Title: Reclaiming Joy – A 5-day Online Silent Retreat
“Happiness and joy are the purpose of life. If we know that the future will be very dark or painful, then we lose our determination to live.” The Dalai Lama. In the skilful meeting of our difficulties with mindful self-compassion, we prepare the ground for the seeds of joy to arise.
The retreat offers the opportunity to look at what obscures our natural capacity to be joyful. We will explore practical ways of cultivating the qualities of friendliness, gratitude and appreciation. The retreat offers an invitation to bring fresh energy and a fierce determination to live our lives fully and well.
This is a live online silent retreat and is open to all those who wish to renew and deepen their practice of mindfulness and self-compassion. This 5-day retreat qualifies as a prerequisite for ongoing mindfulness teacher registration.
Silent retreats allow participants to:
Feel more grounded and balanced
Experience greater calm and clarity
Cultivating positive emotions
Deepen our capacity to cultivate joy
Support each other within the community of practice
About Mindful Self-Compassion
Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is based on research by Kristin Neff, integrated with the clinical perspective of Christopher Germer. MSC teaches core principles and practices that enable participants to respond to difficult moments in their lives with kindness, care and understanding.
The three key components of self-compassion are self-kindness, a sense of common humanity, and balanced, mindful awareness. Kindness opens our hearts to suffering, so we can give ourselves what we need. Common humanity opens us to our essential inter-relatedness so that we know we aren’t alone. Mindfulness opens us to the present moment, so we can accept our experience with greater ease. Together they comprise a state of warm, connected, presence.
Self-compassion can be learned by anyone, whatever our personal histories. It’s a courageous attitude that stands up to harm, including the harm that we unwittingly inflict on ourselves through self-criticism, self-isolation, or self-absorption. Self-compassion provides emotional strength and resilience, allowing us to admit our shortcomings, motivate ourselves with kindness, forgive ourselves when needed, relate wholeheartedly to others and be more authentically ourselves.
Rapidly expanding research demonstrates that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional well-being, less anxiety, depression and stress, maintenance of healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and satisfying personal relationships. And it’s easier than you might think.
What to expect:
Retreat Leaders: Led by certified UK MSC teachers Colette Power Ph.D (www.colettpower.com) and Caroline Hoffman, Ph.D (www.drcarolinehoffman.com) with a combined teaching experience of over 30 years.
The two teachers will guide the mindfulness, loving-kindness and self-compassion practices, and will remain mostly in silence so you can deeply explore and learn as much as possible from your own experience of these. The retreat includes guided practices, theme-based talks, and participant meetings with your teachers. There will also be movement practices to balance the long sitting.
The first evening will be an orientation session. For the rest of the four and a half days, the practices in the mornings and afternoons will include alternate sitting or lying and movement practices that you will have learned and practised on your mindful self-compassion course as well as some new practices. For this time on retreat, we will be practising meditations to enhance and deepen our mindfulness, loving-kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity.
In addition, there will be a silent early morning practice before breakfast. In the evenings the teachers will offer talks to help you relate experientially to the following day’s practices. You will also have two opportunities for group enquiry with the teachers as to how you are finding the retreat.
How the retreat helps to deepen self-compassion:
The emphasis of the retreat will be on looking after ourselves, and on nourishing our compassion and joy both through our practice, and through time for relaxation. We will be spending plenty of practice time outside.
Who the retreat is for:
It would be beneficial, though not essential, to have also taken a mindfulness-based course such as MBSR or MBCT. It is required that you have a regular and frequent practice of mindfulness meditation and/or loving-kindness/self-compassion meditation. It would also be helpful if you have already experienced a silent retreat of at least one day (or the half-day mindful self-compassion retreat), but, if not, please apply and, if needed, we’ll discuss your application with you.
The retreat meets the requirement to have sat a five-day, silent, teacher-led retreat before taking the MSC Teacher Training course.
Requirements to attend:
Please ensure you are able to attend the entire event. If this is not possible, please contact us to discuss before submitting an application.
The first session runs from 3.00-8.30 pm on Thursday, May 11th, the retreat finishes at 4.30 pm on Monday, May 15th 2023. All times are UK, BST (British Summer Time).
The retreat fee is 475.00 GDP. If paying the standard fee would cause financial hardship we suggest paying £375.00. There is a £100.00 non-refundable deposit.
There are a limited number of bursary-assisted places available on this event for those who could not otherwise attend due to financial hardship. For details please email [email protected] or [email protected].
Payment and Cancellation Policy.
You may cancel your place one month before the start of the retreat. Cancellation incurs an administrative charge of £20.00
The Application Process:
Our application and payment process involves the following steps:
We receive your application form and assess it to ensure that this retreat is suitable for you.
Upon offering you a place, we will then ask you to pay the deposit or for the full amount.
Your place is confirmed once we receive your deposit or full payment.
The balance is due one month before the retreat starts.We will email you the joining instructions in advance of the course.
Payment and Cancellation Policy. You may cancel your place one month before the start of the retreat. Cancellation incurs an administrative charge of £20.00
Feedback from previous retreat run by Colette and Caroline:
A wonderful retreat with highly skilled teachers, beautifully led by Caroline and Colette.
Would I do it again? Yes, in a heartbeat.
The sessions on joy were just wonderful. I ‘landed’ feeling refreshed and renewed.
Colette and Caroline created a nurturing space in which we could explore a deeply compassionate approach to what it means to be alive.
The retreat was beautifully run with wonderful talks and practices. The topics flowed well and it was good to experience such embodied teaching.
Both Colette and Caroline were amazing. Their storytelling just made the session.
It’s clear they’d thought very hard about the delivery online and they just made it work so well.
Colette and Caroline created a very warm, friendly and loving learning environment, and I felt held and embraced by that – an awareness that I can bring to myself in my life.