Deep Spring Center 2017 Fall Retreat

Vipassana and the Awakened Heart

with Barbara Brodsky, John Orr, Aaron and including Darshan with The Mother*

October 23 – October 29, 2017
our retreat has three inter-woven themes: vipassana meditation, practice with the non-duality of relative and ultimate experience, and living from the open heart

VIPASSANA or “insight meditation” is a practical method of self-awareness that makes it possible to encounter the tensions of daily life in a calm and balanced way. Vipassana trains us to be awake, noticing the moments of life with a compassionate heart. This practice has been handed down through the centuries from its origins in Theravadan Buddhism but as we practice it here, no special beliefs are involved. We learn from our own direct experiences. Except for instruction periods, dharma talks, group meetings, and some periods of structured dialogue, the Retreat is held in silence, giving us an opportunity to move deeply into our own experiences and heart centers.

We deepen in the wisdom that the emotions and body sensations with which we have become so self-identified, are really just arising out of myriad conditions and passing away. If a storm comes during a picnic, we cannot stop the rain. It comes and it will pass. Our suffering, or not suffering depends on how we relate to the storm.  Just so with our emotions and physical body sensations. Awareness notes from a spacious perspective that fear, pain, sadness, or whatever has arisen. That which is aware of fear is not afraid. That which is aware of anger is not angry.  And yet, there is pain, fear, anger, sadness.  Aaron says, “It’s there, and it’s not there.”  We deepen in compassion for all humans who do experience such challenging expressions of our humanity. 

Compassion is supported by our darshan experiences with The Mother. She tells us she is a combination of many expression of the Divine Mother such as Mother Mary, Kwan Yin, and others, and that she expresses different aspects of herself depending on the needs of each person.

We have found that the combination of a silent Retreat with meditation and darshan with the Mother, is a very powerful way of releasing long-held conditioned beliefs about the self and coming home to our true Buddha Nature/Christ Consciousness, our own deepest divinity. Mornings will include vipassana instruction and practice. Our afternoons will be a blend–as led by Spirit–of meditation, short teachings and guided meditations from Spirit, and darshan. Each evening there will be a dharma talk.

The Retreat will take place at a beautiful retreat center in Indiana that is very supportive to our practice. Oakwood provides delicious vegetarian meals, comfortable rooms, and a lovely outdoor environment for walking, through woods, meadows and by the stream. 


*Darshan and The Mother is an event in consciousness—an interaction between the human and the divine, which focuses and raises the consciousness of the human. The Mother–trance-channeled through Barbara–takes each person’s hands and looks into his/her eyes. She may offer a few words. Many people are deeply moved because, with unconditional love, she mirrors back to each his/her own divinity, the Divine Mother in each of our hearts. For this reason, we call the work with the Mother, “Remembering Wholeness”. She doesn’t “fix” us; she doesn’t offer many words.  She reminds us of our own wholeness and divinity. This is very consistent with the non-dual aspects of our dharma practice, where we observe objects such as thoughts, sensations and emotions arising and passing away, impermanent and “not-self” in nature. We rest in Pure Awareness, conscious of distortions but also remembering our innate perfection. We attend skillfully to the distortions, release self-identification with them, and rest in our true being.  It is fine to come with a skeptical mind. No special beliefs are required for darshan, just a willingness to open our hearts to this powerful love.

Where: Oakwood Retreat Center, Selma, Indiana
Teachers: Barbara Brodsky, John Orr, Aaron and The Mother*
Level:  All levels
Cost: Shared Room: $765; Private Room: $1,095

(includes 6 nights and 18 meals – the fee covers actual retreat costs for room and meals; private rooms have limited availability).

REGISTRATION  (click here)

Registration deadline:
Friday, October 13, 2017
Full payment is due by:
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Your payment/deposit is refundable minus a $100 cancellation-processing fee until August 23, 2017; after that it is refundable only if someone on the waiting list takes your place.
If full payment is not received by September 5, 2017 your place may be reassigned.

All Deep Spring Center teachers offer their time on a dana basis, joyfully sharing the teachings. Your free-will offerings to the teachers are welcomed. (Envelopes will be available at the retreat for your offering to the teachers).


Check in opens at noon, the retreat begins mid-afternoon Monday, October 23 and ends Sunday, October 29 after lunch.

People flying into the Indianapolis airport may arrive a day early on Sunday, the 22nd, and stay overnight without charge for room. Meals are optional and cost $16.50 each.  There are no restaurants/stores nearby.

Limited number of scholarships are available; inquire if you need financial assistance.

All details are kept in confidence. Register first, choosing a shared room, choosing the pay by check, then drop an email to the registrar ( and tell them the details (retreat, name and ask about a scholarship). If we can offer a scholarship, the amount due will be re-adjusted and you will be told how much is due.

You can mail in a check for that amount. If we cannot offer you financial assistance, we can probably work out a payment schedule so you can pay over time. If for some reason we cannot offer a scholarship, we can delete your registration.

Retreat Teachers

Barbara Brodsky, guiding teacherBarbara Brodsky has been practicing meditation since 1960.
She has dual roots in the Buddhist and Quaker traditions and her teaching reflects this balance. Barbara teaches insight or vipassana meditation and practices derived from the dzogchen (non-dual awareness) traditions to people of all faiths, traveling throughout the world.

She is the Founder and Guiding Teacher of Deep Spring Center.

John OrrJohn Orr received his training in Thailand and India and was a Buddhist monk for eight years. Since 1980 he has led retreats around the country and presently lives in North Carolina where he does transpersonal counseling and teaches at Duke University.

wooden buddha, deep spring centerAaron is a disincarnate spirit that speaks through Barbara Brodsky. He was a vipassana meditation master of the Theravadin tradition in his final lifetime. His teaching draws from this background, but he also reminds us that, like all of us, he has lived in many bodies, had many shades of skin, and followed many spiritual paths. Aaron is a being of great love, compassion, wisdom and gentle humor.

An Introduction to Barbara Brodsky and Aaron.

What is a Meditation Retreat?

A typical day at retreat includes instruction for beginning and advanced meditators, numerous periods of sitting and walking meditation, optional small group meetings or private interviews with the teachers, optional darshan, group instruction or discussion with Aaron each afternoon, optional yoga, a rest or personal periods, and an evening dharma talk.

This kind of retreat may not be appropriate for all people. If you have concerns about your emotional stability under the pressures of a deeply introspective meditation experience, please discuss your concerns with a Deep Spring teacher prior to registering.

If finances are a concern, please let us know. Scholarships are available. Registration fees cover room and board. Teachings are offered on a dana basis.

What is Insight (Vipassana) Meditation?

Insight Meditation (vipassana) is a simple and direct practice: the moment to moment investigation of the mind/body process through calm, focused awareness which allows us to experience sensations, emotions, thoughts and consciousness with greater clarity and balance. This frees our mind from conditioned patterns of self-centeredness, negativity and confusion, and opens our heart to deeper wisdom and compassion. This process of opening compassionately to ourselves moves from the sitting period to the whole of our lives. Each moment is practice for our growth toward wholeness and harmony.

The meditations derive from Buddhist traditions but no special religious beliefs are necessary to their practice. Along with vipassana, we will work with the practices of loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity, and with Pure Awareness meditation.

There will be separate instruction periods to meet the needs of students with different levels of meditation experience.

Location Information

The retreat will be held at Oakwood Retreat Center,
3801 S County Road 575 E, Selma, IN 47383.

Offering us private, semi-private and triple rooms.