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Young Person’s Retreat: Loving Awareness

Online retreat with Gavin Milne, assisted by Gail Aylward

Friday – Monday, 12-15 February 2021


This retreat is for 18-25-year-olds of any background and practice experience and who wish to explore or have a connection to Gaia House and/or the Insight Meditation tradition.  It will be supported by meditation guidance, Dharma teachings, and small group meetings

The teacher:

Assisted by:

Photo of Teacher.GAIL AYLWARD. Gail began her Insight Meditation practice in1994 in Bodhgaya, India. She has attended many silent Insight Meditation retreats since, in India and Europe, integrating her practice with parenting and family life. In 2005 she co-founded Moulin de Chaves meditation centre in SW France. Gail has recently been invited to train as a teacher in the Buddhist Insight Tradition. She also teaches yoga and is a long term student and teacher in training of the Diamond approach, founded by AH Almaas.

Retreat description

At the heart of the Buddha’s path of liberation, is the simple but extraordinary practice of ‘awareness’, or what is sometimes called ‘loving awareness’. As a quality of both heart and mind, this kind and accepting presence is ceaselessly new and beyond all words, able to meet our life just as it is, as the foundation for insight and transformation. And in allowing reactive patterns such as anxiety and craving to soften and unwind, it naturally brings us into a more intimate and relaxed relationship with all experience as it unfolds.


During this retreat, through alternating periods of sitting and walking meditation, we will practice bringing this ‘loving awareness’ to ourselves in the moment, whilst allowing the Buddha’s teachings to gently guide us. It is in this relationship, amidst all the challenges and uncertainties of our outer circumstances, that a reliable path of peace and wellbeing can open to us. Enabling us to navigate life with greater wisdom and compassion – the essence of the Buddha’s teaching.


We request attendance at all the teaching sessions in bold. Please let us know if for any reason this is not possible.

All times shown are in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)

Friday, 12 February

18:30-20:30                Opening session with a break

Saturday and Sunday, 13-14 February

08:00                            Sitting meditation
08:30                            Breakfast
09:45                            Meditation with instructions
10:30                            Walking meditation
11:15                            Sitting meditation
11:45                            Walking meditation / small group interviews
12:30                            Sitting
13:00                            Lunch
15:30                            Guided meditation
16:00                            Walking meditation / small group interviews
16:45                            Sitting meditation
17:15                            Walking
17:45                            Supper
19:30                            Dharma talk and meditation
20:30                            Walking meditation
21:00                            Sitting/lying meditation
21:30                            Rest or further practice

Monday, 15 February

08:00                            Sitting meditation
08:30                            Breakfast
9:45                              Meditation with instructions
11:00                            Closing session
13:00                            Retreat ends

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 Gavin and Gail via the Gaia House website by clicking here. Please click on Teacher and then specify that your donation is for ‘YP retreat‘ 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 for this retreat is now closed.