Course Information

Deepening and Extending the Foundations of Mindfulness: A Seven-day Retreat for Mindfulness Trainees and Established Teachers

When: 25 Nov 2018 – 2 Dec 2018
Where: Othona, West Dorset
Tutors: Jake Dartington, Bridgette O’Neill

This teacher led residential offers a safe and supportive environment in which to deepen and extend mindfulness meditation practice. It provides an opportunity to develop fine-tuned sensitivity to our inner process and to how we might helpfully work with our experience moment to moment, including in our interactions with others and with the environment.

This retreat is specifically designed to meet the retreat needs of those on Part 2 of CMRP’s Teacher Training Pathway and Master’s Teaching 2 module. Other trainees and established teachers who have taken preliminary teacher training and have taught several mindfulness-based courses are also warmly welcome to attend. It is also highly suitable for more experienced teachers wishing to deepen their connection to the core underpinnings of mindfulness as it is taught in the eight-week course. The retreat is explicitly designed for those who have previous retreat experience.

The retreat structure, teaching process and learning community of fellow participants and teachers provide a scaffold to engage in an individual and collective exploration of human experience, supportive of a deepening understanding of mindfulness as a way of being in the world.

 What’s involved?

We will deepen our personal and experiential engagement with the core meditation practices taught on an eight-week mindfulness-based course and with the theoretical understandings that underpin them. In particular, we will structure the residential around perspectives on the four ways of establishing mindfulness from Buddhist psychology and an exploration of four heart qualities (friendliness, compassion, joy and equanimity) known as the Brahmaviharas in Buddhist psychology and as the four friends for life in secular mindfulness approaches. 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, MBCT and related programmes. There will be a particular emphasis on developing the capacities to embody the teachings and practice within our own process, which is a foundation for enabling us to teach them skilfully to others.

 The retreat will include:

  • periods of both guided and self-directed practice
  • short talks
  • individual meetings and small group inquiries with fellow participants and the teachers
  • time to practice mindfulness informally between meditation sessions including in work periods where individuals contribute to the smooth running of the household and care of the environment

The retreat will be held within an overall container of silence, enabling space to connect with experience and a chance to be in community with like-minded people without the need to be anyone in particular. There will also be opportunities for sharing and connecting and the teachers will be available to talk to people individually.

Expected learning outcomes include:

  • deepening knowledge of the traditional teachings on the four establishments of mindfulness;
  • development of knowledge of the Brahmaviharas or Four Friends for Life;
  • development of understanding of how the four ways of establishing mindfulness and four friends for life relate to human distress and wellbeing; and how they underpin the curricula and practices of MBSR and MBCT;
  • deepening confidence and clarity in experientially engaging with the foundational methods of developing mindfulness;
  • development of experiential familiarity with the Four Friends for Life and the core attitudinal qualities of mindfulness;
  • development of increased experiential familiarity with personal patterns and conditioned tendencies, how we meet these and how this relates to human struggle and flourishing; and
  • experience of the value of being part of a supportive community

Who is the retreat for?

The retreat is suitable for the following people:

  • those who have taken an eight-week mindfulness course and wish to deepen their learning;
  • those who are training to teach mindfulness-based courses; or
  • established mindfulness-based teachers

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.

Requirements to attend:

Completion of an eight-week course and attendance at a minimum of a day of silent practice.


Please arrive from 4:00pm on the first day, in time for a 5pm start.  The retreat ends after lunch on the last day.

What to bring/wear:

Please bring equipment to support your practice (e.g., mat, cushion, blanket). Some equipment will be available at the venue.


This retreat is held at the beautiful seaside retreat centre Othona West Dorset, where furnishings are described as simple and comfortable and the grounds as a little paradise for people and wildlife. The grounds are a site of Nature Conservation Interest and the footpath down to the sea takes you through flower rich National Trust meadows.

Our full rates have no hidden extras and include deposit, teaching, room and board. 

Full rate for SHARED accommodation (2 or more to a room): £825.00 including the £100.00 deposit.

Please note that the majority of accommodation is in twin rooms, and that not all rooms are ensuite. If you have any special requirements, please let us know.

The Application Process: 

Our application and payment process involves the following steps:

  1. We receive your application form and assess it to ensure that this retreat is suitable for you. We endeavour to make assessments within a week, but if the retreat leader is on annual leave or on retreat, then this can take a little bit longer.
  2. Upon offering you a place, we will then invoice you for the nonrefundable deposit (£100 non-refundable deposit for SHARED accommodation or for the full amount, depending which option you choose when you complete your application.
  3. Your place is fully confirmed once we receive your deposit or full retreat payment.
  4. If you selected to pay the deposit only, we will invoice you for the balance three months before the retreat starts.
  5. We will email you the joining instructions in advance of the course.

Payment and Cancellation Policy:

Please read our Terms and Conditions for information regarding payments and cancellations.

For more information:

Please email us at

Ready to apply?

Click here to apply now for this course.