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Mahasi five day home practice

A Gaia House online retreat with Bhante Bodhidhamma assisted by Hui Hui Ng

Friday, 7 May – Wednesday, 12 May 2021


This retreat is open to all, including beginners and those with experience. Please join us.


Photo of teacherBHANTE BODHIDHAMMA started training in Soto Zen in 1977, then in the Mahasi Theravada Tradition with Sayadaws U Rewata Dhamma, U Janaka and U Pandita. In 1986 he ordained, subsequently spending eight years at Kanduboda Mahasi Meditation Centre in Sri Lanka. He has been teaching in England, Ireland and internationally since 1998. From 2001- 2005, he was the Resident Teacher at Gaia House. He founded the Satipanya Buddhist Retreat in Wales, a meditation centre devoted to the Mahasi tradition.

Listen to one of Bhante Bodhidhamma's Talks: Mae Chee Kaew: Awakened! (Duration 41:40).

More talks on Dharma Seed. and Satipanya.


HUI HUI NG has been meditating since 2003. After practising Metta for some years, she met Bhante Bodhidhamma with whom she started practising Vipassana in the Mahasi tradition. She usually spends 3-4 months a year on intensive retreat either at Satipanya Buddhist Retreat Centre, or in Nepal with Sayadaw U Vivekananda at the Panditarama Lumbini Meditation Centre. She has also been teaching Hatha Yoga since 2006, incorporating aspects of the Vipassana practise and energetic awareness.

Retreat description

Mahasi Insight Meditation (vipassana) is grounded in the tradition of the Burmese meditation master, Mahasi Sayadaw, who began to teach vipassana Insight Meditation after World War II near Yangon (Rangoon) in Myanmar (Burma).

He developed a method to help us maintain moment to moment mindfulness from the instant we awake to the instant we fall asleep. There are two techniques: the use of a simple word to note whatever we are experiencing, and doing everything very slowly.

This leads not only to spiritual insights into our true, unborn-undying essence, but also, equally important, to the purification of the heart, so that, we not only become wiser, but more caring, generous, joyous and compassionate.


To take full advantage of this online, five-day retreat in your home, please read the teacher preparation guidelines prior to the start of the retreat. These will be posted onto the retreat noticeboard. Information on accessing the noticeboard will be sent to you in your order confirmation.  Information on joining the sessions will be sent to you one week prior to the start of the retreat, this will also include a link to the noticeboard.


You are invited to attend either all of the scheduled sessions offered, as a more intensive home practice retreat, or to tailor the retreat to your own needs by attending, a minimum of four sessions each day with three specified sessions required that are outlined in bold in the full schedule below.


All times shown are in British Summer Time (GMT+1)

Friday, 7 May

19.00 — Opening session:

  • Intro. to course
  • Refuges and Precepts (Choice of Five or Eight Precepts see below)
  • Guided Standing and Sitting Meditation

Option 1

Daily schedule (Saturday -Tuesday)

06.00 – 07.15                 Sitting meditation, morning chant


09.00 – 10.00                 Sitting meditation 

10.00 – 11.00                 Q & A walking meditation

11.00 – 12.00                 Sitting meditation


14.00 – 15.00                 Sitting meditation

15.00 – 16.00                 Walking meditation

16.00 – 17.00                 Sitting meditation

Tea/walking meditation

18.00 Dhamma talk

18.45 – 19.30                Walking meditation

19.30 – 20.15                 Sitting meditation

20.15 – 20.45                Walking meditation

20.45 – 21.30                 Sitting, metta and joy practice


Wednesday, 12 May — Closing day

06.00 – 07.15                 Sitting meditation, morning chant


09.00 – 10.00                 Metta Practice

10.00 – 11.00                 Q & A Final Blessing

Option 2

Tailoring Schedule

Please attend:

06.00 – 07.30                Sitting meditation, morning chant

18.00                             Dhamma talk

20.45 – 21.30                 Sitting, joy and metta practice

And at least one other sitting.


Using Zoom

This online retreat will use the Zoom platform. For support with learning how to use Zoom, please click here to read the guidance we’ve put together on our website. Please read the first section, ‘Using Zoom’, before registering.


If you have any questions regarding the retreat, you can send an email to info@gaiahouse.co.uk We will respond as quickly as possible, but we have a reduced team during this time so we apologise if you have to wait longer than usual.


None of your registration fee goes to the teacher. Gaia House teachers rely on the generosity of students for their livelihood. There will be an opportunity to make a dana offering to your teacher at the end of the event.

Click here to read more about the practice of dana.

Dana can be offered to Bhante Bodhidhamma at Satipanya here: https://www.satipanya.org.uk/donations/

Dana can also be offered to Bhante Bodhidhamma via the Gaia House website by clicking here. Please click on Teacher and then specify that your donation is for ‘Mahasi’ in the notes section on the checkout page.

Dana can also be offered to Gaia House’s residential service team via our website here: https://gaiahouse.co.uk/support-us/ .  Whilst our retreat centre remains closed, this team is taking care of Gaia House on the ground, as well as offering tech support for online retreats and responding to email and telephone enquiries.

With deep appreciation for your generosity.


Well-being guidelines - please click here to read before booking

Before you book, please read these guidelines about mental well-being and the Mahasi retreats:

It is likely that this retreat will not be advisable if you have a history of any of the following:
- Severe psychotic interludes or psychosis (even if controlled with medication)
- An active addiction to drugs or alcohol.

A person with at least one year of recovery and abstinence is welcome.

Meditation retreats can be very nourishing; however, as they require sustained meditation practice, they also need some stability of psychological health. If you have recently (within the past year or so) experienced significant trauma or psychiatric illness, or if you are currently experiencing acute emotional distress such as serious depression or anxiety, it may not be the best time for you to participate in a retreat. The teachers might not be able to give you the kind of individual psychological care you need at this time. A setting with more opportunities for interpersonal engagement may be more appropriate.

  • If you are currently under the care of a mental health professional, please discuss your attendance with them. You should be in a relatively stable period of mental well-being and have adequate psychological resilience.

If you have any history in relation to a suicide attempt or if you have questions or concerns about the above, please contact our Retreat Manager, Susanne O'Brien, by email, to arrange a suitable time to have a conversation.   Susanne can be reached on retreatmanager@gaiahouse.co.uk

Registration for this retreat is now closed