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The Evolution and Essence of Retreat

on demand Jun 15, 2021

The practice of retreat has been evolving. In the last year, the need to refrain from gathering physically has meant retreats have gone online. Does online accessibility, as Shinzen Young asserted, democratize mindfulness, making it accessible to all? How do we know if our retreats are ‘working’? And how do we ensure we retain the essence of retreat? Panelists will examine assumptions and beliefs about intensive practice to understand how the essence of retreat can be retained even as its form evolves. 

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Featured speakers: Cameron Wenaus, Elli Weisbaum and Myoshin Kelly 

Cameron Wenaus, Co-Founder, CEO of Retreat Guru a retreat discovery platform & a B2B SaaS that provides software to retreat centers solving administrative and marketing pain. We are more of an ecosystem than one single product. 

Elli Weisbaum has worked internationally facilitating mindfulness workshops and retreats within the sectors of education, healthcare and business. This has included work in Canada, Bhutan, India, Germany, France, the UK and USA. She is currently based at the University of Toronto as an instructor for the Applied Mindfulness and Meditation Certificate Program and a PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Medicine. Her thesis research focuses on applying mindfulness to physician wellbeing. Since 2020, he has been teaching and developing a mindfulness curriculum for the MScPT program at the University of Toronto. She attended her first retreat with Zen Master and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Thich Nhat Hanh at the age of ten. After completing a masters degree focused on integrating mindfulness into education, she spent a year as the international program coordinator for Wake Up Schools, a global initiative to cultivate mindfulness in education started by Thich Nhat Hanh. Elli’s novel background in both academic research and traditional mindfulness practice provides a distinct approach to her ongoing work teaching and researching in the field. 

Myoshin Kelley, Meditation Teacher and Instructor. Myoshin attended her first meditation retreat in 1975 at the age of 20. Through the ensuing years she has received dharma instructions from several renowned Buddhist meditation masters in the Theravada, Zen, and Vajrayana traditions. She has practiced extensively with the Burmese meditation masters Chanmyay Sayadaw, Sayadaw U Pandita, and Sayadaw U Tejaniya. In the early 1990s Myoshin received meditation instruction from the Soto Zen master Hogen Yamahata. Her desire for long-term meditation practice has taken her to Burma on several occasions.

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