Allies for Liberation: the Five Indriya

Residential retreat


Friday, 20 May – Monday, 30 May 2022 (10 nights)

With Ajahn Sucitto and Laura Bridgman



AJAHN SUCITTO was born in London, England in 1949 and became a bhikkhu in Thailand in 1976. He returned to Britain in 1978 and trained under Ajahn Sumedho at Cittaviveka and Amaravati Monasteries. He was abbot of Cittaviveka 1992-2014, and he still resides there. His website has links to his free-distribution books, articles and talks as well as news of upcoming teaching engagements.

Listen to one of Ajahn Sucitto's Talks given at Gaia House on 07.06.2012: Respecting Space (Duration 59:05)


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.


Experience required

All participants to have done at least two residential week long silent Vipassana/Insight Meditation retreats and also 5 years of regular practice.

Retreat description

The five indriya – trust/faith, energy, mindfulness, collectedness and discernment – are considered to be faculties that lead the mind into awakening. They are said to ‘merge in the Deathless.’ In this retreat we will use practices of stabilising and nourishing the heart to support inquiry into the arousing and interplay of these faculties. There will be opportunities to meet with both teachers in small groups, and also engage with movement exercises to support deeper embodiment.

The following will be included:
– chanting, covid safety permitting
– each teacher to meet everyone in small group interviews of three people.
– simple bodywork
– the Eight Precepts.

The Eight Precepts are a practice of harmlessness, mindfulness and renunciation that you are asked to undertake for the duration of this retreat. If you have a health issue regarding not eating supper, please let us know.

The Precepts are:
1. Harmlessness: not intentionally taking the life of any living creature.
2. Trustworthiness: not taking anything that is not given.
3. Chastity: refraining from any sexual activity.
4. Right Speech: Noble Silence during this retreat
5. Sobriety: not taking any intoxicating drinks or drugs.
6. Renunciation: not eating any food after 1.00pm.
7. Abstaining: from dancing, singing, and music. Also, refraining from using mobile phones or the Internet unless in an emergency.
8. Alertness: to refrain from overindulgence in sleep.

Please note that numbers are restricted. People on personal retreat at Gaia House over this period may not be able to join this retreat. To be guaranteed a place, please book on as a group retreatant.

Part of this retreat is being livestreamed.

What can I expect on a residential retreat that is partly livestreamed?

Much care is taken to ensure that a livestreamed residential retreat remains a simplified, calm and well-held retreat space, like any other residential retreat.

Here is some practical information about how it works:


  • You will be sharing part of the retreat (two Dharma talks and instructions) with people who are remotely attending the retreat online. You will not see or hear those online and they will not be able to see or hear you.
  • There is very little equipment in the hall, so that the aesthetic remains simple and calm. At the front of the hall, there will be a small camera on a tripod facing the teachers (approximately 1 foot high) and also a small microphone.
  • There will also be a small laptop out of view. Usually one volunteer or member of staff will offer minimal tech support in the hall, and will do this job discretely and mindfully, upholding the silent atmosphere of the hall. This might involve turning the laptop on, and starting the livestream, for example.
  • All other tech support for the online retreatants is conducted away from the meditation hall.


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 rates are too high for you, we invite you to apply for support from our Financial Assistance and Bursaries Fund (FAB Fund).

Ninja Column 1Ninja Column 2Ninja Column 3
Standard Rate:£790Includes a donation to the General Fund, which will help sustain Gaia House into the future
Basic Rate:£600Covers the very basic costs of running the retreat
Supported Rate:£500A subsidised rate to support practice
Young Persons Rate:£180For more details please see the Financial Assistance page
FAB Fund Rate:£300For more details please see the Financial Assistance page
Camping£450Limited places are available, please ring to book



In addition to our in-house accommodation, we can offer a few camping places during the warmer months.

  • Limited number of camping places available, please call to check availability and to book (booking is not possible online).
  • Each retreatant needs to bring their own tent (small one/two person tents only).
  • Toilet and bathroom facilities are shared with the in-house occupants.
  • Please note: In poor weather we cannot accommodate campers in the house.


None of your registration fee goes to the teachers. Gaia House teachers rely on the generosity of students for their livelihood.

At the end of the retreat, there is an opportunity to make a dana offering to Ajahn Sucitto and Laura, the residential service team and Gaia House’s General and FAB Funds.

We are deeply grateful for your generosity.

Click here to read more about the practice of dana.

Gaia House and covid-19

We hope to make everyone's retreat at Gaia House as supportive as possible.

Many aspects of the retreat set-up and retreat environment will be familiar and well-known, and others may be new. As the conditions and guidelines are constantly changing, we are remaining flexible and will be reviewing what is needed at the time of each retreat. Prior to your retreat, we will send some more information about what to expect whilst at Gaia House.

From 22nd April 2022 onwards we plan to offer shared rooms again, the exact configuration of rooms will depend on the covid situation and the government guidelines at the time.

A limited number of single rooms will be available. Requests for single rooms must be made at the time of booking and cannot be guaranteed. Priority is given to those with specific medical needs and age considerations.

Please click here for more detailed information on how we are creating as supportive and safe a retreat environment as possible under the covid regulations that may still be in place.

Please note:
  • If you have covid-19 symptoms during your retreat you will be able to stay in isolation for a limited period. However, we need you to have a plan in place to enable you to continue your isolation away from Gaia House, if you have travelled by public transport you will need a friend or family member to collect you.

Arrival and departure times

  • Arrive for registration between 2.00pm-4.45pm on the opening day.
  • Depart after 12.30pm on the final day (or 1.30pm if staying for lunch).
Please note:
  • We will need everyone to commit to the full duration of their retreat; early or late arrivals won’t be possible at this time. Extra nights will also not be possible.

Building work during 2022

To support more socially-distanced retreats in the short term and our development into the future, we are excited to have completed our new shower block, while work on our new Dartmoor Wing is progressing well. These two new buildings will double the number of single rooms and shower/toilet spaces we can offer to group retreatants, enabling our site to catch up with the vast numbers of people now visiting Gaia House each year, and help us increase accessibility. We will take all possible care to minimise disruption by scheduling noisier work to take place between retreats. However, there may be some noise at Gaia House during this time.

Cancellation terms & conditions

If you find it necessary to cancel your booking because of a positive covid-19 test, a full refund will be available. Please note this does not include any travel costs you may have incurred. In all other circumstances, our standard cancellation terms and conditions apply. If there is an outbreak of covid within the residential staff community, the retreat may be closed early, however, a refund will be offered for the remaining days of the retreat if this occurs.


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,