Karma Guen Retreat and Study Center
Vélez-Málaga, Andalucia, Spain

Skilful means across life stages

Skilful means – upāya in Sanskrit – is a central aspect of Mahayana Buddhism. It denotes actions or activities that are based on wisdom and compassion, actions that aim to the largest possible benefit to a situation. With other words it means to “do the right thing at the right time”.

The Contemplative Summer Institute will explore underlying meanings and ask how skilful means can be applied across different life stages, including early childhood and education, workplace, old age and dying. This exciting theme emerged from the first Contemplative Summer Institute in 2015, where we focused on the Judging Mind, distinguishing between healthy discernment and unhealthy judgments. Building on this the question arose how discernment links to action in daily life.

This unique, truly multidisciplinary event will take place in the breath-taking surroundings of the mountain region in Andalucía. It will bring to together leading experts from a variety of meditation traditions (Zen Buddhism, Theravada Buddhism, Vajrayana / Diamond Way Buddhism), from different therapeutic approaches and from several scientific disciplines. The programme will offer a balanced mix of research and theory and introductions to contemplative practice for professionals, students, laymen and contemplatives/meditators – with a significant amount of time dedicated to formal and informal exchange.


Fabio Giommi  |  AIM, Nous, Milan, and Radboud University of Nijmegen  |  Mindfulness and Insight Dialogue Teacher, Psychotherapist, Researcher

Henk Barendregt   |   Radboud University of Nijmegen  |  Professor Emeritus of Mathematics; Mindfulness Researcher, Vipassana Meditation Teacher

Peter Malinowski | Liverpool John Moores University | Reader in Cognitive Neuroscience, Diamond Way Buddhist Teacher, Meditation Researcher

Giuseppe Pagnoni  |  University of Modena and Reggio Emilia  |  Neuroscientist and Meditation Researcher

Joan P. Pozuelos  |  University of Granada |  Developmental Neuroscientist, Meditation Researcher and Diamond Way Buddhist Teacher

Antonino Raffone  |  Sapienza University of Rome  |  Consciousness and Mindfulness Scientist

Manfred Seegers | University of Hamburg | Buddhist Studies Researcher, Buddhist Scholar, Diamond Way Buddhist Teacher

Geraldine Thomas  |  MindFlow  |  NorthWest of UK  I  Mindfulness meditation trainer


Programme details will be added soon.


The CSI will be in English language and participants are expected to understand and communicate in English.


Please plan your arrival and departure as follows:

Arrival on Tuesday 18 September before 6pm
Departure on Sunday 23 September after 10am
Registration will open on Tuesday 18 September at 2pm
On the arrival and departure dates shuttle service from and to Malaga Airport will be arranged.


The fees include CSI participation, three meals per full day, lodging and a pre-arranged shuttle from and to Malaga Airport.

Standard fee: € 450
Reduced fee: € 330 (for undergraduate and postgraduate students)

If you apply for the lower student rate, please append a proof of your student status (e.g. your scanned student card) with the brief CV.
Applications are accepting until all places are filled. Once your application is approved you will need to pay the registration fees in full to secure your place.
It is only possible to book for the whole event. Fractional attendance or registration fees are not possible


The Centre is away from main roads and cannot be reached by public transport. If you wish to be mobile while staying at Karma Guen we recommend renting a hire car at Malaga airport.

Shuttle service from and to Malaga airport and Velez-Malaga bus station will be arranged for all participants. Specific information will be provided to participants at a later stage.

Karma Guen Retreat and Study Center - Vélez-Málaga, Andalucia, Spain