Strong Back, Soft Front

Strong Back, Soft Front Annual Women’s Retreat:
Claire Stanley with Susan Dreyer Leon

January 27, 2024
10:00 am to 1:00 pm
Half-Day Hybrid Retreat for All who Identify as Women

For many of us, from the time when we were little, parents and teachers coached us to stand tall and face life with strength and courage. All too often, the strength and courage came with the price of a defended heart that masked a lack of confidence. In this retreat, we will explore inner sources of strength, courage, confidence, and compassion.

As Zen teacher Joan Halifax puts is, “If we strengthen our backs, metaphorically speaking, and develop a spine that’s flexible but sturdy, then we can risk having a front that’s soft and open, representing choiceless compassion.” In this retreat, we will explore the teachings of Joan Halifax and Tara Brach on what it means to have a strong back and a soft front. We will practice sitting meditation and moving meditation together in order to discover how each one of us can embody this way of being in the world.

Registration and Dana

The registration fee supports Vermont Insight. In addition, it is customary to donate to the teacher in appreciation for the teachings. AND we continue to offer the teachings freely to all who would benefit. Your practice is a gift to us all. When you register, please select from the fee levels listed, including fee waiver if that is appropriate.

Teacher Dana  The teachings of the Buddha have been offered freely for 2600 years. In keeping with the Buddhist tradition, our teachers offer their time and guidance as a gift. In turn, Sangha members express gratitude by offering dana to the teachers and to the Center. Read more about the Buddhist tradition of generosity»

A link will be sent to participants so they can make a Gratitude offering (Dana) to the teacher or visit our donation page»

The Zoom link will be sent after the registrations close the day before the event.  Once registrations close at noon the day before, an email with the Zoom link and information about the event will be sent by 5 pm to ALL who are registered.

The Retreat Information email with the link may go to your Spam folder.  If you have not received the retreat detail letter by 5 pm on the day before the retreat,check your Junk/Spam/Promotions Mail folders.

TECH TIP: try adding to your contacts, to keep our emails from going to junk.


Please let us know if you plan to come in person, by selecting the inperson option as well as your registration option.

Thank you.


  • Strong Back, Soft Front
     January 27, 2024
     10:00 AM - 1:00 PM



Online and in our Mediation Hall

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