Teacher-Led Day Retreat Programme 2018

 Saturday 24th February 2018

Julia for 24th FebAndrea fr 24th Feb

Julia Wallond and Andrea Hosfeld

Cultivating Refuge in a Changing World

In a world which appears increasingly unstable, bewildering and unkind the need for refuge can feel ever more important. And while meditation and ‘retreats’ are often viewed as safe havens, for many of us, our internal landscape continues to reflect the turbulence in the outside world. What might it look and feel like to be safe, resourced and grounded in a world that will continue to shift beneath our feet? And what role do joy, wonder and gratitude play in meeting that which feels uncertain and unsteady? In the face of global instability is it possible to cultivate a more flexible conception of refuge – one that is informed by both wisdom and compassion, and doesn’t constitute a figurative or literal ‘running away’?

Throughout the day we will be exploring this idea of refuge, drawing on both traditional Buddhist teachings and contemporary reflections as we offer practices which not only ground and resource the being, but also expand our ways of looking and conceiving of refuge itself. With the collective energy of the group we hope to offer some creative tools for opening and responding to the challenges and joys of a changing world.

Julia Wallond is a long term member of Bristol Insight Meditation and a former trustee. She teaches mindfulness in health care settings and is a tutor for the postgraduate mindfulness diploma at Exeter University. Currently she is in the Gaia House Community Dharma Leader programme and this will be the second day retreat she offers in this role. She is also a member of the Dharma Action Network for Climate Engagement (DANCE) – co-initiating a Bristol Branch, and she currently works part time as a GP with asylum seekers.

Andrea Hosfeld has been teaching mindfulness courses, day retreats and workshops since 2012 and is a graduate of the Mindfulness Institute, a year-long teacher training taught by Martin Aylward and Mark Coleman.  Currently she is being mentored by Rob Burbea as part of the Community Dharma Leader program through Gaia House.  Andrea helped to establish the Twickenham Mindfulness Meditation Group in 2013 where she is a regular facilitator and is a member of Dharma Action Network for Climate

To make a booking for this Day Retreat please visit the Brown Paper Ticket website and follow the online instructions. Please also see “General Information” below.

General Information

The retreat days are held in silence for most of the day unless otherwise stated in the retreat description. In a typical day the teacher will offer meditation instruction with periods of sitting meditation and walking meditation for up to 45 minutes at a time. There will be a shared lunch, usually in silence, and a chance for a chat with a cup tea at the end of the day. Beginners are welcome, but some days do require attendees to have some prior meditation experience. If this is the case it will be stated in the day retreat description. Given the level of commitment required for our retreats we feel it is important that retreatants, after reading the information about a retreat, book a place on their own behalf. We do not offer retreat places as gifts from friends or colleagues.

We welcome volunteers to help on the day, if you would like to help in this way please contact the Day Retreats team by email.

Unless otherwise stated, the retreats will be held at St Michaels on the Mount Parish Hall, St Michaels on the Mount School, Old Park Hill, off Perry Road, Bristol BS2 8BE. (If you have not been here before please click here to download a PDF with full directions or bring an A-Z and give yourself time to find the venue as it not obvious. You can also click here for a link to this location on the Multimap website.

Please arrive after 9.15am and be settled in the hall by 9.45am. The retreat ends at 5pm.
Bring vegetarian lunch to share. Hot drinks are provided. If you have specific dietary needs, then please bring a lunch for yourself.
Bring your own meditation stool or cushion and also bring a mat if you wish to, as the floor is bare. You will be asked to remove outdoor shoes in the meditation hall. Chairs are available.
Bring cash or a cheque for Dana with you please.
Wheelchair access is available.

Financial Support for the Teacher

In keeping with Buddhist tradition the teachers make no charge for their teaching. We are invited to express our gratitude for the teaching by offering donations (Dana). The tradition of Dana in Buddhism is an acknowledgement of our interconnectedness and interdependence. It enables teachers to continue teaching and supports the very life and sustainability of the teaching. The teaching is offered, as it has been over many centuries, freely, and the teachers give enormously of their time, energy and understanding. Your generosity to the teachers is greatly appreciated; it is truly what enables the continuation of the teachings. The teachers rely either largely or entirely on Dana for their livelihoods. A box will be put out for this Dana on the day.


For further information contact the day retreats team by email: bristoldayretreats@gmail.com

Past retreats 2017

Sunday 3rd December 2017

Christina Feldman

Awakening and Forgetting
Today we will reflect on the qualities that support an awakened and dignified life and the factors that undermine that quest.

Christina is a co-founder of Gaia House. She has been leading Insight Meditation retreats worldwide since 1976. She is a Guiding Teacher of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. She is the author of a number of books including Woman Awake, Way of Meditation, and co-author of Soul Food. Recent books include Silence and The Buddhist Path to Simplicity.


Saturday 21st October 2017

Jaya Rudgard

A Day with Jaya Rudgard

“Living Deeply”.  “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”  – Mary Oliver.  How do we discover and stay connected with what we value most in our lives? A retreat day centred around the qualities of wise resolve and balanced effort, and how we can practise these to support a life that honours our deepest aspirations. The day will include periods of sitting and walking meditation, dharma reflections and time for questions and discussion.

