Live-streamed: New Year’s retreat

A Gaia House live-streamed retreat with Kirsten Kratz and Jenny Wilks

Tuesday, 28 December – Monday, 3 January 2022


Welcome to the Gaia House New Year Retreat.

This year we will be live streaming the Gaia House New Year Retreat to enable those who are not able to attend in person to join together with the teachers and retreatants in the Gaia House Meditation Hall to practice and deepen together at the turning of the year.

Please note that to join this retreat you need to have attended at least one week’s previous residential or online Insight Meditation retreat.

We are offering this online retreat freely in the spirit of dana and appreciating  the mutual benefit the online retreats have been for our sangha and Gaia House during this past year and a half.

We are very much looking forward to welcoming you here, in the community of practitioners in Gaia House, during this special time of the year.

With Metta,

Kirsten, Jenny and the online team at Gaia House


Image of teacherKIRSTEN KRATZ has practised Buddhist meditation in Asia and the West since 1993. She started teaching in 2006 and since 2015 she has been ‘teacher in residence’ supporting those on personal retreat at Gaia House. Her love and understanding of Dharma has been strongly influenced by, among others, the teachings of her friend and teacher colleague, Rob Burbea. One of her particular passions is exploring how wisdom teachings can foster appropriate responses to the challenges of our time, and Kirsten sees her involvement in activism as an important expression of her practice. Kirsten is co-initiator of the “Dharma Action Network for Climate Engagement” (DANCE) and supporting teacher of Freely Given Retreats.

Listen to one of Kirsten Kratz's Talks given at Gaia House on 23.03.2013: Calm and Kindness (Duration 38:57)


JENNY WILKS has practised in various Buddhist traditions since the late 1980s and has an MA in Indian religions. She has taught at Gaia House since 2008, as well as at the Barn Retreat in Devon, and for the Mindfulness Network. She trained in clinical psychology and has taught mindfulness-based approaches in healthcare settings. In recent years her practice has included exploration of deep ecology and nature-based approaches to psychosocial and spiritual well-being.

Listen to one of Jenny Wilks' Talks at Gaia House on 31.12.2016: The Five Recollections (Duration 52:50)


Retreat Description

This retreat is an opportunity to practice for a sustained period over the New Year, dedicated to cultivating a heart rooted in calm receptive insight. The retreat follows a similar outline to Insight Meditation retreats at Gaia House with instructions in Insight and loving-kindness meditation and daily Dharma talks.

Experience required

To join this retreat you need to have attended at least one week’s previous residential or online Insight Meditation retreat.


The format will hopefully support all those wishing to practice formally in a sustained way throughout the days, but also allow participation to those who wish to attend the group sessions live streamed from  Gaia House, while continuing to be engaged with ongoing life at home. You are invited to join instructions, guided meditations, Dharma reflections, and periods of formal sitting and walking meditation.

Whilst you will have to find your own rhythm, depending on your situation at home and on the time zone you are joining from, we encourage you to participate as much as is possible for you.


The days will start at 6.45am and finish at 9.30pm GMT. There are  three essential teaching sessions each day; the 9.30am morning instructions, the 2.45pm guided meditation and the 7.30pm Dharma reflections, after a group sit starting at 7pm.  These three teaching sessions will be recorded and made available to online participants as we go along in case you miss a session or are joining from another time zone.

Each afternoon from 3.35 to 4.30pm GMT there will be an opportunity of coming together as an online sangha/community in optional small group meetings. Each group will be facilitated by a teacher trainee, Jamie Bristow, Mat Schencks, Tony O’Connor or teacher Katrin Auf der Heyde.

There will be a website noticeboard where the full schedule, teaching recordings and any other resources will be posted. You will find there also any updates we wish to communicate with you, like the special schedule for the night of 31 December where we will honour the turning of the year in a contemplative ritual space.

Please keep in mind: Although all efforts have been made to ensure that live-streaming is possible from Gaia House, we are in a rural location and at times there can be a loss of connectivity. If there is a loss of connectivity during the main teaching sessions the recordings will be made available at a later time .

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 donation goes to the teachers. Gaia House teachers rely on the generosity of students for their livelihood. There will be an opportunity to make a dana offering to Kirsten and Jenny at the end of the retreat.

Click here to read more about the practice of dana.

Dana can be offered to Kirsten and Jenny via the Gaia House website by clicking here. Please click on Teacher and then specify that your donation is for ‘NYR- Kirsten and Jenny‘ in the notes section on the checkout page.

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,


Gaia House offers this retreat In the spirit of generosity/dana. Participants are invited to offer contributions in accordance with their means.

If you wish to offer dana to Gaia House, please enter an amount below and complete the registration form.  If you do not wish to or are unable to participate in the giving of dana at this time, please just put 0.00 in the amount box and continue to complete the registration form.

Please read our Booking & cancellation conditions before completing your booking.


Registration for this live-streamed Retreat has now closed