About our Family Retreats
The Gaia House Family retreat welcomes adults and children of all ages for a long weekend of Dharma teachings, meditation, discussion groups, games and sharing responsibilities. We wish to welcome a diverse group of families, and we appreciate that this is also a special opportunity for carers in single parent families to have time for Dharma practice and meditation.
In the structure of the retreat, families gather together at different intervals during the day for family-friendly Dharma-related activities/meditation, and then parents have time for further meditation whilst children go to their groups. The children’s groups are led by experienced group leaders with a connection to Gaia House, and activities might include songs, games, stories, cooking, crafts, performance and nature-based games/activities.
The retreat is always greatly over-subscribed and so families are asked to apply by a given deadline, and then places are allocated bearing in mind the sizes of rooms available, the sizes of the children’s groups, the age range within the groups, and making spaces available both for those who have been before and also for newcomers.
As childcare is not provided for children under 3, we strongly suggest (but do not require) that small children are accompanied by two adults. This enables childcare to be shared so that each adult can participate more fully in the retreat.
Although Gaia House is usually a silent retreat centre, this is a special time when silence is lifted, and the house is alive with voices, laughter, music and fun!
We reserve the Hermitage Wing for long-term solitary retreatants, and this part of the house remains in silence.
Because of what is required in setting up a family retreat, it is something that we are only able to offer periodically, but we do hope to be able to offer this special event to families in a way that is sustainable for our community in the longer term. We very much appreciate what a unique opportunity this is for families, and are committed to supporting it.
We also offer an annual Young Persons’ Retreat for young people aged between 16 and 25 years.