Refuge & belonging - a BPOC retreat at The Barn

Refuge and Belonging: A Buddhist retreat for People of Colour

Summary

8 Reviews
6 nights - Annually
Any meditation experience
Single
Periods of silence
Max. Spaces: 10

Overview

This retreat is for Black, Asian, and People of Colour (BPOC) to live, work and practice in community at The Barn Retreat. The retreats are based on a contemporary approach to Western Buddhism.

This retreat is led by People of Colour for People of Colour.

The Barn Retreat has been running for nearly 40 years and offers retreats throughout the year based on the three pillars of:

  • meditation
  • community
  • connection to the land

Our retreats help to develop a mindful approach to our lives, work and relationships and are for up to 11 people.

Our experienced coordinators will gently guide you through: three meditation sessions each day, outdoor walking meditation, mindful work in the organic gardens and woods, and sessions exploring the Buddhist teachings.

And you’ll be able to connect with nature in the very special location of the Sharpham Estate.

This retreat is for you if you:

  • identify as a Person of Colour*
  • want to experience a retreat in the Buddhist tradition
  • are prepared to live and work in community, working in the gardens
  • would like to experience some periods of silence
  • are aged 18 and above

* This retreat is only for those who identify as a person of colour (Black, Asian, Latinx, Southwest Asian/Middle Eastern, mixed heritages & indigenous people of North, Central and South America). People of Colour is an umbrella term and we understand that racial identity can be both complicated and fluid. If you are perceived and treated as white, and/or respond in accordance with the social and cultural norms of whiteness, and/or primarily self-identify as white, we invite you to join any of our other retreats.

What is Mindfulness?

What you'll experience on this retreat:

  • living in community with like-minded people, sharing experiences and tasks, including cooking and eating together and helping in our gardens
  • guided meditations and periods of silence and quiet contemplation
  • community sharing
  • mindful movement
  • finding connection with nature
  • a single-occupancy room and your own space in which to rejuvenate, with free time to deeply rest and reconnect with yourself
  • access to 24-hour hot teas, coffee & infusions in the kitchen
  • 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
Person of Colour on our BPOC retreat at The Barn at Sharpham

What you'll 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
View our FAQs

Schedule

The weekly schedule provides opportunities for both individual reflection and group meditation.

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.

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. This includes three 40 minute formal meditation periods each day.


Silence

All our retreats include periods of silence as a way of deepening into mindful awareness.

If you are new to spending time in silence in the company of other people, it can feel awkward to begin with. But we encourage you to explore the silent periods with a spirit of openness and curiosity - people usually find it to be a positive experience. 

Note that we hold silence overnight from 8.40pm to 9.15am in the morning, and all day Wednesday. There will be a silent walk at 12noon on Wednesday.


Sunday

Afternoon
2.00pm to 4.00pm – Your arrival
5.00pm – Welcome Meeting
6.30pm – Light evening meal. Then settling in
8.00pm – Meditation, followed by silence until 9.15am the next day

Monday to Friday:

Mornings Afternoons
6.20am – Wake up 12.20pm – Guided or silent meditation
6.45am – Movement & meditation 1.00pm – Lunch
7.30am –  Household tasks 2.00pm – Personal time
8.00am – Breakfast 4.30pm – Community gathering and practice
9.15am – Silence ends, Dharma talk 6.30pm – Light supper
10.30am – Mindful gardening 8.00pm – Guided or silent meditation followed by silence until 9.15am the following 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.

Reviews

This was a very calming and thoughtful 4 days in such a beautiful place.

The co-ordinators were so quietly supportive through the practices and schedule, giving a great blend of guidance, advice and space for our own reflection

The schedule provided a great mix of engagement, silence, and communal activity.

I feel I have learnt much to carry forward with me.

A participant on a 4-night Barn retreat

The setting is stunning, the Barn people so genuine and supportive, and visiting teachers with a wealth of knowledge and experience. Informal and relaxed. A great balance for me of mindfulness practice and time in nature, with teaching tailored to the group and plenty of free time. The Barn also has a well-stocked library to dive into. If you like an informal retreat where - in the work periods - you will be helping to do some of the housekeeping and gardening tasks which help keep this place running, you'll enjoy it.

Clara Wood
June 2023

The Barn is a very special place, made special most of all by the tireless voluntary work of the Barn coordinators. This is a review of the typical 6 night retreat, with the usual structure: up at 6.40am for mindful movement (or standing and staring in my case) and then meditation; further 40 minute meditations, sometimes metta or walking at 12.20pm and 8pm. There is quite a lot of structure to the day, maybe a bit too much for my taste, but still the afternoons and evenings are mostly free; if one really wanted to rest instead of attending a session, I felt this would be respected, or even encouraged. The visiting dhamma teachers were excellent, as usual, and gave some excellent answers (with a Buddhist perspective, but far from dogmatically doctrine) to wide ranging questions from the retreatants. It seems slightly absurd to give the Barn a star rating: would anyone seriously claim they were a 'five-star Buddhist'? But if I have to, then five stars is the only possible rating and thoroughly deserved.

Mark Wildon
June 2023
See all Reviews

People in a ring outside The Barn Retreat at Sharpham

The Barn Retreat Centre

Our popular meditation retreat venue in the Buddhist tradition is where up to 11 people join together living in community for weekly retreats, including a variety of themed retreats - scroll on to see them all.

You'll be staying within a friendly atmosphere of fellowship, sitting together in daily meditations and mindfully tending our organic vegetable gardens.

You'll have your own single room, you'll get to eat produce from what's grown on the land here and you'll also get time to explore the wonder of the beautiful and contemplation-inspiring Sharpham Estate.

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Leaders

Lucy Chan
Lucy Chan Read more +
Viren Jeram Read more +

Costs

Participants at The Barn can select which rate they pay according to need:

Supported Rate £210

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

Standard Rate £320

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.

Benefactor Rate £510

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.


DANA

Dana is the Pali word for generosity or donation. The volunteer coordinators are receiving only a small payment for expenses whilst living at The Barn and are generously giving their energy and understanding to us all. If you are able donations are welcome.

There will be a maximum of 11 participants on this retreat.

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

Book easily and securely online or by phoning 01803 732542


Terms & Conditions

Please click here to see our booking and cancellations policy


Room Types

Click here for more information on our types of bedrooms and facilities.

All rooms are comfortable single rooms, with a shared bathroom. All rooms are randomly allocated, unless you have medical needs relating to your room allocation. If you have such a need, let us know on your booking form before the retreat begins. 


Bursaries

This retreat is already discounted but limited 50% bursaries offering reduced-price retreats are available for those experiencing financial hardship on our other retreats. 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

 

Available dates

2025 02 Feb

The Barn: Refuge and Belonging: A Buddhist retreat for People of Colour (6 nights)

With Lucy Chan & Viren Jeram & Barn Coordinators