Mindful Self-Compassion: A Five-day Silent Retreat
Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is based on research by Kristin Neff, integrated with the clinical perspective of Christopher Germer. MSC teaches core principles and practices that enable participants to respond to difficult moments in their lives with kindness, care and understanding.
The three key components of self-compassion are self-kindness, a sense of common humanity, and balanced, mindful awareness. Kindness opens our hearts to suffering, so we can give ourselves what we need. Common humanity opens us to our essential inter-relatedness, so that we know we aren’t alone. Mindfulness opens us to the present moment, so we can accept our experience with greater ease. Together they comprise a state of warm, connected, presence.
Self-compassion can be learned by anyone, even those who didn’t receive enough affection in childhood or who feel uncomfortable when they are good to themselves. It’s a courageous attitude that stands up to harm, including the harm that we unwittingly inflict on ourselves through self-criticism, self-isolation, or self-absorption. Self-compassion provides emotional strength and resilience, allowing us to admit our shortcomings, motivate ourselves with kindness, forgive ourselves when needed, relate wholeheartedly to others and be more authentically ourselves.
Rapidly expanding research demonstrates that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional well-being, less anxiety, depression and stress, maintenance of healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and satisfying personal relationships. And it’s easier than you think.
What to expect
The two teachers will guide the mindfulness, loving-kindness and self-compassion practices, and will remain mostly in silence so you can deeply explore and learn as much as possible from your own experience of these.
The first evening will be an orientation session. For the rest of the four and a half days, the practices in the mornings and afternoons will include alternate sitting or lying and movement practices that you will have learned and practised on your mindful self-compassion course. For this time on retreat, we will be practising meditations to enhance and deepen our mindfulness, loving-kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity.
In addition, there will be a silent early morning practice before breakfast. In the evenings the teachers will offer talks to help you relate experientially to the following day’s practices. You will also have at least one individual interview with a teacher where you can discuss your practice, and how you are finding the retreat.
How will this retreat help to deepen self-compassion?
The emphasis of the retreat will be on looking after ourselves, and on nourishing our compassion both through our practice, and through time for relaxation. We will be spending plenty of practice time outside. You can also take advantage of free time after lunch to walk in the gardens or nearby Richmond Park.
Who is the retreat for?
This retreat is for those who have already completed a Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) course, either over eight weeks, or in an intensive (usually five-day) format. You could be either an MSC teacher or an MSC practitioner.
The retreat meets the requirement to have sat a five-day, silent, teacher-led retreat before taking the MSC Teacher Training course. Please note: The next MSC teacher training in the UK is scheduled for February 2019 at the Sussex Mindfulness Centre.
It would be beneficial, though not essential, to have also taken a mindfulness-based course such as MBSR or MBCT. It is required that you have a regular and frequent practice of mindfulness meditation and/or loving-kindness/self-compassion meditation. It would also be helpful if you have already experienced a silent retreat of at least one day (or the half-day mindful self-compassion retreat), but if not, please apply, and we’ll discuss your application with you.
Requirements to attend:
Completion of an MSC course either over eight weeks or in an intensive (usually five-day) format. You could be either an MSC teacher or an MSC practitioner.
About the teachers:
Please arrive from 4.00pm on 10th March. We encourage you to arrive as soon after 4.00pm as you can, to settle into your room, find your way around and also meet up with some of the other retreatants. Dinner will be served at 6.00pm, followed by an orientation session.
The final session will end soon after 12 noon on 15th March.
The Kairos Centre in South West London is situated in acres of landscaped gardens and overlooks the historic Richmond Park.
Please note, while this retreat is a secular retreat open to those of any and no faith in keeping with our overall vision, the Kairos Centre is run by a Christian organisation and there is some Christian based art (pictures and statues) at this venue.
What to bring/wear:
Please bring any equipment you require for meditation practice. It’s advisable to wear loose fitting comfortable clothing.
Our full rates have no hidden extras and include deposit, teaching, room and board.
Full rate for PRIVATE accommodation (1 to a room): £795.00 including the £200.00 deposit
Please note: The majority of our venues have shared bathrooms, including for PRIVATE rooms. Please contact us if you have any specific needs that we need to be aware of.
The Application Process:
Our application and payment process involves the following steps:
- 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.
- Upon offering you a place, we will then invoice you either for the non-refundable deposit (£200.00 non-refundable deposit for PRIVATE accommodation) or for the full amount, depending which option you choose when you complete your application.
- Your place is fully confirmed once we receive your deposit or full retreat payment.
- If you selected to pay the deposit only, we will invoice you for the balance three months before the retreat starts.
- We will email you the joining instructions in advance of the course.
Payment and Cancellation Policy:
Please read our Terms and Conditions carefully for information regarding payments and cancellations.
For more information:
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.