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We offer regular retreat days, these are designed for people who have done some mindfulness practice. The day is structured to allow time in nature, time for silence, time to connect with like minded people and plenty of mindfulness and compassion practices led by Tina and Barb. My BalmI close my eyes and sigh, and here I am lying in the hammock in my heart.Moving gently, with the soft air of my breath. No place to goNothing to doNobody to please It is my altar, my blessing, my balm, here in the hammock of my heart.
Our Guiding Teacher, Chan Master Simon Child, Chuan Fa Jing Hong, is the second Western Dharma heir of the late Chan Master Sheng Yen of Taiwan, receiving Dharma Transmission in 2000. I was walking along Porth High Street and I noticed two photographs advertising a woman's hairdressing shop.
We have all done it; watch somebody skimming stones across the water and many of us have tried it ourselves. This is the first of two articles edited from retreat talks by Simon Child introducing koan-practice and explaining how to penetrate koans.
I had never been on any kind of retreat before I arrived at the Western Zen retreat at Maenllwyd in November. The articles on this website have been submitted by various authors and the views expressed do not necessarily represent the views of the Western Chan Fellowship. This mini retreat will combine sitting and walking meditations, dharma talks and opportunities to meet with a teacher. This retreat is for those who are currently facilitating or plan to be facilitating mindfulness, or for clinicians using mindfulness in therapeutic interventions.
This unique retreat, for those who currently facilitate or plan to facilitate mindfulness, will offer an experiential understanding of mindfulness practice through retreat format as well as tools, exploration, guidance and support around facilitation.
Savor the peaceful gardens and rustic lake during this informative and soulful day of mindfulness and silence. 2) Define the relationship between meditative awareness, mind-body integration and understanding countertransference. Brain, written by, respectively, Jack Kornfield and Daniel Siegel, as well as Coming To Our Senses, by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Techniques You will be able to apply immediately to improve your work with couples as well as your own relationships! For more information or to sign up for our mailing list of mindful and contemplative events.
Mindfulness practice will increase your awareness and bring appreciation to walking and to the landscape. The walks average 7-8 miles and sections of each walk will be held in silence (20-45 minutes). The retreat is suitable for most adults aged 18 and above who want to experience the simple structure of mindfulness retreat and the beauty of walking in the Devon countryside. On one of the evenings there will be a mindfulness and meditation question-and-answer session and also a yoga and relaxation class. We enjoyed walks surrounded by outstanding natural beauty, and were gently guided through mindful meditation in a friendly and supportive environment within the majestic house, which very quickly felt like home.
I opted for the walking, meditation and mindfulness retreat as I needed an escape from a stressful job and a busy London life. This retreat takes place in the beautiful and historic Grade 1-listed Sharpham House set in a Capability Brown-designed landscape with stunning views over the steeply-wooded River Dart.
In line with sustainable practices across the Estate, our cooks produce seasonal, vegetarian food for our guests.

