In the tradition of Anagarika Dhammadina, our original teacher, the Society seeks to bring the teachings of the Buddha to life, through direct experience. This is done primarily through hosting residential Vipassana meditation retreats (from beginner to advanced), guided by skillful teachers. We emphasize providing for the needs of meditators (e.g., accommodation and nutritious vegetarian meals) so that meditators can pursue their practice without concern for attending to basic necessities. Our inclination is to organize smaller retreats, in order to enable individual guidance from teachers. Occasional non-residential retreats, talks and opportunities for meditation sittings and Dhamma study are also offered.

Weekly Meditation Sittings (via Zoom)

The Dhamma Buddhist Society hosts weekly meditation sittings on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 to 8:00 pm, PST. Once a month, usually on the 4th Wednesday of the month, we offer a longer sitting hosted by either a monastic or lay teacher (from 5:00 to 6:30 pm, PST), when available. These evenings usually include a short chant, guided meditation, followed by a Dhamma Talk and Q & A. To be placed on the mailing list for these sittings, please email

Next teacher-led sittings for 2023:
May 24, 2023: Jayantā (Shirley Johannesen)
June 28, 2023: Ayya Ahimsa

Visit our new YouTube Channel to watch a selection of recordings of Dhamma talks and guided meditations by various teachers. More entries will be added over time.

2023 Teacher-Led Sittings Archive:
April 26, 2023: Ajahn Pavaro
March 22, 2023: Ajahn Tiradhammo
February 22, 2023: Jayantā (Shirley Johannesen)
January 18, 2023: (3rd Wed of month):Ajahn Pavaro

2022 Teacher-Led Sittings Archive:
December 21: (3rd Wed of month): Ajahn Pavaro
November 23: Jayantā (Shirley Johannesen)
October 19 (3rd Wed of month): Ajahn Pavaro
September 28: Jayantā (Shirley Johannesen)
August: No teacher
July 27: Ajahn Pavaro
June 22: Jayantā (Shirley Johannesen)
May 25: Ayya Brahmavara
April 27: Ayya Dhammadipa
March 23: Ajahn Pavaro
February 23: Ajahn Pavaro
January 26:  Jayantā (Shirley Johannesen)

2021 Archive:
Dec 15: Ajahn Pavaro
Nov 24:  Jayantā (Shirley Johannesen)
Oct 27:  Ajahn Pavaro
Sept 22: Jayantā (Shirley Johannesen)
Aug 25: Ajahn Pavaro
July 28: Jayantā (Shirley Johannesen)
June 23: Ajahn Pavaro
May 26: Jayantā (Shirley Johannesen)
Apr 28: Ajahn Pavaro

2023 Non-Residential Retreats

April 15, 2023 – Day Long Vipassana Meditation Retreat
Sangha-led, lunch included
St Hilda’s by the Sea Anglican Church Parish Hall, Sechelt, BC
THIS RETREAT IS NOW FULL. For more info or to be put on a waitlist: contact

Non-Residential Retreat Archive

2020 Non-Residential Retreats

May 30, 2020 Day Long Vipassana Meditation Retreat & Talk
With Ajahn Pavaro
Vancouver, BC (location to be confirmed)
THIS RETREAT HAS BEEN CANCELLED. Ajahn Pavaro’s travel plans have also been altered due to COVID-19.

Residential Retreat Archive

2022 Residential Retreats

October 25 – 30, 2022 – 6 Day Vipassana Meditation Retreat
“Using Dhamma as a Foundation for our Lives”
With Jayantā (Shirley Johannesen)
Edenvale Retreat & Conference Centre, Abbotsford, BC
For more info: contact 
Please note: Vaccination requirements, single rooms and COVID protocols will be place to help protect all participants. 

Jayantā, founder and president of Stretch Awareness, is an acknowledged and respected teacher of yoga and meditation. For over 45 years, she has studied and practised with a wide range of internationally known yoga and meditation teachers. Her first introduction to Buddhism was in 1974 when she met and studied with the late Anagarika Dhammadinna, and under Anagarika’s guidance she began a weekly sitting/study group, teaching meditation classes and leading Vipassana retreats.

Jayantā has studied and practiced extensively in the Theravada Forest tradition and is a lay Buddhist minister, trained at Abhayagiri Monastery in California, USA (a branch monastery of the Ajahn Chah tradition.) Jayantā is a founding member of the Calgary Theravada Meditation Society, the Light of the Dhamma, the International Buddhist Foundation of Canada, and Sakyadhita Canada. (For more information:

August 18 – 23, 2022 Organized Self-Retreat Retreat for Experienced Meditators
Sea to Sky Retreat Centre, Sea to Sky Highway, Whistler, BC
For more info: contact (include Sea to Sky in your subject heading)

2020 Residential Retreats

April 24 – 26, 2020 Weekend Vipassana Meditation Retreat
With Dr. Christopher Robinson
Halfmoon Haven Beachfront Retreats, Halfmoon Bay, BC

THIS RETREAT HAS BEEN CANCELLED due to COVID-19. May we all be wise and take good care of ourselves and each other. With much Metta.

Dr. Christopher Robinson has been engaged in Buddhist meditation practice and has facilitated meditation retreats in Canada and the USA for over 35 years. He feels this is more a testament to persistence and a natural affinity for the practical utility of the methods of Mindfulness and Loving Kindness in daily life, as opposed to any assumed development or progress. Christopher is a lay-person who remains engaged in an enriching and fulfilling family and professional life. Consequently, his manner of sharing at retreat is practical, forgiving and experience focused. He gives credit for this approach to the good fortune of many gentle and wise instructors, ranging from his dear mentor and friend, Anagarika Dhamma Dinna, to the Venerable Balangoda Anandamaitreya Mahanayaka Thera, Venerable Piyadassi Mahanayaka Thera, Achan Sobin S. Namto, Venerable Henepola Gunaratana Mahanayaka Thera, Venerable Dr. Madewela Punnaji Maha Thera, Venerable Madawala Seelawimila, Venerable Olande Ananda Thera, and Ajahn Pavaro. He returns to the Sunshine Coast with appreciation for the opportunity to engage the practice with both old and new friends.

