Barn meditation retreat for men
This version of our popular 6-night retreat is for men only.
The Barn Retreat runs weekly throughout the year and is based on the three pillars of
- and connection to the land.
Our retreats help to develop a mindful approach to our lives, work and relationships and are for up to 11 people.
You’ll experience three 40-minute meditation sessions each day, outdoor walking meditation, mindful work in the organic gardens and woods and inquiry led by Buddhist teachers.
Read on for more details on this retreat and click the Schedules and Venue & Directions tabs above for further information.
Staying in community
This retreat is for you if you:
- are prepared to live and work in community, preparing meals together and working in the gardens
- Want to experience a retreat in the Buddhist tradition
- are aged 18 and above
There will be a maximum of 11 participants on this retreat.
There are periods of silence on each of our retreats.
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.
What you’ll experience on this retreat
During this retreat you’ll:
- be living in community with like-minded people, sharing experiences and tasks, including the making of meals and taking care of the house
- experience guided meditations and periods of silence and quiet contemplation
- 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
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 if you want to write or draw during your time here
Find out more about staying at The Barn on our Frequently Asked Questions page
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.
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
The men’s retreat creates a very special space where we men can drop our guard and relate to each other simply as emotional beings with so much in common.
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.
£295-£350 *plus Dana
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.