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.
Free Online Workshop: Create your Home Retreat
March 29th 7:00pm
Taking place online due to the current health situation
Join this free 1 hr online workshop to explore: How to use this Covid-19 emergency as an opportunity for living in line with our values.
‘Invest in what gives you nourishment, rather than identifying poison.’ -E.K.Sedgwick.
My husband and I regularly have a weeklong at-home retreat over Xmas and New Year, where we follow a light programme of mindful movement and sitting meditation, listen to inspiring talks, go for walks, do some creative writing or artwork, as well as catch up with some backlog of filing etc. What we don’t do is communicate with the outside world except through letters, nor watch movies or drink alcohol (not that we drink much at other times I hasten to say). We do occasionally play cribbage. After a couple of days of getting used to it, this way of life feels blissfully simple and nourishing. It’s a relief not to have to pack bags and travel somewhere else in order to ‘get away’ and have a break from the usual routines.
I vaguely thought that the current, corona-virus related self-isolation could be a bit like a home retreat. But so far, I am busier than ever. It does seem important to stay connected in this time of uncertainty. The phone is buzzing all day long, interrupting my concentration and I do check the news for any updates on the pandemic, how people are coping, and try to find out why, as a type 1 diabetic, I am at greater risk. Even if I start my day routinely with movement and sitting meditation, it seems not quite enough to counteract the effect of the stress that is enveloping the globe.
Who knows how long we have – we never know this, but a health crisis like this brings it home. What is it that really matters and how can we bring these values into focus and live from them? Be kind, centered and creative, for example – some of my core values. So that there will be no, or few regrets when our time comes.
This is what I offer you:
- A free 1 hr workshop on-line, making a start at clarifying how you want to use this at-home time.
- Online one-on-one Mindful Coaching to explore your personal situation in some depth. I will guide you towards empathetic acknowledgement of what is going on for you emotionally, finding a fresh and authentic sense of meaning and direction, devising a structure for living that allows you to express these values, particularly at this difficult time of enforced isolation, and meeting any obstacles with curiosity and creativity. I am an experienced, certified transformational coach. Sliding scale £20 - £80 per session. Get in touch to arrange this with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free online workshop: Mindful Movement and Sitting Meditation
Takes place every Tuesday from 7.30 - 8.30pm, starting 31 March.
- Some gentle, Yoga and Feldenkrais-inspired movement sequences that connect you with your in-the-moment experience, nourish and ground you and shift gear into Being rather than Doing.
- Guided sitting meditations with different emphasises, giving us a sense of home-coming to a place of inner calm and friendliness.
- Some poetry to inspire us.
Coming to our Senses Through Yoga and Meditation
4/5 April 10am to 5pm
Now taking place online due to the current health situation
Give yourself the opportunity to recover from the stress of the last, coronavirus-dominated weeks and re-connect with the things that really matter: feeling centred, calm 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.
Throughout the days, there will be led meditations of different kinds, gradually deepening a sense of loving self-connection and calm. There will also be opportunities to share how we are getting on in pairs or small groups. We will explore ways we can be with ourselves and others in kind and truly empathetic ways, helping each other to live through this crisis with dignity and courage. Creating a sense of community will allow us to maintain the thread of stillness through the evening and the morning, taking into consideration our individual living situation. If there is interest, we can look at ways to maintain the sense of connection and support beyond the retreat.
The retreat is suitable for beginners and people who practice mindfulness already and are looking for an opportunity to deepen their experience.
Cost is £80 for the full weekend and £45 if you wish to book for one day only.
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:
Living from the Heart:
Meditation, Movement and Mindful Communication
Led by Ratnadevi and Jayaraja
Course fee/deposit £125
Cost for accommodation and food: £165 single room, £120 twin room each, £96 dorm.
Early booking is recommended. It starts at 6pm on Friday and finishes on Monday after breakfast.
This retreat is an opportunity to come together as a temporary community to explore what it means to live from the heart. In a safe and fun environment we explore emotionally intelligent ways of being with ourselves and others that lead to a deeper sense of connection. Supported by meditation, some periods of silence and replenishing movement, we learn mindful ways to communicate that allow us to
feel more alive to ourselves and sensitive to others
see what truly matter and live authentically
learn to recognise some old, protective patterns of judging, blaming, or immediately wanting to fix problems, that don’t really serve us any longer
take courage and shed some of the burden of our small, fearful, defensive selves
feel part of a loving flow of interconnectedness.
There will be time for exploring the beautiful and peaceful countryside and the largely home- grown food on Holy Isle is truly exceptional.
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.
Mindfulness Day Retreat
likely to be online
Sunday 14 June 20, 10am – 4pm, cost £40, conc. on application
In Vinicombe St Glasgow
for anyone with some previous experience of meditation
Feeling somewhat distracted, frazzled, overwhelmed, tired, uninspired, disconnected, short-tempered, indulging in addictions and lacking a sense of direction and meaning?
If any of these descriptions apply to you it is time for some deep nourishment through meditation and mindful movement. It will restore your inner equilibrium and get your heart singing again. Meditating with others helps us to let go of excess effort, relax and ‘breathe easy’.
The day will be mostly silent, with expertly and sensitively led periods of meditations, interspersed with simple movement sequences, bodyscan and walking meditations.
5 Day Mindfulness Retreat
Tue 5 – Sun 10 May 2020 at Lerigoligan, Ardfern, Argyll, cost £430
The retreat is an opportunity to deepen the practice of mindfulness in the company of others with previous experience of meditation and mindfulness programs, including mindfulness teachers and those in training.
We will be following a programme consisting of periods of sitting meditation, walking meditation, mindful movement and bodyscan meditations. Some of the practices will be led by the teacher and there will also be some unguided practice. Short talks and discussions about aspects of mindfulness provide stimulation and direction . Some free time in the afternoons will allow you to explore and enjoy the beautiful environment. There will also be opportunities to review your practice with the teacher and receive personal guidance.
Periods of silence (overnight and gradually building up to 2 days silence) will provide the conditions for the practice to unfold its magic: we are likely to feel more compassionately connected to ourselves, others and the environment; more alive and present; more in sync with the natural arising and passing of experience and more attuned to the beauty in things. Without external distractions and obligations we are free to explore our inner lives and find deeper peace, confidence and acceptance.
Delicious vegetarian meals will be provided by 2 cooks (who also participate in the programme) and you will be asked to contribute to the retreat by doing some mindful veg preparations and cleaning up after meals.
Accommodation will be shared (with either two or three beds in one room).
For bookings please contact Ratnadevi
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.
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