Online: Foundations of Dharma practice: what the Buddha taught

A Gaia House online course with Jenny Wilks and Laura Bridgman

Monday evenings, 7, 14, 21 March, 4, 11, 18 April 2022

7.00 pm – 8.30 pm (UK time)


The course is suitable for people who are relatively new to Buddhist practice as well as people who are experienced in meditation but feel they would benefit from a refresher of the fundamental ideas of Buddhist philosophy and psychology.


JENNY WILKS has practised in various Buddhist traditions since the late 1980s and has an MA in Indian religions. She has taught at Gaia House since 2008, as well as at the Barn Retreat in Devon, and for the Mindfulness Network. She trained in clinical psychology and has taught mindfulness-based approaches in healthcare settings. In recent years her practice has included exploration of deep ecology and nature-based approaches to psychosocial and spiritual well-being.

Listen to one of Jenny Wilks' Talks at Gaia House on 31.12.2016: The Five Recollections (Duration 52:50)



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.



Retreat description

This six-session evening course will offer an overview of some teachings from the early Buddhist tradition, emphasising their practical relevance for both meditation and daily life practice. We will explore ways to understand and approach some key teachings, within the broad framework of the four ‘noble truths’ and eightfold path, and how these underpin a transformative practice.

Format and schedule

Each evening will include some guided meditation and reflection practice as well as talks and discussion, and there will be suggestions for contemplation and practice in between sessions.

Each week builds on previous ones so we would encourage you to attend every session, preferably in person, but if you are unable to attend a session a recording will be available the following day.

Monday evenings, 7.00 pm – 8.30 pm (UK time), please note there is no session on 28 March.  The times in March will be held in GMT, the times in April will be in BST (British Summer Time)

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 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 Jenny and Laura during and at the end of the course.

Click here to read more about the practice of dana.

Dana can be offered to Jenny and Laura via the Gaia House website by clicking here. Please click on Teacher and then specify that your donation is for ‘Jenny and Laura’ in the notes section on the checkout page.

Dana can also be offered to Gaia House’s residential service team via our website here:  This team is responding to email and telephone enquiries for both our online and residential retreats, alongside supporting our retreatants during their stay at Gaia House.


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,

Online: Foundations of Dharma practice: what the Buddha taught

To register for this course:
  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 starting at £0. 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 suggested registration band is too high for you, you can enter the amount you are able to pay.

Registration:         £30 — £90 (if this amount is too high, please feel welcome to pay what is appropriate for your current circumstances)

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.

SKU: 22204 Category: