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 & Workshops
Healing Self and the World
Mindfulness and Active Hope Day Retreat
13th March 2021
10:00 - 17:00
Led by Ratnadevi and Larry Butler
What does it take to live through these challenging times of pandemic and climate change with resilience, clarity and open-
We live in a space without maps and may feel cast loose, unmoored, frightened. It takes courage and the solidarity with like-minded
people to not look away, but trust our ability to embrace what is difficult. Our hearts are more loving than we may think.
A committed, daily practice of meditation and regularly going on retreat are essential in providing the necessary stability, inner calm,
compassion and creativity and that allow us to acknowledge our difficult feelings and liberate our blocked and confused energies into action.
The retreat offers a programme of mindful movements, body-scan and a variety of sitting meditations, as well as poetry and some
opportunity for sharing in small groups.
‣ Stop and rest, and appreciate what the
mirror of your awareness reflects.
‣ Access and trust your sources of
compassion and healing for yourself and
‣ Connect with your heart-felt values and
gain confidence that you can live from
‣ Enjoy the felt sense of interconnectedness
with the group and all life.
‣ Reset your system to experience natural
calm and beauty.
‣ Make use of the wealth of experience of
Who For: some previous experience of
When: Saturday 13 March 2021
Time: 10am – 5pm
between £20 (unwaged, and for participants of 8 wk Mindfulness and Active Hope course staring 8 Feb)
£60 (higher earner) Higher amounts support inclusion of all regardless of means. Please consider donating as much
Building our Enquiry Skills: Entering the Heart of Mindfulness
An online CPD workshop for mindfulness teachers, by Ratnadevi
Saturday 23 January, 10am – 5pm
Cost: £60 - 100
In your mindfulness teacher training you will have been introduced to a rationale behind the method of enquiry, perhaps learned about the structure of three layers, or circles, and the importance of asking open questions. But even after years of teaching, we can still be quite mystified by it (as may be our students!). That could be a good thing. It means we can have a fresh look at it: what are we really trying to do? Get certain points related to the curriculum across? Help our participants to have deeper insights into how they create their own suffering? Prove to the students that we know our stuff?
My understanding is that we use enquiry to guide the class, incl. ourselves into the heart of the mindfulness experience. What that is, exactly, can be hard to put into words, even if we have our definitions. But we do our best to embody it, because that is how the message will get across.
The workshop will offer encouragement to open into kind-hearted and open-minded presence. We bring the same curious and courageous attitude to both, our own experience and that of our students. We have a go at relaxing more into the process, taking our time, trusting that it is okay not knowing where the shared exploration will lead us. There is room for playfulness and experimentation.
The day will include some guided mindfulness practice of various kinds, exploration of principles related to enquiry, exercises in mindful listening, and plenty of opportunities to practice enquiry. The workshop can count towards your CPD requirements.
Living from the Heart:
Meditation, Movement and Mindful Communication
Due to the Corona situation booking is not yet open for this retreat.
22-25 October 2021
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.
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