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Living Dharma – online retreat

With Jaya Rudgard, assisted by Julia Wallond and River Wolton.

Monday 10 August – Friday 14 August

First of a series of 3 annual retreats with online teachings offered between.

For those who were registered for this retreat, and anybody who feels a connection to Gaia House and/or the Insight Meditation tradition. All levels of experience are welcome and no commitment to attend subsequent retreats in this series is required.

Registration for this retreat is now closed.

The teacher:

Photo of Teacher

JAYA KAREN RUDGARD began meditating in the 1980s and practised for eight years as a nun in the Thai Forest tradition in England with Ven. Ajahn Sumedho as her teacher. She is a graduate of the IMS/Spirit Rock Teacher Training and teaches Insight Meditation and mindfulness in the UK and internationally.


The assistants:

JULIA WALLOND has been meditating regularly since 2005, mainly with teachers at Gaia House. She is currently a student in the Bodhi College Teacher Training Programme, and teaches with her local community meditation group in Machynlleth, Wales. She enjoys exploring Dharma in everyday life and particularly how it can support us in engaging with the climate and social crises of our times.
RIVER WOLTON has practised Insight Meditation since 2000, is a co-founder of Sheffield Insight Meditation, a Community Dharma Leader authorised by Gaia House Teacher Council, and a student on the Bodhi College Teacher Training Programme. A published poet, she teaches creative writing in schools and community projects, and is an activist in LGBTQI+ and refugee communities.


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.

  • 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.
  • If you have any questions about this, please contact Susanne using the email address, retreatmanager@gaiahouse.co.uk

Retreat Description

A Living Dharma invites us to turn towards the challenges of our times as a powerful teacher, calling us to a deeper understanding of the dynamics of suffering and healing for ourselves and the world. Online retreat is an opportunity to integrate teachings and practice in the very midst of our lives.  We create a space in which we can nourish and resource ourselves and bring the gift of our attention to the moment by moment encounter with life within us and around us. We will explore the Dharma as a whole-life path, of which understanding, meditative skills and wise action form three indispensable parts.

We recognise that personal suffering includes, and is not separate from the harm and violence of racial injustice, climate injustice and other oppressions based on class, gender, sexuality, age, disability and more. Our aspiration for this retreat and for future meetings is that, within the framework of the eightfold path, we will grow to embody more deeply a Living Dharma of radical inclusivity, inner and outer.

For those wishing to participate, 90 minute follow-up sessions with the teachers will be offered via Zoom at 5.30-7pm on Sundays 11th October, 13th December 2020, 17th Jan, March 14th, 16th May 2021.


The retreat will include periods of instruction, guided meditation practice, silence, Dharma reflections, mindful movement, and optional small group meetings.

Joining this retreat will require your commitment to attending or listening to the opening session on Monday 10th August in which we will be establishing the intentions and orientations for the retreat. Where possible we encourage you to attend the sessions marked in bold on the schedule. Other sessions are offered to help you build a structure into your days that best supports your practice in your current life situation.

Key teachings will be recorded and made available to participants as we go along in case you have to miss a session or are joining from another time zone.

Please note 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.


(All times are British Summer Time)


10:15                          Participants Sign in 

10:30-12:00                Opening Session 

14:30-15:15                Guided Meditation

15:30-16:30                Group Practice/ Mindful movement

16:45-17:15                Sitting

19:00-19:45                Evening Dharma Talk

20:00-20:30                Sitting

Tuesday- Thursday

7:00-7:45                   Sitting Meditation

9:30-10:30                 Practice Guidance

10:30-11:15                Walking

11:15-12:00                Mindful Movement

12:00-12:30                Sitting

14:30-15:15                Guided Meditation

15:30-16:30                Walking or Small Group meetings in Breakout rooms

16:45-17:15                Sitting

19:00-19:45                Evening Dharma Talk

20:00-20:30                Sitting


7:00-7:45                   Sitting Meditation

9:30-10:30                  Group Practice

10:30-11:15                 Walking

11:15-12:00                 Mindful Movement

12:00-12:30                 Sitting

14:30-16:30                Closing Session

Using Zoom

This online retreat will use the Zoom platform. For support with learning how to use Zoom, please click here to read the guidance we’ve put together on our website. Please read the first section, ‘Using Zoom’, before registering.


If you have any questions regarding the retreat, you can send an email to info@gaiahouse.co.uk  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 collectively to the teachers via PayPal by clicking here please reference your dana “Living Dharma”.

Dana can also be offered to Gaia House or the teachers through the Gaia House website:  If you are offering dana to the teachers please choose Teachers and then specify that your donation is for ‘Jaya- Living Dharma’, in the notes section on the checkout page: this will be shared between the teachers.

With deep appreciation for your generosity and support.