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Deepening Connection with Nature - 5-nights

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This retreat offers the opportunity to deepen your connection with mindfulness and nature through a 5-night immersive retreat. *Please click here to see our arrangements for Coronavirus

Accommodation is in fully-furnished, single, cosy bell-tents pitched in Sharpham's woodland, close to the River Dart in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 

Meditation retreats in Sharpham woodland

The retreat will offer

  • nature connection and nature sensing activities - cultivating moment to moment awareness in the outdoors 
  • the opportunity for some solo time on the land, with the chance to explore how nature can act as both a mirror and guide for our own unique experience
  • opportunities to deep your connection to your inner life, with time for sharing and personal reflection
  • time for rest and replenishment in a very special natural setting
  • a sense of community and a safe and supportive space, with evening time around the fire and under the stars in good company

Meditation retreats at Sharpham

The retreat is for you if you

 
  • already have some experience of meditation or being on a retreat, or spending time in the outdoors
  • would like to deepen your understanding of mindfulness and nature connection
  • love the outdoors and nature, or would like to experience nature in a different way
  • are looking for tools and resources to sustain you in your everyday life
  • feel a longing to spend time in nature and the chance to reconnect with your true and authentic self

Meditation retreats at Sharpham

You'll experience:

  • opportunities to develop mindfulness skills through guided meditation
  • accessible and engaging nature connection and nature sensing activities - cultivating moment to moment awareness in the outdoors 
  • delicious food including foraging and wild food
  • time for rest and replenishment in a very special natural setting
  •  a safe and supported space with time around the fire and good company

The benefits of connecting with nature and spending time in the natural world are well documented, as are those of developing a mindfulness practice. Together they combine to create a powerful synthesis, often resulting in feelings of gratitude, wonder, calm, self-insight and positive emotions.

This Woodland Retreat offers the chance to feel more fully alive and ‘in your skin’ as well as the opportunity to experience yourself as connected to and part of nature rather than separate – a return to nature as your true home.


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 psychiatric illness such as bipolar disorder, psychosis or current self-harming. Click here for more information and details of our booking process
 

Accessibility


Parts of the site are on uneven ground and our programme includes walking in the hilly countryside of Devon. Please contact us if you have physical health or mobility difficulties to make sure we can best accommodate your needs.

A welcome letter and suggested kit list of what to bring will be provided at the point of booking.

Meditation retreats at Sharpham

Example Schedule

Arrive between 3-5pm for unload, welcoming talk and settling in

Mornings Afternoons
7am – wake up 2pm – personal / free time
7.30am – simple movement/warm-up exercises & meditation 4pm – mindfulness and nature connection activity 
8.30am – breakfast / tasks / make packed lunch 6.30pm - Supper / Tasks
9.30am – mindfulness and nature connection activity  7.45pm - Meditation
1pm - lunch  8pm – personal time / fireside time / night time activity 
  9pm – *camp moves into silence

Depart 12pm - 1pm on the final day

 

*Silence

All of our retreats usually include some short periods of silence as a way of deepening into mindful awareness. If you are new to spending time in silence in the company of other people, it can feel awkward to begin with. However people usually find this to be a useful experience and we encourage you to explore the silent periods with a spirit of openess and curiosity. The retreats typically move into silence each evening from 9pm - 9am the following day and until 2pm on day 3 (see also schedule tab above for typical day) 

I cannot recommend this highly enough - the more you give up to the activities and people around you, the more the reward. A beautiful 3 days.

A 5-star setting with the added bonus of really being grounded in nature.

The most perfect introduction to mindfulness, in an awe-inspiring setting.

I came with an open heart and open mind and left with an expanded heart and expanded mind.

One of the best retreats I have attended.

It’s perfect! Please don’t change it!

The situation of the camp was idyllic and food delicious. The last morning was for me truly golden.

Please click here and follow the directions as per Sharpham House - HOWEVER PLEASE NOTE THAT THE WOODLAND RETREAT DROP OFF POINT IS NOT AT SHARPHAM HOUSE ITSELF - Look out for and follow Woodland Retreat signs once on the estate. Please note that if coming by taxi - the drivers will know the way to Sharpham House but not to the luggage drop off point.  Please look out for the signs.


