Pursuing the Pleasure that will Set You Free

Residential retreat

 

Friday, 5 August – Wednesday, 10 August 2022 (5 nights)

With Laura Bridgman and Ayya Anopama, assisted by Ramiro Ortega

 

Teachers

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.

 

 

Photo of teacherAYYA ANOPAMA has practiced meditation for over two decades and spent extensive time in solitary retreat in Burma where she ordained with the Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw. After her monastic training and intensive practice with various Burmese teachers her path led her to live and share across continents where she also had the opportunity to study with Bhikkhu Analayo and Ajahn Brahm as well as Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo and Mingyur Rinpoche. Her approach to meditation focuses on wakefulness and compassion and integrates the relational practice of Insight Dialogue. She is affiliated with Tilorien Monastery in Belgium, Sarana Vihara in Spain and the Insight Dialogue Community and is a guiding teacher for Bodhicharya Caribbean.

Assisted by:

RAMIRO ORTEGA has practised Buddhist meditation since 2005 and completed his training as a Dharma teacher with Bodhi College. He also teaches mindfulness courses and retreats. Ramiro has a background in Western philosophy and is interested in exploring the parallels between Ancient Greek philosophy and the Dharma. He is also training to become a philosophical counsellor.

 

 

 

Experience required

Participants must have one week of vipassana/Insight Meditation retreat experience, which can be residential or online and can be cumulative eg three night retreat plus four night retreat.

Retreat description

We all seek pleasure. This is not just something unavoidable, but natural. As human beings, we are “designed” to look for pleasure. But is also a human experience that the pursuit of many pleasures leads us into suffering… The solution to this riddle is not to avoid pleasure, but to develop the discernment to know which pleasures are wholesome and which are not, and the capacity to disengage from the unwholesome ones. We can pursue a kind of pleasure that feels replenishing; a more fundamental happiness we can rest into.

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).

Standard Rate:£435Includes a donation to the General Fund, which will help sustain Gaia House into the future
Basic Rate:£330Covers the very basic costs of running the retreat
Supported Rate:£275A subsidised rate to support practice
Young Persons Rate:£99For more details please see the Financial Assistance page
FAB Fund Rate:£165For more details please see the Financial Assistance page
Camping£248Limited places are available, please ring to book

 

Camping

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.

Dana/generosity

None of your registration fee goes to the teacher. 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 your teacher(s), 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

 

Pursuing the Pleasure that will Set You Free


Friday 5 August – Wednesday 10 August 2022 (5 nights)

Retreat Code: 22154


Note: If you are booking for yourself and someone else you must make a separate booking for each person.

Spaces Available

Standard Rate:£435Includes a donation to the General Fund, which will help sustain Gaia House into the future
Basic Rate:£330Covers the very basic costs of running the retreat
Supported Rate:£275A subsidised rate to support practice

For a Young Persons or FAB Fund place, please see our Financial Assistance page and book your place by contacting our Admin team.

 

To register for this retreat:

  1. Please scroll down and select to pay a deposit or full payment
  2. Then select the rate that is appropriate to you.
  3. Press ‘Add to Basket’
  4. On the next screen, press ‘Proceed to checkout’
  5. Complete the checkout form and press ‘Place order’
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