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Mindfulness, Insight, Liberation; MBCT/MBSR Foundations

A Gaia House online retreat with Christina Feldman and Chris Cullen

Assisted by Ramiro Ortega and Nicole Schoonbrood

Monday, 14 September – Friday, 18 September 2020

Who will benefit from this retreat?

This retreat is particularly intended to support teachers and trainees in Mindfulness-based programmes and other mindfulness-based work. However, other relatively experienced practitioners (who have previously attended at least one 5-7 day residential retreat) interested in exploring the relationship between contemporary mindfulness practice and its foundations in Early Buddhist teachings will be most welcome to attend. Please note that this retreat is not a clinical skills workshop.

The teachers:

Photo of Teacher.

CHRISTINA FELDMAN is a co-founder of Gaia House. She has been leading Insight Meditation retreats worldwide since 1976. She is a Guiding Teacher of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. She is the author of a number of books including Woman Awake, Way of Meditation, and co-author of Soul Food. Recent books include Silence and The Buddhist Path to Simplicity.


Photo of Teacher.


CHRIS CULLEN has practised and studied the Buddha’s teachings since 1994 and has been teaching insight meditation retreats since 2010. He also teaches for the Oxford Mindfulness Centre and has a psychotherapy practice in Oxford.

Assisted by:

RAMIRO ORTEGA has practised Buddhist meditation since 2005. He is currently training as a Dharma teacher with Bodhi College and is being mentored by Christina Feldman and Chris Cullen. He also teaches mindfulness courses and retreats, and is training to become a philosophical counsellor.

NICOLE SCHOONBROOD has been practicing meditation since 1989. She is teaching and training in MBSR as well as MBCT for professionals at the Radboud Unversity Medical Center for Mindfulness in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. She is a student  on the Bodhi College Teacher Training Programme.

Retreat description

This online Insight Meditation retreat, which is particularly relevant to those teaching or training in mindfulness-based programmes such as MBSR or MBCT, or working with mindfulness in therapeutic or other professional contexts, will explore the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, as taught in the Satipatthana discourse given by the Buddha. It is a profound teaching that encourages us to place the practices of wakefulness, investigation and compassion in the classroom of our daily lives, nurturing a heart that is embodied, resourced, kind, responsive and steady.


There will be a framework of practice times during each day as a support to being on retreat at home, with two main teaching periods each day (as on most residential retreats), as well as guided meditations, question periods and small group meetings with teachers and assistant teachers on some of the days.  It would be appreciated if all sessions could be attended (except in exceptional circumstances).


All times are British Summer Time (GMT +1)

Monday, 14 September
9.45 am Join the retreat.  The earlier start time is to allow connection issues to be solved and enable all to settle before the start of the main session.
10.00 am – 11.00 am Opening Session
11.30am – 12.15 pm Sitting Meditation
2.30 pm – 3.15 pm Guided Meditation or Q & A
4.00 pm – 4.45 pm Sitting Meditation
6.15 pm – 6.50 pm Sitting Meditation
7.00 pm – 8.00 pm Dharma Talk
Tuesday – Thursday, 15 – 17 September
7.00 am – 7.45 am Personal Sitting
9.30 am – 10.15 am Morning Instructions & Guided meditation
10.30 am – 11.15 am Small Group meetings on some days
11.30am – 12.15 pm Sitting Meditation
2.30 pm – 3.15 pm Guided Meditation or Q & A
4.00 pm – 4.45 pm Sitting Meditation
6.15 pm – 6.50 pm Sitting Meditation
7.00 pm – 8.00 pm Dharma Talk
Friday, 18 September
7.00 am – 7.45 am Personal Sitting
9.30 am – 10.15 am Morning Instructions & Guided meditation
11.00 am – 12.00 pm 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.


f 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 to the teachers collectively by clicking here –  referencing your dana “Chris and Christina

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 ‘Chris and Christina – MBCT/MBSR’, in the notes section on the checkout page: this will be shared between the teachers.

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.

  • 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


Registrations are now closed.