We are used to accommodating a wide range of dietary needs including wheat-free, diary-free, vegan etc. Mark has been dedicated to practising mindfulness since he discovered meditation in his mid-20s. Mark is a co-founder and trustee of Freely Given Retreats, a charity that offers donation-based meditation retreats typically revolving around an environmental theme. Barry has been regularly practising meditation for about 5 years and has attended many retreats in that time. Directions to Sharpham House, Sharpham Wine & Cheese and Sharpham Meadow Natural Burial Ground. When I fall from my head past my words,I’m caught lovingly by the hammock of my heart and rocked to its rhythmic beat.
The Western Chan Fellowship is an association of lay Chan practitioners, a lay Sangha, based in the UK.
It is made of many bits of material which are in the shape of the letters of the alphabet, all stuck together to make an image of a person sitting.
This silent retreat will teach the essentials of this practice and offer key Buddhist teachings.
An excellent opportunity for those new to retreat practice, and also ideal for experienced practitioners who wish to do a short retreat. The walks will introduce you to the wildness of Dartmoor, the beauty of the Devon coastal path, and the diversity of the delightful Sharpham Estate and surroundings.
During the retreat you will be introduced to ways of developing a mindfulness practice that can be integrated in to your daily life.
Devon is a very hilly county and the walks are suitable for people with medium to good levels of fitness.
The people, the meditations, the silence, the setting, the walks, and the fantastic food made for a brilliant week when I was going through a difficult time in life.
The walks, the company, the food, the meditations and silences all really helped me re-balance and return to the world with fresh vigour.
All of the hot water and heating in the House is produced by a state-of-the-art bio-mass woodchip boiler and we have 2 large photo-voltaic arrays on barn rooftops. Nature and landscape are an important part of his everyday practice, so even before he sits on the mat, he finds being at Sharpham a source of mindful inspiration. Since then he has spent a year living as a monk in the Indian Himalayas and over six months on silent retreat. He is also a co-founder of the Dharma Action Network for Climate Engagement (DANCE), a group that explores and actions possible Dharma responses to climate change. He’s also a keen walker and knows the Devon countryside very well from childhood walking holidays.
We are registered as a charity in England and Wales, but we also have contacts in Europe, principally in Norway, Poland, Germany, Croatia and Switzerland, and also in USA.
However, it is not always possible for people physically to come together either for short meditation sessions or for longer periods on retreat. I knew I was searching for a path, and I was increasingly convinced that this may help me to begin walking it. We will learn to breathe, walk and perform daily tasks aware of each moment, so that we can touch the refreshing and healing elements within and around us.  Learning to relax and release tensions within us, to take care of ourselves, our families. We will explore ways to awaken our mind and heart so that we can learn to live a life of wisdom, compassion, inner peace and freedom. My phone was switched off from the moment I arrived and it was like transcending into a different life.

The week inspired me to continue with my practice, and also to look into the possibilities and start teaching mindful meditation to some of the patients I rehabilitate who suffer from recurrent or chronic dizziness. The Estate's farm tenants produce award-winning wine and cheese as well as organic eggs, meat and vegetables.
Having served as a residential coordinator for both the Barn Retreat Centre and Gaia House he now travels within the UK teaching mindfulness in a wide variety of settings from prisons to universities. He ran a walking holiday business in Northern Spain for many years and now lives in the Lake District. Breathing out, I know it is a wonderful moment.The most stable posture for meditation is sitting cross-legged on a cushion.
The silence allowed for an new-found appreciation of our beautiful countryside and coastline as well as some much-needed time to clear the mind and recharge.
He has trained with a number of institutions including as a Mindfulness Teacher at the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice at Bangor University. Mindfulness practice programmes led by monks, nuns and lay practitioners (with help from parents of the younger children) will be offered for children and teenagers (5-18) and for young adults (age 16-32). The half lotus and full lotus positions are excellent for establishing stability of body and mind. Under 5s are welcome to join the retreat under the care of a parent or guardian, a Children and Parents Room will be available for their use.For bookings click here. To sit in the lotus position, gently cross your legs by placing one foot (for the half lotus) or both feet (for the full lotus) on opposite thighs. If the lotus position is difficult, it is fine just to sit cross-legged or in any comfortable position. Allow your back to be straight, keep your eyes half closed, and fold your hands comfortably in your lap. If you prefer, you can sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and your hands resting in your lap. Or you can lie on the floor, on your back, with your legs straight out, a few inches apart, and your arms at your sides, preferably palms up.If your legs or feet fall asleep or begin to hurt during sitting meditation so that your concentration becomes disturbed, feel free to adjust your position. If you do this slowly and attentively, following your breathing and each movement of your body, you will not lose a single moment of concentration. If the pain is severe, stand up, walk slowly and mindfully, and when you are ready, sit down again.In some meditation centers, practitioners are not permitted to move during periods of sitting meditation. When a part of the body is numb or in pain, it is telling us something, and we should listen to it.
We sit in meditation to help us cultivate peace, joy, and nonviolence, not to endure physical strain or to injure our bodies. To change the position of our feet or do a little walking meditation will not disturb others very much, and it can help us a lot.Sometimes, we can use meditation as a way of hiding from ourselves and from life, like a rabbit going back to his hole. For example, if we practice our meditation very intensely, we may feel a kind of relief as we exhaust ourselves and divert our energy from confronting our difficulties. But when our energy returns, our problems will return with them.We need to practice meditation gently, but steadily, throughout our daily life, not wasting a single opportunity or event to see deeply into the true nature of life, including our everyday problems.

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