Led by: Ratnadeva and team
Location: Feniton to Glastonbury
Deposit amount: £80
Experience level: Open to all
Age group: Adults
Total suggested cost (excluding deposit): standard:£280, supported:£190, donation tier (helping others to come on retreat):£550
See our FAQ for an explanation of the deposit/ dana/ donation tier system. Please do read this if you think that you will not be able to afford the retreat or if you are not sure about the deposit/dana/ donation tier system in any way. We have suggested donation amounts to guide you and they relate to what it costs us to run a retreat. However, you are free to give as little or as much as befits your circumstances.
We will be walking and meditating together on a Buddhist-inspired pilgrimage through the ancient sacred landscape of Britain.
The Buddha's followers were 'Yatrikas' or wanderers; we will be evoking the way of life of the very earliest Buddhists. We'll be aligning ourselves with the most ancient traditions of Buddhism as well as following the ancient trackways of Britain, at a very beautiful time of year.
This is a walking retreat and a mindful celebration of our land and its primordial energies. We will begin in the beautiful Blackdown Hills of north Devon, journey through the vast Somerset Levels with their wide open skies, and end in the mythic landscape of Avalon, where we will spend our final night together at the foot of Glastonbury Tor. During the days we will walk in silence and in single file. This allows space for a deeper awareness of, and harmony with, our walking companions, the ancient landscape, and our own thoughts and feelings. Along the way there will be plenty of pauses where we can talk. Mornings and evenings there’ll be meditations, talks, discussions and rituals as well as the basic business of cooking food and making camp.
During the day there will be a van to transport our gear, leaving us free to walk with only minimum baggage. The van team will go ahead, set up camp, and cook food for that night. There is a small Buddhafield team helping to run the event, but we will ask for volunteers daily to be drivers, cooks, etc.
We'll walk an average of around 10 miles a day.
Ratnadeva was born in Ireland at a time when the wee folk danced all night in fairy forts. He was present at the Phoenix Park in 1979 in his capacity as Opus Dei stormtrooper, when John Paul II visited and banished the quare folk. He qualified as a chemical engineer in the early 80s and worked as an industrial chemist for a decade before retraining in environmental management. He specialised in contaminant hydrogeology at the University of Sheffield and went on to work in this field with the British Geological Survey. He became a Buddhist in the early 2000s and his practice of meditation catalysed his engaging in nature-based Druidic practice a few years later.
In 2009, he left his scientific career to join the Buddhafield charity, working mainly on organising their camping retreats in the wilds of Devon and Somerset. This gave him the opportunity to weave together explorations in Druidry and his practice of the Buddhist path. He was ordained into the Triratna Buddhist Order in 2013 and in 2019 he moved to London to work with the West London Buddhist Centre, where he combines teaching meditation and Buddhism with mentoring and administration roles. Occasionally, he flees the metropolis and re-immerses in nature. Occasionally, he dances with the wee folk.
Things to note
We have an extensive Retreat FAQ page here. Please read this thoroughly - especially the questions related directly to the Yatra. If you have a question that isn’t answered there, please get in touch.