Emptiness, Not-self and Identity

  • Aug 29

    Thursday Aug 29, 2024 - Tuesday Sep 3, 2024

    (Start time Thu 16:00 CEST - End time Tue 14:00 CEST) Martine Batchelor, Christoph Köck, Bernat Font
    • Please click on Register to select any options available.
    The fee does not contribute towards the livelihood of our teachers. You will be invited to offer teacher dana at the end of the course.

Price Options:

1. Shared room: €630.

2. Single room: €700 (SOLD OUT)



This study retreat includes meditation, study and discussion - taking a deep look at different aspects of emptiness, not-self and identity.
Christoph will explore how we may sometimes find a contradiction between the psychological task of developing a healthy sense of self or identity versus the teaching on emptiness and not self. He will lead the group to examine ways of relating to these dimensions of experience as we can see both the potentialities and pitfalls of looking at life through these lenses.

Bernat will consider how, in the contemporary world, many personal and collective issues are talked about in the language of 'identity'. How do we engage with these issues from a dharma perspective whilst avoiding falling into spiritual bypassing? Bernat will explore with the group how to cultivate a fluid identity - understanding not-self as a practical and ethical teaching on not-clinging, and asking: in early Buddhism, what is emptiness empty of?

Martine will explore with mindful awareness what our identity is based on and how we relate to it. She will suggest different meditation tools to learn to develop an identity that can be confident, bright, creative and open to others and the world without being defined by them. Martine will also look at the ethics of emptiness, seeing emptiness as selflessness, recognizing our interdependence and how an ethics based on emptiness would be imbued with creative wise compassion and friendliness.

Event Details


  • This retreat is offered on a dana basis – you will be asked to make an additional monetary donation at the end of the course to support the livelihood of the teacher.
  • If paying a deposit – balance to be paid no later than 4 weeks before the module start
  • A limited number of Bursary places are available for this course.

Additional Information: 

  • For experienced practitioners. 
  • Participants are asked to contribute 1 hour of work a day, in order to help with the running of the retreat
  • Periods of silent meditation practice, as well as teachings and study
  • All meals included – vegetarian food with the possibility of catering for special diets


MARTINE BATCHELOR author of Meditation for Life, The Path of Compassion, Women in Korean Zen and Let Go: A Buddhist Guide to Breaking Free of Habits. Her latest works are the The Spirit of the Buddha, What is this? and The Definition, Practice and Psychology of Vedana.  She is a member of the Gaia House Teacher Council.  She teaches meditation retreats worldwide and lives in France. Recently she has been involved with the Silver Sante Study, teaching meditation, mindfulness and compassion to seniors in France to see if this could prevent ageing decline.


CHRISTOPH KÖCK was born in Vienna, Austria, and spent 17 years of his life as a Buddhist monk in the Theravadin tradition. He lived mainly in monasteries connected with Ajahn Chah in Thailand and the West. Currently he lives in Vienna, working as a psychotherapist in a private practice. He teaches Buddhism and meditation internationally, and is trained to teach MBSR and MBCT. 

BERNAT FONT met the dharma at a very young age and has practiced in Europe, India and Myanmar, gradually putting aside his artistic career. He completed his dharma teacher training with Bodhi College in 2022, mentored by Stephen Batchelor, and has a PhD in Buddhist Studies. He founded the dharma organisation 'Espai Sati' in Barcelona, serves the LGBTQIA+ community, and teaches in English, Catalan and Spanish