Honouring our ancestors retreat - with Dene Donalds

Sunday 16 - Saturday 22 July

This retreat is open to people of colour interested in exploring Buddhism. We will offer participants an opportunity to be together with others who may have experienced similar paths and experiences.

We will have the opportunity to honour our ancestors and listen deeply to each other’s stories through practising together and generating a powerful energy of sisterhood and brotherhood. This retreat will help nourish our joy and tend to our suffering in a safe and nurturing environment.

The retreat is for you if you:

  • Are a person of colour
  • Want to join a community of people with shared experiences connected with their heritage and ancestry
  • Need rest, replenishment, renewal and inspiration.
  • Are feeling overwhelmed, stressed or anxious by the demands and pace of modern life
  • Are looking for tools and resources to sustain you in your everyday life

You'll experience

  • Safety and security in community
  • Meeting like-minded people with common experiences
  • Life in community, sharing food-making, satisfying work in the Barn and outside in the garden
  • The beauty of the 550-acre Sharpham Estate, set in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • Time to rest, heal and rejuvenate

Dene Donalds introduces the retreat

Our themed retreats are similar to standard retreats with extra teaching in the afternoons.

(Our programme of standard 6-night Barn Retreats continues as usual and can be viewed and booked here)

This retreat runs from Sunday 16 July to Saturday 22 July.

Themed retreat weeks have a tighter schedule and are more busy (ie allowing less free time) than our standard Six day retreats.

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 themed retreat schedule

Sunday: Arrive between 14.00 and 16.00

16.30 Welcome talk, introductions and tour

17.30 Guided meditation

18.30 Light evening meal. Then settling in

21.00 Silence starts

Monday to Friday:

This is a generic guide and will be adjusted to meet each teacher's needs.

Mornings Afternoons
6.20 – Wake up 13.00 – Lunch
6.50 – Meditation 14.00 – Personal time
7.30 –  Household tasks 14.30 – Teaching
8.00 – Breakfast 17.00 – Meditation 
9.00 – Silence ends, house meeting (except Wednesday) 18.00 – Light supper prepared individually or in groups
10.30 – Mindful gardening (except Wednesday) 19.00 – Meditation (Some guided)
12.20 – Meditation (Some guided)  21.00 – House moves into silence until 9.00am the next day

Saturday:  As above until 8.00 - silence ends at breakfast.

Then room clear and depart between 9.00 and 12.00

These retreats will take place at the Barn Retreat Centre, with superb views over the River Dart. They include full board with delicious home-cooked vegetarian food. Click here for directions.

Cost: £330 plus dana*

*Dana is the Pali word for generousity 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 themed retreats.

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.

Dene Donalds

Dene Donalds

Dene is a lay Ordained Dharma Teacher in the Zen Buddhist Tradition of Zen Master and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh.

Dene offers Buddhist and mindfulness retreats across the UK and Europe, with a focus on engaged Buddhism and social action.  He has been a student of Zen Buddhism since the mid-nineties and joined The Order of Interbeing in 2007.

He is based in the North of England where his work includes offering Buddhist chaplaincy within Prisons and Mental Health Hospitals.

Retreats & Events

All rooms are single occupancy.

How to book easily and securely:

  • online on this page
  • by phoning 01803 732661
  • or by emailing us

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