Weekend Retreat

… nature as medicine … nature as mirror …

“Rest & Rewild:  A mindfulness-, nature- and yoga-based retreat”

This retreat integrates 3 core ingredients to meet our intention to ‘rest and rewild’ over this weekend – mindfulness, nature, yoga.

For many of us life is busy, demanding, exhausting even. Maybe we feel that ‘stressed’ has become our default mode. We are not alone. It seems that in today’s modern world, human bodies and nervous systems are calling for rest and our hearts and minds are seeking space for creativity, connection and compassion. Or perhaps we have reached a stage in our lives when we are willing to make time to take care of ourselves … knowing that when we connect to our inner nature, we are not the only ones to gain: we become more present and connected with who and what really matters to us. We may be empowered to make choices that allow us to flourish in our lives. Whatever draws you to this retreat, all are welcome.*

Mindfulness – We begin with grounding in a kindly presence. You will have the opportunity to learn many of the core teachings and practices of MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction), the carefully considered curriculum designed by Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979 to offer an accessible path to the learning, practice and research of mindfulness. We will practice mindfulness through meditation in a systematic sequence: from identifying our grounding anchors of our bodies, to learning to pause, to notice the breath, thoughts, feelings, sensations and our surroundings. We will practice informally too and discover how we can cultivate mindfulness in our daily lives from commuting to conversing, walking to working and exercising to eating. Every moment is an opportunity to begin again, to pause and remember our way back to presence and ease.

Nature – Our experience on retreat will be enriched through simple and gentle practices that encourage an exploration of our inner nature and the potential insights nature can present to us. When we ‘rewild’, we simply start to listen to that calling within each of us, to move from indoor to outdoor. We already know how moments in nature revive and inspire us: waking us up through the senses, whether this is touch or the taste of fresh air, the compelling aroma of forest pine or wildflowers, the delightful sight of a red squirrel scampering up treetops, to the depth and breadth of colours and sounds of the land. We reconnect with our deeper knowing of nature as medicine; and we may also discover nature as mirror, experiencing a deeper understanding of our own nature and the interconnection of our internal and external worlds. How might this reconnection inform how we engage in our outer worlds and the actions we may take from this space?

Yoga – The retreat schedule will also include daily yoga sessions, designed to attend to our rest and restorative needs, allowing us to come home to our bodies and mind through mindful movement. We will discover the interconnection of mind and body through these practices and how we can extend the value of regular mindful movement beyond these sessions. Offered by Monique Leverington, from Synergy Yoga & Pilates, Adelaide, South Australia, a highly skilled and qualified visiting Yoga & Pilates Teacher, who is also a Certified MBSR Teacher and Wellness Coach.

This retreat is ideal for people who may be new to meditation, mindfulness in nature and/or yoga and those ready to bring their ‘beginner’s mind’ to this retreat experience! Experience of these teachings and practices may support a discovery, as others have, of how we may connect with internal and external sources of support and encouragement in life, build resilience and well-being, reduce stress, sleep better, improve relationships and grow a sense of well-being in daily life, especially in the face of personal and global challenges. Research shows the benefits experienced on retreat can extend up to 6 months afterwards.

August is a timely moment in our calendar to retreat: a time of great joy for our celtic ancestors who gathered to celebrate harvest-time. On retreat, we can walk in the footsteps of our ancestors as we take this time to stop, step back, review, appreciate and celebrate our achievements at this time of year.

When: Friday 14th August (4pm) to Sunday 16th August 2020 (2pm).

Costs: €330 (shared accommodation, meals and all activities) – €100 First payment due immediately to secure place – €230 Balance payable 7 days before retreat date.

Location: We will be warmly hosted and catered for in spacious shared accommodation from the experienced team at Blackhill Woods, Abbeyleix, Co. Laois.

Outline – The retreat begins late Friday afternoon, allowing time to arrive and settle into your home for the weekend. We will take some time to introduce ourselves, reflect on intentions for the retreat and create the safe space that will allow us to move in the direction of our intentions. On Saturday and Sunday mornings we will wake and share a morning practice of sitting meditation and gentle movement before enjoying breakfast together. The mornings will proceed with mindfulness and nature-based sessions. After lunch on Saturday, there will be some free time to rest, wander and journal at your own leisure. Guided sessions will continue in the late afternoon before adjourning for an evening meal together. The evenings will end with practices intended to support a restful night’s sleep. The retreat will close after lunch on Sunday.

Places are limited so get in touch to secure you place! For questions/to learn more: contact Sheena +353876816635 /sheena@discoveringmindfulness.ie.

*Each participant will be asked to complete a brief screening questionnaire and a waiver must be signed. Any significant physical or psychological health needs are expected to be disclosed in advance of confirming a place to ensure this programme is the best option right now. Participants who book the online deposit option will be contacted by email.