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Awakening in the Thick of It – Online Work Retreat

With Gavin Milne

Assisted by Ramiro Ortega

Tuesday 20 – Friday 23 April

This retreat has been cancelled

Building on the theme “Awakening in the Thick of It”, this retreat aims to help you include your practice in your normal daily life, 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.

Attendance on previous days and sessions in this series is not necessary to join this retreat – it is open to all. Please join us.

All levels of experience are welcome, but some familiarity with formal sitting Insight Meditation or mindfulness practice would be beneficial.


Assisted by:

RAMIRO ORTEGA has practised Buddhist meditation since 2005. He is currently training as a Dharma teacher with Bodhi College and is being mentored by Christina Feldman and Chris Cullen. He also teaches mindfulness courses and retreats, and is training to become a philosophical counsellor.

Retreat description

This retreat is a rare opportunity to explore and develop the practice of awakening, whilst fully including responsibilities such as work and household tasks – making use of many of the supports offered by an online retreat.

In essence, the path of awakening is not governed by any particular situation or activity, but more the attitude, assumptions and orientation we bring to life in any moment. So, bringing meditation practice to the situations and circumstances that comprise our life, is an important part of a path of practice, and can open us to new possibilities. Emphasising curiosity and kindness, we will practise both together as a group in sitting meditation, and through our own personal schedules of work and tasks* at home, touching on themes such as service, continuity, intention, and opening to challenges.

*Work as practice sessions – these sessions can include your day job, tasks at home, self-guided formal practice (with the online retreat Dharma hall available for sitting meditation), walking meditation, as well as informal practice.


The daily schedule is set out to enable those working regular office hours to attend fully, including their work within the retreat form. Those with more flexibility in their daily routine, will be invited to put together their own supporting schedule of work and tasks at home. More guidance about this will be sent upon registration.


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

Tuesday 20 April – Opening day

7.00pm – 8.30pm Opening session

Daily schedule – Wednesday and Thursday

8.00am – 8.45am — Meditation and work practice instructions

9.00am -12.30pm — Work as practice

12.30pm — Lunch

1.15pm – 2.00pm — Guided meditation and walking / moving meditation instructions

2.00pm – 6.00pm — Work as practice

7.00pm – 8.15pm — Evening session – Dharma Talk, meditation

8.15pm – 8.45pm — Q and A

8.45pm — Rest or further practice.

Friday 23 April – Closing day

8.00am – 9.00am — Meditation and dana talk (all please attend)

1.00pm – 2.30pm — Closing session

We request that you attend all the led practice sessions in bold, including the opening and closing sessions. Please let us know if, due to time zone differences, this is not possible.

Work as practice sessions – these sessions can include your day job, tasks at home, self-guided formal practice (with the online retreat Dharma hall available for sitting meditation), walking meditation, as well as informal practice.

Using Zoom

This online event 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 Gavin and Ramiro via the Gaia House website by clicking here. Please click on Teacher and then specify that your donation is for ‘Work Retreat 2021’ 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.


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


This retreat has been cancelled.