Venue/Accommodation

This retreat takes place in our beautiful woodland campsite area in the grounds of Sharpham House, surrounded by nature and with the River Dart and 550 acres of the Sharpham Estate to explore. The Estate includes a diversity of natural habitats including reed beds, salt marsh, ancient woodland with a rich variety of wildlife, flora and fauna – all set within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Your accommodation will be in comfortable and spacious bell tents, which include a single foam mattress and protective cover, pillows and a box for muddy shoes and a simple table. Guests are asked to be bring their own sleeping bad. A full list of what to bring will be sent on booking.

The tents offer a good opportunity for those new to camping and a bit of extra comfort for more seasoned campers. There is a covered fire hearth area for wet weather.

We have created a new shower and toilet block at the campsite featuring four hot showers and three flushing loos. It's a lovely timber framed building constructed by students from South Devon College.


Food

Our cooks produce high-quality seasonal, vegetarian food for our guests. We source food whenever possible from our kitchen garden and support local food suppliers.

We can accommodate the following dietary needs:

  • vegan
  • wheat-free
  • gluten-free
  • dairy-free

as long as you have included these on your Booking Form. Please alert us to any food allergies you have. The booking form is sent as a link once you have booked and paid for a retreat.


All bell tents are single occupancy to give you time to yourself for rest and contemplation. The woodland campsite includes a covered outdoor kitchen and dining area and the retreat is fully catered with delicious and locally-sourced vegetarian food, as well as food foraged from the wild.

£495 - Supported Rate

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

£545 – Standard Rate

Paying the Standard Rate means you will be contributing towards our running costs, supporting the work of The Sharpham Trust and helping retreatants of lower incomes to access our retreats.

£595 – 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 retreat on The Sharpham Estate. Your choice to pay this rate will help us with the running costs of The Sharpham Trust, 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.


Accommodation

Your accommodation will be in a comfortable and spacious single bell tent, which includes a single foam mattress and protective cover, pillows, a box for muddy shoes and a simple table. Due to the Coronavirus we are asking guests to bring their own sleeping bags. A full list of what to bring is offered at the point of booking.


Bursaries

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

Rupert Marques

Rupert Marques

Rupert has practiced in the insight meditation tradition for nearly 25 years in Europe, America and Asia. His primary teachers have been Christina Feldman and Joseph Goldstein. The work of Toni Packer and John Tarrant have also been influential in his practice and teaching. He teaches at various retreat centres in Europe and beyond. For the past 4 years Rupert has lived and worked at Ecodharma, a contemplative retreat community in the Spanish Pyrenees dedicated to exploring the role of the Dharma in the movements for social justice and ecological sustainability. At Ecodharma he directed the Nature based Practice strand of their work that marries contemplative practice with a range of approaches within the field of experiential ecopsychology in a wilderness setting.


Brigit-Anna McNeill - retreat leader

Brigit-Anna McNeill - retreat leader

Brigit-Anna trained in wilderness therapy, counselling and mentoring following her MA in Art Psychotherapy. She empowers others to feel  safely held in a group setting, and her approach is strong, safe, transformational and loving. With a rare gift for getting to the heart of the matter and helping others find the deeper truth, Brigit-Anna's knowledge and passion for plants and the natural world is infectious, whether for food, medicine or spiritual ally. She loves to guide us in nature to see it as we have never seen it before; as the missing community we always craved. 


Barry Thurgood

Barry Thurgood

For over 10 years, Barry has been guiding meditation groups and coordinating retreats at Lam Rim Buddhist Centre in Bristol, The Sharpham Barn Retreat and also online. He has also worked as the Sharpham Woodland Camp Retreat Manager.

Barry is inspired by sharing his passion for deepening a sense of connection with ourselves, each other, nature and something bigger than ourselves, all in a spirit of kindness.


Retreats & Events

How to book easily and securely:

  • online on this page
  • by phoning 01803 732542

Ring us or email if you've got any questions.

Please click here to see our booking and cancellations policy.


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.