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Retreat Leaders

Here at The Sharpham Trust we are developing a collective practice - a community of mindfulness teachers and coordinators.

We work with experienced retreat leaders who warmly offer wisdom, practical advice and ideas to ensure that your mindfulness experience continues in your daily life.

The teachers were highly experienced with proper seriousness of purpose, but were never solemn.

Mark Øvland

Mark Øvland has been dedicated to practising mindfulness since he discovered meditation in his mid-20s. Since then he has spent a year living as a monk in the Indian Himalayas and over six months on silent retreat. 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 has trained with a number of institutions including the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice at Bangor University.

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. 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.


Patti Summerville, retreat leader at Sharpham Trust

Patti Summerville began a personal meditation practice in 1996 after attending a retreat at the Tushita Institute, Dharamsala, India. Over the years her practice has been influenced by Mahayana and Theravada Buddhist traditions and in 2013 she took on the role of co-ordinator at The Barn, an Insight Mindfulness Meditation Retreat centre on Sharpham Estate. Patti trained as an Integral Hatha Yoga teacher in 2009 at the Sri Swami Satchidananda Ashram and has undertaken a Mindfulness Teacher training retreat with Exeter University. 


Linda Vincent, retreat leader at The Sharpham Trust

Linda Vincent has been practising meditation and yoga for over 40 years and is currently focusing on integrating mindfulness into all she does.  She has completed a 10 day Vipassana meditation retreat in the UK as well as yoga teacher training in the USA.  She spent 2 years at the Barn Retreat Centre as a residential co-ordinator where she had the opportunity to practise mindfulness and meditation on a daily basis.


Maite Alonso, retreat leader at The Sharpham Trust

Maite Alonso trained in 1991 in Sivananda Yoga in India, in Shakti Yoga Dance in 2009 and in Kundalini Yoga in 2011 in the UK. The major influences in Maite's work and teaching practice have been Yoga, Buddhist Meditation and chanting. She has been attending retreats (especially Zen and Insight Meditation) in spiritual centres in the UK, Europe, India, Thailand and California, since 1990.


Ramiro Ortega

Ramiro Ortega has practised mindfulness for over 15 years, and Insight Meditation since 2005. He teaches Mindfulness retreats at Sharpham House, as well as 8-week courses for the public, and also facilitates an Introduction to Buddhist Meditation at The Barn Retreat Centre. Ramiro trained to teach mindfulness with the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice at Bangor University.