The Poetry of Self, the Poetry of Not-Self

Tuesday 22 Sep – Sunday 27 Sep 2020 (5 nights)

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

Spaces Available
SKU: 20157-w Category: Tags: ,

The Buddhist teachings on not-self can be easily misunderstood. They invite us to explore how self is constructed. Looking closer, we discover that ‘self’ is not per se the problem. The Dharma unveils unexamined ways we perceive and construct self and then believe in these fabrications with their accompanying limiting narratives and patterns.

We will enquire into how we create self, other, world; seeing their creation as a spectrum from the dense to ever more refined and subtle levels, and aim to cultivate a liberating pliability that can celebrate the unique, personal expressions of self as well as its emptiness.

Experience required:

Retreatants are required to have 5 days of retreat experience either through a single retreat or accrued through participation in a couple of short retreats.

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.

KIRSTEN KRATZ has practised Buddhist meditation in Asia and the West since 1993. She started teaching in 2006. One of her particular passions is exploring how wisdom teachings can foster appropriate responses to the challenges of our time; she supports those on personal retreat in Gaia House and is co-initiator of the Dharma Action Network for Climate Engagement: DANCE.

Listen to one of Kirsten Kratz's Talks given at Gaia House on 23.03.2013: Calm and Kindness (Duration 38:57)


YUKA NAKAMURA PH.D has been practicing in several Buddhist traditions (Vipassana, Dzogchen and Zen) since 1993 and has practiced for long periods in the US (IMS, Spirit Rock), in Burma and Japan. She was trained as a Dharmateacher by Fred von Allmen and has been teaching since 2014 in Europe and in the US. She is a trained psychologist and MBSR-teacher and trainer. She lives near Zurich in Switzerland.

Listen to one of Yuka Nakamura Talks at the Insight Meditation Society retreat centre on 19.11.2016: Shaping our world through perception (Duration 51:05)


Retreat Code = 20157

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:

Tuesday 22 September – Sunday 27 September 2020 (5 nights)

Standard Rate:    £305 - Please pay this rate if you can
Sponsor Rate:        £366 - A benefactor rate, which helps others to come here on the Supported Rate
Supported Rate:     £259 - Available if the Standard Rate is too high for you
FAB Fund Rate:      £153 - For more details please see the Financial Assistance page
Young Persons Rate: £92 - 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.