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Distracted Mind-Distracted Life Vipassana Retreat with Shaila Catherine

Insight Mindfulness Meditation Retreat

with Shaila Catherine

June 17-23, 2019

Calgary Alberta Canada


About the Retreat


A 7 day Residential Retreat for New and Experienced Practioners of Insight Meditation

Insight  (also known as Vipassana) Meditation is an easily accessible way to free the mind from the distortions of self-centeredness, craving, negativity, and confusion. 

Mental restlessness is an insidious and pervasive hindrance that all practitioners struggle to overcome. We can refine our skills for working with the modes of thinking that distract us from being mindful and concentrated: critical thoughts, planning, worrying, lustful thoughts, judging, memories, and internal commentaries, to name a few. Shaila Catherine, the retreat teacher,will present a sequence of strategies for dealing with obstructive mental patterns. Practitioners will be encouraged to develop a mindfulness-based meditation practice, while exploring these strategies for overcoming distractions.

This retreat is suitable for both new and experienced practitioners. 

There will be optional morning Yoga Sessions and afternoon Feldenkrais lessons.  


The retreat will be held at the beautiful FCJ Retreat and Conference facility — a quiet oasis of peace on the banks of the Elbow River in Calgary Alberta and adjacent to a natural riverside park. The residential rooms are comfortable and have been recently updated.  Rooms with private or semi-private bathrooms are available. 

If you have any questions, please do NOT contact the FCJ Centre.  Please contact  the registrar by email or phone. 

Calgary, Alberta is a city of 1.2 million and is serviced by an international airport (YYC). It is 130 Km (65 miles) from Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies which is an ideal vacation destination for the days before or after our retreat.

For more information on what a retreat is like, FAQ and Student Experiences follow the links. 

More about the FCJ Retreat Centre


Shaila Catherine is the founder of Insight Meditation South Bay, a meditation group in Silicon Valley, and also Bodhi Courses, an online Buddhist classroom. She has been practicing meditation since 1980, with more than nine years of accumulated silent retreat experience. She has taught since 1996 in the USA, and internationally. Shaila studied with several Asian masters in India, Thailand, and Nepal, including H. W. L. Poonja, Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche, and Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, in addition to the founders of several western meditation centers including Christopher Titmuss and Joseph Goldstein. She completed a one-year intensive meditation retreat with the focus on concentration and jhana, and authored Focused and Fearless: A Meditator’s Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity. Shaila practiced under the guidance of Venerable Pa-Auk Sayadaw from 2006-2015, and authored Wisdom Wide and Deep: A Practical Handbook for Mastering Jhana and Vipassana to help make this traditional approach to meditative training accessible to western practitioners.

Listen to a talk by Shaila about the reasons and benefits of attending a silent retreat.

Please visit to access resources, articles, audio talks, and a schedule of additional Shaila’s retreats and events.

More about Shaila

Supporting the Teacher

None of the registration fees go to the teacher for her work in offering the teachings. Registration fees cover accomodation,food, facility rental, teacher transportation, and other expenses. The teacher receives financial support for her work only by a separate donation from the individual retreatants. Donations are usually offered near the last day of the retreat. 

In ancient India, monastics collected their daily meal from supportive villagers in an alms bowl; today we have continued this Buddhist monastic tradition of offering teachings on a dana basis. Dana is the Pali word for generosity, giving, or donation. 

It takes courage and faith for meditation teachers to dedicate their lives to the dhamma and trust that their material needs will be met through this practice of dana—a system of compensation that is generally unfamiliar in our culture.

Shaila is a full time dhamma teacher who relies upon dana for her livelihood -  without an ordinary salary! Your contributions help Shaila to lead a life devoted to teaching, to cover her normal living expenses, and ensure that her teachings are continuously enriched through on-going study and practice.

At the end of the retreat you will be given the opportunity to support the teacher.