Foundations of Meditation

A Gaia House online course with Juha Penttilä

Mondays, 14, 21, 28 June and 5 July 2021


This retreat is open to all, especially beginners and those with experience. Please join us.


Image of TeacherJUHA PENTTILÄ has been practicing meditation since 2002. He has spent extended periods of time on retreats and in monasteries in Asia and Europe and is one of the founding members of Nirodha, the Finnish Insight Meditation practice community. Juha completed his Insight Meditation teacher training in 2020. In addition to exploring meditation, Juha’s teaching is influenced by the current climate crisis and engaged perspectives into the Dharma.


Retreat description

On this beginners course we’ll explore developing some of the central elements of meditation practice, such as:

  • Finding a good comfortable posture
  • Cultivating basic mindfulness
  • Beginning to develop samadhi or meditative calm
  • Working with the most typical hindrances to meditation
  • Developing attitudes of kindness and compassion
  • Working with the inner critic
  • Learning practices supportive of letting go


Each of the four teaching sessions includes a guided meditation, some teaching, as well as space for questions and comments. This four week course aims to support beginning a regular independent meditation practice.


All times shown are in British Summer Time (GMT)

6.00 pm – 8.00 pm Monday evenings

There is the option to join Juha for daily meditation, 8 am weekdays, 10 am at weekends.

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 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.


None of your registration fee goes to the teacher. Gaia House teachers rely on the generosity of students for their livelihood. There will be an opportunity to make a dana offering to Juha at the end of the course.

Click here to read more about the practice of dana.

Dana can be offered to Juha by paypal using the following link:  alternatively dana can be offered via the Gaia House website by clicking here. Please click on Teacher and then specify that your donation is for ‘Juha – Foundations’ in the notes section on the checkout page.

Dana can also be offered to Gaia House’s residential service team via our website here:  This team is responding to email and telephone enquiries for both our online and residential retreats, alongside supporting our retreatants during their stay at Gaia House.

With deep appreciation for your generosity.


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,

Registrations for this course are now closed.