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Mindfulness for Beginners

Claire Joseph

in the last week, on Google
I went to Sharpham for the first time last week on a mindfulness/walking retreat with Linda and Nigel. Such a beautiful place and a wonderful experience. Fabulous food and the tranquility was bliss, I'd highly recommend Sharpham to anyone and I'll definitely be back!

Jane Watts

2 months ago, on Google
An excellent 8 week introduction to mindfulness with Teachers Lynn and Caroline. Its the start of a very powerful journey with moments of frustration, challenges and elation. The course is practical, easy to follow and incorporate into daily life. Would i recommend it 100% YES!

Sarah Dickens

a month ago, on Google
A gem of a place! Spent a happy week here on a "Mindfulness Through Singing" retreat. The staff were unfailingly kind, the food was superb, and the mansion house and grounds were simply stunning. A very restorative experience.

Lia Daniels

a week ago, on Google
I did a 5-day retreat here and it was absolutely beautiful. Definitely come for a visit!

Louise Epona Pell

a month ago, on Google
Enter into pure tranquillity in this most resplendent setting where you will be welcomed with love from the moment you step into the exquisitely held sacred space of Sharpham House, where the land will rise up to meet your feet, your tummy will be filled with wonderful nourishing food and your body will be safe and comfortable, a place to find harmony, friendship and peace, I cannot wait to return again to sample the further delights of this most special of places!

If you want to start (or re-start) a mindfulness practice, then this retreat can show you the way.

Meditation retreats at The Sharpham Trust

Expert leaders will introduce you gently to the practice of meditation with guided sitting sessions, mindful walking and periods of silence.

You'll be cared for full-board in Sharpham House, with enough free time for rest and reflection.

And you’ll be able to connect with nature in the very special location of the Sharpham Estate.

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

 

An easy way to explore mindfulness


This retreat is for you if you:

  • Haven’t explored mindfulness and meditation before
  • Want to re-begin a lapsed mindfulness practice
  • Are aged 18 and above

 

Staying in comfortable community


There will be a maximum of 20 participants on this retreat.

There are periods of silence on each of our retreats.

Because Sharpham House is a Grade 1-listed mansion (with limits to the changes we are allowed to make to the building), few bedrooms come with an en-suite bathroom and toilet. There are shared bathrooms on every floor.

Meditation retreats at The Sharpham Trust

What you’ll experience on this retreat


  • experience guided meditations, relaxation sessions and periods of silence and quiet contemplation
  • be living in community with like-minded people, sharing experiences and tasks, including the washing-up
  • be able to explore our tranquil Capability Brown-designed parkland and our Grade 2*-listed gardens designed by Percy Cane
  • have a single-occupancy room and your own space in which to rejuvenate, with free time to deeply rest and reconnect with yourself, far from the busy-ness of daily life. Click here to explore our rooms.
  • enjoy delicious, healthy, home-cooked vegetarian food that regularly receives rave reviews and have access to 24-hour hot teas, coffee & infusions in our Toasting Room
  • be cared for full-board in a Grade 1-listed Georgian House surrounded by history and art, with staff looking after you, in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty close to nature, amid breath-taking scenery on the banks of the River Dart
     

Meditation retreats at The Sharpham Trust

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

Meditation retreats at The Sharpham Trust

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:

  • Comfy clothes for meditation, movement and relaxation
  • Slippers (we supply some, but you might prefer your own)
  • A journal or notepad if you want to write or draw during your time here
  • Swimming gear – we have a small pool that’s open in summer. Click here to read more
  • Walking boots – we have wonderful footpaths and routes to explore
  • Running gear if you’re a jogger. Some participants love to run on the lanes and footpaths near Sharpham

Find out more about staying in Sharpham House on our Frequently Asked Questions page

Meditation retreats at The Sharpham Trust


Our food & your dietary needsMindfulness meditation retreats at The Sharpham Trust


The retreat is full-board with delicious home-cooked vegetarian food.

In line with sustainable practices across the Estate, our cooks produce seasonal, vegetarian food for our guests. We source food whenever possible from our kitchen garden and support local food suppliers. 

Food allergies & intolerances
Please tell us well in advance of your stay of any food allergies or intolerances you may have.

You can tell us this on the Booking Form via a link we send you in your confirmation email.


Your physical and mental health


This retreat uses techniques and approaches from Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) with trained and qualified teachers and is suitable for you if you are new to mindfulness, or 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 psychiatric illness such as bipolar disorder, psychosis or current self-harming. Click here for more information and for our booking process

We have an accessible en-suite bedroom The Clare Milne Room – click here for details on how to book this room

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.

 

Sharpham was a great experience on many levels. It was an excellent introduction to mindfulness meditation - then to have those sessions woven through three days of stimulating company, delicious, healthy food in a setting so heavenly, made it the perfect still-point in a hectic life.

