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The Life of The Buddha

Martyn Osborne

a month ago, on Google
The Barn is definitely a very special and magical place with an amazing team of coordinators and admin support. I went with a little trepidation which was totally unfounded - the whole experience was comforting and restorative both physically and emotionally. The location is stunning and the program well established to ensure you get the maximum out of your retreat. I totally underestimated the strength of community established in barely a week and the meditation/silence periods gave you ample time and space to reflect on whatever challenges you were facing. I will definitely be back on a regular basis to reinvigorate my faith in human nature.

Chris Nichols

a week ago, on Google
Not long back from my second wonderful 'retreat' at the Barn .Personally I don't think 'retreat' is the right word to describe what is on offer there.What I have experienced both times there now has been life changing and for me an 'advance' to a new and more humane way of looking at the world and myself . Partly I think as a result of the excellent, wise and deeply compassionate team there, and also the because of the benefits of living together in community with a group of disparate but like minded souls , who begin the week as strangers but end it feeling blessed to have shared such a special time together. Both times I have been have been amazing . The situation overlooking the River Dart is stunning , the food is great , the bedrooms comfortable . Personally I can sometimes be a bit of a 'loner' and can often find it difficult in groups, but during my visits to the Barn , because I think the facilitators are so good at creating a space there where one feels safe and accepted, it has been possible for me to 'sit' with those and other uncomfortable feelings during the week and feel them come and go and ultimately to allow me to participate wholeheartedly without feeling any pressure to. There IS a magic at this place , partly coming from the beautiful countryside and food etc , but mostly coming from the people who run it , and the people who attend. GO!!

Georgia Hunt

a month ago, on Google
The Barn will forever hold a special place in my heart. Thank you to the coordinators and manager for making my time there so special. The structure and coordination throughout my weeks retreat was seamless, staff always more than happy to support you in whatever way needed and are masters at creating a beautiful and supportive atmosphere amongst retreatants. I know that I will be back again (already looking to book and just got back yesterday!)

Miranda Arnold

a week ago, on Google
The Barn is the perfect place to kickstart or deepen your meditation practice, or just relax and self-heal within a supportive community, in a gorgeous location surrounded by woodland and the Devon hills. The view down the valley of the river Dart is the icing on the cake! Lovely people, perfect environment.

Christos Papaioannou

a week ago, on Google
My week at the Barn was one of the best experiences I had. It was my first retreat ever and the serenity of the place, the amazing coordinators (Huly and Barry) and the loving group of people made it so special. I want to go back again as soon as I can!

Who was The Buddha? Why do his teachings to be relevant for many after 2,500 years? What can we learn from his life? You'll learn the answers to these questions on this retreat, led by Ramiro Ortega.Ramiro Ortega, leading retreats at The Barn at The Sharpham Trust

The Buddha is one of the few people who made a profound mark in the history of humankind. After his death, in the fifth century BCE, his teachings were taken as a guide by millions of people, expanding from a small region in north India to reach the five continents, and passing from generation to generation for 2500 years.

But nowadays, in a world that changes so quickly and enshrines novelty and progress, can we still find in the Buddha’s teachings, and in the example of his own life, something of value for ourselves?

In this retreat we will focus on the life of the Buddha, paying special attention to the most relevant moments on his way to awakening. We will touch on the mythical, historical and archetypical dimensions in which his life can be understood. But above all, we will take the life of the Buddha as one of his main teachings, and explore how it can transform us, in order to live a more meaningful, wise, compassionate and joyful life, here and now.

The tone of this retreat is not theoretical or academic, but eminently practical. We will alternate periods of formal meditation, teachings, reflection, enquiry and group discussions, in an atmosphere of contemplation, enquiry and kindness.

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

Stay in community in The Barn

Staying alongside an inspirational teacher


This retreat is for you if you:

  • want to go deeper into dharma, with an experienced teacher close at hand
  • 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. Click here to view costs

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.

Buddhist meditation retreat at The Barn at Sharpham, Devon, 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

Tasks at The Barn retreat centre 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:

  • 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 if you want to write or draw during your time here

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

Buddhist meditation retreat at The Barn at Sharpham, Devon, UK

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.

View from The Barn retreat centre at The Sharpham Trust

 

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 8.30pm 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.

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

Please note that The Barn Retreat is in a different location to Sharpham House. Make sure to follow the directions to The Barn Retreat, rather than Sharpham House.


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: £360 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: £305 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

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

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.