Every so often dedicating a day to the practice of mindfulness, in the company of like-minded people can make a big difference in finding more sanity in our busy lives. The day retreats at part of longer courses and can be booked as stand-alone event by anyone who has previosuly done a mindfulness course.


Longer, residential retreats are often a turning point for people, taking the understanding of mindfulness to a deeper level and helping to make it an integral part of one's life.

Upcoming Retreats

Coming to our Senses Through Yoga and Meditation

on Holy Isle 3-6 April 2020

Take a break from the speed and complexity of life and re-connect with the things that really matter: feeling centered and connected to ourselves, others, the environment and our purpose in life.  Yoga is both invigorating and relaxing and together with meditation helps us to slow down and see, hear, smell and touch the world with fresh appreciation. The emphasis in the yoga is on mindfulness and enjoyment and includes some Feldenkrais sequences. The daily programme is interspersed with several short (10 –30 min) meditations of different kinds and there will be opportunities to share how we are getting on.

There will also be space to look at our lives with fresh eyes and explore what gives us true satisfaction. Weather permitting some practice will take place outside, in the peaceful and magical setting of the island – maybe doing walking meditation among the horses.

The retreat is suitable for beginners and people who practice mindfulness already and are looking for an opportunity to deepen their experience.


Cost for accommodation and food: £165 single room, £120 twin room each, £96 dorm. Course fee: £125

Booking procedure: You will be asked to pay £125/person which covers tuition and the hire of the peace hall. You must indicate the accommodation you would like and Ratnadevi will then contact Holy Isle to book your room. Usually there are plenty of spaces for all types of accommodation. See this website for pricing. Payment for accommodation will be made upon arrival on Holy Isle. After booking you will receive a letter of confirmation with more information incl travel details. 


‘Mindful Coaching and Inquiry Skills’ W/E 2: 

Envisioning the Future

18/19 January, 10 am – 5pm at The Yoga Extension, Glasgow

Cost £160 or £140 for previous participants or when booked in conjunction with W/E 3, 29 Feb/1 Mar

for mindfulness teachers, supervisors and others who work with people.

In your heart of hearts, what do you hope to realise and achieve in this precious life time? If there was nothing stopping you, what might your life look like and what contribution to the world would you make?

In this part of the coaching and enquiry training we encourage ourselves and our clients to escape the prison of limiting views. Rooted in present moment awareness, we access the wisdom of the body and our intuition about what is wanting to be born.  We will clarify our core values and get in touch with our ‘Future Self’.

One of the core skills in working with people is ‘coaching the client, not the problem’. Rather than trying to assuage our own fears by pressing for solutions, we explore ways to be truly open to outcome, relaxing into processes that brings the client’s own wisdom to the fore. We learn to empower the client by ‘acknowledging the essence’ and explore ways to transcend seemingly insurmountable impasses. It is not about ‘this or that’, but ‘both’.

This weekend is the second of a course and it can also be done as a stand-alone module.  The weekend will include further teachings on working with the body, coming into the present moment, working with needs and values and stepping into action. It is a prerequisite for the course to purchase and study several chapters of ‘Coaching for Transformation’, Pathways to Ignite Personal and Social Change, by Martha Lasley et al. Details on application.  


The careful thought, imagination and dedication that went in to planning and delivering all the different exercises and elements were so evident - and much appreciated.  I particularly liked being outside, where this was possible.

-Christine Sutton, Social Work Manager, after a weekend on Holy Isle

I would like to thank you deep in my heart for the retreat and the care and compassion you showed to us all, including my daughters who thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We had long chats about the inner critic on the train home and laughed and cried about how much more awake we feel. I sat looking out the window at the beautiful countryside rolling by, the groups of small lambs curled up together on the spring grass and I felt so calm and whole. Thank you for helping me back to this stillness.

-Charlotte Bouchier

Ratnadevi is an inspiring teacher who brings both great compassion and the wisdom of long experience to her leadership of the retreat. Her retreat programme allowed plenty of space for exploration and reflection of a number of mindfulness themes, with a lovely sense of gentle but firm purpose. The retreat at Ardfern was such a wonderful opportunity for deepening and refreshing my practice, extending my learning, and sharing with others. I have returned home with a renewed sense of commitment and enthusiasm. The silence and the size of the group worked very well for me, with a lovely balance of intimacy without intrusion. And Ardfern seems to me perfect place for a retreat -  natural beauty, comfort, quiet -  full of life at the same time.

