Saturday’s 10am – 3.30pm, next one in early 2024 (8 spaces available)

Berkshire Mindfulness day retreatA space to just ‘be’ for a few hours. Or for those looking to support or re-invigorate their regular mindfulness practice, this one-day mindfulness practice retreat is an ideal way to give yourself the space to do just that… and the perfect accompaniment or follow-on to an 8-week course.  Running from 10am to 3.30pm on Saturday (both at the Renewal Centre and Online), most of the day is silent, with an opportunity to share experiences at the end of the day.

Book your place or ask a question

The typical outline for the day looks like this, with breaks throughout:

  • Introduction and questions
  • Short sitting practice
  • Body scan
  • Sitting with sounds and thoughts
  • Mindful stretching lying down
  • Lunch
  • Mountain meditation
  • Mindful walking
  • Being space
  • Mindful stretching standing-up
  • Befriending
  • Reflection
  • Share experiences in pairs
  • Group discussion and inquiry

Book your place or ask a question

This kind of retreat is often called a practice retreat, not just because we will practise mindfulness but because we practise most of the meditations taught on an 8-week course. Although the day itself is not a course, the overall intention for the day is to provide an opportunity for us to understand our minds just a little better through our non-judgmental awareness in the practice, enhance or revive our regular mindfulness practice, as well as provide a short retreat from our busy days of ‘doing’ to simply ‘be’ for a few hours.  For many, this is a wonderful way to spend a few hours and an opportunity to recharge.

Venue: Renewal Centre, Church Road, Swallowfield, Reading, Berks. RG7 1TJ OR Online

Cost: £85 (£75 if you’ve attended before or attended my 8-week course)

Date / Time: Saturday, 11th November 2023, 10am – 3.30pm

Book your place or ask a question


What should I bring?

Lunch – bring something nice to eat for lunch. The venue has a domestic-size fridge for items that need to stay cool, as well as a sink, and microwave for heating something like soup (don’t plan to ‘cook’ anything).

Blanket, cushion, mat – bring a light blanket with you, particularly handy for practices like the body scan. Also, if you usually practice using a cushion or meditation stool, or have a yoga mat that you prefer, bring those too. We will provide yoga mats, with head cushions, and there will also be enough chairs for everyone.

What do I need if I’m joining online?

If you’re joining online, then you’ll need a quiet place where you won’t generally be disturbed with a chair or cushion on which to sit for meditation.  There is an opportunity to walk outside during the session, so ideally, you would have a place to do that too.

You’ll also need a computer such as a laptop or a tablet with good access to the internet (I use Microsoft Teams, which works on most modern computers and devices).

Should I bring lunch?

Yes, please. We will provide coffee, tea, water, and snacks, but do bring some lunch (see the ‘what should I bring?’ entry).

What about COVID19 precautions (currently not required, phew!)?

For face-to-face courses, the Renewal Centre has been through a risk review and implemented precautions for the safe use of the venue.  The maximum number of participants in the venue is ten to enable the two-meter distancing with face coverings – we are restricting it to a maximum of seven for this retreat.  I will ask each attendee about their COVID status, whether through testing, vaccine or other immunity.  Mark, the trainer, has an NHS COVID Pass, and will take a lateral flow test the day before.

Where can I contact the organiser with any questions?

If you have further questions, do get in touch using one of the options on our Contact Us page.

Can I pay by…?

If you would like to pay by bank transfer, cheque, credit card, or even cash, just select the appropriate option on the booking form, and we’ll be happy to arrange it with you.

What does ‘silent’ mean?

As delegates, choosing not to talk for most of the day provides a rare opportunity for us to be alone with our thoughts, feelings and the sensations of our body – providing the prospect of learning from them in a way that is often difficult during our busy day to day lives. To start the day, Mark will provide an introduction, and there will be an opportunity for questions. Then as we start the practices, the suggestion is that we remain silent to allow our fellow participants this unusual time of quiet. Mark will provide spoken guidance during the practices – so it’s not all silence. Then, for about the last forty minutes, we’ll break the silence to talk with each other in small groups and as a combined group.

It’s not that speaking is ‘banned’ – it’s simply a voluntary agreement to support our fellow participants engage in this unusual day – if there’s a problem and a need to speak, then by all means, do.

Do I need to be able to sit in the lotus position or any other special position?

No! There is no special sitting position or physical requirements. For sitting meditation, the suggestion is to sit upright, with your upper body self-supporting (for example, away from the back of a chair). But if that isn’t practical, then you can sit however you choose. You should bear in mind that several practices will last around 30 minutes. But, if you need to move or stretch while in a practice, then of course that’s fine. On one hand, a small amount of physical discomfort can give us an opportunity to work with difficulty; on the other hand, it’s not intended to be self-imposed torture 🙂

What is the refund policy?

If you have a challenge and can’t make the day, rest assured that we’ll provide a full refund, less any fees we have incurred in processing the transaction (for example, credit cards now have non-refundable fees) if you let us know at least three days in advance.

Are there ID requirements or an age limit for the day?

The retreat is open to anyone aged 18 years or over.

Is the day suitable for those with depression or other mental illnesses?

Although mindfulness practise can be beneficial for those with depression or other mental illnesses, the day is unlikely to be suitable for anyone currently suffering from clinical depression unless under the explicit guidance of a medical professional – this is simply because we will spend most of our time in meditation, with our thoughts.  If you’re unsure, do contact Mark.

Ethical Framework

I believe it is important to teach mindfulness both competently and ethically. Although mindfulness is not formally regulated in UK, recommendations for ethical practice are provided by the British Association of Mindfulness-Based Approaches for training, practice and supervision, and I follow these guidelines.  For example:

  • Formal and continual training – my training followed the UK Network guidance for training teachers, and I teach according to the guidelines expected of mindfulness teachers. This is the same approach recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE; the UK body providing evidence-based information for health and care professionals, including the NHS).
  • Under normal circumstances, we will speak on the phone before you start a course to ensure that the course is suitable.
  • Confidentiality is key in all of my courses.
  • I have regular supervision from an external qualified mindfulness supervisor.

A more detailed description of the guidelines is provided by the UK Network here: Mindfulness-based teachers Good Practice Guide.

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