The Family Retreat 2020

This is retreat is now closed for applications.  If you submitted an application before the deadline of 21 February you will hear by 20 March whether or not we can offer you a place. Thank you.

This retreat welcomes adults and children of all ages for a long weekend of Dharma teachings, meditation, discussion groups, games and sharing responsibilities. Please note that only the Hermitage Wing remains silent during this retreat.

As childcare is not provided for children under 3 years, we strongly suggest (but do not require) that such children are accompanied by two adults. This will enable childcare to be shared so that each adult can participate more fully in the retreat.

We would love to be able to offer a place to everybody, but most years this retreat is heavily over-subscribed. When we allocate spaces to people, we do so by taking into account all sorts of things like the size of the children’s groups and the age range within them, the size of the rooms we have available for families to stay in, making sure there are spaces for single parent families as well as other types of family group, and keeping spaces available for those who haven’t been to Gaia House before as well as those who have. It’s complicated to fit everything together, so we very much appreciate your understanding, as well as your commitment to attending the retreat, should you be offered a place.

Please scroll down to see the rates for this retreat.

Special criteria:
This is a non-silent retreat for families.

Building work at Gaia House during 2020

We are excited to be getting started on our new Dartmoor Wing, thanks to the open-hearted and generous support of our sangha. The new two-storey building at the back of the Hermitage Wing on the site of the crumbling garages will enable us to double the number of single rooms we can offer to group retreatants, as well as provide badly-needed extra bathrooms.

We will take all possible care to minimise noise and schedule works to take place between group retreats, when our personal and work retreatants will have use of the main meditation hall, farthest from the building work. However, there may occasionally be some disruption at Gaia House in 2020 and we intend and hope that this does not cause disturbance during your retreat.

ZOHAR LAVIE has been practising meditation in different traditions since 1995. This journey has taken her from the meditation cushion into exploring further ways of expressing truth and love and in 2004 she co-founded SanghaSeva. She now spends most of her time facilitating retreats that offer service as a spiritual path around the world. Since 2006 she has been teaching on silent retreats and Dharma gatherings in India, Europe and Israel.

Listen to one of Zohar Lavie's Talks from the Dharmalaya Silent retreat on 29.03.2017-: Emptiness, Self and Dependent Arising (Duration 50:33)


GAVIN MILNE has been practising Insight Meditation since 2004, and was invited to teach in 2015, training under the guidance of Yanai Postelnik. Inspired and influenced by other paths, he is particularly interested in exploring practice wherever we find ourselves – everything from family life to responding to the wider issues of our era.


Retreat Code = 20153

C = special criteria, please read the retreat description carefully

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,

Tuesday 18 August – Friday 21 August 2020 (3 nights)

Standard rate Supported rate Sponsor rate
Adult £198 £168 £238
Child (age 3-16 years) £99 £84 £119
Child (age under 3 years) £30 £26 £36


Arrival & Departure:

  • Arrive for registration between 2-5pm on the opening day.
  • Depart after 4pm on the final day of the retreat.
  • Please only make travel bookings to fit with these times.
  • These conditions apply even if you've been to Gaia House before.

Please only book if you are able to commit to the entire retreat:

  • The teachers and staff at Gaia House require this commitment in order to respect the retreat environment and minimise disruption to others.
  • We are not able to accept bookings from people who want to arrive and/or depart outside of these times.