He ran his first retreat in 1996 and since then has hosted over 100 retreats from 5 days to 5 months and taught thousands of people from all walks of life. His students have ranged from total beginners to distinguished monks and nuns, from the homeless of Asia to many successful and influential business people. Today he is one of Europe’s most experienced and accomplished meditation teachers.
He quit his career at the head of a successful fashion label in search of more meaning to his life. His journeys took him to the islands of Indonesia, the foothills of India, and the forests of Burma.
After years of retreat, having reached some of the highest levels of practice, he left the monastery he was in and decided to travel back to the West to teach. His decision to do so was rooted in a determination to discover for himself whether these practices and the wisdom they pointed to could be upheld and developed within the context of a modern western life.
The depth of his experiential knowledge of meditation and his ability to communicate this knowledge with clarity to western audiences make him an extremely accessible teacher. He translates profound ancient knowledge and teachings into approachable and digestible language.
With a clear emphasis on the dynamic relationship between the body and the mind, the programme that Burgs teaches starts with the very basics of establishing concentration and mindfulness right through to the process of energetic transformation that opens the door to the very highest states of consciousness. From the foothills to the high plains, Burgs has the experience and the skills to guide each step of the way. We have often had advanced practitioners with years of experience joining our retreats who find that Burgs’ ability to recognise and to point to the doorway through which they might progress allows them to swiftly further their practice.
Burgs’ teaching style is strongly influenced by his three principle teachers. His 7day retreat meditation programme incorporates the variety of aspects that he has learned from his teachers and from the fruits of his practice. This is why no 7day retreat is ever exactly the same, as there is so much that can be shared.
Below is some brief information about these teachers. For a more detailed story of how Burgs came to learn from these revered masters of meditation, please read Burgs’ autobiography ‘Beyond the Veil’.
Kyabjé Dodrupchen Rinpoche, the Fourth Dodrupchen Rinpoche, is one of the most important living masters in the Nyingma and Dzogchen traditions. He is the greatest living Dzogchen or “Great Perfection” master and the main lineage holder of the Longchen Nyingthik lineage, considered to be the highest Dharma in Tibetan Buddhism.
He currently resides in the mountains of north India in Sikkim. A master whose quiet, gentle and unassuming demeanour is complemented by a tremendous presence, Dodrupchen Rinpoche attends to the everyday spiritual needs of the people of Sikkim, and personally looks after the welfare of over four hundred monks in his care.
Burgs was recommended to meet one of three Tibetan teachers during his travels in Asia by Dzogchen Rinpoche. With favourable circumstances he managed to gain interview with Dodrupchen Rinpoche during a chance visit to Sikkim.
His Holiness lives a secluded life in his monastery looking after the welfare of those around him.
The Venerable U Āciṇṇa, commonly referred to as the Venerable Pa-Auk Tawya Sayadaw was abbott of this famous monastery in southern Myanmar ( Burma ).
The Sayadaw ordained at the age of 10 and during the next decade studied and completed the highest levels of Pali language examinations ( Pali is the language that the Buddha’s Teachings are written in ). He became a bhikkhu at age 20 and at the age of 22 completed the prestigious Dhammācariya examination which confers the title of Dhamma Teacher.
During the next eight years, the Sayadaw continued his investigation into the Dhamma, traveling throughout Myanmar to learn from various well-known teachers. Starting in 1964, the Sayadaw he turned his attention to intensifying his meditation and began to practice “forest dwelling”.
In 1981 he was asked by the then current abbott to look take over at Pa Auk monastery. Since 1983, both monastics and laity have been coming to study meditation with the Sayadaw with the first Westerners arriving in the early 1990’s.
In 1997 the Sayadaw published his Magnum Opus, an enormous five-volume tome titled The Practice that Leads to Nibbana, explaining the entire course of teaching in detail and supported by copious quotations from the Pali texts. In 1999 he was awarded the public recognition of ‘Agga Mahā Kammaṭṭhānācariya’ (Highly Respected Meditation Master) by the Union of Myanmar.
Burgs completed the fourty samatha meditations as described in the Visuddhimagga ( The Path of Purification ) whilst practicing closely with Sayadaw. He was the first westerner to do so.
The Sayadaw has now retired as abbott but continues to teach as requested by those around him.
Merta Ada is a renowned meditation teacher and healer from Bali, Indonesia.
He has taught over 80,000 students across Indonesia. His insight into physical sickness and its causes are particularly profound. The ‘Bali Usada’ meditation technique is based on years of intensive research and practice of the ancient lontar (palm-leaf) books of Bali, teachings from respected meditation practitioners, traditional healers, doctors and Merta Ada’s personal experiences as a healer.
Burgs first met Merta Ada while Pak Ada was starting his famous ‘Bali Usada’ meditation school in the early 1990’s. Burgs initially learned meditation from Merta Ada and went on to assist on the Bali Usada retreats before leaving for Myanmar (Burma) to deepen his practice.
Merta Ada continues to run his Bali Usada programme and has a regular radio show which broadcasts guided meditation sessions across Bali.
Burgs’ extraordinary gift to be able to transmit the essence of such deep and ancient wisdom with such clarity and simplicity is so rare. You are so lucky if you are coming to this work for the first time.
I absolutely adored his sense of humour. He often got all of us roaring with laughter. He is a great storyteller and has many funny stories to tell.
Burgs is by far the best (most accessible, accomplished, inspiring, talented) meditation teacher that I have encountered.