Barn Buddhist work retreat

Give back to The Barn - a work retreat

Summary

7 Reviews
6 nights - Annually
Any meditation experience
Single
Short periods of silence
Max. Spaces: 10

Overview

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

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.

Painting on the Buddhist Barn work retreat

This retreat is for you if:

  • 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

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

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

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.

Reviews

Beautiful location, inspirational facilitation by leaders on the retreat theme and heart warming community building within group.

Benefits included deeper recognition & appreciation of all the wisdom acquired during life journey and sense of increased resilience and positivity about being an 'elder'. Especially enjoyed daily Qi Gong exercises, supportive presence of co-ordinator & Felice Rhiannon's sessions.

Came away with increased energy, new tools to draw on to enable me to live my senior years in accordance with my values, pursue activities which bring me joy and contentment & face life's challenges.

retreat participant

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

Truly a special place. The location and surroundings are both outstandingly beautiful. The daily routine of the retreat is a gentle combination of movement, gardening, good meals, easy chores, opportunities for a variety of group meditation practices, and time for personal practice. All this would have been more than delightful enough. However, in addition, the coordinators create the conditions for all in a retreat group to "hold space" for and with each other. This was surprising to me, and very impressive. Keep going. What you're doing is great!

Heather Stark
March 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

Barn Coordinators
Barn Coordinators Read more +

Costs

Supported rate £185

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.

Standard rate £250

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 £325

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

2024 03 Nov

Giving Back to The Barn: A Work Retreat - 6 nights

2025 09 Feb

Giving Back to The Barn: A Work Retreat - 6 nights