About Buddhafield Retreats
Evening puja | Image © Kirsty Porter 2011
Buddhafield retreats are camping events, held on a number of beautiful secluded sites in the south-west of England. They offer an opportunity to take a break from everyday routines and to experience oneself anew in the stillness and beauty of nature. On our retreats we look for inspiration in the Buddha’s teaching and in the natural world, while living simply and kindly in a supportive communal environment.
You can get a taste of what a Buddhafield retreat is like or jump to the 2013 retreat programme to book a place. Elsewhere we’ve collated answers to the most frequently asked questions and also listed some opportunities for liftsharing.
Previous Retreat Experience
Many of our retreats are suitable for all: previous experience is advisable only on certain retreats. Those labeled ‘open’ are suitable for beginners, but retreats for ‘regulars’ are suitable for those with some experience (6 months or more) of the Mindfulness of Breathing and Metta Bhavana meditation practices. The Total Immersion Retreat features lenghty periods of silence, which can be challenging for inexperienced meditators. If you are in doubt of the best retreat to choose please contact us before booking.
If you are on medication for a mental health problem, please contact us in advance to check that the retreat is suitable for you.
Except for the Buddhafield Village Retreat (children & family friendly), our retreats are for adults (16+) only.
Directions to the retreat site will be sent with your booking confirmation letter. Please note that Broadhembury is a relatively wild site which needs a level of fitness that can cope with uphill walks to the shrine area.
All our retreats are held under canvas. Space in a communal dome or bender is provided for retreatants who do not have their own tent.
To avoid disruption to yourself and others, please come for the full retreat period and please do not arrive without prior booking. There is a retreats mobile phone number to contact someone on a retreat: for all other enquiries, please phone the General Office number: see the contacts page for the number(s) and an email form.
Please do not bring or consume illegal drugs or alcohol; we’re sorry, but we can’t have dogs on retreat.
We are working to reduce our carbon footprint. Please consider coming by public transport, in which case we will pick you up from the nearest railway or bus station. If you are coming by car, please consider offering a lift to others, with whom you may wish to share costs. We charge £10 for bringing a vehicle on the retreat site, which will go towards our permaculture and land projects including tree planting. To offer or receive a lift, please visit the travel page.
Costs & Donations
We are committed to making the Dharma available to anyone who wishes to engage with it. We also endeavour to make ethical provision (such as using good quality, organic food) for all our retreats, which comes at a premium. However, we do not wish to make cost an obstacle to you coming on a retreat. Accordingly, we operate what is known as a dana system, whereby you are free to give as much or as little as you can afford (above a modest non-refundable booking deposit). For most of the retreats, at the request of retreatants, we do publish a three-tier guide for suggested donations, nominally for fully waged, low waged and unwaged levels of income, but it really is entirely up to you how much you donate. We would rather you came and paid less than you didn’t come at all!
Having said that, Buddhafield does operate on a shoestring! For many years, our retreats have been subsidised by the Buddhafield Festival, but we can’t always rely on this. Dana can be translated as “generosity” and we do indeed depend on the generosity of retreatants and volunteers to be able to keep the retreat programme going. So whatever your income, please give as much as you can, and help us to become fully self-financing as we continue to offer these unique retreats in the heart of nature. Alternatively, please encourage someone else to book the retreat too — as they say, “Bring a friend!” Two people paying less could be more cost-effective for us than one paying more. Find out more about how Buddhafield raises funds.