Barn Meditation Women Only Retreat

This retreat is for women 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.

Organic Gardening

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:

Mornings Afternoons
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

Click here to download the Barn Retreat weekly schedule as a PDF (38k)

For anyone wanting to take their mindfulness practice deeper, this is the place!

       - Clare, psychotherapist


Possibly the most nourishing week of my life!

    - Catherine, translator


I came here empty and I go home connected and alive.

    - Anon


The Barn is such a special special place! You will never be the same afterwards.

    - Anon


The greatest thing I have done in my life

    - Ben, care worker


The Barn Retreat is a wondrous, life-changing experience.

    - Steve


I feel like my soul has been on holiday

    - Anne, teacher

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.

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.