Insight Dialogue and Spiritual Friendship

Wednesday 29 Jul – Wednesday 5 Aug 2020 (7 nights)

Note: If you are booking for yourself and someone else you must make a separate booking for each person.

Spaces Available
SKU: 20151-w Category: Tags: ,

This retreat will illuminate the power of spiritual friendship (kalyāṇa-mitta) as a path for deeply understanding and living the Dharma. As the Buddha’s teachings come to life in our hearts and minds we can have the direct experience of participating in a community of awakening. We will delve into each of the four noble truths and investigate how to fully receive and be with the challenges of our lives and times. Together we will touch the synergy and complementarity of silent and relational meditation practices for integration and freedom.

The three bases of Insight Dialogue practice – meditation, wisdom, and relationship – form the foundation and a path of unbinding. We discover the power of solitude and communion in our lives.

More information on what to expect at an Insight Dialogue Retreat can be found here:

Experience required: 

Participants are required to have previously sat a teacher-led silent retreat of at least five nights.

Building work at Gaia House during 2020

We are excited to be getting started on our new Dartmoor Wing, thanks to the open-hearted and generous support of our sangha. The new two-storey building at the back of the Hermitage Wing on the site of the crumbling garages will enable us to double the number of single rooms we can offer to group retreatants, as well as provide badly-needed extra bathrooms.

We will take all possible care to minimise noise and schedule works to take place between group retreats, when our personal and work retreatants will have use of the main meditation hall, farthest from the building work. However, there may occasionally be some disruption at Gaia House in 2020 and we intend and hope that this does not cause disturbance during your retreat.

PHYLLIS HICKS has been practicing meditation since 1984. She trained with Gregory Kramer and offers Insight Dialogue retreats internationally. A psychotherapist for 32 years, she also teaches MBSR and is a guiding teacher for Triangle Insight . She is co-author and designer of the Interpersonal Mindfulness Program. Phyllis lives in North Carolina, USA.

Listen to one of Phyllis Hicks’ talks from the BCBS Finding Freedom: An Insight Dialogue Retreat held at the Barre Center in April 2019 -: Morning Session (Duration 32:37)


JANET SURREYJANET SURREY is an Insight Dialogue Teacher. She teaches Insight Dialogue retreats worldwide and leads a monthly practice group in the Boston area. Her primary meditation teacher was Vimala Thakar, and she has studied with many Vipassana teachers for over 25 years and has trained with Gregory Kramer since 2008. She is a graduate of the Community Dharma Leader training at Spirit Rock. Jan is a practicing clinical psychologist and founding scholar of the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute at the Wellesley Centers for Women. She is on the faculty and board of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy. She is the author of recently published book, The Buddha’s Wife: The Path of Awakening Together.


The teachers will be assisted by:

ROSALIE DORES has practised meditation in the Vipassana and Insight Meditation traditions since 1992. She has been an Insight Dialogue Retreat teacher in training since 2007. She has an MA in Teaching Mindfulness Based Approaches as well as being a trained Scaravelli Yoga teacher.


Retreat Code = 20151

E = experienced

Mental well-being guidelines - please click here to read before booking

Before you book, please read these guidelines about mental well-being and silent retreats:

Intensive silent meditation retreats can be very nourishing; however, as they require sustained meditation practice, they also need some stability of psychological health. If you have recently (within the past year or so) experienced significant trauma or psychiatric illness, or if you are currently experiencing acute emotional distress such as serious depression or anxiety, it may not be the best time for you to attend an intensive retreat in silence. The teachers might not be able to give you the kind of individual psychological care you need at this time. A setting with more opportunities for interpersonal engagement may be more appropriate.

  • If you are currently under the care of a mental health professional, please discuss your attendance with them. You should be in a relatively stable period of mental well-being and have adequate psychological resilience to attend an intensive silent retreat.
  • Please be prepared to offer your mental health professional's contact information to the teachers on the opening day if requested.
  • If you have any questions about this, please contact:

Wednesday 29 July – Wednesday 5 August 2020 (7 nights)

Standard Rate:    £427 - Please pay this rate if you can
Sponsor Rate:        £512 - A benefactor rate, which helps others to come here on the Supported Rate
Supported Rate:     £363 - Available if the Standard Rate is too high for you
FAB Fund Rate:      £214 - For more details please see the Financial Assistance page
Young Persons Rate: £128 - For more details please see the Financial Assistance page

Extending Your Retreat = £56 per night – Conditions apply – please see box

Arrival & Departure:
  • Arrive for registration between 2-5pm on the opening day.
  • Depart after 12.30pm on the final day (or 1.30pm if staying for lunch).
  • Please only make travel bookings to fit with these times.
  • These conditions apply even if you've been to Gaia House before.
Please only book if you are able to commit to the entire retreat:
  • The teachers and staff at Gaia House require this commitment in order to respect the retreat environment and minimise disruption to others.
  • We are not able to accept bookings from people who want to arrive and/or depart outside of these times.