Level 1 - The Foundations of Mindfulness: A Five-day Practice Retreat

26 - 30 April 2018 at Sharpham House, Devon


This teacher led residential offers a safe and supportive environment for the development of a deep and grounded mindfulness meditation practice. This retreat is specifically designed to meet the retreat needs of those on Part 1 of CMRP’s Teacher Training Pathway and Master’s Teaching 1 module. It is also suitable for trainees from other training organisations who are at an early stage in their development as teachers and mindfulness practitioners, and for more experienced teachers who seek to use their retreat time to reconnect to the core underpinnings to mindfulness as it is taught in the eight-week course.

The retreat provides an opportunity for participants to engage in an individual and collective exploration of human experience, coming to their own insights and understandings, and supportive of a deepening understanding of mindfulness. The retreat structure, teaching process and learning community of fellow participants and teachers provide a scaffold for this exploration.


What's involved?

We will deepen our personal and experiential engagement with the core meditation practices taught in courses such as Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy, alongside offering an opportunity to explore theoretical understandings that underpin them. In particular, we will structure the residential around the four ways of establishing mindfulness as expressed within Buddhist philosophy. These teachings will be offered as a framework to support first-person exploration of experience in formal and informal mindfulness practice – the core curriculum will be the immediacy of personal experience. Whilst having their roots in Buddhist psychology, the themes, teaching, practice guidance and explorations will be presented in terms of their application to secular mindfulness programmes such as MBSR and MBCT.

The retreat will include:

  • periods of both guided and self-directed practice
  • short talks with time for questions and discussion
  • individual meetings and group exchanges with the teachers
  • sustained periods of silence to enable participants to connect more fully with their inner experience
  • time to practice mindfulness informally between the scheduled sessions

The teachers will always be available to talk to people individually.

A core teaching intention for this retreat is to offer a structure and atmosphere within which we can deeply look into experience with the freshness of beginner’s mind, enabling new insights and perspectives to emerge.

Expected learning outcomes include:

  • Increased knowledge of the traditional teachings on the four establishments of mindfulness;
  • Development of understanding of how the four ways of establishing mindfulness relate to human distress and wellbeing; and how they underpin the curricula and practices of MBSR and MBCT,
  • Development of confidence and clarity in experientially engaging with the foundational methods of developing mindfulness;
  • Development of increased experiential familiarity with the core attitudinal qualities of mindfulness;
  • Development of increased experiential familiarity with and understanding of personal patterns and conditioned tendencies and the role of these in human struggles;
  • Experiencing the value of being part of a practice community with a sense of common purpose.


Who is the retreat for?

This practice residential is suitable for people who have attended an 8-week MBSR/MBCT (or similar) course and at least one day of guided silent mindfulness practice, and who have a personal practice of mindfulness. The retreat is open to anyone who meets these requirements, and is particularly intended for new and trainee mindfulness teachers, and others who are integrating mindfulness into their professional work.  

This retreat will enable mindfulness teachers who wish to be included on the UK Network Listing of Mindfulness Teachers to fulfill the requirement to attend an annual mindfulness retreat.



Please arrive from 4.00pm on 26 April. The final session will end by 12.00 noon on 30 April.


What to bring/wear:

Blankets and meditation cushions are available at Sharpham. You may wish to bring your own yoga mat if you have one and any other equipment you would appreciate for your own practice. 



Sharpham House is located in a designated area of outstanding beauty near Totnes in Devon. The house is a Grade 1 listed mansion in the centre of the Sharpham Estate, with stunning views over the Dart Valley. It is a nourishing and inspiring place to spend time. 


Two Fee Options (both fee options include teaching, accommodation and food):

  • Full rate for SHARED accommodation (2 or more to a room): £725.00 inc VAT
  • Full rate for PRIVATE accommodation (1 to a room): £825.00 inc VAT. Please note that there is limited availability for private rooms, which wil be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

On acceptance of your application, we will invoice you for a £100 non-refundable deposit for SHARED accommodation or a £200.00 non-refundable deposit for PRIVATE accommodation. We will subsequently invoice you for 50% of the remaining balance to be paid 3 months before the retreat start date, and for the final balance to be paid in full 1 month before the retreat date.

If the full rate for PRIVATE accommodation is paid but we cannot meet your request for a private room due to lack of availability, then we will allocate you SHARED accommodation and refund £100.00 to you or your employer.


The Application Process: 

After we receive your Application Form, we will assess it and invoice you for the deposit, then wait for payment before we confirm your place. We will then ask for your preference on accommodation.

Accommodation is in shared twin rooms with only a few single rooms available to early bookers. In addition, there are spaces for two campers. Bedrooms will be allocated on a strictly first-come-first-served basis on receipt of the booking form and deposit (or employer’s details) and cannot be reserved in advance. The fee includes full board for the period of the training.

We will email you with joining instructions in advance of the course.


Payment Policy:

Once an invoice has been raised, your course place is dependent on prompt payment. If our invoice is not paid on time, the course place will be released for other participants on the waiting list. This process reduces last minute cancellations, ensures that invoices are not raised then left unpaid and that all course places are allocated. So that you do not lose your place due to financial issues, we advise that if you are requesting an invoice to be raised, that you communicate with your employer to make payment within the timeframe detailed on the invoice.

Responsibility for payment remains with the course attendee. If the employer does not pay the invoice, the applicant will be liable to make payment or meet the cancellation charges.


Cancellation Policy:

You may withdraw your application eight weeks prior to the event commencement date at which point you will be offered a refund, minus a 25% admin fee. If you cancel your place on a course within eight weeks of the event commencement date, no refund will be offered.

In the unlikely event that, due to unforeseen circumstances, the course has to be cancelled by us, we will refund any fees paid to us by participants. Our liability is limited to refunding only our event fees. We recommend participants have adequate insurance to cover any cancelled travel or personal expenses.


If you have any queries, please contact the Mindfulness Coordinator at esther@mindfulness-network.org.