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Personal Retreats – May/June 2021

We are delighted to be able to re-open the house for personal retreats from May 2021.

It has been such a long time since we were able to welcome retreatants at Gaia House and after more than a year without any ‘in-person’ retreats, we can’t wait to have you back here again.

Many aspects of the retreat set-up and retreat environment will be familiar and well-known, and others will be new. Offering a (personal) retreat under the current circumstances is unknown territory for us all, and we hope to make your retreat at Gaia House as supportive as possible.

Below you will find some more detailed information on how we hope to co-create as supportive and safe a retreat environment as possible, under the covid regulations that will still be in place.

There are three retreats available to book at present:

18-28 May – Supported by Kirsten Kratz

7-14 June – Supported by Laura Bridgman

21-28 June – Supported by Kirsten Kratz

Please note:

  • To ease the opening process, the first two retreats are for people who have already participated in a Gaia House retreat and have some familiarity with the house. The third retreat from 21-28 June is also open to those of you who are new Gaia House – we very much look forward to welcoming you.
  • 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.
  • Places will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Because of the regulations around the pandemic, there is a requirement that you will need to have been based in the UK for 14 days prior to the retreat start date.

Experience required:

As with all our personal retreats, you need to have participated in at least two weeks’ teacher-led, Insight (Vipassana) or Zen meditation retreat in silence (either as two separate weeks or one continuous retreat of 14 days), not necessarily at Gaia House.

Rates:

For 18-28 May

  • Standard Rate: £760 Includes a donation to the General Fund, which will help sustain Gaia House into the future
  • Basic Rate: £580 Covers the very basic costs of running the retreat
  • Supported Rate: £480 A subsidised rate to support practice

For 7-14 June and 21-28 June

  • Standard Rate: £581 Includes a donation to the General Fund, which will help sustain Gaia House into the future
  • Basic Rate: £448 Covers the very basic costs of running the retreat
  • Supported Rate: £371 A subsidised rate to support practice

Payment:

Full payment will be required on confirmation of a place. If a more flexible way of paying would support your personal circumstances, please contact us to discuss this: info@gaiahouse.co.uk

Financial Assistance and Bursaries Fund (FAB Fund)

We are offering one FAB-funded place per retreat. If you require financial assistance, please tick the Financial Assistance box on the application form and a member of our team will contact you. The FAB places will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

What to expect during the retreat:

  • You will be allocated a single room and there will be six people staying in each wing of the house. Your room will be pre-allocated and we can only accommodate requests in relation to a medical need or health conditions. To help us organise the room allocation as smoothly and satisfactorily as possible, please submit any request prior to your arrival via the application form or via info@gaiahouse.co.uk.
  • We will need to follow the government guidelines which means there could be a limit to how many people can share a meditation space. We hope that everybody can have access to the main meditation hall, but there may need to be a limit on the number of people in the hall at any one time.
  • When you arrive we will explain more about the guidelines put in place for safe access of shared spaces, including the meditation hall.
  • Unfortunately, it is not possible for Gaia House to provide a laundry service at this stage of the opening process. A facility for hand-washing clothes will be available, but we respectfully ask that this is kept to a minimum so please pack accordingly.
  • As always, you are asked to have at least one weekly meeting with a teacher during your retreat. Please sign up for two meetings if you are coming for the first, 10-day retreat. You may find that it can be more challenging than anticipated to be on an ‘in-person’ retreat after all these months of lockdown; please know that the teachers, Kirsten and Laura, are there to support you.
  • You will be allocated one bathroom which you will share with one other retreatant. The bathrooms will be cleaned daily. However, there will be additional protocols to follow regarding when shower facilities are available and cleaning after use.
  • To support the running of the house with a much smaller number of retreatants, we need to increase the working meditation period for the time being. Most likely there will be two separate hours of working meditation each day. We are sorry that we have to ask for this additional contribution from you and we very much hope that this can be a valued aspect of your retreat. The work periods will need to be pre-allocated; please inform us of any physical limitations and health conditions so that we can support you as needed.
  • Although normally we would discourage the use of mobiles whilst on retreat, within the current conditions it may be necessary to check for NHS Test and Trace messages once a day. If you wish, you can discuss with the teacher how to do this in a way that will be respecting and honouring your intention to be in retreat.
  • Please bring enough reusable face coverings for the duration of the retreat – face coverings will need to be worn at all times whilst walking through communal areas and during working meditation periods. Again, more details will be provided on arrival.
  • If you have covid-19 symptoms during your retreat there will be a facility available for your isolation 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.

Food and dietary needs:

Gaia House offers a healthy, balanced vegetarian diet that may include eggs and dairy produce. Vegan, dairy-free and wheat/gluten-free options need to be requested prior to arrival. At lunch we also offer a ‘Simple Diet’ consisting of a gluten-free wholegrain, steamed vegetables and plain pulses, egg or tofu. This diet is intended to meet nutritional needs whilst being as plain as possible. The simple diet, including protein choices, also needs to be requested prior to arrival.

Due to covid-19 constraints, it is not possible for us to cater for any dietary need which differs from the above options and it is not possible for personal food supplies to be brought to Gaia House and stored.

Pre-arrival registration:

To limit the amount of time people spend with other members of the community we will contact you 1 or 2 days before the start of your retreat to go through some pre-arrival questions and information. We will also reconfirm your arrival slot.

Building work during 2021:

To support more socially-distant retreats in the short term and our development into the future, we are excited to have started work on our new Dartmoor Wing and shower block. The new buildings will enable us to double the number of single rooms we can offer to group retreatants, and more than double the shower/toilet spaces. 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 & conditions:

If you find it necessary to cancel your booking due to covid-19 related reasons, a full refund will be available. 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 will be closed early and a refund will be offered for the remaining days of the retreat.

How to apply:

To apply for one of these three personal retreats, please email our Admin team indicating your interest. Please include:

  • Your full name
  • Which dates you wish to join
  • Confirmation that you have the required retreat experience
  • If applying for one of the first two retreat dates, please confirm that you have been on retreat at Gaia House before

Please email: info@gaiahouse.co.uk and we will send you a link to the online application form. We will email you back as soon as we can but there may be a short delay and we appreciate your patience and understanding.