The Heart of Emptiness

Residential retreat

 

Friday, 21 October – Friday, 28 October (7 nights)

With Yanai Postelnik and Leela Sarti


Retreat fullThis retreat is full

Join the Waiting List


Please scroll down to the bottom of the page to register your interest and complete the checkout process. No payment is required for joining the list. We will then contact you if a place becomes available.

To find out more about how we operate our waiting lists please click here.

Teachers

YANAI POSTELNIK first encountered the teachings of the Buddha while travelling in Asia in 1989, and has been teaching Insight Meditation and Buddhist practice internationally for 30 years. Yanai is much inspired by the Thai forest tradition, and the transformative power of the natural world. He is a member of the Gaia House Teacher Council, and a Core Faculty member of Insight Meditation Society, Massachusetts. Since 2018 Yanai has devoted a significant amount of his time to activism and nonviolent civil disobedience, calling for an appropriate response by government, to the climate, ecological and social justice emergency of our time. Having grown up in New Zealand, with parents of European and Asian heritage, Yanai lives with his wife Catherine McGee in Devon, England.

Listen to one of Yanai Postelnik's Talks given at Gaia House on 02.09.2013: The Art of Unknowing (Duration 61:05)

 

LEELA SARTI has been a student of the Buddha's teachings and practices since she was 16 years old. She lives with her family in Sweden and in addition to teaching Insight Meditation retreats internationally works individually with students in her psychotherapy practice in Stockholm. She is a long term student of the Diamond Approach and part of a teacher training program in that tradition.

Listen to one of Leela Sarti's Talks at Gaia House. 19.10.2015: Bowing to Instinct and Embracing Desire (Duration 51:54)

 

Experience required

This retreat is suitable for experienced meditators who have previously attended at least one week-long residential meditation retreat in silence.

Retreat description

The Buddha’s teachings are essentially pointing to the emptiness at the heart of all experience. Insight meditation cultivates the pathway for this voyage of discovery. Through the simple and direct meeting of each moment with wakefulness, sensitivity and curiosity, we open ourselves to profound transformation. With courage and care we can learn to empty the heart – releasing our entanglement in the emotional dynamics of personal history, while still honouring our unique journey and individuality. Opening to the emptiness of all things facilitates the settling, the healing and the awakening of our human heart. It is the heart of emptiness that knows the interconnected nature of all, and from this depth of being we can participate in life with tenderness, engagement and care.

Rates

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).

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Standard Rate:£609Includes a donation to the General Fund, which will help sustain Gaia House into the future
Basic Rate:£462Covers the very basic costs of running the retreat
Supported Rate:£385A subsidised rate to support practice
Young Persons Rate:£139For more details please see the Financial Assistance page
FAB Fund Rate:£231For more details please see the Financial Assistance page

 

Dana/generosity

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 Yanai and Leela, 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, retreatmanager@gaiahouse.co.uk

 

The Heart of Emptiness – (Waiting List)

£0.00


Friday 21 October – Friday 28 October 2022 (7 nights)

Retreat Code: 22163

This retreat is now full.

Ninja Column 1Ninja Column 2Ninja Column 3
Standard Rate:£609Includes a donation to the General Fund, which will help sustain Gaia House into the future
Basic Rate:£462Covers the very basic costs of running the retreat
Supported Rate:£385A subsidised rate to support practice

 

To register for the waiting list:

  1. Press ‘Add to Basket’
  2. On the next screen, press ‘Proceed to checkout’
  3. Complete the checkout form and press ‘Place order’
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