Buddhist Vipassana meditation retreat
- Brise Suave - center for spiritual, social and artistic development
- Melo, Gouveia, Portugal
Vipassana meditation is a way to gain insight your mind and to get to know yourself. Just before the historical figure prince Siddharta (later Gautama Buddha) reached enlightenment he sat down in meditation. After bringing his mind to rest he asked himself: “what is it, that’s sitting under this tree?” This is the essence of practicing Vipassana: practicing insight and seeing reality like it is, without colored glasses. Without connecting the experience to passion (“This is amazing”) or our aggression (“I hate this”). We learn how we relate to the world. When you don’t connect your passion or aggression to objects and situations and attach yourself to them, you’re suffering disappears. This is a challenging road, as we are all very used to having preferences or disliking certain things. Of course, you can and may still enjoy life! These learning moments (pain, sadness, happiness, love) aren’t just available to us in mediation but everywhere in live.
Cultivate the good things in your live; loving-kindness, open-handedness, (self)compassion. These things give you a happiness that is more fulfilling than being right, retribution, making a lot of money, etc.
In the period of July till the end of August we offer the opportunity to do a retreat in our center in Melo, Portugal. In this period there will be the possibility to do a Buddhist retreat from the end of May untill the beginning of september. The cost mentioned on this page is for a retreat of two weeks. A normal retreat is at least ten days. Some people stay the whole summer. It is up to you if you make this a retreat (or an intensive one, see program below) or an alternative vacation in which you meditate with us and follow the normal Dharma lessons but also take small trips to the mountain, villages, etc.
During the retreat all meals and drinks are taken care of by us. During the retreat you gain insight in your mind, you don’t “hide” in mobile phones, etc. We ask that you hand in your electronics for the duration of the stay (except for the alternative holiday). In case of emergency you can give our number to friends and family.
Children during the retreat
During the normal retreat children are most welcome. The children don’t follow the same program as the adults. In the morning and evening they do a shorter, adapted meditation and there is a lot of time and space to play. It isn’t asked of children to be silent during the retreat, but it is asked to keep the peace and quiet. The children take up the responsibility to keep the calmness and they do this very good every year. The children sleep with one of the parents. During the day all parents alternate with watching over the children, this way each parent also has several days of complete rest. To keep the tranquility on our terrain the moment of rest from 12:00 to 14:00 is also for the children. There is a meeting of the children’s wisdom group several times per week.
We hope our retreat appeals to you and that we may welcome you this summer in Portugal.
NOTICE: The booking option is for the intensive retreat. The cost is for your stay and participation in the normal retreat activities such as meditation and lectures. If you wish for any additional personal guidance, which we recommend to enhance your experience and practice, Bert does this on the principle of dana (openhandedness or generosity). We try to keep minimum cost as low as possible to make the retreat accessible for people with lower income. See for yourself how much you can spare.
- Daily meditation
- Vipassana/Vipasyana mediation (insightmeditation)
- Daily vegetarian meals
- Personal guidance
- Lectures about Karma and other buddhist principles
Venue HighlightsWe don’t believe that ‘new’ is always better. Sometimes change means going back to very old values. Traditionally, keeping the good and discarding what’s not. This is also reflected in our center. Brise Suave is organized and guided by a family. Bert and Krista are longtime therapists, supervisors and Bert is a recognized Buddhist teacher. Their son, Egbert, is a conceptual artist and guides artists that wish to deepen the concept and motivation behind their art. Daughter-in-law Tessel is an art therapist and focusses on families, relational difficulties and individuals with psychosocial problems. The basis for our work are the spiritual and psychological values of Tibetan Buddhism.
As a family and as a centre we try to be open towards everyone and to put love, even in hard times, at the forefront of our lives.
- Free Parking
ScheduleProgram intensive retreat
4:00 Gather to (silently) drink some tea
4:45 Walking meditation on the property – this is an awareness meditation
(about 30 min)
Successively sitting meditation (about 1 hour)
06:15 Practicing compassion
07:00 Breakfast and dharma
12:00 2nd and last meal. After this meal we only eat fruit (this is available in the group hall) and drink
14:00-16:00 Personal coaching with teacher Bert
20:00 Evening meditation
Program normal retreat
07:00-07:45 Meditating – first gong (three times) will sound at 6:50. From this moment you can walk to the meditation space.
08:00-09:00 Breakfast – We will have a collective breakfast. Breakfast is concluded with a short contemplation. Children that might come with their parents participate, too.
10:00-11:30 Walking meditation
12:00-14:00 Rest, eating, sleeping
14:00-16:00 Practicing doing nothing unless something else is discussed
16:00-17:00 Personal activity – this can be taking care of your person, tent or monkscel, etc. This to is done in silence.
17:00-19:00 Rest, eating, sleeping
19:30-21:00 Lecture/contemplation – on Tuesdays and Thursdays
And on Sunday morning from 10:00-11:30. These lectures/contemplation are led by Bert
21:00-21:45 Evening meditation
Menu/CuisineDuring the organized retreats we provide the meals. The meals are always vegetarian and often vegan. When you are present outside of the organized retreats you cook your own meals. Groceries can be done in the village. The local shop is only 20 minutes by foot. If there are more people present they take turns in doing the groceries for everyone. The shopkeeper is very kind and sometimes brings the groceries to the centre if it's for more people.
AccommodationsOur centre in Portugal is located just outside the small village Melo, near Gouveia. It is a beautiful one hectare piece of land. On the terrain, we have several places where you can put up a tent and two small cabins with a bed and table. There is a group space with a toilet and shower and we’re building an outdoor kitchen. We ask that you bring your own toiletries, towels, etc. and that everyone takes care of the group space. If it's possible you can take you're own camping equipment with you otherwise you can rent a gastank to cook on, etc. from us.
We have a small pool that's connected to our watermine and that you can use to cool off. The pool isn't yet in the pictures, but at least twice the size of the well.