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The Barn: a 5-night silent retreat

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Experience quiet and stillness for an extended time within supportive community in a beautiful, nurturing setting.

In an increasingly fast-paced world, with many competing demands for our time and attention, this retreat offers a precious opportunity for spaciousness and stillness.

See The Barn's Covid-19 measures here

You’ll be in a safe and supportive setting, allowing you to deepen into mindfulness practice and your experience of silence, in the tranquil setting of the Barn Retreat on Sharpham Estate.

This 5-night retreat is a chance to turn inward and to let go of the daily struggles that can so easily get in the way of the simplicity, freedom and joy in each present moment.

Read on for more details on this retreat and click the Leaders, Schedules and Venue and Directions tabs above for further information.

The view from The Barn's kitchen window, with a vase of flowers

Previous retreat and meditation experience


This retreat is for people who already have prior experience of being on a retreat or of mindfulness meditation. If you are new to mindfulness and retreats, you might like to consider joining our Mindfulness for Beginners retreats.

This retreat is for you if you are:

  • in need of rest and replenishment
  • interested in deepening or reconnecting with your practice
  • inspired by spending time reconnecting with nature
  • have prior meditation and retreat experience
  • 18 years or above


A volunteer uses a singing bowl for meditation


What you’ll experience on this retreat


During this retreat you’ll:

  • practice silence to develop a strong container for deepening meditation practice
  • explore embodiment, with simple movement and exercises
  • have the chance to take mindfulness into the outdoors through gardening and walking
  • be living in community with like-minded people, bringing meditation to everyday experiences and tasks
  • enjoy delicious, healthy, home-cooked vegetarian food that regularly receives rave reviews

View from The Barn retreat centre at The Sharpham Trust

Mindfulness in nature at Sharpham


When you experience Sharpham's inspiring and nourishing environment, we hope you'll connect spiritually with the natural world, so you’ll:

  • become aware of how we are all part of nature - not artificially separate from it
  • pay attention to and appreciate the natural world surrounding us
  • explore nature through your senses and your natural creativity
  • tread more lightly on our finite planet, developing a respect and reverence for all living things

Click here to read our ethos and principles

 

What might you bring


If you decide to stay with us, we’ll send you a list of what you need to bring for this retreat in your Welcome Letter. But you might consider the following:

  • Comfy clothes for meditation, movement and relaxation
  • Slippers
  • A journal or notepad if you want to write or draw during your time here
  • Walking boots – we have wonderful footpaths and routes to explore
  • Work clothes for gardening, including wet weather options

Delicious vegetarian and vegan food at The Barn meditation retreat centre at The Sharpham Trust

Our food & your dietary needs


The retreat is full-board with delicious home-cooked vegetarian food.

In line with sustainable practices across the Estate, our cooks produce seasonal, vegetarian food for our guests. We source food whenever possible from our kitchen garden and support local food suppliers.

Food allergies & intolerances
Please tell us well in advance of your stay of any food allergies or intolerances you may have.
You can tell us this on the Booking Form via a link we send you in your confirmation email.

 

Your physical and mental health


This retreat is suitable for you if you have meditation and retreat experience.

Although meditation and mindfulness can be helpful in managing stress, depression and anxiety, our retreats might not be suitable if you are experiencing major depression or other clinically diagnosed psychiatric illness such as bipolar disorder, psychosis or current self-harming. Click here for more information and for our booking process.


Daily meditations


There are approximately three 40-minute meditation sittings each day, and it's important that you commit to them to deepen your practice and connect to the community here.

A gardener in the Barn's gardens

Working on the land


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.


What's the difference between retreats at The Barn and in Sharpham House?


Costs are kept lower at The Barn because gardening and household tasks are shared in community by volunteer coordinators and retreatants.  

Retreats at Sharpham House are fully catered and staff. Also, Sharpham House is a large Grade 1-listed building with far higher overheads.

Find out more about staying at The Barn on our Frequently Asked Questions page
 

Schedule

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 40 minute formal meditation periods each day.


