Metta’s Insight Dialogue Teacher Training Program held its annual retreat and meeting May 15-22 at the Won Dharma Center in Claverack, New York, a beautiful facility supportive of practice and study. The gathering was attended by a committed and diverse group of practitioners. Participants represented eight countries and included three monastics. In attendance were Gregory Kramer, Metta’s Guiding Teacher, four of Metta’s Senior Teachers, Gary Steinberg, Mary Burns, Phyllis Hicks, and Sharon-Beckman Brindley, five Insight Dialogue teacher trainees, and seven senior students who were invited to learn more about the Teacher Training Program.
Metta’s Teacher Training Program is conceived of as a learning and service community, with reciprocity and learning in relationship as core values. Therefore, Gregory, the Senior Teachers, and teacher trainees all shared together in developing the agenda for and leading the teacher training meeting. The gathering began with a day of silent practice followed by a two-day Insight Dialogue retreat led by Gregory and the Senior Teachers. Topics addressed during the subsequent meeting included using voice to transmit the teachings, developing contemplations from suttas, and giving Dhamma talks. There were also sessions on working with relational difficulties and time for personal sharing, focused on participants’ development and aspirations as Insight Dialogue teachers and dedicated Dhamma practitioners.