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Gaia House Online Spring Gathering

With Kirsten Kratz and friends

Thursday, 1 April – Monday, 5 April


We are excited to announce our first Gaia House Spring Gathering!

Let’s come together to celebrate sangha, the potential of the human heart and to welcome Spring.

Everyone is welcome.

Please join us for all or any part of this practice gathering over the Easter holiday long weekend. You are invited to participate as much or as little as supports you and suits your circumstances.

Please note that there will be less instruction than during a regular retreat, so some practice experience will be helpful.


Organising Teacher

Image of teacher

KIRSTEN KRATZ has practised Buddhist meditation in Asia and the West since 1993. She started teaching in 2006. One of her particular passions is exploring how wisdom teachings can foster appropriate responses to the challenges of our time; she supports those on personal retreat in Gaia House and is co-initiator of the Dharma Action Network for Climate Engagement: DANCE.



Kirsten will be joined by other Gaia House teachers, offering a rich variety of different voices.


After the first Gaia House Online Gathering over New Year was so well received, with many appreciating the increased accessibility of a more open schedule, we are delighted to offer a Spring Gathering along similar lines over the Easter weekend.

This will be another precious opportunity to practice with others, to explore, cultivate and honour what it may mean to be fully human. We are sure it will be a rich and diverse offering that hopefully supports, nourishes and inspires you. And again, we intend to make the gathering as accessible as possible.

We hope to be able to live-stream some of the sessions from the Gaia House Meditation Hall.


Once registered, you can participate as much or as little as supports you and suits your circumstances. You may give yourself fully to the programme and take this as an opportunity to be ‘on retreat’ whilst at home, or you may just participate in a couple of sessions.

Sessions will include Dharma reflections, community sittings, guided meditations, silent meditations, movement, interactive meditative inquiry/dialogue, sharing, and more.

Non-interactive sessions will be recorded so that you can listen in your own time (these are shown in bold on the schedule).

During some sessions we will join together with our much-loved Online Dharma Hall, hopefully bringing together more sangha friends to share the space.


All times shown are in British Summer Time (BST)


Timezone converter


1st April
17:00-18:00 Welcome and Orientation (Kirsten Kratz)
Celebrating Sangha:  Opening  Session, opening ritual, sharing, reflections & practice (Kirsten Kratz)
2nd April
07:00-07:45 Community Sitting
10:00-11:00 Qigong  (Brad Richecoeur)
11:30-12.30 Delight in One’s  Presence, short reflections & guided practice
15:00-15:45 Community Sitting
17:00-18:00 ‘Mudita’, reflections, guided practice, discussion (Martine Batchelor)
19:30-21.00 The Dharma of Good Friday:  Suffering, redemption and the end of suffering — dialogue and practice (Catherine McGee & Anushka Fernandopulle) This session will not be recorded
21:15-21:45 Community Sitting
3rd April
07:00-07:45 Community Sitting
10:00-11:00 Qigong (Brad Richecoeur)
Tuning the Instrument of Body, Mind, Heart,  short  reflections & guided practice (Kirsten Kratz)
15:00-15:45 Community Sitting
17:00-18:00 Guided Meditation and Sharing (Yahel Avigur)
19:30-20:30 The liberating Power of Forgiveness:  Reflections, guided practice  (Kirsten Kratz)
21:00-21:45 Community Sitting
4th April
07:00-07:45 Community Sitting

‘Online Dharma Hall’ joins the Spring Gathering (Yanai Postelnik)

Please follow the Online Dharma Hall link above to join the above session with Yanai, and use the link provided on that page to join the Online Dharma Hall.

11:30-12.30 Qigong (Brad Richecoeur)
15:00-15:45 Community Sitting
17:00-18:00 Metta towards Phenomena, reflections & guided practice (Juha Penttilä)
19:30-21:00 Embodying A Just Awakening: reflections & dialogue (Yanai Postelnik)
21:00-21:45 Community Sitting
5th April
07.00-08.00 Community Sitting
09:30-10:30 Guided Meditation (Laura Bridgman)
11:00-12:30 Celebrating Sangha: Closing Session, practice, sharing, blessings (Kirsten Kratz)


(Sessions in bold, except partipatory sections, will be recorded and made available to listen to via the Gathering noticeboard soon after)

If you wish to continue your practice on the Monday, please register for the Illuminating Community retreat starting at 4pm on 4 April with Laura Bridgman and Ajahn Amaro.


May our Practice be for the Welfare and Wellbeing of all Life.

Friends who will be joining us


Photo of TeacherYANAI POSTELNIK has practised and studied Insight Meditation and Buddhism since 1990 and has been teaching internationally for over 25 years. He is much inspired by the Thai forest tradition and the transformative power of the natural world. Yanai is a Core Faculty member of Insight Meditation Society, Massachusetts, and he lives with his wife Catherine McGee in Devon, England.


Photo of Teacher.BRAD RICHECOEUR has been practising Insight Meditation and Qigong since 1985. He is a senior student of Master Zhixing Wang, and brings a meditative inquiry into the nature of health, healing and embodied awakening. He is the co-founder of Qigong Southwest and offers retreats, workshops and classes online and in Devon.


Photo of Teacher.MARTINE 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.


Photo of Teacher.ANUSHKA FERNANDOPULLE has trained in Buddhist meditation for over 25 years, lives in San Francisco and teaches meditation around the globe. Her teaching is informed by nature, creative arts, political engagement, and modern urban life. She holds a BA from Harvard and MBA from Yale. For more info visit: Anushkaf.org


LAURA 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.


CATHERINE McGEE has been teaching Insight Meditation at Gaia House and internationally since 1997. Her teaching emphasises working with perceptions of the body on the path of awakening and in the healing of the individual and collective crises of our times. She is an advisor to One Earth Sangha . Between 2014 and 2020 Catherine collaborated with Rob Burbea in shaping and teaching a Soulmaking Dharma.


Photo of Assistant TeacherYAHEL AVIGUR has been a devoted practitioner of insight meditation since 2003, combining practices from several Buddhist traditions. Since 2013 he’s practised with the guidance of Rob Burbea, and in 2020 completed his teacher-training under his guidance. For the last four years Yahel has been teaching Dharma in Israel. He is also dedicated to educational work and social activism, and practices Hakomi, a meditative-dialogical approach to psychological healing.


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.


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 at the end of the gathering.

Dana can be offered to the teachers via the Gaia House website by clicking here. Please click on Teacher and then specify that your donation is for ‘Teachers — Spring Gathering’ 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/.  Whilst our retreat centre remains closed, this team is taking care of Gaia House on the ground, as well as offering tech support for online retreats and responding to email and telephone enquiries.

With deep appreciation for your generosity.

Click here to read more about the practice of dana.


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 has now closed for the Spring Gathering