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Meditation Day: Awakening in the Thick of It

Online retreat with Gavin Milne

Friday, 29 January 2021

This is part of a series of events around the theme “Awakening in the Thick of it”. Events can be attended individually, or as a whole series.


This retreat is open to all, including beginners and those with experience. Please join us, whatever being ‘in the thick of it’ means to you. Perhaps you are a parent, or a student; perhaps you are a juggler of household duties, or have a busy working life; perhaps you are dealing with the consequences of the pandemic we are in. All are welcome to practice in the thick of it.


Retreat description

Most of us lead active and engaged lives, and whilst aspiring for calm, balanced and relaxed hearts and minds, the reality can prove quite different. Especially during turbulent times such as these. Many of the situations and circumstances we find ourselves in, can easily become inconveniences to deeper aspirations for freedom and purpose – further disconnecting us from life unfolding in the now, precisely where such things are to be discovered. So what if they needn’t be inconveniences? What if they provide the ‘rub’ towards an integrated and embodied awakening for our times? These are questions worth exploring.

During this day of exploration, held on a Friday within school hours with a closing meeting at 8pm, we will ground ourselves in the Buddha’s teachings, as the foundation for opening to the fullness of our lives. We will explore an approach to practice where there is no wrong experience to be having, and always something to recognise that can galvanise the path – only to be discovered right here in the moment.


This series comprises this online day of practice in January, as well as online evening practice sessions in February and March 2021 and a work retreat which can be attended online or residential at Gaia House in April.  Each can be attended individually or as a whole series.


All times shown are in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)

9.45 am       Opening talk
10.20 am     Sitting and instructions
11.00 am     Walking meditation
11.30 am     Sitting
12.00 pm     Dharma talk
12.30 pm     Lunch and chores (optional talking)
1.45 pm      Standing
2.00 pm      Sitting
2.40 pm      Open form practice — attending to the responsibilities/circumstances of our lives*
8.00 pm      Q&A/Further dharma reflections
8.45 pm      Closing (silence ends)
9.00 pm      Retreat ends

*We are invited to re-engage with our daily routine, with the intention to explore practicing in these different situations – whether it be collecting our children, doing some study, or making dinner. If you have more space in your day, then you are welcome to continue self-guided sitting and walking practice, and / or include some simple tasks at home.

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 teacher. Gaia House teachers rely on the generosity of students for their livelihood. There will be an opportunity to make a dana offering to your teacher at the end of the event.

Click here to read more about the practice of dana.

Dana can be offered to Gavin via the Gaia House website by clicking here. Please click on Teacher and then specify that your donation is for ‘Gavin – Awakening’ 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 is now closed.