Overview of Our Work in these Times

(As of August 2020)

After weeks of exploring how we are going to offer our work in the months ahead, we have come to the conclusion that it isn’t realistic (for as long as this virus situation persists) to continue with closed ongoing groups that meet exclusively in residential retreats. Too many people are vulnerable, or shielding others who may be at risk, and this body-based work of ours doesn’t lend itself to social distancing!

So – until things settle (assuming they do!) – we’re changing the way we work. We need to be more inclusive and more flexible, and will offer retreats online as well as residentially in the year ahead.

Working online is incredibly simple, surprisingly effective, and provides a valuable opportunity to bring the retreat into your home environment. They also allow a number of people to participate who simply could not otherwise. We’re really pleased to have engaged this possibility.

On the other hand, there is no substitute for what happens when we are actually bodily in the room together, dropping into the core of who we are in good company, exploring a depth of Presence, Love and Truth. Such gatherings are increasingly rare and precious and, in our opinion, are worth extending ourselves for. We are loathe to go along with an increasing culture of fear and isolation, which can become harder and harder to break out of, the more we keep ourselves separate.  So, while we cannot eliminate the risks of being together, we believe that we  can work together to reduce risks responsibly and make residential retreats viable.

We also recognise that we need to distinguish between people who are deeply involved in our work (ie who have been exploring different aspects with us on retreat and in ongoing groups over years); and those who, although they may be very touched by and available to what we’re offering, haven’t yet got a breadth of experience with us (meaning we may still need to cover some of the basics with them). In our view each of these communities forms a kind of natural circulation of peers. We feel it will be supportive to work together within each circulation -  a way to create some limits, so that people can increasingly get to know one another within their peer community.

There is a difficulty with this, in that the line between the two circulations is not always black or white. We may need to have conversations to help us agree with a few people which community they belong in.

Over the next nine months or so we will offer a range of both residential and online retreats to both groups. Working over several days like this enables us to work deeply as we explore the particular theme of each retreat. You’re welcome to join any combination of online and residential events – if you feel ready to dive more deeply, you may book a series; and it’s also fine to do just one or two events.

We’ll also offer each group the possibility to join an online  ‘mini-ongoing-group’, in which the same people will meet regularly over several weeks.

We realise that these offerings may not meet everyone’s wishes – but they are our best shot right now at flexing with the very difficult circumstances we find ourselves in. It’s our hope that this will provide opportunities for everyone who is serious and committed in this work to keep working with us, whilst allowing more flexibility at a time when nothing is certain. 

One effect of this change to the way we offer our work is that our schedule is very full meaning we have almost nothing on offer to newcomers and those with very little experience.

Finally a brief word about money. Throughout the lockdown period we offered a lot of special discounts on both groups and single sessions. This just isn’t sustainable (our overall expenses weren’t being covered) – so we are no longer offering them. All our retreats now require a fixed payment that will adequately cover our business costs, as well as a donation in exchange for our guidance on retreat. However, there are many ways that we will continue to make it possible for people on low incomes to work with us: regular free online groups; a bursary fund; generous reductions for any retreat places unfilled at the last minute; friendly ways to spread out your payments; and we are keeping our flexible donation system.