-Dan Markus, Consultant Clinical Psychologist

This was a spacious retreat, where practice deepened and unfolded at the right pace and with the right amount of gentle and thoughtful guidance from Ratnadevi and Larry. Each day had been carefully planned. The different practices complemented each other well and I felt, allowed me to progress through an interesting personal journey, sometimes hard, sometimes easy but never trivial. The beautiful surroundings were of particular importance, allowing a deeper connection with nature to develop, culminating in a shared experience, watching the Milky Way and shooting stars on a clear night.

-Michele Hipwell, Health Psychologist and environmentalist

The structure of the retreat was elegantly put together and flowed well - a clear map, providing direction and places to pause. The group was prepared step by step for the silence, which met my needs for connection. All facilitation by Ratnadevi was done with care, kindness and authenticity. I particularly liked the precision of language and economy of words. She is an exceptional teacher - I am so fortunate to learn from someone who has vast experience and practice.

- Ann, psychotherapist.

The conditions offered themselves perfectly to reconnecting to a deep sense of place, serenity and connection with nature and with others. Ratnadevi encouraged us to approach our difficulties in a new way, with more kindness, flexibility and deeper inquiry, which is not only  of great personal benefit but refreshing curiosity and development as a mindfulness teacher .

- Hermione Thornhill, clinical pyschotherapist

The teachings were uplifting, gentle and delivered at exactly the right pace. Ratnadevi and the group created a lovely peaceful and other-worldly atmosphere. I am looking forward to practicing mindfulness and meditation in a more flexible and accepting way - anticipating great adventures.

 - John O’Reilly, ecologist and psychotherapist in training

Work That Reconnects 

on Holy Isle,  28 May - 3 June.

with Larry Butler, Ratnadevi and Kristine Janson.


The Work That Reconnects is a form of transformative groupwork comprised of exercises, meditation, reflection, and discussion developed by Joanna Macy. It aims to reconnect us, empower us to reclaim our lives, our communities, and our planet by providing tools and practices that offer insights into how we can work together, open our hearts and build a truly life sustaining society.

During this six-day experiential workshop on the beautiful Holy Isle, we will use a form of transformative group work to give us energy and focus to respond to the current challenges faced by our planet. A retreat is a powerful way to connect more deeply with others who share our concerns, under the supportive guidance of experienced facilitators. We weave our way from gratitude into honouring our pain for the world, and then find new and empowering perspectives that inform our going forth. 

For more info and to book: butlerlarry@talktalk.net


Mindful Coaching and Inquiry Skills’ W/E 3:

Honouring all parts of the internal community

29 Feb/1 Mar 2020, 10 am – 5pm at The Yoga Extension, Glasgow

cost £160, or £140 for previous participants and when booked in conjunction with W/E 2, 18/19 January

for mindfulness teachers, supervisors and others who work with people

led by Ratnadevi  (Luise Holtbernd PHD), Certified Coach, Mindfulness teacher, Trainer & Supervisor.

Who is running the inner show?  Ideally, we’d like our most integrated, wise and compassionate Self to be in charge, but often less mature parts of ourselves take over, to the detriment of our own and others’ wellbeing and happiness. 

We are all familiar with the ‘inner critic’; other parts can be named the ’pusher’, the ‘pleaser’, the ‘procrastinator’, the ‘taskmaster’ and there are many more, all playing important roles in the psyche.  Many of them have a protective function and other parts are ‘exiled’, less conscious wounded child parts. It can be immensely liberating to recognise that we are not our parts. We can un-blend from them, listen to them and understand their positive intent.  We even thank them. Their methods may be out-dated and counter-productive, but they hold important values for us.

We don’t try to change the parts, and this form of radical acceptance can lead to profound and lasting change.  Paradoxically, by separating out the different parts, we lay the groundwork for new levels of personal integration that can then lead to confident and inspired expression in action. The work is deep and safe, as we always acknowledge and respect the parts that have any concerns.  This mindful coaching approach builds on Hal and Sidra Stone’s work with Voice Dialogue and Richard Schwartz and Jay Earley’s process of Internal Family Systems (IFS). 

This weekend is the third and last of a course and it can also be done as a stand-alone module.  The weekend will include further teachings on working with the body, coming into the present moment , working with needs and values and stepping into action. It is a prerequisite for the course to purchase and study several chapters of ‘Coaching for Transformation’, pathways to ignite personal and social change, by Martha Lasley et al. Details on application.