The Resilience of Love and Wisdom in Meeting Our Lives


Jean Esther & nakawe cuebas

October 4 - 10, 2024

Villa St-Martin
Pierrefonds, QC


In these times, we see and experience with our own hearts and within the world around us, the result of what the Buddha described as the three poisons: greed, hatred and delusion. How do we meet the realities of these energies as they impact the earth and our climate, in disastrous ways?  How do we meet the world around us that is fraught with instability, separation, loss, and violence as a result of these three poisons?  

Within our personal lives we can’t avoid the suffering that occurs from loss, illness, aging and death, whether it is our own or those who are dear to us. How do we deal with it all without collapsing into depression, addiction and indifference?

For over 2600 years, across continents and cultures, the Buddha’s teachings have not only survived but flourished in response to these very questions.  They are considered ‘onward leading’ with an end result of an unshakeable liberation of heart and mind.

In this intensive retreat environment, we will engage in tangible Buddhist practices that strengthen and develop qualities of peace, joy, patience, tranquility, wisdom and compassion.

Open to both experienced and beginning practitioners,  please join us for this 6 day retreat as we put aside life’s daily demands.  We will bring our collected attention to our bodies, minds and hearts in the development of discernment, compassion and clear seeing in support of living our lives with resilience.  Held in noble silence, the daily schedule will include meditation instruction, alternate periods of sitting and walking meditation periods, talks on the Buddha’s teachings, mindful movement, opportunities for questions and responses  and small group discussions with the teachers.



nakawe cuebas berrios


For over 20 years nakawe cuebas berrios has and continues to be a practitioner in the Buddha Dharma. Her first Buddhist teacher was Goenka. Graduate of the Spirit Rock Dedicated Practitioners Program, Community Dharma Leaders Program and the IMS Teacher Trainer Program. At present she teaches retreats and is a community Insight Meditation teacher with New York Insight and other centers. She has worked as a Midwife for 40 years.

Her ancestral home is Puerto Rico, blending the Spanish, African and Taino Indian roots that flow from her ancestors, that give her guidance and strength. Nakawe believes we all have the potential to live a life of wisdom and compassion. These are the teachings of liberation that she wants to share.


Jean Esther


Beginning her formal training in meditation in 1975, Jean Esther has trained in the Buddhist Theravadan tradition with renowned senior lay teachers as well as Burmese and Western Monastics since 1982. Over a number of years, Jean has engaged in intensive teacher training in both Vipassana practice and non-dual awareness. Her teaching is also informed by over 40 years of practice as a psychotherapist, focusing on the healing of trauma through an embodied somatic approach. She trained for over 20 years in Jungian psychology with Jungian analyst Marion Woodman. Respecting all of life through a social justice understanding informs her life and her teaching. Jean teaches at Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA, USA, Insight Meditation Community of Western MA, USA as well as various other locations across the US and Canada. Jean has served on the Guiding Teachers Council of True North Insight since 2015.




Registration Information


Villa St-Martin, Pierrefonds, QC



LOCATION: 21269 Boul Gouin O, Pierrefonds, QC H9K 1C1, Canada.

Villa Saint-Martin is an Ignatian Spirituality Centre that welcomes retreats accomodating the needs of a wide audience, including Dharma organizations. Please note there are Christian symbols on the site.

All of the rooms at Villa St-Martin are single rooms with a sink. Washrooms are shared. 


ARRIVAL TIME: 3:30-5 pm, Thursday, October 4. The retreat will conclude by lunch on Wednesday, October 10. Everyone is welcome to stay for lunch. The teacher requests that you plan to attend the entire retreat – please arrive on time and stay through the closing talk.


COST: TNI is dedicated to offering affordable rates to all. TNI retreat fees are on a sliding scale basis that allows participants to pay according to individual means. Fees do not include compensation for the teachings, and teachers rely on the generosity of retreatants for a sustainable income. There is an opportunity to offer dana (donations) to the teachers at the end of each retreat. 

A deposit of 50% of the base rate is required to register to the retreat. The deposit is included in all of our fees. 


Sliding Scale:
  • Benefactor: $2 340
  • Sustaining: $1 500
  • Base: $1 200
  • Reduced: $1 050
  • Scholarship: upon request (limited number of scholarships are granted)

◆ Deposit: $600


The Benefactor rate provides the opportunity to offer more substantial support for TNI.

The Sustaining rate represents the actual cost to TNI to operate our programs. If you can afford this level or higher, you assist our efforts to offer lower sliding-scale rates and ongoing financial subsidies.

The Base rate covers 82 % of what is needed to run our organization. To balance our budget and to wisely steward our resources, donations must supplement our registration income.

Payment at the Reduced rate covers only 71 % of what is needed to run our organization. To balance our budget and to wisely steward our resources, donations must supplement our registration income.

TNI offers scholarships of up to a 50% reduction of the base rate on our sliding scale to those who request it. Limited number of scholarships are granted.



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