer, Ph.D., the Founder and Guiding Teacher of Metta Programs, and the developer of Insight Dialogue meditation practice.

Gregory will be leading a free one-day retreat, “Insight Dialogue: Practicing Interpersonal Meditation,” on Friday, April 24, and a two-day non-residential retreat, “Insight Dialogue: Deepening the Inquiry,” on Saturday, April 25 and Sunday, April 26. There will be a fee of $100 for the weekend retreat. He will be assisted in his teaching at the retreats by Phyllis Hicks, a Senior Teacher with Metta Programs.

Greg will also be presenting a talk for the general public on Thursday, April 23, 7:00 PM at New Trier High School, Northfield Campus, Cornog Auditorium, 7 Happ Rd., Northfield. It’s titled “Mindfulness in Relationship: The Power of the Shared Human Experience.” No RSVPs are needed for the public lecture, and it is free and open to the public.

Here is the link to register for either/both of the retreats:


Space is limited at both retreats — the link went live about an hour ago, and you are the first to know. But the word will spread fast as we begin to advertise it more heavily, so I advise you to register right away.

Please contact Lonnie Stonitsch if you have any questions: lonnie@stonitsch.net


On Sunday, March 8, Circle of Stillness, the Highland Park sangha, will host a half-day retreat from 9:30am -1:30 pm with Venerable Pannavati.

Ven. Dr. Pannavati, a former Christian pastor, is co-founder and co-Abbot of Embracing-Simplicity Hermitage in Hendersonville, NC. A black, female Buddhist monk ordained in the Theravada and Mahayana traditions, Pannavati founded My Place, Inc. in Hendersonville, NC, which has housed more than 75 homeless youth between the ages of 17 and 23 over the past 4 years.

Pannavati describes her topic as mind training: The absolute Stilling of Thought Produces Nibbana Here and Now! Pannavati states she will take participants through the Buddha’s series of trainings that allow deeper and deeper levels of penetration into stillness, quietude, confidence and joy.  Suitable for all levels, and especially if you feel stuck in your meditation practice.

The room will open at 9:00 am and we encourage you to arrive early to get settled. Please park in only in spaces marked NSSD or NSSDance. We will have chairs but you will need to bring your own cushion or bench if you plan on sitting on the floor. There is no fee but Pannavati’s work depends on dana.

I hope that you will be able to attend this unique opportunity for practice. Please respond by email if you plan to attend mail to: jones2110@comcast.net

The registration page for the spring retreat with Santikaro was showing incorrectly that ticket sales had ended. This has been corrected and registration can now begin.

Andrew GetzThanks to all those who contributed to making the New Year’s retreat with Andrew Getz such a success! Andrew has provided some recommended reading for retreat participants:

Holly Nelson-JohnsonA weekly series of classes is being held at Old St Patricks Church from February to March, 2015. These mindfulness programs will be led by Holly Nelson-Johnson. Holly, MSN, APN, FNP-BC is a Family Nurse Practitioner, Certified MBSR Teacher, and an Interpersonal Mindfulness Teacher who has been offering Mindfulness-Based programs nationally for over twenty five years.

The first track on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is open to beginners.

The MBSR program is a way of integrating the Spiritual Practice of Mindfulness into daily life: of learning to walk the contemplative path with practical feet. Mindfulness is a quality of awareness that develops when we pay attention on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally to life as it really is.

Experienced meditators may enroll in the Interpersonal Mindfulness Program (IMP), a program developed under the direction of Gregory Kramer; and based on Insight Dialogue: The Interpersonal Path to Freedom.

Relationships can be a source of great joy, as well as suffering. Interpersonal Mindfulness brings Mindfulness directly into the stresses of relationship. In developing a meditation practice while speaking, we deepen our awareness of social interactions in all their complexity, and their promise. We can experience a ‘profound connection’ with ourselves and others.

To register for either the MBSR or IMP programs, please contact Holly Nelson-Johnson: hnjohnson@icloud.com. Class size limited, pre-registration is required. Contact Holly soon for program details.

Andrew GetzThe New Year’s retreat with Andrew Getz is full. Cancellations do occur, so check the registration page for updates. You can also sign up on the waitlist to be notified if rooms become available.


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