The beginning of a new year is a unique time - an opportunity to both reflect on things past, and to look forward to what is emerging.
It's a time to reconnect - to ourselves and to our capacities for awareness, compassion and hope. This is especially important given the challenges many of us have faced in 2020.
So this January we're inviting you to a 2-day retreat - a chance for you to connect with others and to deepen your connection to mindfulness, compassion, and intention for the year ahead.
On this retreat we'll engage in mindfulness and compassion practices focused on bringing ease and spaciousness to body and mind.
The practices will be guided live by our team of experienced facilitators.
In this retreat, you'll hear from Lorna Walker on mindfulness as a way into spaciousness. Annick Nevejan will share on the potential of our compassionate heart, and guide a compassion visualization. And Michael Bready will share on relaxation and ease as a deep training, that can awaken our power.
Over the course of the retreat, you'll spend time with everyone as part of the whole group, but there'll also be many times where you'll breakout into smaller groups and have the chance to share and learn with people from all over the world.
8am-9am morning meditation (sitting and movement)
10.30am-12.30pm workshop with teaching, guided meditation and connecting with others
2.30pm-3.30pm bodyscan / deep relaxation
4.00pm-5.30pm afternoon workshop / sharing
7.30pm-8.30pm evening practice session
Do I really just pay what I want?
We're offering this retreat in the spirit of the gift. We want to make it accessible to as many people as possible.
As a small charity we do have costs, and it takes considerable time and energy to host this retreat, so we do hope you'll pay something. But if you're in a situation where you can't pay anything, you're still very welcome to join!
To register your place costs nothing. After the retreat is over we'll ask you to give what you can, and what you feel reflects the value you got from the experience.
Our suggested contribution will be £75-£100.
How much time do I need to set aside for this retreat?
The retreat will start at 8am on Saturday 16th January and run until 8.30pm on Sunday 17th January. There are breaks in the schedule for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and a little extra time in the afternoon to go for a mindful walk if you like. We recommend that you keep the entirety of these two days free so that even when you're not on a live session you can still keep the energy of mindful practice alive.
What happens if I miss a session or I can only make one day?
We've put this retreat together as a two-day experience so we think you'll get the most out of it if you attend all the sessions. However, if for some reason, you have to miss a session, it's not the end of the world.
What's most important is that you commit to the experience - that's the way you'll get the most out of it. And that includes the time commitment.
Will the sessions be recorded?
Some of the talks by the facilitation team will be recorded and may be uploaded to our youtube channel at a later date, but none of the discussions or breakout rooms will be recorded.
How should I prepare?
Clear your diary and set up a comfortable space where you can be undistracted. Commit to putting aside other distractions - like your mobile phone and other devices for the duration of the two days. Let any people you live with know that you'll be going on this retreat and think ahead to how that can work best in your household.
I live with other people, can I still join?
Absolutely! You don't need to live in a hut on a mountainside to participate in this retreat. In fact, part of the learning on this retreat can be an exploration of how to deepen our mindfulness practice in the context of our own home. It'll be helpful to have talk with the people you live with before the start of the retreat to let them know your plans and that you'll need to be undisturbed during the sessions. Closer to the start of the retreat we'll send information on how to prepare.
Who is the retreat for?
The retreat is for anyone looking to deepen and refresh their mindfulness practice. We expect many people who have completed training with Youth Mindfulness, but we also welcome people who have never trained or followed an course with Youth Mindfulness.
I'm new to mindfulness, can I join?
If you've never practiced mindfulness before, this might not be the best introduction. In this retreat, we'll assume that participants have at least started a meditation practice and have been practising for a few months. However, if you are brand new, and are super keen, you're still welcome to join!
Is this retreat suitable for children and young people to join?
No. This retreat is aimed at adults.
What equipment do I need?
We'll be hosting the retreat through zoom. You can access zoom through your web browser or by downloading the app. You can test zoom is working on your machine by going here: https://zoom.us/test
I don't have a very stable internet connection, will this be a problem?
This could be an issue when you join the breakout rooms - it might be difficult for other participants to hear you.
If you can watch youtube videos alright with your internet connection, you should be able to follow the talks and the guided meditations from the teachers alright.
Do I need to have my camera turned on?
While not essential, we do encourage this, as it creates a sense of connection amongst the whole group.
Can I join the retreat from my phone?
Yes you can. But we think the best experience will come from joining on a device with a larger screen - like a laptop or tablet. If a phone is most convenient for you - you can still really engage with the experience.