Insight meditation day retreat: Awakening Wisdom, Peace and Joy – with Zohar Lavie

untitledSunday 14th May 2017


Main Hall, Seaton Sluice Community Centre,

Albert Road, Seaton Sluice NE26 4QX

For further information, click here to read the event flyer

Also known as “Vipassana,” Insight Meditation is rooted in the 2600 year-old Buddhist tradition and has a deep and immediate relevance to our lives today. It is the ground from which the teaching and practice of  Mindfulness has been drawn, and is open and accessible to people of any religious affiliation or none. Insight Meditation connects us with our capacity to be mindfully present in each moment, with a warm and open-hearted attention to every experience. From this quality of being present, our heart and mind can awaken to a depth of peace and clarity, which liberates us from the power of craving, negativity and confusion.

The meditation practices of Insight and Metta (goodwill or loving kindness) are powerful transformative vehicles that connect us with our potential to awaken to ever deepening levels of love and wisdom in life. We will explore our capacity to welcome each moment with a kind and spacious attention, to nourish a sense of wellbeing and joy, and to deepen our understanding of ourselves and all beings. As we open to the way things are, we can relax more deeply into life, rediscovering the natural inner peace and freedom of our human hearts.

Zohar Lavie has been practising meditation in different traditions since 1995. This journey has taken her from the meditation cushion into exploring further ways of expressing truth and love and in 2004 she co-founded SanghaSeva. She now spends most of her time facilitating retreats that offer service as a spiritual path around the world. Since 2006 she has been teaching on silent retreats and Dharma gatherings in India, Europe and Israel.

Cost: the retreat cost is £20. This charge is to cover the basic cost of organising the retreat including hiring the hall and the teachers travel expenses, but does not include any payment for the teaching. In the Insight Meditation tradition, dharma teachings are offered without charge and participants are invited to support the teacher in the spirit of generosity – know as “dana” in the tradition. At the end of the retreat, there will be an opportunity to practice Dana / Generosity to support the livelihood of the teacher. Places are limited so we encourage booking in advance. Hot drinks will be provided. Please bring vegetarian finger food to share, for a communal lunch. Thank you.

For more information or to book a place for either day please email or call 07508 055643


Introduction to Buddhist Meditation – Free evening course

bowlLearn about the Buddha’s teachings on meditation, mindfulness and the path to a happier life

Venue: Friends Meeting House 23 Front Street, Monkseaton, NE25 8AQ

Free 8 Week Evening Course Starting Thursday 16th February

This informal and friendly class is suitable for beginners as well as experienced meditators. Sessions will take place on Thursday evenings from 7-8.30 pm, and will include a guided practice, a short talk and the opportunity to ask questions. If you’re interested in living a more awakened life, with greater peace of mind, come and learn some meditation skills.

No previous experience required.

To find out more, call 07508 055643 or email

Click here to download flyer with more information.

A Weekend of Mindfulness & Meditation in Rural Northumberland With Yanai Postelnik


Yanai Postelnik has practised Insight Meditation and studied Buddhist teachings for over 25 years in Asia and the West. Since 1992 he has been teaching Insight Meditation retreats at Gaia House in Devon, elsewhere in the UK and around the world.

Saturday 17th September

9.30 am – 5 pm

Insight meditation day retreat: mindful presence, wisdom and compassion

Newton & Bywell Village Hall, Newton Village, near Stocksfield, NE43 7UL (map)

For further information, click here to read the event flyer


Sunday 18th September

9.30 am – 5 pm

Insight meditation and walking day retreat: an opportunity to cultivate mindfulness in the outdoor beauty of rural Northumberland

Starting from: Blanchland Village Hall, Blanchland DH8 9UA (map)

For further information, click here to read the event flyer

You’re welcome to join us for either one or both days. The cost of each day is £20. This charge is to cover the basic cost of organising the retreat including hiring the hall and the teachers travel expenses, but does not include any payment for the teaching. At the end of the retreat, there will be an opportunity to practice Dana / Generosity to support the livelihood of the teacher.

