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November Solitary Retreat 2018

Thursday 1st November 2018 – Thursday 29th November 2018

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.

It is possible to stay for either two weeks or four weeks only. Start dates for two-week stays are either Thursday 1st or Thursday 15th. 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 on other dates during this retreat.

Previous experience of at least two week-long teacher-led silent meditation retreats and a Personal Retreat Application Form is required in order to be able to attend this retreat. If you have less than three weeks’ previous retreat experience, you are strongly encouraged to begin your retreat at the start of the month.
Yanai Postelnik, Kirsten Kratz, Suvaco and Jenny Wilks, are confirmed teachers for this retreat. Rob Burbea will join the teaching team if he is able to, depending on his health and circumstances.

YANAI POSTELNIK has practised and studied Insight Meditation and Buddhism since 1990 and has been teaching internationally for over 20 years. He is much inspired by the Thai forest tradition and the transformative power of the natural world. Yanai is a Core Faculty member of Insight Meditation Society, Massachusetts, and he 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. One of her particular passions is exploring how wisdom teachings can foster appropriate responses to the challenges of our time; she supports those on personal retreat in Gaia House and is co-initiator of the Dharma Action Network for Climate Engagement: DANCE.

Listen to one of Kirsten Kratz's Talks given at Gaia House on 23.03.2013: Calm and Kindness (Duration 38:57)

SUVACO is a former Buddhist monk and a passionate advocate for embodying life in all of its forms. He lives in the South West UK where he works as a psychotherapist and Tai Qi teacher.

Listen to one of Suvaco's Talks at Gaia House on 15.06.2015: Evening Talk from Touching the Earth Retreat (Duration 47:09)


ROB BURBEA has been practising and studying the Dharma since 1985. He has been teaching since 2004 and is a Guiding Teacher of Freely Given Retreats. He is a co-founder of SanghaSeva, an organisation dedicated to exploring the Dharma through service work internationally, and also a co-initiator of DANCE (Dharma Action Network for Climate Engagement). He is the author of Seeing that Frees: Meditations on Emptiness and Dependent Arising.

Listen to one of Rob Burbea's Talks at Gaia House on 31.12.2011: This Matter of Emptiness (Duration 50:33)

JENNY WILKS has practised in various Buddhist traditions since the late 1980s, and has an MA in Indian Religions. She has taught for several years at Gaia House, the Barn Retreat near Totnes in Devon UK, and local meditation classes. She trained in clinical psychology and works as an MBCT (Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy) therapist and trainer at Exeter University.

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

Retreat Codes = 18165 (full month) / 18166 (first half only) / 18167 (second half only)

C = special criteria, please read the retreat description carefully
E = experienced


It is possible to stay for either 2 weeks or 4 weeks only, as follows:

  • Thursday 1 November – Thursday 29 November 2018 (4 weeks)
  • Thursday 1 November – Thursday 15 November 2018 (2 weeks)
  • Thursday 15 November – Thursday 29 November 2018 (2 weeks)

To preserve the silence and stillness of the retreat house and support the deepening of practice, there will be no arrivals or departures on other dates.

  • Standard Rate: £658 (2 weeks) or £1,232 (4 weeks) Please pay this rate if you can.
  • Supported Rate: £559 (2 weeks) or £1,047 (4 weeks) Available if the Standard Rate is too high for you.
  • Sponsor Rate: £790 (2 weeks) or 1,478 (4 weeks) Helps others to come here on the Supported Rate.
  • FAB Fund Rate: £329 (2 weeks) or £616 (4 weeks) See the Financial Assistance page for more details.
  • Young Persons’ Rate: £197 (2 weeks) or £370 (4 weeks) Limited places – see Financial Assistance for details.

Extending Your Retreat = £44 per night – Conditions apply – please see box.
Extra nights available before Nov. 1st and from Nov. 29th only.

Before you book, please read these guidelines regarding mental well-being and silent retreats

Intensive silent 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 (i.e. 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 attend an intensive retreat in silence. The teachers might not be able to give you the kind of individual or psychological care you might need at this time. It could possibly be more appropriate to practise in or seek out a setting where there are more opportunities for interpersonal engagement.

  • 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 to attend an intensive silent retreat.
  • Please be prepared to offer your mental health professional’s contact information to the teachers on opening day if requested.
  • If you have any questions about the above please contact:

Retreat is Expired This is an old retreat and no longer available for booking.

Please click here to see our current retreat programme.