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Earth in Mind: Dharma, Deep Ecology and the Land with Rupert Marques

This retreat connects mindfulness and The Dharma with the natural world – at a time when the world urgently needs our care.

a teacher-led Buddhist meditation retreat at The Barn at Sharpham, Devon

We live with two possibilities: Either The Great Turning - the movement toward social justice and ecological sustainability, and living in a mutually enhancing manner with the wider Earth community. Or The Great Unravelling - the breakdown of many human and ecological systems we depend upon.

It is a challenging time to be alive and to hold, yet it is also a privilege to be awake at this crucial juncture in our collective story and to participate in its unfolding.

 

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day I can hear her breathing

- Arundhati Roy

 

In this retreat we will take the time to slow down, connect with ourselves and with the land.

We’ll remember with our minds and bodies what deeply matters to us and what we deeply belong to.

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

a teacher-led Buddhist meditation retreat at The Barn at Sharpham, Devon

During our week we will draw on a range of tools and practices woven through the daily rhythm of life at The Barn, including:

  • silent meditation practice
  • Dharma teachings and discussion
  • Nature-based eco-psychology practices
  • a solo day on the land. 

We also draw support from coming together as a small temporary community, reminding us that we do not walk this path alone but are a part of a collective unfolding story - made richer by our own presence.

 

Staying alongside an inspirational teacher


teacher led meditation retreats at The Barn at The Sharpham TrustThis retreat is offered as an invitation to resource ourselves, to continue to open our hearts courageously to the inner and outer landscapes we inhabit.

The quality of presence cultivated through a continuity of mindfulness practice unfolded through our days will be a primary support in meeting this life, one moment at a time.

This retreat is for you if you:

  • want to go deeper into dharma, with an experienced teacher close at hand
  • want to bring your attention and practice to focus on the Natural World
  • need resourcing in this changing times
  • are prepared to live and work in community, preparing meals together and working in the gardens
  • are aged 18 and above

Retreats with residential teachers


Our retreats with residential teachers are similar to standard retreats with extra teaching.

There will be a maximum of 10 participants on this retreat.

There are periods of silence on each of our retreats.

Our programme of standard 6-night retreats at The Barn can be viewed and booked here


Daily meditations


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.

Gardens at The Barn at The Sharpham Trust, Devon, England, UK

What you’ll experience on this retreat


During this retreat you’ll:

  • experience guided meditations and periods of silence and quiet contemplation
  • be living in community with like-minded people, sharing experiences and tasks, including the making of meals and taking care of the house
  • 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

a teacher-led Buddhist meditation retreat at The Barn at Sharpham, Devon

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 for reflection during your time here

Find out more about staying at The Barn on our Frequently Asked Questions page

Food at The Barn at The Sharpham Trust

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.

 

I found the space to reconnect with parts of myself I thought were lost. All thanks to the amazing coordinators, other retreatants, beautiful surroundings. If we all did this once a year, the world would be all the brighter for it….

 

View down the River Dart Valley - by Barn participant Gary Fielder

 

 

Retreats with residential teachers have a tighter schedule and have less free time than our standard 6-night retreats.

Note that we hold silence from 9.00pm to 9.00am 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 – Light evening meal. Then settling in
8.30pm – The Barn goes into silence until 9.00am the next day
 

 

Monday to Friday:

This is a typical schedule and will be adjusted to meet each teacher's needs.

Mornings Afternoons
6.20am – Wake up 12.20pm – Meditation (some guided) 
6.50am – Meditation 1.00pm – Lunch
  2.00pm – Personal time
7.30am –  Household tasks 4.30pm – Optional sitting meditation
8.00am – Breakfast 5.00pm – Teaching 
9.00am – Morning sharing and meeting  6.00pm – Light supper prepared individually or in groups
10.00am – Mindful gardening  8.00pm – Practice discussion
   

 

Saturday:  

As above until 8.00am. Silence ends at breakfast. Then it's time to clear your room and depart between 9.00am and 11.00am.

A beautiful way to slow down, listen in and be in a welcoming and loving community. This has been an enriching week - stunning surroundings, lovely people, delicious food, very skilled and compassionate facilitators, and wise teachers.
 

This week at The Barn has been food for my heart. I feel calmer and more connected. The kindness of all the people here, the healthy food, the chance to be in nature were so helpful.
 

This experience was a long overdue gift to myself. It felt both restorative and gently transformative--a very special week.
 

Coming to the Barn is an opportunity to reconnect with yourself, with your body and mind in the context of wonderful nature. It is immersive, and helps to blur the lines between body/mind, self/other, and human/nature.

This retreat takes place at The Barn, with superb views over the River Dart.


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

view of 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.


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.


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

We are in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty


Sustainability


We take sustainability seriously.Meditation retreats at The Barn at The Sharpham Trust, Devon, England

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.

Standard rate: £350 plus dana

We are committed to ensuring that retreats at The Barn are accessible to all - regardless of income. Paying the Standard rate allows us to support those who are only able to afford the Subsidised Rate and contributes towards our operating and running costs.

The Standard rate includes all meals, bedding and towels.

Supported rate: £295 plus dana

This is for those unable to pay the Standard rate. The Supported rate includes all meals, bedding and towels.


Dana
Dana is the Pali word for generosity or donation. The teachers are receiving only a small payment for teaching at The Barn and are generously giving their energy and understanding to us all. Please consider giving a donation to teachers for the retreats that they lead.


Room types

Rooms 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. Contact the Barn team on the number or email below 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 Marques has been practising in the Insight Meditation tradition for over 20 years. He has a background in ecospychology, environmental and outdoor education.

He currently lives and teaches at Ecodharma, a pioneering community in the Spanish Pyrenees supporting individuals and groups working toward social justice and ecological sustainability.

A guiding interest for him is the exploration of how inner work finds its expression in sustaining and enriching our work for ‘the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible’.


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.