Jaya Karen Rudgard began meditating in the 1980s and practised for eight years as a nun in the Thai Forest tradition in England with Ven. Ajahn Sumedho as her teacher. She is a graduate of the IMS/Spirit Rock Teacher Training and teaches Insight Meditation and mindfulness in the UK and internationally.


Saturday 17th June 2017

Chris Cullen

Cool Head, Warm Heart
The Buddha’s teachings provide practical and trustworthy ways of deepening both Equanimity and Compassion. During this day we will look at some ways to practise and actualise these potentials both in meditation and in daily life.

Chris Cullen trained to teach Insight Meditation with Christina Feldman, and did Community Dharma Leader training at Spirit Rock. Chris co-founded the Mindfulness in Schools project, and is on the team at the Oxford University Mindfulness Centre, teaching mindfulness courses for students and for MPs and Peers in the Houses of Parliament. He has a psychotherapy practice in Oxford.


Saturday 18th March 2017


A Day with Suvaco

Suvaco is a former Buddhist monk and a passionate advocate for embodying life in all of its forms. He lives in the South West UK where he works as a psychotherapist and Tai Qi teacher.

Saturday 21st January 2017 from 10am to 5.00pm

Jenny Wilks and Julia Wallond
‘Deepening Mindfulness Practice’

A day retreat that explores and deepens the practice of mindfulness meditation, taking as its starting point the practices offered on the 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) courses. This day is suitable for people who have completed an 8-week course in MBSR, MBCT, or equivalent, who wish to deepen their mindfulness practice. Newcomers to mindfulness are warmly invited as full instructions will be given,and experienced meditators who are interested in this approach are also very welcome. The programme will include guided mindfulness practices, inquiry, and time to practice in silence. There will also be some teaching about the Buddhist psychology that underpins 8-week mindfulness programmes, as well as time for questions and discussion. To make a booking for this Day Jenny Wilks
Jenny has practised in various Buddhist traditions since the late 1980s, and has an MA in Indian Religions. She has taught for several years at Gaia House, the Barn Retreat near Totnes in Devon UK, and local meditation classes. She trained in clinical psychology and works as an MBCT (Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy) therapist and trainer at Exeter University.

Julia Wallond
Julia will be supporting Jenny on this day retreat. She is a long term member of Bristol Insight Meditation, is trained as an MBSR and MBCT teacher, and is a tutor for the mindfulness-based approaches teacher training programme at Exeter University. She is also a currently a trainee with the Gaia House Community Dharma Leaders programme.

Past retreats 2016

Saturday 27th February – Chris Cullen

Mindfulness: Developing the Foundations
In this day retreat, we will explore some of the Buddha’s teachings on establishing mindfulness and cultivating the heart qualities that support awakening.  This retreat will be suitable for those new to meditation or for recent graduates of mindfulness courses (such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy), as well as more experienced meditators. Click here for more about Chris Cullen.

Sunday 17th April – Martine Batchelor
‘Loving Kindness and Equanimity’
Loving kindness is an antidote to ill-will; equanimity an antidote to resentment. During this Day Retreat, we will cultivate the practice of listening and loving kindness, and also awareness of the breath and equanimity as a means to develop a stable and kind heart. This in turn could help us to respond creatively to challenging situations.
Click here for a biography and photos of Martine Batchelor

Saturday 14th May – facilitated by Jane Cutler and Jane Whitehead
‘A Day of Insight Dialogue : Waking Up Together’

Insight Dialogue is a relational meditation practice developed by Gregory Kramer of the Metta Foundation.Through the 6 guidelines of Insight Dialogue we practice both in silence and opposite one another in dialogue. In this way we find practical support in meeting the joys and challenges of everyday life with insight and mindfulness. Further information about Insight Dialogue is available on the Metta Foundation website: https://metta.org

Saturday 9th July facilitated by Gordon Adam and Manjudeva
A Focusing-based interactive Day Retreat  ‘Embracing Interconnectedness through the Body’
This retreat drew upon Focusing, and the felt sense, to lead us to a greater, more holistic, more truthful knowing about life and our place in it. The body already knows in a direct and unmediated way how interconnected we are to the rest of existence – we just need to learn to stop and listen…
Click here for more details and biographies of the facilitators. For more information about focusing please click here.

Saturday 17th September – Martin Aylward
‘The Dharma and the Drama: Mindfulness amidst a messy life’
This day looked at the challenges of everyday life as the theatre of transformational practice, exploring how our work and relationships can be fertile ground for insight, and seeing how we can cultivate a meditative life which genuinely supports and is supported by the ‘full catastrophe’ of everyday living.
Click here for a biography and photo of Martin Aylward

Saturday 26th th November – Bhante Bodhidhamma
‘Mindfulness, Ethics and Daily Life’
Is ‘Mindfulness’ now a cliche? How far has it gone from the Buddha’s teaching from which it sprang and is it important that ‘mindfulness’ be connected to the Dhamma, the teaching of the Buddha?”

Click here for a biography of Bhante Bodhidhamma

‘We can stop struggling with what occurs and see its true face without calling it the enemy. It helps to remember that our spiritual practice is not about accomplishing anything – not about winning or losing – but about ceasing to struggle and relaxing as it is. That is what we are doing when we sit down to meditate. That attitude spreads into the rest of our lives.’
Pema Chodron