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Give back to The Barn - a work retreat

Sanjay Soni

a year ago, on Google
The Barn is a very special place set in a beautiful location with amazing views. You can feel the calm harmonising energy of the barn and the wonderful team create a safe space to share and learn. I've stayed at the barn twice in the last couple of years and will definitely be returning. Highly recommended if you would like to connect with nature, community and yourself.

Jeanie Bags

a month ago, on Google
The Barn retreat centre is a wonderful place to slow down and commune with nature. It is run by a wholesome bunch of people who knows how to nourish one's space and coordinators/leaders with deep understanding of true mindfulness.The Barn is also healing for anybody with the intention of slowing down, clearing and quieting busy mind. It a wonderful place to pause and admire the beauty within your own skin , body, and mind. A peaceful and mindful place to learn how to process weak or strong emotions and slowly letting go of some thoughts or things. When you slow down your mind becomes clear... The set up works beautifully with activities and space for everybody. The kind of food available from the huge vegetable garden are so organically delicious. It is also cleansing and for me---healing. A great place for walking meditations over looking the meadows and the River Dart. Great appreciation comes out of me when I think of The Barn and the participants I met last week and bonded with. My heart is happy.

Mike Howell

3 months ago, on Google
The location is serene; the venue and accommodation is very comfortable. My first retreat, and not my last, was for 55+'s. Ten of us shared a peaceful week where we felt at ease. There was a great sense of community, sharing and kindness within the group - a welcome escape from the frenetic, combative, angry environment of the world today. Highly recommended.

Caroline Gracie

5 months ago, on Google
A retreat at the Barn is a very special experience. The landscape is breathtaking, the food delicious and the cooking, gardening and house care tasks carefully handled so that one need never feel overwhelmed. Accommodation is simple but comfortable. Everything runs to a calm, clear schedule and the co-ordinators handle all challenges - from the practical to the emotional and spiritual - with a miraculously light touch.

clare salter

4 months ago, on Google
Staying at the barn on a 6-night retreat feels like the best, life changing experience I have ever had. My heart feels nourished, my connection with nature enhanced and a feeling of community that goes beyond words. The insight of the Buddhist wisdom taught by beautiful caring people, the meditations have deepened my practice and continue to bring a sense of harmony to my day-to-day life. Barn team thank you so much. Clare

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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 8 participants on this retreat.

There are periods of silence on each of our retreats.

Our programme of standard 5-night retreats at The Barn can be viewed and booked here
 

Daily meditations


There are two 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

What's the difference between retreats at The Barn and in Sharpham House?


Costs are kept lower at The Barn because gardening, cooking and household tasks are shared in community by volunteer coordinators and retreatants.  

Retreats at Sharpham House are fully catered and staff. Also, Sharpham House is a large Grade 1-listed building with far higher overheads.

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 you need to know


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 that we send out after you've booked.

You can also find out more about staying with us on our Frequently Asked Questions page, including

  • accessibility information
  • why we encourage you to come on your own and not with partners or friends
  • what the difference is between our retreats

See our Barn Covid-19 measures here

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. 

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 two 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
5.00pm – Welcome talk, introductions and tour
6.30pm – Light evening meal. Then settling in
8.20pm – Meditation
The Barn goes into silence until 9.00am the next day
 

Monday to Friday:

Mornings Afternoons
6.20am – wake up 1.30pm – lunch
6.50am – meditation 2.30pm – personal practive
7.30am –  household tasks 5.00pm – teaching by visiting teachers
8.00am – breakfast 6.30pm – supper 
9.00am – house meeting  8.20pm – meditation
9.30am – mindful work 9.00pm – silence until 9.00am the next day
    

Saturday:  

As above until 8.00am. Silence ends at breakfast. Then it's time to clear your room and depart between 9.00am and 10.00am.

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

£100 - Supported rate

The Sharpham Trust is committed to ensuring that retreats at The Barn are accessible to all - regardless if income. The Supported Rate is for those unable to pay the Standard or Benefactor Rate.

£150 - Standard rate

Paying the Standard Rate means you will be contributing towards our running costs, supporting the work of The Barn and helping retreatants of lower incomes to access our retreats.

£200 - Benefactor rate

If you are able to pay the Benefactor Rate, that means that you'll be supporting others who cannot afford to benefit from a Barn retreat on The Sharpham Estate. Your choice to pay this rate will help us with the running costs of The Barn, enabling us to continue our charitable work connecting people to nature and fostering mindfulness and wellbeing, as well as caring for the land, wildlife and wider estate.


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:

  • 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.