Oct 1 – 8, 2020 Week Long Vipassana Meditation Retreat
With Jayantā (Shirley) Johannesen
Edenvale Retreat Centre, Abbotsford, BC

THIS RETREAT HAS BEEN CANCELLED due to COVID-19. May we all be wise and take good care of ourselves and each other. With much Metta.

2019 Residential Retreats

October 4 – 10, 2019 Week-long Vipassana Meditation Retreat
With Bhante Yogavacara Rahula
Halfmoon Haven Beachfront Retreat Halfmoon Bay, BC

Registration opened May 19 (members) & May 26 (non-members)
Thank you all for a very successful retreat.

Mindfulness Meditation with Yoga
This retreat will emphasize mindful attention to the body and breathing as the foundation for cultivating awareness and insight into the deeper nature of our body and mental process. Slow deep breathing coordinated with mindful bending and stretching exercises are done to help this process. Periods of sitting, standing and walking will aid in cultivating a continuity of awareness of the present moment. The goal of mindfulness/insight practice is to become aware of our intentions which precede activity of body, speech, and thought in order to transform harmful habits which bring suffering into wholesome ones which conduce to peace, happiness, and wisdom. The Buddha’s teachings of the Four Noble Truths inform the practice. How to carry this practice into daily life is given importance.

April 26 – 28, 2019 Weekend Vipassana Meditation Retreat
With Dr. Christopher Robinson
Halfmoon Haven Beachfront Retreat, Halfmoon Bay, BC

Registration opened January 7 (members) & January 14 (non-members)
Thank you all for a very successful retreat.

2018 Residential Retreats

May 4 – 6, 2018 Weekend Vipassana Meditation Retreat
With Dr. Christopher Robinson
Cascadia House Retreat Centre, Robert’s Creek, BC

Thanks to all for a successful retreat!

Oct 29 – Nov 4, 2018 Week Long Vipassana Meditation Retreat
With Jayantā (Shirley) Johannesen
Edenvale Retreat Centre, Abbotsford, BC

Thanks to all for a beautiful and successful retreat!

Online Retreats Archive

2021 Online Retreats (via Zoom)

November 20, 2021 Day of Practice with Ajahn Pavaro
6:00 am to 1:00 pm PST (9:00 am – 4:00 pm EST).
Please check your own time zone.
If you have not attended a session with Ajahn Pavaro with the DBS before, email to receive an invitation and receive the Zoom link.

February 24, 2021 Day Long Vipassana Meditation Retreat
With Jayantā (Shirley) Johannesen
8:00 am – 3:00 pm PDT
Thank you to all for another fruitful online retreat!

2020 Online Retreats (via Zoom)

December 9, 2020 Day of Practice with Ajahn Pavaro
6:00 am – 4:00 pm PST
This online retreat, suitable for beginning and experienced meditators, will include chanting, guided sitting and walking meditation, a Dhamma talk and Q & A. There is no cost to attend the retreat. Dana will be collected for the teacher. For more information and to register, please email

6:00 – 8:00 am, Pacific Standard Time (*please adjust for your own time zone*)
8:00 – 10:00 am (individual practice)
10:00 – 12:00 pm
12:00 – 1:00 pm (lunch break)
1:00 – 4:00 pm

        Ajahn Pavaro

After retiring from an academic career, beginning in 2001, Ajahn Pavaro’s early, formative monastic training took place with Ajahn Sona at Sitavana Forest Monastery in BC. He spent his 7th year as a Bhikkhu with his preceptor, Luang Por Pasanno, and the Sangha at Abhayagiri. Late in 2010 he moved to Thailand, where the majority of the next 9 years were spent with Ajahn Achalo at Anandagiri Monastery in Petchabun. During this time he benefitted from periods of practice at Wat Pah Nanachat and from opportunities to receive teachings from leading elders of the Wat Nong Pah Pong Sangha, including Luang Por Liam and Tan Ajahn Anan. During his Bikkhu life, Ajahn Pavaro has been invited to speak and lead meditation sessions in Canada as well as Australia and Malaysia. In June 2020 he was welcomed to Tisarana Buddhist Monastery, where he now resides.

October 7, 2020 Day Long Vipassana Meditation Retreat
With Jayantā (Shirley) Johannesen
8:00 am – 3:00 pm PDT
Thank you to all for a very successful first online retreat!


Meditation with Yoga:  Integration of Body & Mind
Bhante Yogavacara Rahula
October 11, 2019, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
UBC Asian Centre Auditorium
1871 West Mall, Vancouver, BC

This talk focused on how the practice of deeper yoga breathing and exercises can aid in deepening the Buddhist mindfulness/ concentration/vipassana practice.

THE TEACHER: Yogavacara Rahula was born as Scott Joseph DuPrez in Southern California in 1948 and ordained as a Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka in 1975. He lived there ten years studying and practicing mindfulness/vipassana meditation with different teachers and living alone in secluded hermitages. He also studied yoga with Swami Gitananda in South India. His teaching integrates the practice of yoga and meditation. From 1987 until 2010, Bhante Rahula resided at the Bhavana Society Forest Monastery in West Virginia with Bhante H. Gunaratana. Currently he is the principle teacher at the new Lion Of Wisdom Meditation center in Gaithersburg, Maryland.