Based in a range of different venues throughout Dorset these days offer you the chance to meditate within a group setting for an extended period of time. Spending time away from the hurly burly of life can be very therapeutic.
Normally a retreat day will consist of a variety of mindfulness practices based on the meditations led in the 8-week MBSR course. You may also be introduced to some new practices.
At the beginning and end of the day there will be an opportunity to share your experiences with one another and much of the day will often be held in silence. There will be the option to have lunch in silence though this will not be obligatory.
I encourage you to approach a retreat day with an open mind experiencing the day as it unfolds rather than looking for a ‘retreat experience’. They day provides you with an opportunity to deepen your practice.
Here are a few notes to help you decide what you will need to bring with you:
• Food: Please bring a packed lunch – fruit, flapjacks as well as hot and cold drinks will be available.
• Clothing: I advise you to wear clothing that is warm and comfortable – I always suggest wearing a number of layers and bringing a blanket or shawl with you. Please bring a coat as we will be outside for some of the day.
• Footwear: We are likely to do some walking in the grounds but the pathways are gravel and so will not be muddy. You may like to bring an extra pair of socks to keep your feet warm as we will take our shoes off when inside.
• Equipment: You will need a blanket, a small pillow and a yoga/camping mat. Do bring any stool or cushion you may be using at home for the sitting meditation if you want to. I will have some with me that you will be welcome to borrow and there will obviously be chairs available too!
You will not require any writing or reading materials though some people do choose to bring a notebook with them to jot down their thoughts at lunchtime or at the end of the day.
‘Penny has the knack of creating a tranquil yet vibrant atmosphere, and her expertise in leading us through the Retreat Day ensures we feel safe and nurtured while deepening our practice. The opportunity to expand familiar meditations and experience different areas of Mindfulness, coupled with thoughtful readings and group discussions means that the day is perfectly paced.’
‘The Retreat days allow a longer time in silence which most people find impossible to do at home led of course by Penny’s soothing voice, I personally try to go on one every term as my way of really stopping and having what I call ‘my time’.
I cannot now imagine life without Mindfulness, thank you Penny for being there.’