Meditation retreats at The Sharpham Trust

Typical retreat schedule

Day 1: Arrive between 4-5pm for welcoming talk and settling in

Mornings Afternoons
7.00am - wake up  12.30pm - guided sitting meditation
7.30am – mindful movement  1.00pm - lunch
8.00am - guided sitting meditation 2.30pm – teaching Q&A 
8.30am – breakfast and tasks 4.00pm - personal time 
9.50am – meeting  5.00pm  – guided sitting meditation
10.30am - walk of the grounds or personal time 6.00pm – supper and tasks
  7.45pm – personal time
  8.45pm – Deep relaxation
  9.00pm – House moves into silence until 9.00am the next day

Final day: depart by 12noon

The retreat will move into silence each evening from 9pm – 9am, and till 2pm on day 3.

I found staying at Sharpham the most moving experience and am very grateful to all the people who help run such a wonderful place.

 

Your inspired guidance and support have enabled me to continue to be connected to my mindfulness practice, which is a tool I am grateful for every day.

 

I have returned from the Mindfulness for Beginners retreat at Sharpham today & I wanted to email you to say a huge, huge thank you from the bottom of my heart. I had an incredible time and discovered emotions I didn't even know I had!

 

At a time in my life when I have felt unfettered for quite a while, this retreat has helped me feel much more grounded and balanced.

 

Beautiful surroundings, delicious food and a very well facilitated retreat. Thank-you.

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


Sustainability

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.

3 nights

£335 - Standard room, single occupancy, full-board 

£365 - Premium room, single occupancy, full-board 

£395 - Heritage room, single occupancy, full-board 

(see also room types below)

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.

Bursaries for Young People

Thanks to a generous donor, we are also able to offer a reduction of 70% of the total costs of a retreat for young people experiencing financial hardship aged between 18-25 years of age. Please contact the Programme Administrator and ask for a Young Persons Bursary application form 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


Room types

Standard rooms
Our Standard rooms are smaller and cost less, but they’re still cosy and comfy. If you prefer a simpler or less expensive retreat experience, these rooms are for you.

Standard room at Sharpham House

Premium rooms
These are attractive rooms with good views of the stunning countryside that surrounds us. They are comfortable, giving you a restful environment in which to restore.

Premium room in Sharpham House

Heritage rooms
These are our most spacious & historic rooms, helping you deeply rest and rejuvenate in a nourishing and inspiring atmosphere surrounded by artworks and with river views.

Heritage room in Sharpham House

Bathrooms

Because Sharpham House is a Grade 1-listed mansion (with limits to the changes we are allowed to make to the building), few bedrooms come with an en-suite bathroom and toilet. There are shared bathrooms on every floor.

A shared bathroom at Sharpham

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.


Our accessible rooms

We have an accessible en-suite bedroom The Clare Milne Room – click here for details on how to book this room


All rooms have tea & coffee-making facilities and towels are provided. Click here to see more about our rooms

Lynne Holmes

Lynne Holmes

Lynne has a background as a nurse, health visitor and also trained as a psychotherapist at Metanoia in London in the early 1990s. While training as a therapist she became interested in meditation and has practiced for the last 15 +years. She has trained as a Mindfulness Teacher at Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre, Bangor University and Exeter University. She teaches MBSR groups for the Mood Disorders Centre at Exeter University and also mentors and supervises students taking the Mindfulness Diploma. She is passionate about teaching Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction to people suffering from stress and brings a depth of experience and compassion to her work. She has a daily meditation practice, receives regular supervision and attends regular silent insight meditation retreats. Find her at www.mindfulnessdevon.co.uk


Lynne Roberts

Lynne Roberts

Lynne qualified as a chartered physiotherapist in 1987 and was a team leader in the out-patients department at Torbay Hospital.

Since graduating she has specialised in the management of acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions and the emotional impact of these. She has been delivering mindfulness programmes for over 10 years within the NHS and at Sharpham. 

Lynne runs MBSR/MBCT courses having completed training at Bangor and Exeter University. She runs Mindfulness for Health courses as an accredited Breathworks teacher and .b courses having completed training through the Mindfulness in Schools Project.


Patti Summerville.

Patti Summerville.

Patti began a personal meditation practice in 1996 after attending a retreat at the Tushita Institute, Dharamsala, India. Over the years her practice has been influenced by Mahayana and Theravada Buddhist traditions and in 2013 she took on the role of co-ordinator at The Barn Retreat Centre, an Insight Mindfulness Meditation Retreat centre at Sharpham. Patti has trained to be a Mindfulness Meditation Teacher with Exeter University and an Integral Hatha Yoga Teacher in 2009 at the Sri Swami Satchidananda Ashram. On a personal level Patti has found great benefit integrating mindfulness practice into her busy, everyday, private and professional life as an Occupational Therapist and is passionate about supporting others on their journey towards more contented, peaceful and compassionate lives.


Ramiro Ortega

Ramiro Ortega

Ramiro has practised mindfulness for over 15 years, and Insight Meditation since 2005.

He teaches mindfulness retreats at Sharpham House and The Barn Retreat Centre, as well as 8-week courses for the public.

Ramiro trained to teach mindfulness with the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice at Bangor University.


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.

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.