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Rainbow Dharma: A retreat for the LGBTQI+ community

A Gaia House online retreat led by

Katrin Auf der Heyde, River Wolton and Bernat Font‑Clos

Thursday, 19 August – Sunday, 22 August 2021


We welcome anybody who self-identifies as lesbian, gay, bi, trans, non-binary, gender fluid, bi-gender, gender diverse, gender non-conforming, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, agender….. and more.


KATRIN AUF DER HEYDE For many years Katrin taught meditation/yoga retreats in various meditation centres in South Africa. She has participated in various Dharma programmes such as the six-month Karuna Foundation course, the CDPP and Secular Dharma Programme and in the beginning of 2020 completed a meditation teacher’s training with Martine Batchelor.



RIVER WOLTON has practised Insight Meditation since 2000, is a co-founder of Sheffield Insight Meditation, a Community Dharma Leader authorised by Gaia House Teacher Council, and a student on the Bodhi College Teacher Training Programme. A published poet, she teaches creative writing in schools and community projects, and is an activist in LGBTQI+ and refugee communities.



BERNAT FONT-CLOS Bernat Font-Clos met the dharma at a very young age and has practiced in Europe, India and Myanmar, gradually putting aside his artistic career. He is currently in teacher training with the Bodhi College and doing a PhD in Buddhist Studies. He guides a small sangha in his native Barcelona and teaches in Catalan, Spanish and English.



Retreat description

In this retreat, the first of its kind in the history of Gaia House, we hope to co-create a space of acceptance, reflection, connection and support in which to cultivate mindfulness, embodied kindness and wisdom through insight meditation. A community of shared intention and practice allows us to make greater peace with ourselves and our lives, and to grow our capacity for freedom.


The retreat will offer guided sitting and walking practices, movement, optional small groups, dharma talks, and Q&A sessions.

Covid travel restrictions mean that we cannot offer this retreat in-person, however as one of our intentions is to create community, we warmly invite you to join us – where practical – alongside partners, friends, local LGBTQI+ sangha and community. This could mean taking part together indoors if restrictions allow, or meeting up for walking meditation, quiet mealtimes and other practices.


All times shown are in British Summer Time BST (GMT+1)

Please commit to being present as much as is possible.

Thursday, 19 August

Opening Practice Session — 18.00 – 20.30

Friday and Saturday, 20-21 August

Practice Sessions:

  • 08.00 – 09.00
  • 10.30 – 12.30
  • 14.30 – 17.00
  • 19.00 – 20.30
Sunday, 22 August

Practice Sessions:

  • 08.00 – 09.00
  • 10.30 – 12.30
  • 14.30 – 17.00

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 during 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 Katrin, River and Bernat, via the Gaia House website by clicking here. Please click on Teacher and then specify that your donation is for ‘LGBTQI+ community’ in the notes section on the checkout page.

Dana can also be offered to Gaia House’s residential service team via our website here: https://gaiahouse.co.uk/support-us/.  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, retreatmanager@gaiahouse.co.uk



Registration for this retreat has now closed.