What to expect

On the retreat, we ask you to arrive for registration between 9.15 – 9.45am. The retreat finishes around 5pm, and we ask that attendees commit to staying for the full day.

Each one-day retreat will be a day of sustained meditation, supported by an atmosphere of silence. All the retreats are suitable for beginners as well as those with experience of meditation practice. The retreat is led by a teacher from Gaia House, and the structure of the day can vary. Typically the day includes periods of sitting and walking meditation, a dharma talk, and guidance on meditation provided by the teacher. Opportunities are provided to ask questions.

For what to bring, and for important information about lunch arrangements, see What to bring

At the end of the day, one of the volunteers will speak briefly about the ancient tradition of Dana.

Our Ethos

In keeping with the teachings of the Buddha and many other spiritual traditions, we seek to practise and promote a mindful and caring relationship with the life around us, including generations to come. We ask those attending these days to join with us for the duration of the retreat in observing the following ethical guidelines, known as the Five Precepts:

– We undertake the precept of refraining from causing harm (for this reason we invite you to         bring a vegetarian or, better still, vegan packed lunch to the retreat).

– We undertake the precept of refraining from taking that which is not freely given.

– We undertake the precept of refraining from sexual misconduct.

– We undertake the precept of refraining from false speech.

– We undertake the precept of refraining from intoxicants that cause heedlessness or loss of         awareness.

We aim to minimise the environmental impact of the days by collecting any compostable or recyclable waste, buying ethical products where available, and promoting a car-share scheme

What is Insight Meditation

Insight Meditation is a simple technique which has been practised for over 2,500 years. The practice leads to the development of concentration, fearlessness, happiness and a loving heart. Derived directly from the teachings of the Buddha, it is open and accessible to people of any or no faith tradition, and its benefits for well-being are increasingly confirmed by scientific research. The practice begins by calming the mind, usually through resting attention on the sensations of breathing. Through being present in each moment, our heart and mind can awaken to a depth of peace and clarity which allows grasping, judgement and fear to fall away. Through this deep understanding of the nature of experience, wisdom and compassion flow naturally, revealing an unconditioned and complete freedom in life and a genuine love for others, for oneself and for all that lives.


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