Creating Space: Mindfulness for Women

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Everything we do is an act of poetry or a painting if we do it with mindfulness

                                                                    - Thich Nhat Hahn

Imagine a space where you can take time out for yourself, relax, breathe deeply, play and experiment with mindfulness in the supportive company of other women. A space to be guided into your natural creative flow of wellbeing.

During this retreat you'll have a safe and supportive setting in which to discover - or rediscover - your internal resources, finding your way to a more joyful, harmonious life with focus and enhanced insight.


This retreat is not a course in creativity, but a chance to engage with mindfulness in a creative and non-judgmental way.

Using simple mark-making exercises, journaling, creative writing, stillness and movement, sound-making and listening, simple games and partner-work, we explore the present moment in fun and interesting ways.

This creative approach helps us to examine and identify the thoughts and feelings, the habitual responses and repetitive stories that inhibit our joy.

By engaging and reconnecting with our bodies, we can learn ways of releasing stress, ways to respond differently and more creatively to life.

Click here to see our arrangments for managing the Coronavirus

The retreat is for women aged 18 and above.


Kamini is a warm and skilful facilitator...with beautiful mirth, humanity and humour. Her process is considered and effective - her vision for this work is really clear.

This retreat is for you if you're:

  • new to mindfulness practice or are looking to sustain and reconnect with your practice in a new way
  • interested in exploring your own spontaneous creative response
  • feeling stuck creatively and would like the chance to experiment and play
  • in need of rest, rejuvenation and renewal
  • looking for tools and resources to sustain you in your everyday life
  • looking to deepen your experience in a relaxed, supportive environment with other women
  • a coach, therapist or other professional looking for new ways to explore your mindfulness in your work with women

On this retreat, you'll:

  • learn how to bring mindfulness to everyday activities
  • have free time each day to relax, reflect and rejuvenate
  • enjoy delicious home-cooked vegetarian food
  • gain opportunities to reconnect with nature and to benefit from the very special location of Grade 1-listed Sharpham House and Estate, set within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

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 details of our booking process


Typical schedule

(This is an example of a retreat day schedule and is flexible, subject to changes by the retreat leader).

Day 1: Arrive between 3-5pm for welcoming talk and settling in

Mornings Afternoons
7.00am - wake up  1.00pm - lunch and personal time
8.00am - guided sitting meditation/yoga session 4.30pm - afternoon guided session
8.30am - breakfast  6.00pm – supper 
10.30am- 12.30pm – morning guided session 8.00pm - evening meditation/guided relaxation

The retreat will move into silence each evening from 9pm – 9am and there will be an extended period of silence on day 2.

Final day - Depart 12noon

As it was a women-only retreat, I felt very safe and secure to let down my guard and truly experience what to 'retreat' means. I am grateful that the staff are sensitive to retreatants and what their needs are.

I came to the retreat feeling very tired and low in energy and in need of connection and support. The retreat exceeded my expectations. I feel restored, reconnected with myself and loved the company and warmth that I received.

Thank-you. My spirit is breathing again

This has been a wonderul experience of self-discovery, relaxation, expression and love. I feel truly nurtured by the experience both physically (the food was a revelation!) and spiritually. I would come again in a heartbeat! 

I loved the feeling of empowerment during the sessions, and the celebration and attention paid to the body.

This retreat takes place in the beautiful and historic Grade 1-listed Sharpham House set in a Capability Brown-designed landscape with stunning views over the steeply-wooded River Dart.

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

Click here to view, print or download directions and a map to Sharpham House

Click here view and download walking/cycling directions to Sharpham House

Aerial shot of Sharpham House

If you have a medical condition that requires you to have an en-suite room, please contact our Programme Administrator on the number below as these rooms are limited and are bookable on a first-come first-served basis.

Just to let you know, we have poor mobile phone coverage – which we see as a virtue. While there is wi-fi in Sharpham House, we encourage you to disconnect from ‘the network’ so you can fully retreat when you’re here.

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

We are in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty


We take sustainability seriously.

All of the hot water and heating in the House is produced by a state-of-the-art biomass woodchip boiler and we have 2 large photo-voltaic solar panel arrays on barn rooftops.

Eco-gardens at Sharpham

Our gardens are managed organically and we only use bio-degradable cleaning products.

£390 Standard Room

£435 Premium room

£495 Heritage room



Limited 50% bursaries offering reduced-price retreats are available for those experiencing financial hardship. Please contact the Programme Administrator 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

Maite Alonso

Maite Alonso

Maite has a background in general and psychiatric nursing, and Movement and Drama Therapy. Since 1990 she has been practicing meditation and attending retreats in different traditions, mainly Insight Meditation and Zen, in India, Europe, the UK, and the USA. 

She has trained in Sivananda Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, and Shakti Dance and has been working for the last 12 years as a yoga teacher and massage therapist. In the last 6 years, she has been co-leading retreats at Sharpham.

Maite's passion is co-creating spaces where people can find insights through connecting with their bodies, with nature, and with each other. Embodiment practices and using the body as a source of wisdom are also her passion.

Kamini Gupta

Kamini Gupta

Kamini Gupta has been practising meditation and mindfulness in the Buddhist tradition for over 22 years. She is a graduate of the year-long residential course in Buddhist Studies and Contemporary Inquiry at Sharpham (which was offered between 1996-2001).  Her professional creative career spans a wide range of experience including teaching and community arts.

Drawing from her personal experience of the therapeutic qualities of mindfulness and creative expression (which supported her through critical illness and major life trauma) she has been developing and facilitating mindfulness and creative inquiry retreats since 2007.

She is also inspired by the study of the feminine archetypes across cultures, ritual and sacred art, Shamanism, dance, free movement, and yoga. Her website is at

Retreats & Events

How to book easily and securely:

  • online on this page
  • by phoning 01803 732542

Ring us or email us on [email protected] if you've got any questions.

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