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Grief, Joy, and Awakening:

An Insight Meditation Retreat 

with David Chernikoff 

WJ Kelley Retreat Center 
510 N 2nd St, Bay St Louis, MS 39520

In-Person Retreat • April 12-14, 2024

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About the Event

Experiences of grief and joy play an essential role in the process of spiritual awakening. In this retreat, we’ll deepen our understanding of grief and joy on the conceptual levels while we also expand our affect tolerance on the level of direct, personal experience. There will be dharma talks, experiential exercises, heart-felt discussions, and a significant amount of meditation practice in Noble Silence. In a caring, supportive learning community, we will open ourselves to the “ten thousand joys and the ten thousand sorrows” as we discover the wisdom and peace of what Sharon Salzberg has called “a heart as wide as the world. 

Teacher Bio

David Chernikoff has been a student of meditation since 1971. He completed the inaugural Community Dharma Leader training at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and has been teaching Insight Meditation since 1988. His teaching has been influenced by senior teachers from the Insight Meditation Society and Spirit Rock, Tibetan teachers he studied with during a 3-year stay in Nepal, and spiritual guides from other contemplative traditions, most notably Ram Dass, Father Thomas Keating, Zen teacher Yvonne Rand, and Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. David taught meditation and psychology at Naropa University for many years and is currently one of the guiding teachers of the Insight Meditation Community of Colorado. He teaches workshops and retreats throughout the U.S. David is the author or Life, Part Two: Seven Keys to Awakening with Purpose and Joy As You Age.


Friday, April 12th

3:30-5:30pm Arrival & Sign-In
6:00-6:45 Dinner
6:45-7:30 Work Meditation; personal time
7:30-8:15 Orientation and opening talk
8:15-9:00 Meditation practice
9:00 Rest or continued practice

Saturday, April 13th

6:15am Wake-up bell
6:45 -- 7:30 Sitting Meditation
7:30 - 8:15 Breakfast
8:15 – 9:00 Work meditation; personal time
9:00 – 10:00 Sitting Meditation
10:00 - 10:45 Walking Meditation
10:45 – 11:30 Sitting Meditation
11:30 - 12:00 Walking Meditation
12:00 - 12:30 Q&A / Discussion
12:30 - 1:15 Lunch
1:15 - 2:00 Work meditation; personal time
2:00 – 2:45 Sitting Meditation
2:45 - 3:15 Walking Meditation
3:15 - 4:15 Dharma Talk
4:15 – 4:45 Walking Meditation
4:45 – 6:00 Experiential Exercises
6:00 – 6:45 Dinner
6:45 - 7:30 Work meditation; personal time
7:30 - 8:15 Sitting Meditation
8:15 - 8:45 Q&A / Discussion / Experiential Exercises
8:45 - 9:00 Sitting Meditation
9:00 Rest or continued Practice

Sunday, April 14th

6:15am Wake-up Bell
6:45 – 7:30 Sitting Meditation
7:30 - 8:15 Breakfast
8:15 - 9:30 Work meditation; Room and Center Clean-up
9:30 - 11:00 Sitting Meditation and Closing ​

Retreat Pricing & Expected Support for Teachers

Overall cost is based on room preference. These registration costs pay for your room and meals and some of the costs it takes Flowering Lotus Meditation to continue to host phenomenal meditation Buddhist teachers in the south. Some of the costs include, but are not limited to, teacher travel. insurance, web and marketing, staff and retreat center costs, deposits and rental fees, accounting, event management software, payment processing, etc.

By selecting the highest amount you can reasonably afford, you support our ability to meet the large number of requests we receive for financial aid.


Private Room ($565)

Shared Room ($315) 


Commuter ($250) (staying elsewhere attending all sessions and meals.)
Scholarship / Supported Rate

This represents a portion of the costs to associated to host a student for the weekend.  ($230) SHARED

Our teachers rely sole on the generosity of the students for their livelihood.   Teachers receive no compensation for teaching at Flowering Lotus Meditation. Please plan to give generously to our teachers at the end of the retreat. 

If you have questions or need additional information about this retreat or other Flowering Lotus program offerings, please contact:

Beth Herzig, Executive Director


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