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Give back to The Barn - a work retreat

Help us nurture The Barn for the future - and get a less expensive retreat at the same time.

Work at The Barn at The Sharpham Trust

Join us for practising and working in community.

Have you been to at least one Barn retreat in the past, and you would like to join us in painting and home repairs? There will be a variety of work involved, including some physically strenuous work. You will need to be of or above average physical ability in order to participate. If this sounds like you, please come and join our community in work and practice. 

We will keep some of the same Barn schedule of meditating and listening to teachings, but with longer work periods to prepare The Barn for future retreats.

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

Stay in Community at The Barn at The Sharpham Trust

Giving back to The Barn


This retreat is for you if you:

  • Have been to The Barn on retreat before
  • Have skills in painting, maintenance and home repairs
  • Of average or above average physical ability
  • Are prepared to live and work in community, preparing meals together and working in the gardens
  • are aged 18 and above

Our work retreats


Our work retreats are similar to the usual Barn Retreat.

There will be a maximum of 9 participants on this retreat.

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.

Stay in comfortable single rooms at The Barn at Sharpham

What you’ll experience on this retreat


During this retreat you’ll:

  • be living in community with like-minded people, sharing experiences and tasks, including the making of meals and taking care of the house
  • experience guided meditations and periods of silence and quiet contemplation
  • 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

View from The Barn, by participant Gary Fielder

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

Give back to The Barn on work retreat

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:

  • Clothes and shoes to work/paint in inside and outdoors
  • 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 for reflection during your time here

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

Our food at The Barn at The Sharpham Trust

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.

 

The Barn draws me back year after year. The experience of working and sharing in mindful work and living is very special and never fails to deepen and enhance my practice.

View of the River Dart close to The Barn at The Sharpham Trust

 

Barn Work Retreat Schedule

It is important that you are willing to participate in working on the land and in the house as part of your mindfulness practice and that you can commit to all the scheduled activities during the week. This includes three 40-minute formal meditation periods each day.

Note that we hold silence from 8.30pm to 9.00am each day. On the Work Retreat there will be no silent day.


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:

Mornings Afternoons
6.20am – wake up 1.00pm – lunch
6.50am – meditation 2.30pm – mindful work
7.30am –  household tasks 5.00pm – teaching by visiting teachers
8.00am – breakfast  6.00pm – light supper prepared individually or in groups
9.00am – house meeting  8.20pm – meditation
9.30am – mindful work 8.30pm – silence until 9.00am the next day
12.20pm – meditation    

 

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.

A beautiful way to slow down, listen in and be in a welcoming and loving community. This has been an enriching week - stunning surroundings, lovely people, delicious food, very skilled and compassionate facilitators, and wise teachers.

 

This week at The Barn has been food for my heart. I feel calmer and more connected. The kindness of all the people here, the healthy food, the chance to be in nature were so helpful.

 

This experience was a long overdue gift to myself. It felt both restorative and gently transformative--a very special week.

 

Coming to the Barn is an opportunity to reconnect with yourself, with your body and mind in the context of wonderful nature. It is immersive, and helps to blur the lines between body/mind, self/other, and human/nature.

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


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

The Barn from the back

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.

Where we are


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.Buddhist hygeine at The Barn at Sharpham

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.

In the Barn's garden at The Sharpham Trust

Up to February 2019

Standard rate: £150

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.

Supported rate: £100

This is for those unable to pay the Standard rate.

 

From March 2019

Standard rate: £125

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.

Supported rate: £75

This is for those unable to pay the Standard rate. 


Room types

Your room at The Barn retreat centre 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

 

Retreats & Events

All rooms are single occupancy.

How to book easily and securely:

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.