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Four Immeasurable Qualities of the Heart with Jenny Wilks

Learn to recognise and deepen the Four Immeasurable Qualities of the Heart alongside an experienced teacher.

Cultivating your Heart and Mind at The Barn at The Sharpham Trust

This retreat will be dedicated to the exploration and cultivation of the Four Immeasurable Qualities of The Heart:

  • goodwill
  • compassion
  • appreciative joy
  • equanimity

These beautiful, inter-related aspirations often arise naturally in our lives, and we can also intentionally recognise and deepen them.

Doing this enhances our practice of mindful awareness and supports us in finding a path through life that is conducive to healing, well-being, and freedom. 

Buddhist meditation retreats at The Barn, Sharpham, Devon, England

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

 

Staying alongside an inspirational teacher


During this retreat, teacher Jenny Wilks will help you explore these qualities through guided meditations from the Buddhist tradition, group inquiry Jenny Wilks, teacher on meditation retreats at The Barn, Sharpham Trust, Devon, Englandand contemplative exercises, bringing them into the everyday activities of the retreat.

This retreat is for you if you:

  • want to go deeper into dharma, with an experienced teacher close at hand
  • are prepared to live and work in community, preparing meals together and working in the gardens
  • are aged 18 and above

Stay in Community at The Barn

Retreats with residential teachers


Our retreats with residential teachers are similar to standard retreats with extra teaching.

There will be a maximum of 10 participants on this retreat.

There are periods of silence on each of our retreats.

Our programme of standard 6-night retreats at The Barn can be viewed and booked here

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.

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.

Gardens at The Barn at The Sharpham Trust, Devon, England, UK

What you’ll experience on this retreat


During this retreat you’ll:

  • experience guided meditations and periods of silence and quiet contemplation
  • be living in community with like-minded people, sharing experiences and tasks, including the making of meals and taking care of the house
  • have a single-occupancy room and your own space in which to rejuvenate, with free time to deeply rest and reconnect with yourself
  • have access to 24-hour hot teas, coffee & infusions in the kitchen
  • be able to explore the beautiful Sharpham Estate, set within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty close to nature, amid breath-taking scenery on the banks of the River Dart


View from The Barn, a meditation retreat centre at Sharpham, Devon, England

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:

  • Comfortable, loose clothing for meditation and movement sessions
  • Indoor footwear/slippers
  • Suitable seasonal clothes – it can get cold in the evening and in the winter
  • Boots or comfy waterproof outdoor shoes and a waterproof jacket are advisable for local walks
  • A journal or notepad for reflection during your time here

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

Food at The Barn at The Sharpham Trust

Food & your dietary needs


We have a fully stocked organic and vegetarian kitchen. The main meal is at lunch time. Everyone takes a turn to prepare this meal in pairs (this will be organised at the Sunday welcome meeting). We have plenty of simple recipes for you to choose from, or we can direct you to one in particular. Some participants like to use their own recipe ideas.

We can accommodate gluten-free and/or vegan dietary needs. However, our kitchen is not gluten, dairy nor nut-free. We do not provide gluten-free bread, but you are welcome to bring your own.

Please make sure you include dietary restrictions and any food allergies on your Booking Form. We may need to communicate further with you about specifics. The booking form is sent as a link once you have booked and paid for a retreat.

Our water is provided from our own spring, UV treated and filtered.


Your physical and mental health


This retreat is suitable for you if you have some meditation experience, or you are seeking to renew or reconnect with your practice.

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

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.

 

The Barn draws me back year after year. The experience of working and sharing in mindful work and living is very special and never fails to deepen and enhance my practice.

View down the River Dart Valley - by Barn participant Gary Fielder

 

 

Retreats with residential teachers have a tighter schedule and have less free time than our standard 6-night retreats.

Note that we hold silence from 8.30pm to 9.00am each day, and all day Wednesday.


Sunday

Afternoon
2.00pm to 4.00pm – Your arrival
4.30pm – Welcome talk, introductions and tour
5.30pm –  Guided meditation
6.30pm – Light evening meal. Then settling in
8.30pm – The Barn goes into silence until 9.00am the next day
 

 

Monday to Friday:

This is a typical schedule and will be adjusted to meet each teacher's needs.

Mornings Afternoons
6.20am – Wake up 12.20pm – Meditation (Some guided) 
6.50am – Meditation 1.00pm – Lunch
  2.00pm – Personal time
7.30am –  Household tasks 2.30pm – Teaching
8.00am – Breakfast 5.00pm – Meditation 
9.00am – Silence ends, Barn meeting (except Wednesday) 6.00pm – Light supper prepared individually or in groups
10.30am – Mindful gardening (except Wednesday) 7.00pm – Meditation (Some guided)
  8.30pm – Barn moves into silence until 9.00am the next day

 

Saturday:  

As above until 8.00am. Silence ends at breakfast. Then it's time to clear your room and depart between 9.00am and 11.00am.

A beautiful way to slow down, listen in and be in a welcoming and loving community. This has been an enriching week - stunning surroundings, lovely people, delicious food, very skilled and compassionate facilitators, and wise teachers.
 

This week at The Barn has been food for my heart. I feel calmer and more connected. The kindness of all the people here, the healthy food, the chance to be in nature were so helpful.
 

This experience was a long overdue gift to myself. It felt both restorative and gently transformative--a very special week.
 

Coming to the Barn is an opportunity to reconnect with yourself, with your body and mind in the context of wonderful nature. It is immersive, and helps to blur the lines between body/mind, self/other, and human/nature.

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


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.

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.

Standard rate: £340 plus dana

We are committed to ensuring that retreats at The Barn are accessible to all - regardless of income. Paying the Standard rate allows us to support those who are only able to afford the Supported Rate and contributes towards our operating and running costs.

The Standard rate works out at £65 per person per night and includes all meals, bedding and towels.

Supported rate: £290 plus dana

This is for those unable to pay the Standard rate. The Supported rate works out at less than £57 per person per night and includes all meals, bedding and towels.


Dana
Dana is the Pali word for generosity or donation. The teachers are receiving only a small payment for teaching at The Barn and are generously giving their energy and understanding to us all. Please consider giving a donation to teachers for the retreats that they lead.


Room types

Rooms at The Barn at The Sharpham Trust

All rooms are comfortable single rooms, with a shared bathroom.

Hot drinks are available 24 hours for you to get for yourself in the kitchen.


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

Jenny Wilks

Jenny Wilks

Jenny Wilks has practised insight meditation in various Buddhist traditions since 1988 and has an MA in Indian religions. She has taught regularly at the Barn since 2004 and at Gaia House since 2008. Jenny is a clinical psychologist and has trained in mindfulness-based approaches. She currently teaches Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy at Exeter University. She is also a trained teacher with the Centre for Mindful Self-Compassion in the US and will draw on some of their practices during this retreat.


Retreats & Events

All rooms are single occupancy.

How to book easily and securely:

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.