Barn Meditation Men Only Retreat
This retreat is for men only. Based on the three pillars of meditation, community and working on the land, Barn retreats help develop a mindful approach to our lives, work and relationships.
The 6-night retreat structure is based on the following:
- Three 40-minute meditation sessions a day in our meditation room
- Outdoor walking meditation
- Meditation and mindfulness guidance
- Mindful work practice in the organic garden and woods
- Community living and fellowship in a small group
- Daily periods of silence, and one full day's silence
- Inquiry led by Buddhist teachers
Retreatants usually stay for one week, although many stay for longer.
Accommodation and Community Living
Every retreatant has a single room. Living as a small community of up to 12 people (including 2 coordinators), we share household tasks, and cook and eat together. In the afternoons there is free time to practise individually: use our extensive library, talk to like minded people, or walk in our beautiful 550 acre Sharpham Estate. Evening meals are prepared individually or in groups.
Meditation can bring a deep sense of calm and awareness. We provide guided meditation sessions and also offer further basic instruction in meditation practice for beginners, on request. Our regular visiting teachers come three times a week to help deepen your experience of meditation and answer any questions you may have.
We grow most of our own vegetables in our organic gardens. When on retreat you will be eating produce grown by previous retreatants, and being kept warm by the wood they chopped - the house is heated by a wood furnace. We therefore spend our mornings gardening and working in the woodlands. This is a chance to practise bringing the awareness cultivated in our meditation into meaningful activity, and to ensure that future retreatants enjoy fresh organic produce.
The weekly schedule provides opportunities for both individual reflection and group meditation.
It is important that you are willing to participate in working on the land as part of your mindfulness practice (we can easily find suitable tasks for people with health difficulties) and that you can commit to all the scheduled activities during the week. This includes three 30-40 minute meditation sittings each day.
Note that we hold silence from 9pm to 9am each day, and all day Wednesday.
Barn Six day retreat schedule
Sunday: Arrive between 2pm and 4pm
4.30pm - Welcome talk, introductions and tour
5.30pm - Guided meditation
6.30pm - Light evening meal. Then settling in.
9.00pm - Silence starts
Monday to Friday:
|6.20am – wake up||1.00pm – lunch|
|6.50am – meditation||2.00pm – personal time|
|7.30am – household tasks||Optional afternoon activities include yoga, therapies (shiatsu, etc), reading, walking...|
|8.00am – breakfast||5.00pm – Teaching by visiting teachers|
|9.00am – silence ends, house meeting (except Wednesday)||6.00pm – Light supper prepared individually or in groups|
|10.30am – mindful gardening||7.00pm – Meditation (guided Tuesday & Friday)|
|12.20pm – meditation (guided on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday)||9.00pm – Barn moves into silence until 9.00am the next day|
Saturday: As above until 8.00am - silence ends at breakfast.
Then clear rooms and depart between 9.00am and 11.00am
It struck me early on that I was with a group of gentle men who were able to be courageous and vulnerable with their feelings. I experienced a lot of respect, sensitivity and active listening within the group.There was a lot of cooperation, honesty and no posturing or desire to be the dominant character. It was a very cohesive and compassionate group of men.
I felt like I belonged with the group. I could be completely myself, warts and all. I didn't have to just fit in, that is, behave in such a way to be accepted by the group. There was a tremendous amount of trust within the group created by integrity, non-judgment and generosity.
The all-male Barn retreat was a wonderful environment to develop my personal practice, deepen my understanding of Buddhism and explore my relation to the world. The all-male aspect enhanced that by providing a unique situation where what it meant to be a male could be discussed and personally related to, but this was only part of the Barn experience. It was a place infused with loving kindness, compassion, insight and everyday mindfulness. I plan to return as this place has become part of me and part of my life’s journey.
There was something mysteriously satisfying about a group of mindful men being together, held in the loving embrace of The Barn. Delightful and positively challenging.
Retreats take place at the Barn Retreat Centre - a beautiful and peaceful retreat centre based on the Sharpham Estate, surrounded by nature, with views over the River Dart and 550 acres of the Sharpham Estate to explore. All set within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Click here for directions.
£290-£340 *plus Dana
Places on a 6-night retreat at The Barn cost £285.
Limited bursaries are available for those experiencing financial hardship. Please contact the Barn team for more details at least 4 weeks in advance if you wish to apply - [email protected], 01803 732661.
All rooms are single occupancy.
How to book easily and securely:
- online on this page
- by phoning 01803 732542
- or by emailing [email protected]
If you've got any questions about this retreat, call The Barn team on 01803 732661 or email [email protected]
We’re not always in the office, so be prepared to leave a message saying when we could call you back.