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Meeting Life’s Ups and Downs

Online retreat with Gina Sharpe and Martine Batchelor

Saturday and Sunday, 20-21 February 2021


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



GINA SHARPE , co-founder of New York Insight Meditation Center, has practiced the Dharma for 40 years and has taught workshops and retreats since 1995. A retired lawyer, she taught for several years in a maximum security prison for women. She is a leader in the work of diversity at Buddhist Retreat and Community Centers. She is a member of Spirit Rock’s Teachers Council.

Martine BatchelorMARTINE BATCHELOR lived in Korea as a Zen nun under the guidance of Master Kusan for ten years. She is the author of Meditation for Life, The Path of Compassion, Women in Korean Zen and Let Go: A Buddhist Guide to Breaking Free of Habits. She is a Gaia House guiding teacher. She teaches meditation retreats worldwide and lives in South West France. Her latest work is The Spirit of the Buddha.

Listen to one of Martine Batchelor's Talks at Gaia House on 23.07.2015: Instructions - What is This? Questioning. The Way of Korean Seon and it's connection with Vipassana (Duration 34:08)

Retreat description

During this online weekend retreat we will explore how the four excellent qualities (Brahma Viharas), friendliness, compassion, joy and equanimity can help us to meet with heart and creativity life’s ups and downs. With Martine you will be able to cultivate an equanimous mind as like gold: brilliant and malleable. She will also present joy as the gateway for gratitude and flourishing. Gina will lead us in planting the heart seed of loving friendliness, the ground of wise internal landscape and how compassion can lead the heart to optimally and wisely respond in encountering suffering, personal and universal.


All times shown are in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)


9.00am to 10.30am — Martine Batchelor will lead the morning session which will include:

  • Talk
  • Guided meditation
  • Discussion:  Equanimity

2.30pm to 4.00pm — Gina Sharpe will lead the afternoon session which will include:

  • Talk
  • Guided meditation
  • Discussion:  Loving-kindness/friendliness

9.00am to 10.30am— Martine Batchelor will lead the morning session which will include:

  • Talk
  • Guided meditation
  • Discussion:  Joy

2.30pm to 4.00pm — Gina Sharpe will lead the afternoon session which will include:

  • Talk
  • Guided meditation
  • Discussion:  Compassion

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 at this time so we apologise if you have to wait longer than usual.


None of your registration fee 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 your teachers at the end of the event.

Click here to read more about the practice of dana.

Dana can be offered to Gina and Martine collectively by clicking here –  referencing your dana “Meeting Life – GH retreat

Dana can be offered to Gina and Martine via the Gaia House website by clicking here. Please click on Teacher and then specify that your donation is for ‘Meeting Life’ 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, retreatmanager@gaiahouse.co.uk


Registration for this retreat has now closed.