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

‘Coming to our Senses’

5 day retreat with meditation and mindful movement, led by Ratnadevi

Sat 14 – Thur 19 May 2022

for people with some previous experience, suitable for mindfulness CPD

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. World events have been taxing for our nervous systems and this retreat is an opportunity to calm down and deeply nourish and resource ourselves, which will of course benefit others too.

 

Mindful movement is highly effective in down-regulating our stress levels, particularly when done spaciously and with an emphasis on presence and enjoyment. It will help us to feel well-toned and grounded in our sensory experience, less prone to mental proliferation. We are drawing from several disciplines: Chi-Kung, Yoga, Feldenkrais Method and fascia stretches. It doesn’t require any particular degree of fitness and flexibility, and people with particular health issues should get in touch with Ratnadevi prior to booking.

 

On the retreat we flow organically between movement and stillness, learning to see, hear, smell and touch the world with fresh appreciation and open-heartedness, doing less and being more. The meditations on this retreat will cover a range of mindfulness practices: sitting, walking, bodyscan and will vary in the degree of guidance, meeting the needs of people with different levels of previous experience.

 

Once we have got to know each other, much of the time will be in silence, including mealtimes and overnight. This will give us the opportunity to go deeper, while still feeling in connecting with others. There will also be opportunities to share how we are getting on in small groups. Weather permitting some practice will take place outside, in the peaceful and magical setting of the island – maybe doing walking meditation among the horses.

 

Bookings and cost:

 

In order to secure a place on the retreat, you must pay the tuition fee (which includes hall hire) of £250 

 

Then you must go the Holy Isle website, choose your room and pay for your accommodation and food. This info sheet details several options - fees for the whole retreat range from £170 for dormitory accommodation to £375 for single accommodation with sea view. (This is in addition to the tuition fee.) It also gives other important information about Holy Isle. 

 

Please click here for important information about travel, exact start and end times, what to bring etc. 

Mindfulness and Empathy in Communication

An online 6-week course with Ratnadevi

every Wed, 9 Feb, 7 – 9pm

for people with previous experience of mindfulness meditation

 

Mindfulness practice can make a big difference to our lives, imbuing our days with more spaciousness, meaning, kindness and choice. Often it is in our communication with others that the ability to stay present and non-reactive is most tested.  We all long for harmony, mutual respect, understanding and fun, but when faced with conflict, we can find ourselves tensing up and falling into old patterns, that can be hard to shift. Or we engage in safe, socially accepted ways of relating that miss the opportunity to listen deeply and touch in with what really moves and connects us.

 

This course explores the common ground between mindfulness practices and empathetic communication, within ourselves and with others. It teaches us to stand in the power of self-compassion while reaching out to others. It encourages us to transform judgements and criticism into deeper understandings.  In other words: it can transform our lives!

We will develop our emotional literacy, as well as the skills and confidence to discover and galvanise the energy inherent in needs and values. We learn to be accurate in our observations and precise and invitational in our requests.

This course will be of benefit to anyone who is interested to connect more effectively and kindly, with parts of themselves, family and friends and in their professional lives. For mindfulness teachers and supervisors, it can feed into their enquiry skills.

There will be guided meditation practises integrated with structured explorations, mainly based on Nonviolent or Compassionate communication (Marshall Rosenberg). There will be suggestions on how to take the learning into the week and it is recommended to keep a diary.

Like anything new we want to implement in our lives, it needs practice. There will be the option to meet for short periods of time with another course participant between sessions, to have a further go at some of the exercises and support each other in new ways of relating

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Ratnadevi has been teaching mindfulness for over thirty years, is a certified mindfulness coach and a long-term practitioner of Nonviolent Communication. See www.livingmindfulness.net for more info.

 

Cost: sliding scale between £100 – £200

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  Testimonials: 

‘I attended a 5 day retreat in May this year led by Ratnadevi on Holy Isle.  The island is a special place, steeped in history and protected from the busy-ness of life by not just the small ferry crossing from Arran but also by the retreat setting itself with its own gardens, its Buddhist philosophy, and the beauty of its setting. Having a teacher with a lifetime of experience in meditation and therapeutic methods provided a wonderful atmosphere to deepen our self-awareness, learn new practices,  and brought many moments of joy and connection for us all.  It was a privilege to have been there.  Many thanks.’   Dr Derek Chase Retired GP

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

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