Meditation Day — Letting Go
A Gaia House online day retreat with Laura Bridgman
Friday, 27 November 2020 from 10.00 am – 4.00 pm (GMT)
For anybody who feels a connection to Gaia House and/or the Insight Meditation tradition. All levels of experience welcome.
LAURA BRIDGMAN began her Dhamma practice in her early teens, and eventually ordained as a nun with Ajahn Sumedho in 1995. She was resident at Amaravati and Chithurst monasteries for eighteen years until moving out to live as a solitary nun in 2010. She has spent extended periods of time with the Burmese teacher Sayadaw U Tejaniya. In 2015 Laura left the monastic tradition to pursue the Diamond Heart (Ridhwan) spiritual path alongside her Vipassana practice. There is much over-lap as it incorporates Buddhist principles and practices.
The intention of this retreat will be to support disengaging, turning inwards and settling; moving through the layers of inner activity to a place of more composure, and inner connection. Our tendencies to distract from or try to fix suffering can be restless, driven and exhausting. We can attune to reactive tendencies by meeting them with acceptance, compassion and surrender.
This day of practice will be an opportunity to regenerate, rediscover composure and replenish awareness.
This day retreat will include periods of instruction, guided meditation, silence, walking and/or simple bodywork and Dharma reflections.
The day will run from 10.00am until 4.00pm
With a lunch break between 12.30pm and 2.00pm
You are welcome to join this retreat for the morning sessions and/or the afternoon sessions. Please stay for either the whole morning, the whole afternoon or the whole day.
You will not have to look at your screen for all the time we are together: at times you may only want to listen in.
Please read the pre-retreat suggestions by clicking on the +
We very much look forward to practising with you. To make the most of this precious opportunity, we encourage you to read this information in advance about how to prepare for a retreat using Zoom. If you are not familiar with Zoom, you can get support with learning how to use it by clicking here. You should do this before the retreat starts.
Preparing for the retreat
We suggest that you have in mind your plan for the day of the retreat. For example, will you be:
- Maintaining silence?
- Continuing with/doing additional sitting and walking meditation?
- Cultivating an attitude of retreat throughout?
If so, be sure to set up conditions that support you, including discussing with those you share your space at home with.
It would be helpful to plan in advance, using the guidelines below, to simplify as much as you can and set boundaries around what you will and will not engage with. These are skillful ways of creating continuity and settling more deeply into practice and quiet.
Creating a retreat environment
- Find a quiet and comfortable space to practice and make it as pleasant and welcoming as you can.
- If you like, you can arrange a small altar with candles, flowers, or altar objects near you.
- You may like to keep a small candle burning throughout the day as this helps to remind us that we are practising on retreat.
- We want to create a space that feels like we are with each other as much as possible. Even though we are not together physically, arriving on time is still important. Settle in and prepare your space and yourself before each session begins.
- Whilst we are online together, don’t multitask. Turn off your other devices and any other programs you have been using. Engage with the session and teachings offered just as you would on a retreat you attend in a retreat centre. Give yourself this time to be present and awake.
- Consider how you are going to use the time between our online sessions and try to keep life as simple and free from distractions as possible.
- Arrange your computer or device so you can see and hear well.
- Make sure you have easy access to the Zoom link and arrive on time for all the sessions.
If you have any questions regarding the retreat, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org We will respond as quickly as possible, but we have a reduced team during this time so we apologise if you have to wait longer than usual:
Dana (the practice of generosity)
At the end of your retreat you will be invited to make a voluntary offering of dana / financial support, to support the livelihoods of the teachers who have guided your retreat and help sustain Gaia House into the future. Your registration fee contributes towards Gaia House’s management and support costs and maintenance of our building and grounds. The Dharma teachings of wisdom and compassion are considered priceless, thus the retreat teachers offer their understanding freely. Both Gaia House and the retreat teachers rely on your kindness and generosity, and are deeply grateful for your support.
You can find out more about the practice of dana by clicking here.
Dana can be offered directly to Laura using paypal by clicking here.
Dana can also be offered to Gaia House or the teacher through the Gaia House website: If you are offering dana to Laura please choose Teachers and then specify that your donation is for ‘Laura – Day retreat’, in the notes section on the checkout page.
With deep appreciation for your generosity and support.
Well-being guidelines - please click here to read before booking Before you book, please read these guidelines about mental well-being and silent retreats: 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 participate in a retreat. 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.
Before you book, please read these guidelines about mental well-being and silent retreats:
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 participate in a retreat. 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.
Meditation Day: Letting Go
To register for this retreat:
- Please look at the rates listed below and enter the amount appropriate to you in the amount box. Please note that the fee is non-refundable.
- Then complete the registration form.
The registration charge contributes towards the running of the retreat. None of this goes to the teachers, so please also consider offering dana to the teachers.
Supporter rate – suggested contribution from £20. Your contribution will help sustain Gaia House into the future.
Basic rate – suggested contribution: £10 – £20
Supported rate – suggested contribution: £0 – £10
Dānanandi Sangha – £0. As a regular donor to Gaia House you have contributed already. Thank you.