Loving Awareness – Young Person’s retreat

Online retreat with Gavin Milne

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:

GAVIN MILNE has been practising Insight Meditation since 2004, and was invited to teach in 2015, training under the guidance of Yanai Postelnik. Inspired and influenced by other paths, he is particularly interested in exploring practice wherever we find ourselves – everything from family life to responding to the wider issues of our era.<br></br>

Assisted by:

RIVER WOLTON has practised Insight Meditation since 2000, is a co-founder of Sheffield Insight Meditation, a Community Dharma Leader authorised by Gaia House Teacher Council, and a student on the Bodhi College Teacher Training Programme. A published poet, she teaches creative writing in schools and community projects, and is an activist in LGBTQI+ and refugee communities.<br></br>

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.


All times shown are in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)

Friday, 12 February

6.30pm- 8.30pm           Opening session

Saturday and Sunday, 13-14 February

6:45                              Wake-up / personal mindful movement or exercise
7:15                              Sitting meditation
7:45                              Breakfast
9:45                              Meditation with instructions
10:30                            Walking meditation / optional time for questions
11:15                            Sitting meditation
11:45                            Walking meditation / small group interviews
12:30                            Sitting
1:00                              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 practice
21:00                            Sitting meditation
21:30                            Rest or further practice

Monday, 15 February

Meditation, instructions and closing session, Finish at 1pm

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 teacher(s). 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(s) at the end of the event.

Click here to read more about the practice of dana.

Dana can be offered to Gavin, River 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


Young Person’s Online Retreat

To register for this retreat:
  1. Please look at the rates listed below and enter the amount appropriate to you in the amount box.
  2. Then complete the registration form.
  3. Please read our Booking & cancellation conditions before completing your booking.

Registration is on a sliding-scale. Please 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 registration band is too high for you, you can enter the amount you are able to pay.

Registration:         £0 — £30

Dānanandi Sangha:       £0     As a regular donor to Gaia House you are contributing already. Thank you.

A note on dana/generosity
None of your registration fee goes to the teacher(s). 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(s) at the end of the event.

  • Please complete the form below to register for the retreat.

    To thank and honour those who choose to make regular contributions to our beloved Dharma centre, we have created the Dānanandi Sangha ‘the community that delights in giving’. Click here to find out more and sign up.

  • We never share your details and you can opt out at any time. For full details on the use of your information please view our Privacy Statement.

  • Now click Add to Basket.

    Then Proceed to Checkout and fill in the checkout form.

    Click on Place order to confirm your registration.
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