News from Sharpham
Sharpham Meadow on the BBC
Our natural burial site has featured on the BBC.
Sharpham Meadow Natural Burial Ground was the subject of a short feature on BBC Radio Devon: the culmination of a week's worth of broadcasting by Site Manager Rupert Callender.
He wrote and broadcast Pause for Thought daily from August 17-23, 2015 on the station's Early Show, ending with the piece featuring Sharpham Meadow Burial Ground which went out on Sunday August 23, 2015.
Rupert's work at Sharpham and as a green funeral director has recently featured on BBC Radio 4 and the World Service, with millions of global listeners.
Listen to the item centring on Sharpham Meadow Natural Burial Ground here:
Click here to hear all Rupert's Pause for Thought pieces in each individual programme (at around 1hr 18mins each time, and 25mins in on Sunday's show). These shows are kept on BBC's iPlayer for a limited time and will disappear in a month's time.
A retreatant writes...
A satisified retreatant who stayed here recently so enjoyed her stay that she wrote to tell us...in verse.
She took part in August's 3-day yoga and mindfulness retreat in Sharpham House and told us when she emailed through the poem below, "It was a truly wonderful experience - beautiful in all ways: the teachers and their teachings, all the people there, the food, the surroundings... stunning.
"I write poetry and left the group on the last day with a very quick limerick (!), but please find attached a poem I wrote on my way home and wanted to share as a thank-you".
Soak up this beauty that sits in your lap,
The morning dew on the grass, the plant’s trickling sap,
The swifts as they dart through clear, blue skies
And the life of the river that flows through your eyes.
Let the colours and flavours burst with each bite
As you taste and savour and wake to your light.
Let the clouds of thought drift by,
No need for the storm of ‘What? How? Why?’
Open your heart, let the sunshine pour in
As you simply observe the mental din.
Let it be, there’s no need to judge
Or give thoughts an anxious nudge,
Just be patient, just be kind,
Focus on the breath, step out of the mind.
Those thoughts are not you, no need to attach,
No need to feed, no need to latch
On. Feel that pause – as you go back to the breath,
Back to the breath, back to the breath.
Don’t beat yourself up, compare and contrast,
Strive to be ‘first’, must do it ‘fast’,
You are you and you’re doing your best,
You are you, you’re not the rest.
Accept yourself at each here and now,
Embrace the moment and just allow,
To yourself and others, there’s nothing to prove,
Allow each thought and every move.
Be kind to yourself, your own best friend,
No need to push, force or bend,
Just release, let it go, feel the space,
To be in the stillness and not in the race.
Plant your roots and let your branches dance free,
Taking the time not to ‘do’, just to ‘be’,
No attachment, no battle, no anxious fight,
Just giving yourself space to let your soul take flight.
And when your thoughts don’t rule you and you’re filled with love,
You can share that gift near, far and above.
Inspired by a wonderful yoga/meditation retreat at Sharpham House in Devon.
Beautiful teachers and teachings, people, surroundings, food... Dedicated to them
and all who follow...and beyond xx
Mindful singers at Sharpham
Our recent sellout Mindfulness & Singing retreat sounded the right note in the beautiful surroundings of Sharpham House.
Retreatants worked with their voices to incorporate song into a mindful practice, under the tutelage of retreat singing leader Roz Walker.
Towards the end of their stay in Sharpham House, they treated Trust staff to a short concert, making the most of the fantastic acoustics within the cantilevered elliptical stairwell.
Feedback from participants:
“The Sharpham experience was special in many ways - the place, the people and the event itself. I will come away more positive, invigorated and uplifted. It was the perfect time for me to come here!”
“Loved the singing, great fun and produced an amazing sound. Roz was brilliant - very talented and has endless patience! Catered for all levels of musical/singing ability - empowered the less confident.”
“I found the retreat gave me a chance to take a breath in my life, to make the time to see how I can start to make changes in my life and relationships. It also allowed me to think more about the feeling of being grounded I want to enhance more in myself.”
“I feel as though I have rediscovered some parts of myself that I had almost lost sight of.”
“The most perfect week: uplifting, educational and joyful. Loved it from start to finish.”
“The combination of mindfulness and singing worked really well...we all said how the place was wonderful, the nature, the building, the delicious food, the friendly atmosphere amongst the staff and all us participants”
“It’s such a lovely supportive group. The singing is brilliant - Roz Walker is fantastic. In the meditation we can just really chill right down, totally relax, get absolutely in tune with ourselves and find our own inner strength.”
“The sheer joy of releasing your inner voice and combining that with meditation and the silent times we have here (which are really valuable to let everything sink in) have just been so uplifting. I can’t believe that singing can make you feel so well and healthy.”
Future singing and mindfulness retreats are planned for Sharpham House in 2016 - if you're interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest, or subscribe to our mailing list here to keep abreast of our Retreats at Sharpham news.
Summer Wedding Offer
Get £1000 off if you book your 2016 wedding before the end of August 2015.
If you pay your deposit before the end of August, you'll qualify for this generous discount on peak season (April to October 2016) weekend weddings - normally priced at £6,000.
Contact our weddings expert Denise Scribbins, who'll be happy to arrange viewings and discuss your requirements. She's on email@example.com and on 01803 732583.
We're also offering a 20% discount on weddings taking place from November to March.
Foxglove footage from on high
Our woodsman Paul Van Den Elst has been experimenting with an aerial camera - and he chose to film the foxgloves covering The Trust's Gribble Plantation.
Young trees have been planted there, but the foxgloves have taken over this summer. Paul's quadcopter footage and fisheye lens allowed him to get amongst the wild things to shoot footage and stills pictures.
"There's thousands of pink ones and one white one," said Paul, who started filming and photographing with his quadcopter this year.
Take a look at Paul's foxglove footage below: