Awakening to Unconditional Wisdom & Compassion

A 5-Day Compassion Meditation Retreat
with Lama John Makransky, PhD and Paul Condon, PhD

Wednesday June 22 to Sunday June 26, 2022 

Lama John Makransky

Lama John Makransky, who led the Benedictine retreat at Holy Wisdom in 2016 with Paul Knitter and Sister Lynne Smith, OSB, is coming back to Madison to teach a 5-day silent retreat. Lama John will be joined by one of his teaching partners, Dr. Paul Condon, a Buddhist practitioner and social psychologist who draws on psychology to help people deepen their meditation experience.


Dr. Paul Condon

In this retreat, we will explore ways of accessing our innate awareness of unconditional compassion and wisdom through practices adapted from the Dzogchen tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Dzogchen is a Tibetan word meaning “innate perfection,” Through practices of connecting to an empowering field of loving, spiritual connection, we become receptive to the unconditioned openness, wisdom and compassionate energy of our Buddha nature. This enables us to sense our undividedness from other beings and the earth in the interdependence of all.

Parts of us, often unconsciously, can prevent us from becoming more fully receptive to such qualities of awakening. So we will also focus on ways by which the healing powers of our Buddha nature can help realign all such parts of ourselves with that unconditional compassion and wisdom. Then our innate awareness can increasingly manifest by itself, unleashing powers of discernment and creative responsiveness that can empower our relationships, service and action.

Who Can Attend       

This retreat is both for Buddhists who wish to deepen their experience of awakening, and for people of all faiths and backgrounds who seek an accessible way to cultivate unconditional powers of love, compassion and discernment for action. Guided meditations, explanation of principles and shared conversation will clarify and empower practice. Noble silence and mindful speech will be observed throughout the retreat.

Daily Retreat Schedule

  • Wednesday June 22 to Saturday June 25: 9:00 am-5:00 pm and 7:00-8:00 pm
  • Sunday June 26: 9:00 am-12:00 pm
  • Lunch break: 12:00-1:30 pm
  • Dinner: 5:15-6:15 pm

The daily schedule will include morning, afternoon and evening teachings with John and Paul, including guided meditations, Q and A, opportunities to discuss your meditation practice in small groups and periods of silence.

Registration and Cost

Lama John and Dr. Condon request that registrants participate for all 5 days of the retreat. Unfortunately, no partial registrations are available.

Lunch (Wednesday through Sunday) and dinner (Wednesday through Saturday) are included in the registration costs.

  • Base Rate: $375
    • This level covers the actual costs of delivering this program.
  • Sponsorship Rate: $425
    • This level allows us to support participants who cannot afford the base rate registration.

Partial Scholarship Opportunities

Details coming soon


Holy Wisdom will provide vegetarian lunches from June 22-26 and vegetarian dinners from June 22-25. Please indicate during registration if you have other dietary restrictions.  These meals are included in the price of the retreat.

Registration Questions

For registration questions, please email Carole Kretschman at

Local Accommodations

Madison-area residents are encouraged to commute daily to permit out-of-town participants to attend.

There are a limited number of rooms available at Holy Wisdom Monastery.  Single overnight fees during the retreat are an additional $257.40/person. Double overnight fees during the retreat are an additional $306.20/2 people. Additional nights before or after the retreat can also be added at an additional cost.

If you would like to reserve an overnight room for the retreat at Holy Wisdom Monastery, please contact Brooke Miller at or 608-836-1631, x100.

Information on other local accommodations coming soon.

Registration coming soon


We are located at 4200 County Road (or on some maps County Highway) M, Middleton, WI 53562

Click here for directions from Google Maps