Long Weekend Mindfulness Retreat
Time & Location
About the Event
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
- Long Weekend Retreat£100£1000£0