• CAD $75.00 – Tuition

Date & Time Details:
Friday, April 23 (evening only)
Saturday, April 24
Sunday, April 25

Location: Online

Tuition: $75 CAD (does not include Dana)

Scholarships: Limited scholarships are available based on financial need. We prioritize Indigenous people, people of colour, people who identify as LGBTQ2IA+, youth, elders, and those who can articulate how their Hollyhock experience will support positive impact in their life and communities. A 50% refundable deposit is required (please contact us if you are unable to pay this deposit). Apply within your registration form.

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Metta Vipassana: Cultivating Love & Wisdom (Online)

With Michele McDonald and Steven Smith

April 23 - 25, 2021

During this online weekend retreat, new and experienced students will deepen their liberation practice in an atmosphere of relaxed affectionate awareness. The program provides meditation instruction, guided meditations, Dhamma teaching talks, small group discussions with teachers and Q&A.

Michelle & Steven offer outstanding teachings and create an amazingly kind atmosphere for us to grow. – Jill F., 2018 Participant

Vipassana (Insight or Mindfulness) meditation practice unites the stillness of concentration with the immediacy of moment-to-moment silent 6 sense awareness. By calming body and mind, intuitive wise knowing arises — opening to the truth of each moment’s experience within and around us. In this way, we increase our ability to meet life’s ups and downs with graceful ease and peace.

Metta (Lovingkindness) meditation practice calls forth the beautiful spiritual emotions within our heart: lovingkindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity. Mindfulness of these qualities strengthens and matures them, which leads to a constancy of thinking, acceptance, and reverence for our bodies, as well as to speaking and acting from the purity of these emotions.

Michele and Steven will be assisted by long-time students Joy Kerfoot and Pari Ruengvisesh. New and experienced students are welcome.

Please note: Tuition does not include a fee for the presenter. This is a dãna-based retreat (see below for details).

What is Dãna?

In Pali, the traditional language of the Buddha’s teachings, dana means “generosity.” It is the very heart of the culture that has carried the Buddha’s teachings over the centuries and is the foundation of our organizational ethics.

In accordance with tradition, Steve, Michele, Pari, and Joy offer their teachings free of charge and are supported through the freely-offered generosity of students and supporters. Costs associated with this retreat cover the expenses associated with Hollyhock administration fees but not teacher time, training, effort, energy, or supporting their lives at home as they have to work online. We believe that this commitment helps keep the purity of the teachings alive and thriving, as it has for millennia.

Many of our greatest teachings regarding dana have come from our time in Burma when we participate in the ancient Buddhist communities that operate solely on the basis of generosity.

Each time we visit we are struck by the powerful wisdom, humility, and beauty of heart that motivates and is manifested by this practice. Dana is a cultural practice as much as a spiritual one and we aim to support a culture of generosity in the west based on these experience and insights.

Supporting the work of Steve, Michele, Pari, and Joy enables a mutually beneficial relationship between all members of our community-our students, our Sangha, our friends at Hollyhock, and local community, as well as our humanitarian programs in Southeast Asia. Your generosity is the only thing that enables us to do our work throughout the year.

As one of our teachers in Wachet village, the Mya Taung Sayadaw, always reminds us, “Each time you give dana you should dedicate it toward your own full enlightenment.”

How to Contribute

To contribute by credit card, visit Vipassana Hawaii. By paypal, send funds to [email protected]

To contribute by cheque, please send to the address below. Canadian cheques payable to Michele McDonald. US cheques payable to Vipassana Hawaii.
Vipassana Hawaii
PO Box 551681
Kapa’au, HI
96755 USA


Friday, April 23
6:30 – 8:00 pm Pacific Time (9:30 – 11:00 pm ET)

Saturday & Sunday, April 24-25
8am – 8pm Pacific Time (11am-11pm ET)

A detailed schedule will be sent to all registered participants. You can expect sessions throughout the day from 8am to 8pm PT, including guided meditations, movement, Q&A, dhamma talks, metta chanting, small group discussions, and breaks for walking meditation and lunch.

Virtual Gathering

This event will take place on Zoom, a video conferencing tool. You may download the application for free. You will also need a device with speakers, microphone, video, and internet connection. You may test your Zoom connection in advance. A short tutorial for Zoom etiquette will be provided at the beginning of the event.


These sessions will not be recorded. 

Terms & Conditions

You may find our terms & conditions here



Michele McDonald
Michele McDonald has taught Insight meditation for thirty three years and teaches extensively throughout America, in Canada, Burma, and various locations around the world. As a guiding teacher for Vipassana Hawai’i she has been a quiet pioneer. She is the first woman to have taught a formal retreat in Burma, side-by-side with a senior monastic figure (Sayadaw U Lakkhana, Abbot of Kyaswa Monastery). Her style of teaching focuses on helping individuals find entry points into stillness that are natural for them. vipassanahawaii.org Read my blog on Hollyhock Talks
Learn more about Michele McDonald
Steven Smith
Steven V. Smith co-founded Vipassana Hawai’i in 1984 and in 1995 founded the MettaDana Project for educational and medical projects in Burma. Also in 1995 Steven helped establish the Kyaswa Valley Retreat Center in Burma, headed by Sayadaw U Lakkhana. This partnership created Vipassana Hawai’i’s Fusion Dhamma approach combining traditional and contemporary teaching styles in the same retreat. Anchored in the Theravadan Buddhist Burmese lineage of Mahasi Sayadaw since 1974, he was trained and sanctioned as a teacher by revered monk and meditation master Sayadaw U Pandita. Steven teaches Vipassana and the Divine Abodes (loving-kindness, compassion, joy, equanimity) at meditation retreats…
Learn more about Steven Smith