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Practising wisdom & compassion in turbulent times (6-10 July)

A Gaia House online home retreat with Chris Cullen and Jaya Rudgard, assisted by Mat Schencks.

Monday 6th July – Friday 10th July

For those who were registered for the Practising Wisdom and Compassion retreat, and anybody who feels a connection to Gaia House and/or the Insight Meditation tradition.

The teachers:

Photo of Teacher.Photo of TeacherCHRIS 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.

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.

Mat Schencks has been practising Insight Meditation under the guidance of teachers at Gaia House since 2003. He has been leading day retreats and short courses since 2013 and is currently in teacher training with Bodhi College. Mat is also a student of the Diamond Approach and has a psychotherapy practice in Milton Keynes and Oxford.

Retreat Description.

The Buddha’s teachings provide practical ways of cultivating resilience, steadiness, compassion and clearer-seeing in the midst of both easier and more turbulent times in our personal and collective lives. This online retreat will be an opportunity to deepen in the practice, understanding and embodiment of these teachings, cultivating a trustworthy sense of refuge in the midst of changing conditions. In support of this there will be daily sessions of qi gong and some simple devotional practices.

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 Sarah using the email address, admin@gaiahouse.co.uk

Format

All are welcome: the format of this online retreat will support all who wish to attend the scheduled group sessions while continuing to be quite fully engaged with your ongoing life at home, and also those wishing to practise formally in a sustained way throughout the days.

The retreat will include periods of instruction, guided meditation practice, silence, Dharma reflections, qi gong, sharing together as sangha/community and optional sharing meetings. Qi gong is a form of mindful movement originating in the healing arts of ancient China. It is gentle and adaptable to most health needs and an excellent support for meditation. No special equipment is needed.

Joining this retreat will require your commitment to attending or listening to the opening session on Monday 6th July in which we will be establishing the intentions and orientations for the retreat.

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.

Please read the pre-retreat information and suggestions from the teachers by clicking here.

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.

Registration

There is no set fee to register for the retreat.  As is customary in this Buddhist tradition of dana or generosity, teachers are not paid by set fees, but you are invited to offer a generous donation to support them in their life and work. We also invite you to join in the spirit of generosity in making a voluntary offering to help Gaia House with its ongoing expenses. You can find out more about the practice of dana here.

Both Gaia House and the retreat teachers rely on your kindness and generosity to continue offering retreats in this way and are deeply grateful for your support.  With deep appreciation for your generosity and support.

Registration for this retreat has now closed.

Retreat Schedule (Times all in British Summer Time)

Sessions in Bold = all encouraged to attend

Monday

10:15  Participants Sign in*
10:30-12:00 Opening Session*
14:30-15:15 Guided Meditation*
15:30-16:30
Qi Gong*
16:45-17:15 Sitting*
19:00-19:45 Evening Dharma Talk*
20:00-20:30 Sitting and chanting*

 * Please use the Zoom link if you wish to join the group

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday   

7:00-7:45
Sitting Meditation*
9:30-10:30 Practice Guidance*
10:30-11:15 Walking
11:15-11:50 Sitting*
12:00-12:30 Qi Gong*
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 & Chanting*

 * Please use the Zoom link if you wish to join the group

Friday

7:00-7:45
Sitting Meditation*
9:30-10:30
Practice Guidance*
10:30-11:15 Walking
11:15-11:50 Sitting*
12:00-12:30 Qi Gong*
14:30-16:30 Closing Session*

 * Please use the Zoom link if you wish to participate with the group

Enquiries

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)

This online retreat is offered without charge, as an offering to support your wellbeing.  We would like to invite you to join in that spirit of generosity by making a voluntary offering of dana/financial support at the end of the retreat, to help Gaia House with its ongoing expenses, and contribute to the teacher’s livelihoods. Both Gaia House and the retreat teachers rely on your kindness and generosity to continue offering retreats in this way and are deeply grateful for your support.

You can find out more about the practice of dana here.

Dana can be offered to the teachers via PayPal.  All teacher dana donations will be shared between the teachers.

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 add in the notes section on the checkout page the words Wisdom and Compassion.

With deep appreciation for your generosity and support.