The Courage to Belong

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The Courage to Belong

13-19 May 2019

Venue: The High Heathercombe Centre

How might we live life if we dared to really open our hearts to the truth of interdependence? Stopping and listening deeply to the flow of life within and around us is a healing gift to ourselves and to the world. Through mindful presence and wise investigation we touch an ever-deepening understanding of our interconnectedness with all of life, and can change the very ways we perceive world, others and ourselves. This retreat will cultivate the heart’s capacity to open to the interconnected nature of all things in ways that nourish and empower, and that bring forth compassion and joy.

There will be periods of sitting and walking meditation, guided practices and reflections, and teacher support in small groups. The retreat will be held in noble silence.

We aim to keep costs below £140 per person. Thanks to the generosity of those who have attended retreats in the past, and left donations, you can come along knowing that your place will already have been paid for. Amazing! At the end of the retreat we will invite donations – this is an opportunity to practise generosity yourself and to enable others to receive the same gift in the future. We truly appreciate, on behalf of these future retreatants, whatever you feel able to give. (So you know, because all the work putting on these retreats is done by volunteers we have almost no overheads at all – the whole thing is run on generosity and love. That means all your money will go straight into the kitty for future retreats, paying for nothing but absolute essentials.)

We will also invite a separate donation for the teachers. Teachers do not receive a fee for leading retreats, whilst giving enormously of their time and energy. Dharma teachings are considered priceless and therefore teachers offer their understanding freely. The livelihood of most Insight Meditation teachers depends wholly, or to a large extent, on voluntary contributions from retreatants who value their guidance and wish to support the ongoing teachings of the Dharma. Your generosity to the teachers is greatly appreciated.


Coming on retreat can be an invaluable boost for your practice whether you’re only just beginning with meditation or have been practising for decades. Everything is set up specifically to help you feel supported and to foster the calmness of mind necessary for meditative insight.

One of the conditions that we find particularly helpful to offer retreatants is an opportunity for shared silence. We agree as a group not to converse with each other for the duration of the retreat*, we turn off our phones and gadgets, we disconnect from social media, and we put down our books.

Why do we do this? Because silence provides the opportunity to develop a new relationship with ourselves and the world, rather than simply being a gap to be filled. Free from the usual distractions that stimulate the mind, we begin to experience an altogether different and sublime dimension to life, one that was hiding there all along. And as silence starts to reveal its irresistible and profound beauty we allow the possibility of our innate wisdom to show itself.

* During the week there will be talks, meditation instructions and opportunities to meet in small groups with the teachers. Outside of these times the retreat will remain in silence but the coordinators are always present and can be communicated with via notes if any problems arise.

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