UK Retreats and Courses
Weekend Retreats in North Wales and the Peak District
Facilitated by Kim
Deep listening - a time to take stock, re-calibrate and uncover the direction that our inner satnav is taking us.
With the hustle and bustle of life, the subtle (and not so subtle) conditioning forced upon us by our surroundings (think advertising, social 'norms', peer pressure etc), it can be difficult to stop long enough to check in to what it is we actually want and need. Instead we end up absorbing the needs and wants of others, often at the risk of abandoning ourselves.
Our Deep Listening retreats provide space so that we can slow down enough and become quiet enough to hear whatever it is that our hearts yearn for. Most often it's simply the permission to truly feel... How many of us have guarded against really feeling anything in fear that we'll become overwhelmed and collapse in a heap on the ground or worse! That's why we start every retreat with practical ways to regulate the nervous system. We take things very gently. We honour resistance and come to make friends with it and the protection that it has been long offering us. We stop fighting ourselves. We make peace.
There will be guided meditations, listening exercises, long (and you may discover luxurious) periods of silence, mindful walking and some talks aimed at furthering your connection to yourself - the most important relationship you will ever have.
We'll also take the time to hone our skills of listening to others, listening with the whole body, listening without the need to fix or resolve the other. Providing a place of safety for true connection to occur.
The price includes:
- 2 or 3 nights accommodation (depending which weekend you book)
- All meals
- All guidance/teaching
- Private chats, if you'd like
What to Bring
- Walking Shoes/Boots if you plan to wander a bit
- Something to write with and in
- Clothing appropriate to UK seasonal weather
- Anything at all that you intuit you'd like to bring: journal, knitting, drawing etc
Tai Chi Qigong Shibashi and Meditation Weekends
Facilitated by Kim
This is a great way of slowing down, relaxing and finding our flow. Meditation in movement as well as seated.
Slow, repetitive movements can lead to a profound sense of being right, here right now, allowing ourselves to drop into 'just this'. This in turn can reduce stress and allow us to step away from a racing mind.
This form of the classic Qigong Shibashi Set One focuses on the therapeutic benefits of these gentle and flowing movements.
We will look at:
- Practical exploration of this 18 movement Qigong set
- Introduction to posture, body alignment and stance structure
- Learning to harmonise the breath, body and mind
- Exploration of the essence of Qigong as a moving meditation
We'll go through the movements a few times during our time together along with some periods of guided meditation and silent meditation.
There will be plenty of time spend as you see fit in the afternoons.
Dip in and out as you please!
What's the Big Deal about Silence
In some of our UK and Moroccan retreats we practice periods of silence.
Why would we voluntarily become silent? What is the point? Many of us live alone and are silent a lot anyway, why would we choose to expose ourselves to more, when we could have the opportunity to be making new friends and socialising?
I’m pretty sure you all have your own reasons for turning up and entering the silence, so what I’m about to say speaks only for me. Maybe it’ll resonate, maybe not ;)
Some years ago, an old friend announced she was doing a silent retreat. I remember being horrified - you can’t speak?! Or read?! Or write?! But I was also at a point when I was questioning a lot of what my mind was telling me. So I turned it around - what was so terrible about not being able to speak or read or write? And it’s then I realised that I was terrified of what might turn up if I was left alone with my own head. I thought that Pandora’s box might be opened, a huge can of worms that I would be unable to put the lid back on. But that wasn't my experience and in over twelve years of running silent retreats it hasn't been anyone else's either. In fact I realised that my fear of looking within was keeping me trapped in all sorts of subtle ways.
During our time together we WILL have the possibility of reading, writing, drawing etc. We welcome this simply because we don’t need to create extra stress for ourselves when we first meet silence. You’re welcome to read and write and draw - but we can be very interested in the moment BEFORE we pick up the book, the journal, the drawing etc. Why do we feel the need to distract ourselves? Is something going on that feels uncomfortable? Can we possibly sit with that feeling and turn our minds towards it? Even for 2 seconds? After we’ve turned towards the feeling that’s going on for us, we may find that we’re quite curious about what’s going on and want to investigate further. Or we may decide that we absolutely DO want to distract ourselves and that’s perfectly fine. The thing is to have some curiosity about the whole thing. We call this ‘friendly curiosity’.
If we decide to investigate the bodily experience, then our intention isn’t to work anything out or get to the bottom of anything or analyse it, although we may have some insights in that direction, our intention is simply to give our bodies the gift of our 100% complete attention in this moment of discomfort or whatever it is that we have going on for us. In the West we have become very used to moving away from discomfort as we’re told over and over again (by the media and society) that we shouldn’t have to experience any unpleasantness and that if we do (and this message can be quite subtle) then we are in some way ‘failing’. This is not true. We are simply living.
I feel a strong connection to Kim as she is so open and honest in her thoughts and provides the most engaging, authentic meditation experience.
Kim is an exceptional teacher; courageous, authentic, wise and compassionate. She brings real humility and appropriate humour to her sessions.
Kim is one of those very special people who makes you feel that you do matter and gives you the direction to believe in yourself. Kim's down to earth, passionate and very informative teaching is just brilliant.