Gaia House residential retreat
With Yanai Postelnik, Kirsten Kratz and Laura Bridgman
Full-month (28 nights)
Tuesday 1 November – Tuesday 29 November
Two-week duration (14 nights)
1 – 15 November ♦ 15 – 29 November
These retreats are full and we are operating a waiting list.
If you wish to join the waiting list, please scroll down and complete the application form at the bottom of the page.
TeachersYANAI 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)
KIRSTEN KRATZ has practised Buddhist meditation in Asia and the West since 1993. She started teaching in 2006 and since 2015 she has been ‘teacher in residence’ supporting those on personal retreat at Gaia House. Her love and understanding of Dharma has been strongly influenced by, among others, the teachings of her friend and teacher colleague, Rob Burbea. One of her particular passions is exploring how wisdom teachings can foster appropriate responses to the challenges of our time, and Kirsten sees her involvement in activism as an important expression of her practice. Kirsten is co-initiator of the “Dharma Action Network for Climate Engagement” (DANCE) and supporting teacher of Freely Given Retreats.
Listen to one of Kirsten Kratz's Talks given at Gaia House on 23.03.2013: Calm and Kindness (Duration 38:57)
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.
- For the full month retreat we request that you have attended at least three week-long residential teacher-led silent meditation retreats, not necessarily at Gaia House.
- For the two-week retreats we request that you have attended at least two week-long residential teacher-led silent meditation retreats, also not necessarily at Gaia House. If you would like to apply for a two-week retreat but have less than three weeks’ previous retreat experience, you are strongly encouraged to start your two-week retreat on 1 November.
To preserve the silence and stillness of the retreat house at this time and to support the deepening of practice, we do not permit arrivals or departures outside of these dates.
This retreat is a rare and precious opportunity to engage in an extended period of individual meditation without interruption. Regular teacher interviews and Dharma talks are offered, and guidance is available in Insight Meditation (Vipassana), tranquillity (Samatha) meditation, Loving-kindness (Metta) and the other Brahma Viharas. Each participant has a single room, and is offered the possibility to be in solitude or to sit with a small community retreating at Gaia House during this time.
To apply for these retreats we ask that you complete a Personal Retreat Application Form (please see link at the bottom of the page). We will contact you within the two-three weeks to confirm whether you have been offered a place. Places will be allocated in order of receipt of the applications.
RatesPlease 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).
Rates for the month duration (28 nights)
|Ninja Column 1||Ninja Column 2||Ninja Column 3|
|Standard Rate:||£1,736||Includes a donation to the General Fund, which will help sustain Gaia House into the future|
|Basic Rate:||£1,344||Covers the very basic costs of running the retreat|
|Supported Rate:||£1,092||A subsidised rate to support practice|
|Young Persons Rate:||£403||For more details please see the Financial Assistance page|
|FAB Fund Rate:||£672||For more details please see the Financial Assistance page|
Rates for the two-week duration (14 nights)
|Ninja Column 1||Ninja Column 2||Ninja Column 3|
|Standard Rate:||£952||Includes a donation to the General Fund, which will help sustain Gaia House into the future|
|Basic Rate:||£728||Covers the very basic costs of running the retreat|
|Supported Rate:||£602||A subsidised rate to support practice|
|Young Persons Rate:||£218||For more details please see the Financial Assistance page|
|FAB Fund Rate:||£364||For more details please see the Financial Assistance page|
Dana/generosityNone 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-19We 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.
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.
- Due to current regulations around the pandemic, there is a requirement that you will need to have been based in the UK for 14 days prior to 2 November. The government regulations are under regular review and should this change we will update our requirements accordingly.
- If you have covid-19 symptoms during your retreat you will be able to stay in isolation in your allocated room 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, i.e. 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 9.30am on the final day. You are welcome to stay for lunch.
- 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 2022To 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 & conditionsIf 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.
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.
To join the waiting list for either of the two-week duration retreats or the full month, please click on the link below: