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Sustaining Our Teachers: A mindfulness retreat for educators

A bespoke retreat aimed at the needs of teachers and educators, led by an international expert in mindfulness and teaching.

Sustaining our Teachers - a mindfulness meditation retreat to help beat stress

Working in education is demanding - stress and burn-out is at an all time high among educational professionals.

 

The first step is to come back to yourself – the way out is in. Come back to yourself to be able to take care of yourself: learn how to generate a feeling of happiness; learn how to handle a painful feeling or emotion; listen to your own suffering, so that understanding and compassion can be born and you will suffer less. This is the first step and, as a teacher, you have to be able to do this.

- Thich Nhat Hanh in a letter to a young teacher


This 4-night retreat is designed specifically to support and care for our teachers and educators, sharing tools, skills and resources that sustain those who foster the next generation.

You’ll be cared for, full-board, in the peaceful surroundings of Sharpham House and Estate, set within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

This retreat is for you if you:

  • Work in education and would like to learn how mindfulness and meditation can tackle stress and support your well-being
  • Have experienced burn-out – or seen it in others - and wish to avoid it
  • Want to spend time in rest, contemplation and renewal, away from the busyness of everyday life
  • Are a teacher or educator supporting children and young people from pre-school to university level

Although this is not a course to train you to teach mindfulness, cultivating your own mindfulness is a vital building block in any reputable course, such as the Mindfulness in Schools project, and this retreat may be the beginning of your journey towards teaching mindfulness to your students.

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

There are periods of silence on each of our retreats.

Sustaining our Teachers - a mindfulness meditation retreat to help beat stress

 

Inspirational retreat leaders with education expertise

Katherine Weare on Sustaining our Teachers - a mindfulness meditation retreat to help beat stressKatherine Weare is a respected international figure in mindfulness in education. She is Professor at the University of Exeter teaching mindfulness and regularly teaches at Sharpham.

She published the widely-acclaimed book Happy Teachers Change the World co-authored with mindfulness pioneer, spiritual leader, poet and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh. Read more about their book here.

She is also trained to teach the Mindfulness in Schools .b and .b foundation programmes and has made a long-term study of mindfulness and well-being for teachers

Julie Berentsen on Sustaining our Teachers - a mindfulness meditation retreat to help beat stressJulie Berentsen is a qualified systemic practitioner with a passionate interest in supporting the well-being of young people and the communities around them.

She is an experienced primary school teacher and has a qualification with the Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP), a not-for-profit organization offering mindfulness training to young people from 7–18 years of age.

Ollie Frame on Sustaining our Teachers - a mindfulness meditation retreat to help beat stressOllie Frame has been co-leading yoga and meditation retreats for over five years. Trained in Mindfulness with Bangor University and the University of Exeter, he runs 8-week courses for members of the public as well as courses for teachers and students within schools and colleges.

Click the Leaders tab above for more information.


What you’ll experience on this retreat


During this retreat you’ll:

  • Develop simple mindfulness meditation practice, led by experienced teachers, to enhance your personal resilience
  • Build skills to use in your daily life, helping you avoid burn-outSustaining our Teachers - a mindfulness meditation retreat to help beat stress
  • Explore your contribution to the world as a teacher / educator in the context of self-care and self-compassion
  • Reconnect with your intention as a teacher-educator, exploring how mindfulness can sustain your passion long-term
  • Share experiences in a safe, supportive, peaceful environment, immersed in nature and beauty
  • 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, close to nature, amid breath-taking scenery on the banks of the River Dart

 

Sustaining our Teachers - a mindfulness meditation retreat to help beat stress


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

Sustaining our Teachers - a mindfulness meditation retreat to help beat stress


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
  • 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.


Our food & your dietary needsSustaining our Teachers - a mindfulness meditation retreat to help beat stress


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. 

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.


Your physical and mental health


The course is for anyone aged 18 and above involved in teaching and education. We ask that you bring an open curiosity to exploring these issues. 

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 whole experience has left me with a sense of confidence in my ability to improve my well-being and find more balance

 

Sharpham House - home to meditation mindfulness retreats in Devon, England

If you're coming to stay with us on retreat, it is important to make a commitment to arrive in time for the first group meeting and to attend all the days.

