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Strengthening the Heart, Cultivating Kindness: Metta Retreat

  • Insight Meditation Society 1230 Pleasant Streeet Barre, MA. 01005 (map)

Metta, sometimes translated as unconditional kindness or universal friendliness, grows from our capacity for basic human warmth. It is the first of four sublime states that can be cultivated as a powerful support for well-being, concentration and the deepening of insight practice.

In this silent metta retreat, we will explore a range of techniques for developing kindness, as well as ways to release the obstacles that often get in the way of living with more ease, happiness and peace. Our time together will include silent and guided sitting meditation, walking meditation, Dharma talks, instructions and group interviews with the teachers.

This retreat is appropriate for both beginning and more experienced meditators. The teachers will also offer an optional daily period of mindful movement.

About the Teachers:


Oren Jay Sofer

Oren Jay Sofer teaches workshops and retreats on meditation and communication nationally. A member of the Spirit Rock Teachers Council, he holds a degree in Comparative Religion from Columbia University, is a Somatic Experiencing for healing of trauma, and is a certified trainer of Nonviolent Communication. Oren is also the author of Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication.


Jill Shepherd

Jill Shepherd began practicing insight meditation in Thailand in 1999, and since that time has lived and worked at meditation centers and monasteries in the US, Australia, England, and Thailand. Jill is a graduate of the IMS / Spirit Rock teacher training program in the US, under the guidance of Joseph Goldstein and Gil Fronsdal. She currently divides her time between the USA, Australia and New Zealand, teaching Vipassana and Brahma Vihara retreats and offering ongoing study and practice groups focused on bringing the dharma into daily life

Assistant Teachers:


Nakawe Cuebas

Nakawe Cuebas feels blessed to have started along the Buddhist path in 1998 with S.N. Goenka. She then continued under the guidance of Gina Sharpe, and now studies with various other teachers, focusing on longer-term retreats. She serves as a mentor for the Prisoner Correspondence Course, sponsored by the BAUS, and is a midwife in the Bronx community. She is a participant in the 2017-2021 IMS Teacher Training Program.


Jessica Morey

Jessica Morey, executive director and lead teacher of Inward Bound Mindfulness Education, began practicing meditation at age 14. Jessica has attended longer retreats in Asia and the US, and previously worked in clean energy and climate policy and finance. She holds a BA in Environmental Engineering and Masters degrees in Sustainable Development and International Affairs. She is currently in the IMS 2017-2021 Teacher Training Program, loves dancing, yoga, and being outside pretty much whatever the weather.