Gaia House residential retreat
Friday 16 July – Sunday 18 July 2021 (2 nights)
With Laura Bridgman and Gavin Milne
This retreat is full with a long waiting list. We are not currently taking bookings for this retreat.
TeachersLAURA BRIDGMAN began her Dhamma practice in her early teens, and eventually ordained as a nun with Ajahn Sumedho in 1995. She was resident at Amaravati and Chithurst monasteries for eighteen years until moving out to live as a solitary nun in 2010. She has spent extended periods of time with the Burmese teacher Sayadaw U Tejaniya. In 2015 Laura left the monastic tradition to pursue the Diamond Heart (Ridhwan) spiritual path alongside her Vipassana practice. There is much over-lap as it incorporates Buddhist principles and practices.
GAVIN MILNE has been practicing the Dharma since 2004 and teaching since 2015. He is especially interested in the role and relevance of these teachings towards the individual, relational and societal transformations being called for in this era. And as such embracing and exploring practice in all areas of our life.
This retreat is open to all, including beginners and those with experience. Please join us.
This retreat will explore the feeling tone of Dukkha (suffering) which brings with it the idea: ‘I am not okay,’ and this causes us to react in all sorts of ways. Yet it is only a partial perspective we take to be valid. In the immediacy of awareness a more spacious view is available; one that can bring compassion for the suffering of this very perspective, rather than perpetuation of it. Awareness is intimate but not personal, seeing the struggling derived from identifying, judging and reacting, yet not flowing down those familiar grooves. In any moment we are aware, we weaken rather than strengthen such habit patterns. When suffering is not ‘who I am’ or wrong, we no longer need to be the one to fix it or reject it. Then a closer receptivity towards this feeling tone of suffering is possible, inviting us to discover the transformative power of awareness itself, and take refuge in it.
RatesPlease consider paying at the highest rate that you are able to. Your generosity is vital in supporting Gaia House to sustain its Dharma offerings for the benefit of all.
We are committed to ensuring that our programme is available to everyone who wishes to participate. If our rates are too high for you, we invite you to apply for support from our Financial Assistance and Bursaries Fund (FAB Fund).
|Standard Rate:||£180||Includes a donation to the General Fund, which will help sustain Gaia House into the future|
|Basic Rate:||£138||Covers the very basic costs of running the retreat|
|Supported Rate:||£114||A subsidised rate to support practice|
|Young Persons Rate:||£41||For more details please see the Financial Assistance page|
|FAB Fund Rate:||£69||For more details please see the Financial Assistance page|
Dana/generosityNone of your registration fee goes to the teacher. Gaia House teachers rely on the generosity of students for their livelihood. At the end of the retreat, there is an opportunity to make a dana offering to your teacher(s), the residential service team and Gaia House’s General and FAB Funds. We are deeply grateful for your generosity.
Click here to read more about the practice of dana.
Gaia House and covid-19We hope to make everyone's retreat at Gaia House as supportive as possible.
Many aspects of the retreat set-up and retreat environment will be familiar and well-known, and others may be new. As the conditions and guidelines are constantly changing, we are remaining flexible and will be reviewing what is needed at the time of each retreat. Prior to your retreat, we will send some more information about what to expect whilst at Gaia House.
From 22nd April 2022 onwards we plan to offer shared rooms again, the exact configuration of rooms will depend on the covid situation and the government guidelines at the time.
A limited number of single rooms will be available. Requests for single rooms must be made at the time of booking and cannot be guaranteed. Priority is given to those with specific medical needs and age considerations.
Please click here for more detailed information on how we are creating as supportive and safe a retreat environment as possible under the covid regulations that may still be in place.
- If you have covid-19 symptoms during your retreat you will be able to stay in isolation for a limited period. However, we need you to have a plan in place to enable you to continue your isolation away from Gaia House, if you have travelled by public transport you will need a friend or family member to collect you.
Arrival and departure times
- Arrive for registration between 2.00pm-4.45pm on the opening day.
- Depart after 4.00pm on the final day of the retreat.
Please only book if you are able to commit to the entire retreat:
- We will need everyone to commit to the full duration of their retreat; early or late arrivals will not be possible at this time. Extra nights will also not be possible.
Building work during 2022To support more socially-distanced retreats in the short term and our development into the future, we are excited to have completed our new shower block, while work on our new Dartmoor Wing is progressing well. These two new buildings will double the number of single rooms and shower/toilet spaces we can offer to group retreatants, enabling our site to catch up with the vast numbers of people now visiting Gaia House each year, and help us increase accessibility. We will take all possible care to minimise disruption by scheduling noisier work to take place between retreats. However, there may be some noise at Gaia House during this time.
Cancellation terms & conditionsIf you find it necessary to cancel your booking because of a positive covid-19 test, a full refund will be available. Please note this does not include any travel costs you may have incurred. In all other circumstances, our standard cancellation terms and conditions apply. If there is an outbreak of covid within the residential staff community, the retreat may be closed early, however, a refund will be offered for the remaining days of the retreat if this occurs.
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.
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.