For more information or to book a place for either day please email or call 07508 055643

Reflections on Metta Weekend Retreat

View of the Upper Coquet Valley from bunkhouse

View of the Upper Coquet Valley from bunkhouse

The group met recently for our Metta focussed meditation weekend retreat in the beautiful Upper Coquet valley in rural Northumberland. A small group included a retreatant who had travelled from Sheffield to join us, so a welcoming conversation over dinner on friday evening was enjoyed by all. The arrangements for the retreat were planned collaboratively, followed by the establishment of silence for the remainder of the retreat. The programme over the weekend included dhamma talks from both Sharon Salzberg and Donald Rothberg, which explored metta from a led metta meditation through to ways to realise metta in everyday life. This was interspersed with periods of sitting and walking meditation, as well as the opportunity for a longer nature walk in the beautiful, quiet Cheviot countryside right from the doorstep of the bunkhouse.

The weather wasn’t always kind to us, but the roaring log fire stove in the bunkhouse kept things warm and toasty for everyone.  Overall the weekend was appreciated by all who attended both for the opportunity to explore and meditate for a more extended period than possible outside of a formal retreat situation, and for the conducive peace, solitude and beauty of the retreat location. At the end of the weekend the drive out from the bunkhouse offered a wonderful opportunity for reflection on the messages and themes of the retreat and slow return back to the concerns of everyday life.

Meditation Retreat Weekend Final Arrangements

With just over a week to go, here are the directions and instructions for our silent retreat weekend in Northumberland:

We’ll provide simple vegetarian food. Can you please let us know whether you have any dietary requirements or restrictions? We’re planning to bring fruit, cereal, porridge and bread for breakfast; soup, bread and cheese for lunch; a hot meal in the evening with some salad. There will be bottled water, coffee, tea and herbal teas.

Sleeping arrangements
We’d also like to remind you that the accommodation is on mezzanine floors, with separate male and female areas. You’ll need to bring your own bedding, including a sleeping mat or portable mattress. We have some spare bedding and mattresses, so please let us know if you need us to bring anything for you. We have uploaded an album of photos (click here) if you’d like to review the arrangements.

Meditation and yoga equipment
It would also be very helpful if you can bring your own meditation cushion or stool with you. Again, we have some spare cushions and yoga mats, so please get in touch if you need them.

There are a number of lovely walks around the area and we’ll bring some maps and walk guides, so you may want to take some walking boots and a waterproof coat.

We can arrive any time from 3 pm on Friday and we aim to finish at noon on Sunday. We’ll have a meal ready at around 6.30 on Friday evening, but if you can’t get there in time we’ll save you some food!

Getting there
From Rothbury: Leave Rothbury on the B6341 heading west, passing through Thropton. At Flotterton Farm junction turn right, following the signposts to Alwinton. Pass through Harbottle, and Alwinton, continuing on the narrow single track road up the Coquet Valley for another 6 miles to Barrowburn Farm. The camping barn is up a track about 100 yards from the tearoom. For a Google Map click here.

Lift sharing
If anyone needs a lift or would like to offer a lift, please let us know. We are expecting 6-8 of us to be taking part.

If you have any questions, please email us ( back or call on 07508 055643.

We’re really looking forward to seeing you and practising together.

Silent Mindfulness Weekend Retreat

Come and join us for a weekend of walking and silent meditation practice in the Cheviot Hills.

Friday 9th – Sunday 11th May 2014
Barrowburn Camping Barn, Upper Coquetdale (map)

Insight North­East is running a silent retreat weekend in Upper Coquetdale. Anyone with experience of meditation in any tradition is welcome to join us.

There is no set charge, although you are welcome to contribute to the cost of the accommodation and food. A voluntary donation of £25 is suggested.

For more information please click here to read the information flyer or to book a place please email or call 07508 055643

Silent Practice Day 17/11/13

Silent_Practice_Day_NovAllow yourself a day of liberating silence.

