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.
Long Weekend Mindfulness Retreat
Taking care of Ourselves in Difficult Times
led on-line by Ratnadevi
Fri 8 – Sun 10 May 2020
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. It can count towards your retreat requirements for the BAMBA listing of UK mindfulness teachers. The online format can be approached with creativity and flexibility, allowing for individual circumstances.
Why a retreat now? At this time of global fear, suffering and uncertainty, we can make our home, or at least a room in our home, a haven of stillness, allowing ourselves to touch base with what matters most to us and regain perspective. This is an opportunity to re-calibrate, calm and nourish ourselves and remind ourselves of the mindfulness and compassion tools we already have, as well as learning new ones. I am sure we will be able to contribute more effectively to the world after such an interval spent meditating and doing gentle, replenishing bodywork.
At Home? A retreat gives us a break from, and helps to re-evaluate some of our habits, and while a residential setting away from home can provide that in obvious ways, staying at home has some advantages too. It can build new associations with living at home and potentially establish lasting, positive patterns of regular mindfulness practice. Many of us are hoping that the world after this world-wide lockdown will look different, not just a return to the old ‘normal’, but saner and more humane. Perhaps the retreat will help clarify for us how we can contribute to this. On a more practical level, a home retreat can also allow for greater ease in catering for our individual physical needs.
Content? We will practise sitting meditations (with the option to lie down if required), as well as mindful movement, walking and bodyscan meditations. Working gently with ourselves, we explore mindful and compassionate ways to befriend and hold our actual, lived experience, whilst opening towards positive, calm and joyful states of mind. Short talks and poems will give direction and inspiration.
Silence? Like on any other retreat, we are entering into a journey of discovery, as layers of our inner lives reveal themselves, to be treasured and explored. Periods of silence between sessions can support this unfolding and we can perhaps ask for support with this from any members of our households. We can also offer ourselves the gift of a break from constant availability for social media and phone conversations and perhaps commit to not use screens other than for the purposes of the online teaching and meditations. However, if this approach would be difficult in your circumstances, it is also possible to participate in the retreat partially, choosing to join in with some of the sessions and otherwise participate in the ongoing life of your household.
On Zoom? Much communication these days happens online and maybe some of us may have mixed feelings about more of this on retreat? Most of the practices will be guided to some extent, and you may want to make full use of this. But sometimes you may feel you’d rather meditate without that input and without facing a screen, while still feeling the supportive presence of the group practising at the same time. You need to have a device that supports zoom, ideally a laptop, but a phone will do. You can download the zoom app (for free) and will be sent an email link that will take you straight to the sessions. Most of the time you will be muted and once a day there will be the opportunity to connect with others in small groups to share about your practice. You can also use the chat facility to type any questions or comments.
Cost? During this COVID-19 crisis, I am offering some events for free, to allow people who are particularly hard-struck financially to make use of the invaluable tools of mindfulness practice at this time of crisis. However, teaching mindfulness is my livelihood and, as happened for so many other people, I have lost much of my income through cancelled events. So, in order to support myself financially, I am suggesting that people who can afford it, pay £100 for this retreat. If you cannot afford this, please get in touch and we can see what arrangement works for both of us.
Arriving and technical orientation
7 – 8.30pm
Introduction, some mindful stretching and sitting meditation
Sat and Sun
7.30 – 8.30am
Guided warm-up and sitting (largely unguided)
10am – 12.30 noon
Cycle of led practises, including a mindful tea break
4 – 5.30pm
Cycle of led practises
7.30 – 8.30pm
Meditation and small groups, sharing from silence.
Sun 8.30 – 9pm
Whole group sharing and Good Byes
Mindfulness Day Retreat
online, led by Ratnadevi
Sunday 14 June 20, 10am – 5pm
incl 2 hr lunch break, cost £30, conc. on application
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
The day will be mostly silent, with expertly and sensitively led periods of meditations,
interspersed with simple movement sequences, bodyscan and walking meditations.
Ratnadevi has been leading mindfulness courses and retreats for over 30 years and has trained and
supervises many mindfulness teachers. She derives inspiration from Buddhist practice whilst her
approach is secular and based on science.
Contact Ratnadevi: 0141 9468096
Free online workshop: Mindful Movement and Sitting Meditation
Takes place every Tuesday from 6.15pm - 7.30pm
- 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.
Work That Reconnects
30 May – 3 June, online
with Kristine Janson, Larry Butler and Ratnadevi
Now more than ever, we can gain sustenance and perspective from these highly effective tools for living resourcefully, in line with our values.
There are 2 options to choose from:
Option A: a day retreat, on 30 May, 10am -5pm. It offers an introduction to the TWTR and leads you through ‘the spiral’ as Joann Macy calls it, weaving our way from gratitude into honouring our pain for the world, and then find new and empowering perspectives that inform our going forth.
Option B: option A day retreat, plus 4 half days, 31 May to 3 June, 10am – 1pm. This will allow us to go more deeply into each phase of the process on the days following the introduction, making use of the online community to support us in finding our voice and place in this crucial time for life on earth.
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. It gives us energy and focus to respond to the current challenges faced by our planet.
A retreat gives us a break from, and helps to re-evaluate some of our habits, and while a residential setting away from home can provide that in obvious ways, staying at home has some advantages too. It can build new associations with living at home and potentially establish lasting, positive patterns of practice. Many of us are hoping that the world after this world-wide lockdown will look different, not just a return to the old ‘normal’, but saner and more humane. Perhaps the retreat will help clarify for us how we can contribute to this. On a more practical level, a home retreat can also allow for greater ease in catering for our individual physical needs.
Zoom Format. WTR facilitators have been working together to develop creative ways to make use of the zoom platform, allowing us to connect in many different ways. You need to have a device that supports zoom, ideally a laptop, but a phone will do. You can download the zoom app (for free) and will be sent an email link that will take you straight to the sessions.
Cost guidelines. We don’t want people to feel excluded from participation for financial reasons. And we also have to make a living. The following fees are guidelines and we encourage you to think carefully about how much you are able to contribute; both more or less than these figures are welcome.
Option A (full day, guided by all three facilitators): £35
Option B (option A, plus 4 half days, guided by Larry Butler and Ratnadevi): £115
With: Larry Butler (www.playspacepublications.com) Kristine M Janson (www.earthymindfulness.com) Ratnadevi (www.livingmindfulness.net)
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.
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