This ensures you experience the retreat programme from start to finish and helps your group of participants to gel.


The schedule is carefully balanced to ensure sufficient time for rest and replenishment alongside enquiry and learning. 

Our aim is that you come away with the insights, tools and mindfulness practices that you can take into your everyday life and work, supporting you to find balance within yourself.

Day 1

Afternoon/evening
4.00pm - 5.00pm - arrival
5.15pm – Welcome meeting, House tour, settling in
6.15pm - Supper and washing up
8.15pm - Guided meditation
9.00pm - House moves into silence until 8.30am, supporting individual mindfulness and reflection

 

Typical day

Mornings Afternoons
7.15am - wake-up bell (silence until 9.50am) 12.30pm - Personal time or 1-1 mentoring
8.00am - Early Bird Moving Mindfulness   1.00pm – Lunch & tasks
8.30am - Breakfast & tasks 2.15pm – Guided walk, personal time or 1-1 mentoring
9.50am - Guided meditation 3.45pm – Mindfulness exploration
10.30am - Tea 5.15pm – Tea
10.45am - Group circle, sharing & exploration of the theme    5.30pm - Sitting meditation
  6.00pm – Dinner, tasks and personal time
  8.00pm - Sitting practice, mindfulness exploration & deep relaxation
  9.00pm - Personal time. House moves into silence.

 

Final day

Afternoon/evening
7.15am - wake-up bell (silence until 9.50am)
8.00am - Early Bird Moving Mindfulness  
8.30am - Breakfast & tasks
9.50am - Guided meditation
10.30am - Final meeting
11.45am - Departure

 

Sharpham is a small slice of heaven...it is a much-nneded spot of quietness and positive energy and I could not recommend it more.
 

One of the most beautiful, nurturing and life-affirming opportunities that I have given myself and shared with others
 

This was truly food for the soul, and much appreciated

 

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.

4 nights

£375 - Standard room, single occupancy, full-board 

£425 - Premium room, single occupancy, full-board 

£450 – Heritage room, single occupancy, full-board 


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


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


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

Professor Katherine Weare - Sustaining Our Teachers

Professor Katherine Weare - Sustaining Our Teachers

Katherine Weare is a respected international figure in mindfulness in education, and Professor at the University of Exeter teaching mindfulness. She also regularly teaches at Sharpham.

She published the widely-acclaimed book Happy Teachers Change the World co-authored with mindfulness pioneer, spiritual leader, poet and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh. Read more about her here.

Katherine is also trained to teach the Mindfulness in Schools .b and .b foundation programmes.  She has made a long-term study of mindfulness and well-being for teachers


Julie Berentsen

Julie Berentsen

Julie is a qualified systemic practitioner with a passionate interest in supporting the wellbeing of young people and the communities around them.

She is an experienced primary school teacher and has a qualification with the Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP), a not-for-profit organization offering mindfulness training to young people from 7–18 years of age.

In addition to this, Julie has trained at the Special Yoga Centre in London gaining her children’s yoga credential. She also has an MA in education, with her dissertation focusing on mindfulness in children using the Plum Village approach.

Over the years Julie has studied with many experts in these fields and has taken part in mindfulness training with a variety of renowned practitioners. She has also spoken on her experiences and research at various international conferences and retreats.  She featured on the BBC News as part of a research project into mindfulness in secondary schools as well as a short piece on mindfulness in primary schools. Julie runs regular classes, introductory workshops and INSET training on mindfulness for students, parents and teachers.


Ollie Frame

Ollie Frame

Ollie Frame has been co-leading yoga and meditation retreats for over five years. Trained in Mindfulness with Bangor University and the University of Exeter, he runs 8-week courses for members of the public as well as courses for teachers and students within schools and colleges. Ollie also works as an Integrative counsellor and has a particular interest in Psychosynthesis, depth psychology and inner journeying. Within the world of mindfulness, he is especially enthusiastic about self compassion, metta meditation and other heart-based approaches.


Retreats & Events

How to book easily and securely:

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.