The Silence of the Heart

Friday 1 May – Sunday 3 May 2020 (2 nights)

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

Spaces Available
SKU: 20142-w Category: Tag:

On this retreat we will draw attention to the mystery of the Heart, Citta. The heart not only as a physical organ, but as an imaginal and spiritual centre of stillness. Once the feeling resonance of the heart is activated through meditation, energy work, chanting and bowing, we will deepen our Samatha practice and cultivate strategies to release the first 3 fetters: sceptical doubt, self view and attachment to rituals, and point to the realisation of what in the Pali Canon is described as ‘entering the stream’ or Sotapanna. Emphasis will be placed on creatively using the sound of silence as a focus for concentration.

Special criteria and experience required:

Participants need to be able to sit for meditation periods lasting one hour, and be comfortable with their inner process in a retreat setting. It is preferable that participants have sat a five-night silent retreat previously but this is not a pre-requisite.

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.

SUVACO is a former Buddhist monk and a passionate advocate for embodying life in all of its forms. He lives in the South West UK where he works as a psychotherapist and Tai Qi teacher.

Listen to one of Suvaco's Talks at Gaia House on 15.06.2015: Evening Talk from Touching the Earth Retreat (Duration 47:09)


Retreat Code = 20142

C = special criteria, please read the retreat description carefully
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:

Friday 1 May – Sunday 3 May 2020 (2 nights)

Standard Rate:    £132 - Please pay this rate if you can
Sponsor Rate:        £158 - A benefactor rate, which helps others to come here on the Supported Rate
Supported Rate:     £112 - Available if the Standard Rate is too high for you
FAB Fund Rate:        £66 - For more details please see the Financial Assistance page
Young Persons Rate: £40 - 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 4pm on the final day of the retreat.
  • 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.