Exploring Mind and Its Essence

Weekend Retreat with Susan Browne and Rob Van Willegen
Friday 19 April, 7.30pm to Sunday 21 April, 1pm

In meditation, we often speak about the mind and its nature, but do we really understand what me mean when we say ‘mind’? Most people think of the mind as being merely thoughts and emotions, but these are simply the appearances of the mind, not the true nature of the mind itself.

The Buddhist teachings show us that, at our core, there is an expansive source of well being often described as our ‘fundamental goodness’. Understanding the mind and its true nature is the way for us to discover and experience this goodness and the wisdom we inherently possess.

Join us for this step by step exploration of mind and its essence to discover a happiness and well being that does not depend on circumstances.

At the moment of his enlightenment the Buddha realised that the mind’s essence, the nature of mind, resides in each and every one of us. Unveiling the nature of mind is sometimes said to be like losing the clouds and gaining the sky, where the clouds are a metaphor for our ordinary thoughts and emotions.

Who is this for?

This retreat is for anyone even if you are a complete beginner. You do not have to be a Buddhist to join this retreat. If you bring your common sense, a bit of humour and an open attitude, you’ll be in good stead.

Our exploration during this retreat will take a very experiential and relaxed approach.

“Just as a goldsmith would test his gold by burning, cutting, and rubbing it, so you must examine my words and accept them but not merely out of reverence for me.” Buddha

What to expect

  • Each session of this retreat will deepen our understanding of mind and its essence.
  • Every session will include guided meditations.
  • We will build up on explanations gradually throughout the weekend.
  • There will be space to contemplate what you have heard.
  • Sometimes we will invite you to share your insights with others.
  • There will be space to ask questions.
  • You will go home with advice on how to integrate what you learned into daily life.

Sample Schedule

Friday: 7.30pm – 8:45.pm
Saturday:10am – 1pm (includes short break)
Lunch Break: 1pm – 3pm
Sunday: 10am – 1pm (followed by lunch)


The retreat will be held in our clifftop shrine room, with floor-to-ceiling windows offering spectacular ocean views.


Vegetarian lunches and evening meals are provided as part of your fee.

Book online now

Fee €275
Concession €235

Dzogchen Beara has a policy of not turning anyone away for financial reasons.
Please email info@dzogchenbeara.org to to discuss flexible payment options or request assistance from our retreat fund



Limited accommodation is available on-site. Book early!
A list of hostels, B&B’s self-catering accommodation and hotels in the local area is available here.

Vegetarian lunches and light evening meals are provided. The cost is included in your fee.

Online booking here

Enquiries by email or + 353 (0) 27 73032

To view our visitor information, please click here.

Susan Browne
Susan Browne
Susan Browne has over 30 years experience of Buddhist meditation and compassion practices. She has been guiding groups and individuals in retreat over the past 25 years, both at Dzogchen Beara, and at the Institute of Wisdom and Compassion, France. She herself has completed several years of closed retreat and many in-depth studies.
Susan specialises in one-on-one and small group sessions, giving guidance on meditation methods that best help move through challenges one is facing. www.restyourmind.ie
Rob Van Willigen
Rob Van Willigen
After reading The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying in 2001, Rob van Willegen found a Rigpa centre near his student flat in Groningen and enrolled in the first available course. He discovered the profundity of the Buddha’s teachings. He was encouraged by the advice to examine these teachings to see if they relate to our experience and enthusiastically took up this challenge. He has studied and practised Tibetan Buddhism ever since. Rob studied Dutch language and literature and combines a full-time job as a marketing and communications professional with Buddhist practice. Having benefited tremendously from the essential instructions on meditation, he believes they offer a perfect path in modern times.