We are organising a silent practice day, consisting of alternating periods of sitting and walking meditation. Anyone with experience of meditation in any tradition is welcome to join us.

A day of silence is a great way to learn and deepen your meditation practice. It can help to attune you to your external environment and start to notice what’s going on internally. It can help you to slow down and practise being fully mindful in the present moment.

There is no charge, although you are welcome to contribute to the cost of the room hire. Please bring your own packed lunch.

When: 10am–3pm on Sunday 17th November 2013
Where: Seaton Sluice Community Centre, Albert Rd, Seaton Sluice NE26 4QX (directions here)

Please feel free to download and pass on this notice to anyone you feel might be interested.

Reflections on our Silent Practice Day

View along Druridge Bay from the retreat hall

View along Druridge Bay from the retreat hall

The group met for a silent practice day at the quiet and atmospheric Village Hall in Cresswell, located at the southern end of Druridge Bay. With an early morning mist hanging over the countryside, and the tide lapping in-shore, it felt as remote as spot as it could be, and perfect for our day of sustained practice. A slightly extended group of 6 soon made the hall comfortable and conducive to practice, with candles and incense, and a shared sense of right effort and intention. A format was agreed for the day, mixing sitting with walking meditation sessions, and at 10am we settled into silence, which would remain unbroken until the end of the day at 3pm when the group reflected on their experiences and thoughts.

The day opened with a 45 minute sit, followed by 30 minutes of walking meditation or yoga as preferred, and then a further session of 45 minutes sitting before a break for lunch.  A number of the group took the opportunity to walk outside on the beach at lunch, exploring the dunes and shoreline in quiet, contemplative thought. We reconvened at 1pm for another 45 minutes sitting session, breaking again for walking meditation or yoga for 30 minutes before ending the day’s silent practice with a final 45 minute session of sitting. Afterwards, we shared our experiences, reflecting in part on the differences of each of our practices, which ebbed and flowed like the tide from one session to the next, but all agreeing that the practice had been both valuable and fulfilling. A short yogi-job session to clean the hall before we left gave us all the chance to come back to the “real world” and break our silence with jovial chat and friendship before we left for home (not before the little ones had time for an ice cream!).

Silent Practice Day (19/05/13)

Silent Practice Day – Sunday 19th May
10 am – 4 pm
Cost: Free
Non-members welcome
Venue: Cresswell Village Hall (map)

Allow yourself a day of liberating silence.

We are organising a silent practice day, consisting of alternating periods of sitting and walking meditation.

A day of silence is a great way to learn and deepen your meditation practice. It can help to attune you to your external environment and start to notice what’s going on internally. It can help you to slow down and practice being fully mindful in the present moment.

This day will be a chance to practise a whole day of sitting and walking meditation in silence. You can sit on one of the chairs in the hall, or alternatively bring your own cushion or a meditation stool. It’s open for anyone with experience of meditation in any tradition, who wishes to experience a period of silence within the accepting and supportive atmosphere of a group.

Please bring your own packed lunch.

For more information please email

“Being silent means more than just holding your tongue. It means listening for the
softest, most subtle sound of all – the sound of the soul.” -Tijn Touber

New Website Launched

LotusBullet Today sees the launch of this new website to support our Meditation Group, Insight North East. Insight North-East is a group based in Whitley Bay, set up to create a supportive environment in which members can practice mindfulness and develop insight. Our aim is to support each other in the practice and understanding of the teachings of the Buddha, and we have established a friendly, supportive community. The group practises insight meditation (also known as vipassana meditation) as taught in the Theravadan Buddhist tradition and we welcome anyone who has made a commitment to regular meditation practice.

You do not have to be a Buddhist to join our group. Insight North East is a non-dogmatic, secular group in which the ambience that we develop when we come together helps us to grow and maintain our practice, bringing the Eightfold Path into our day-to-day lives and keeping us going when difficulties arise. Much of our learning happens not in the solitude of our meditative practice, but in the relationships we form with each other.