November Solitary Retreat 2020

This retreat opens for booking on 2nd December 2019.

Please come back then.

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 Sunday 1st or Sunday 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 outside of these dates.

Experience required:

Retreatants need to have previous experience of at least two week-long teacher-led silent meditation retreats to attend. If you have less than three weeks’ previous retreat experience, you are strongly encouraged to begin your retreat at the start of the month.

Please scroll down to see the rates for this retreat.

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.


CHRISTINA FELDMAN is a co-founder of Gaia House. She has been leading Insight Meditation retreats worldwide since 1976. She is a Guiding Teacher of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. She is the author of a number of books including Woman Awake, Way of Meditation, and co-author of Soul Food. Recent books include Silence and The Buddhist Path to Simplicity.

Listen to one of Christina Feldman's Talks given at Gaia House on 24.09.2013: Swimming Against the Tide (Duration 61:35)

 

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)

Retreat Code = 20162, 20163, 20164

E = experienced
  • Sunday 1 November – Sunday 29 November 2020 (4 weeks)
  • Sunday 1 November – Sunday 15 November 2020 (2 weeks)
  • Sunday 15 November – Sunday 29 November 2020 (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: £672 (2 weeks) or £1,232 (4 weeks) Please pay this rate if you can.
  • Supported Rate: £571 (2 weeks) or £1,047 (4 weeks) Available if the Standard Rate is too high for you.
  • Sponsor Rate: £806 (2 weeks) or 1,478 (4 weeks) Helps others to come here on the Supported Rate.
  • FAB Fund Rate: £336 (2 weeks) or £616 (4 weeks) See the Financial Assistance page for more details.
  • Young Persons’ Rate: £202 (2 weeks) or £370 (4 weeks) Limited places – see Financial Assistance for details.

Mental well-being guidelines - please click here to read before booking


Before you book, please read these guidelines about 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 (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 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 to attend an intensive silent retreat.
  • Please be prepared to offer your mental health professional's contact information to the teachers on the opening day if requested.
  • If you have any questions about this, please contact: retreatmanager@gaiahouse.co.uk


Arrival & Departure:
  • Arrive for registration between 2-5pm on the opening day.
  • Depart after 12.30pm on the final day (or 1.30pm if staying for lunch).
  • 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.