Sunday

Afternoon
2pm - 4pm – arrival
5.00pm - Welcome
6.30pm – Supper & personal time
8.20pm – Meditation
9.00pm – Personal time

Monday to Wednesday

Mornings Afternoons
6.20am – Wake up bell 12.20pm – Meditation
6.45am – Movement (optional) 1.00pm – Lunch
7.00am – Meditation 2.30pm – Personal time
7.30am – Tasks 5.00pm – Teaching & enquiry

8.00am – Breakfast & personal time

6.30pm – Supper & personal time
9.30am – Morning meeting 8.20pm – Meditation
10.30am - Gardening 9.00pm – Personal time

Thursday

Mornings Afternoons
6.20am – Wake up bell 12.20pm – Meditation
6.45am – Movement (optional) 1.00pm – Lunch
7.00am – Meditation 2.30pm – Personal time
7.30am – Tasks 5.00pm – Closing circle

8.00am – Breakfast & personal time

6.30pm – Supper & personal time
10.30am - Gardening 8.20pm – Meditation
  9.00pm – Personal time

Friday

Morning
6.20am – Wake up bell
6.45am – Movement (optional)
7.00am – Meditation
7.30am – Tasks
8.00am – Breakfast, pack up, departure

 

This retreat takes place at The Barn, with superb views over the River Dart.

Please note that The Barn Retreat is in a different location to Sharpham House. Make sure to follow the directions to The Barn Retreat, rather than Sharpham House.


Click here for our How to Find Us page on this website.

Click here to view and download directions and a map to The Barn

Click here view and download walking/cycling directions to The Barn

view of The Barn at The Sharpham Trust

If you have a medical condition that requires you to have a room close to a toilet, please contact The Barn team on the number below and we'll try to help.


Phones and laptops
We ask all participants to turn off mobile phones and electronic devices for the whole of your retreat. This helps you and everyone else to disengage from daily life and live fully in the simplicity and quietude of a Buddhist retreat.


We are 3 miles from Totnes – famous for its Transition Town movement

We are in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty


Sustainability


We take sustainability seriously.Meditation retreats at The Barn at The Sharpham Trust, Devon, England

Heating and hot water in The Barn is run from our log furnace and solar thermal panels. We supply as much food as possible from our organic gardens; the rest comes from Riverford Organic Farms and Essential Trading Cooperative. We also have two large photovoltaic solar panel arrays on the Estate and use biodegradable cleaning products wherever possible.

£335 - Supported Rate

The Sharpham Trust is committed to ensuring that retreats at The Barn are accessible to all - regardless if income. The Supported Rate is for those unable to pay the Standard or Benefactor Rate.

£395 – Standard Rate

Paying the Standard Rate means you will be contributing towards our running costs, supporting the work of The Barn and helping retreatants of lower incomes to access our retreats.

£495 – Benefactor Rate

If you are able to pay the Benefactor Rate, that means that you'll be supporting others who cannot afford to benefit from a Barn retreat on The Sharpham Estate. Your choice to pay this rate will help us with the running costs of The Barn, enabling us to continue our charitable work connecting people to nature and fostering mindfulness and wellbeing, as well as caring for the land, wildlife and wider estate.



Accommodation & facilities

Rooms at The Barn at The Sharpham Trust

All rates include all meals, bedding and towels. All rooms are comfortable single rooms, with a shared bathroom.

All rooms are randomly allocated, unless you have medical needs relating to your room allocation. If you have such a need, let us know on your booking form before the retreat begins. 

Hot drinks are available 24 hours in the kitchen.

The Barn is on the Sharpham Estate, set in a stunning hillside location overlooking the River Dart within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.


Bursaries

Limited bursaries are available for those experiencing financial hardship. Contact the Barn team on the number or email below at least 4 weeks in advance if you wish to apply.

Our bursary fund relies on donations. If you’d like to help another to go on retreat here through our bursary scheme, you can give online quickly and easily by clicking here

Retreats & Events

All rooms are single occupancy.

How to book easily and securely:

  • online on this page
  • by phoning 01803 732542

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.


Do check our Calendar to see and book for our events - or join our mailing list by clicking here to be kept in touch about Sharpham Trust news, retreats & events.