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Being in Brotherhood: Barn Meditation Retreat for Men

Sanjay Soni

a year ago, on Google
The Barn is a very special place set in a beautiful location with amazing views. You can feel the calm harmonising energy of the barn and the wonderful team create a safe space to share and learn. I've stayed at the barn twice in the last couple of years and will definitely be returning. Highly recommended if you would like to connect with nature, community and yourself.

Jeanie Bags

a month ago, on Google
The Barn retreat centre is a wonderful place to slow down and commune with nature. It is run by a wholesome bunch of people who knows how to nourish one's space and coordinators/leaders with deep understanding of true mindfulness.The Barn is also healing for anybody with the intention of slowing down, clearing and quieting busy mind. It a wonderful place to pause and admire the beauty within your own skin , body, and mind. A peaceful and mindful place to learn how to process weak or strong emotions and slowly letting go of some thoughts or things. When you slow down your mind becomes clear... The set up works beautifully with activities and space for everybody. The kind of food available from the huge vegetable garden are so organically delicious. It is also cleansing and for me---healing. A great place for walking meditations over looking the meadows and the River Dart. Great appreciation comes out of me when I think of The Barn and the participants I met last week and bonded with. My heart is happy.

Mike Howell

3 months ago, on Google
The location is serene; the venue and accommodation is very comfortable. My first retreat, and not my last, was for 55+'s. Ten of us shared a peaceful week where we felt at ease. There was a great sense of community, sharing and kindness within the group - a welcome escape from the frenetic, combative, angry environment of the world today. Highly recommended.

Caroline Gracie

5 months ago, on Google
A retreat at the Barn is a very special experience. The landscape is breathtaking, the food delicious and the cooking, gardening and house care tasks carefully handled so that one need never feel overwhelmed. Accommodation is simple but comfortable. Everything runs to a calm, clear schedule and the co-ordinators handle all challenges - from the practical to the emotional and spiritual - with a miraculously light touch.

clare salter

4 months ago, on Google
Staying at the barn on a 6-night retreat feels like the best, life changing experience I have ever had. My heart feels nourished, my connection with nature enhanced and a feeling of community that goes beyond words. The insight of the Buddhist wisdom taught by beautiful caring people, the meditations have deepened my practice and continue to bring a sense of harmony to my day-to-day life. Barn team thank you so much. Clare

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Hear first about our retreats & events


This version of our popular 6-night retreat is for men only (as self-identified), providing an ideal space to begin, maintain or kick-start a mindfulness practice.


The Barn offers a respectful space for meditation practice, reflection and a sense of community where men (as self-identified) can experience a sense of brotherhood - supported in their own practice within a circle of men.

 

The men's retreats at The Barn have been the most meaningful and insightful for me, whilst they have introduced me to a level of comfort and brotherhood with other men I once thought impossible

             - Craig Malpass, a previous Barn coordinator with experience in holding retreats and spaces for men

Like all retreats at The Barn, this men's version is based on the three pillars of

  • meditation
  • community
  • connection to the land

The 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 the retreat leaders and visiting teachers.

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

Retreat for men at The Barn at The Sharpham Trust

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.

 

Daily meditationsRetreat for men at The Barn at The Sharpham Trust


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

meditation retreats at The Barn

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 Barn
  • 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

View from The Barn - by participant Gary Fielder

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

Nimbus - the cat at The barn at The Sharpham Trust retreat centre

What you need to know


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 that we send out after you've booked.

You can also find out more about staying with us on our Frequently Asked Questions page, including

  • accessibility information
  • why we encourage you to come on your own and not with partners or friends
  • what the difference is between our retreats

See our Barn Covid-19 measures here

Food at The Barn

Food & your dietary needs


We have a fully stocked organic and vegetarian kitchen. The main meal is at lunch time.

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 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

                                  - a participant on a previous Barn retreat for men

 

View from The Barn

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.

Sunday

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


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 – 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 10.00am

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.

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

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.

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

We are in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty


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.

Handy Buddhism
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.

Gardening at The Barn

£375 - Supported Rate

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

£450 – 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.

£525 – 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.


Room types

a room 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. Currently we have only one bursary placement per retreat. Contact the Barn team on [email protected] or call 01803 732661 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

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.