Led by: Paramananda, Satyamuni, Ratnadeva and team
Location: Bowerwood, Nr. Broadhembury, E. Devon
Deposit amount: £130
Experience level: Experienced meditators - at least three years
Age group: Adults
Total suggested cost (excluding deposit): standard:£490, supported:£320, donation tier (helping others to come on retreat):£820
Vehicle Pass: Car:£15, Live-in- 6m and under: £30, Live-in- over 6m: £30
See our FAQ for an explanation of the deposit/ dana/ donation tier system. Please do read this is you think that you will not be able to afford the retreat or 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.
This two week intensive meditation retreat held under the trees offers a rare opportunity to deepen our practice supported by the natural world.
Meditation can help us face up to the challenges that confront us at this time, acting as a counter-balance to the individualism and compulsive consumption of the modern world. On this retreat, we will be cultivating a collective sense of solidarity, both with one another and with the natural world which we are completely dependent upon. The retreat, which will be largely in silence, offers a unique opportunity to strengthen our hearts in order that we are able to meet our personal as well as global difficulties, with courage and compassion.
Paramananda teaches a soulful approach to meditation, infused with poetry and myth, and at the same time grounded in connection to the body, land, place and each other. Living and meditating together in silence we will create a community of practice that supports us to go beyond our normal sense of who and what we are. Through practicing in solidarity with the human and more than human world we will seek to move beyond embodiment into ‘enworldment’.
Paramananda is an inspirational and much loved Buddhist teacher who has written a number of books on Buddhism and the craft of meditation, including ‘A Deeper Beauty’, and mostly recently ‘The Myth of Meditation: Restoring Imaginal Ground through Embodied Buddhist Practice’.
He worked for a number of years as a psychiatric social worker and did voluntary work in the community for the Samaritans, in drug detox, and in a hospice. His time is now dedicated to teaching.
Satyamuni is delighted to return to total immersion after a gap of 3 years. For 10 years this retreat was her context to practise more deeply within a community in greater harmony with the land. In the gap, she spent 2 years in the spanish mountains in a women’s community also supporting meditation and ordination retreats For the last 14 months Satyamuni has been mainly in retreat with communities of practitioners (wales, spain, new zealand, england) as well as on solitary retreat in lapland.
Satyamuni originally trained as a social psychologist and researcher before retraining as a clinical and forensic psychologist and psychotherapist. Her focus was on more appropriate, timely and responsive therapeutic pathways into and out of secure psychiatric care. She now practices full time as a Dharma practitioner contributing to communicating the teachings in any way that is helpful.
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.
Looking for a longer experience?
This retreat and our Body of Bliss retreat are running back-to-back in 2024. If you would like to book for both for nearly a month’s worth of retreat, that’s wonderful and we warmly invite you to do so.
There is a three-day gap between the events. If you are staying for both and would like to support the retreat team in the preparation and set-up, we will gladly accept your help and host you for free.
If you’d like to stay for the three days but continue doing your own practice and activities, we are still happy to feed and host you but would ask for an extra Dana contribution of around £10 per day to cover costs.
In either case, we would ask you to continue to stick to retreat behavioural guidelines during the gap.
Things to note