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Nourishing the Heart: a mindfulness & self-compassion retreat - 4 nights

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You'll explore how heart-based practices like self-compassion and loving kindness can enrich your meditation and nourish you in your daily life on this retreat.

Click here to see our Covid-19 precautions

Meditation retreats in Sharpham House

Compassion can be defined as "sensitivity to suffering and the willingness to alleviate it”.

Many people can be kind and supportive of others, whilst struggling to apply this same attitude to themselves. All too often we slip into patterns of judging and criticising ourselves, a habitual yet unhelpful strategy, making the challenges that we face more difficult.

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in practices that cultivate self-compassion and kindness. There's an expanding body of research showing the positive effect such practices have on emotional well-being, self-care, physical health and personal relationships.

Some of these benefits appear to be specific to compassion practices rather than standard mindfulness practice alone.

This retreat, involving skilled and trained leaders, draws on recently-developed and evidence-backed approaches such as Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC), Mindfulness-based Compassionate Living (MBCL) and the work of Paul Gilbert, founder of Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT). 

Meditation retreats in Sharpham House

This retreat is for you if you:

  • would like to connect more with the qualities of the heart, such as compassion, kindness, gratitude and sympathetic joy.
  • want to deepen your mindfulness practice and learn a new set of practices within this approach.
  • find yourself criticising or judging yourself harshly.
  • want to learn wiser and more helpful ways to relate to difficulties.
  • are interested in understanding yourself better and learning about how and why we get into unhelpful patterns.

Lucy Chan, one of the leaders on this retreat, gave this TEDx talk about the need for cultivating fierce compassion.

Lucy Chan talks about Fierce Compassion

 

She also leads this downloadable meditation on the same aspect of compassion, helping to halt people-pleasing and enabling you to protect, say no or disagree with tender strength:


During this retreat you’ll:

  • experience guided meditations, relaxation sessions and periods of silence and quiet contemplation
  • be living in safe community with like-minded people
  • 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
  • Delicous vegetarian food at Sharphamenjoy delicious, healthy, home-cooked vegetarian food that regularly receives rave reviews
  • 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

 

River Dart at Sharpham

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

 

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
  • A journal or notepad if you want to write or draw during your time here
  • Swimming gear – we have a small pool that’s may be open (check with the house team on arrival). 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.

Delicious food at Sharpham House

Our food & your dietary needs


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 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 clinically diagnosed 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.

The River Dart from Sharpham

The retreat programme will include three 3-40-minute meditation sessions per day with periods of silence to help strengthen the practice. Day 3 will be spent in silence.

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

Typical day

Mornings Afternoons
7.00am - wake up bell. Silence until 9.50am 12.20pm - meditation
7.30am – mindful movement 1.00pm - lunch and household tasks
8.00am - meditation 2.00pm – personal time 
8.30am – breakfast and household tasks 3.00pm -  Teaching and Q&A 
9.50am – daily meeting, break the silence  5.20pm  – meditation
11.00am - teaching and Q&As 6.00pm – supper and household tasks
  7.45pm – personal time
  8.45pm – Deep relaxation
  9.00pm – House moves into silence until 9.50am the next day

Departure time on final day is 12 noon

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.

£395 - Standard room

£445 - Premium room

£495 - Heritage room


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

All rooms are single occupancy, giving you your own space in which to relax.

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

Book easily and securely online or by phoning 01803 732542

Please click here to see our booking and cancellations policy


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

Ollie Frame

Ollie Frame

Ollie Frame works as an integrative therapist, mindfulness teacher and retreat leader. He is a co-leader on the Mindful in Nature programme at Sharpham, for which he has produced a large range of meditations and resources. He teaches the eight-week course in various settings, including to the general public, to teachers and students in schools and colleges, and to various other client groups on behalf of Devon County Council. Also trained to teach the Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living (MBCL) course, he is especially enthusiastic about self-compassion, Metta meditation and other heart-based approaches within the world of mindfulness. As an integrative therapist, Ollie has a particular interest in Psychosynthesis, depth psychology, inner journeying and the therapeutic use of meditation and the imagination. 


Lucy Chan

Lucy Chan

Lucy is a teacher of mindfulness, compassion, and Buddhist meditation who leads retreats and courses worldwide. She also offers the 8-Week Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) programme having trained directly under the internationally renowned pioneers of this field; Kristin Neff and Chris Germer. As a practising doctor in the NHS for over a decade, she understands the importance of integrating mindfulness practices as a way to keep balance in everyday life. Her passions include helping people engage with self-compassion practices as a way to build inner resilience, and supporting the caregivers of society.


Dr Jo Gosling

Dr Jo Gosling

Jo has over 30 years’ experience in the NHS, initially as a Macmillan nurse in cancer care then, after gaining a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 1996, as a Clinical Health Psychologist. She has a longstanding mindfulness practice and has undergone extensive training with teachers from Bangor and Exeter Universities.

She has regular mentoring and attends silent meditation retreats to deepen her practice. As a freelance mindfulness teacher she has delivered numerous MBCT groups for people with recurrent depression at the Mood Disorders Centre, University of Exeter and been supervisor to trainee mindfulness teachers. A personal health crisis, combined with training to teach Mindful Self-Compassion (with Chris Germer and Kristin Neff) led to a change of direction in life and she is now at Plymouth College of Art studying an MA in Fine Art. A natural follow-on has been to combine the two areas of mindfulness and creativity, in the form of retreats and workshops: ‘Mindfulness and Creativity-Working from the Heart.’


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.