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ven. 09 févr.


West Ogwell

Rainbow Dharma: A Retreat for the LGBTQI+ Community

Rainbow Dharma: A Retreat for the LGBTQI+ Community
Rainbow Dharma: A Retreat for the LGBTQI+ Community

Heure et lieu

09 févr. 2024, 19:00 – 13 févr. 2024, 12:00

West Ogwell, W Ogwell Barton, West Ogwell, Newton Abbot TQ12 6EW, Royaume-Uni

À propos de l'événement

Online retreat livestreamed from Gaia House With Katrin Auf Der Heyde, River Wolton and Bernat Font, assisted online by Sophie Boyer Friday  9  – Tuesday 13 February 2024

This retreat offers an opportunity to connect with others in ways that affirm our identity as a community of shared intention and practice, allowing us to make greater peace with ourselves and our lives, and to grow our capacity for freedom.

We hope to co-create a space of acceptance, reflection and support in which to cultivate mindfulness, embodied kindness and wisdom through meditation.

The retreat will offer guided sitting and walking practices, movement, optional small groups, dharma talks, and Q&A sessions.  There will be affinity sits for those who identify as BIPOC, and for those who identify as trans/non-binary/gender-fluid.

Rainbow Sangha: Katrin, River and Bernat (with other LGBTQI+ teachers) offer a monthly Rainbow Sangha online group. Click here for more information.

Special criteria

We welcome anybody who self-identifies as lesbian, gay, bi, trans, non-binary, gender fluid, bi-gender, gender diverse, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, agender….. and more.


This retreat allows us to join with those on retreat at Gaia House as we join the Meditation Hall to practice together.  As online participants we will have a window into Gaia House and be viewing and listening to the teachers at the front of the Meditation Hall.

  • The retreat can be attended, if your circumstances allow, as fully as if in the house, the teachers encourage attendance, as a minimum, for the three main teaching sessions each day — although these will be recorded if you need to miss one or to enable you to join from a different time zone
  • Small group meetings will be offered for those online
  • Recordings of the main sessions and any resources will be shared on an online retreat noticeboard
  • Questions can be asked by using a form on the noticeboard or, if time allows, from the livestreamed session

Although all efforts have been made to ensure that live-streaming is possible from Gaia House, we are in a rural location and at times there can be a loss of connectivity.

Recordings of the essential sessions from the house will be made available at a later time  and we will endeavour to provide short recordings for participants to practice with for the duration of any time whilst the connectivity is down.

SOPHIE BOYER has been  practicing meditation for 20 years during her time providing nursing care. After years spent in hospices, she became more interested in exploring silent meditation retreats in Europe, and in the US and spent 2 years in Myanmar as a buddhist nun. She has been trained under the guidance of Martine Batchelor and completed the Bodhi College Dharma Teacher Training. She also took the MBCAS instructor training program (mindfulness based cognitive approach for seniors). She currently offers meditation sessions for an oncology ward in Geneva and mainly offers retreats in France. She is part of the Terre d’Eveil teacher council.Teachers

KATRIN AUF DER HEYDE grew up in South Africa where she practiced in both Zen and Theravada traditions. A physiotherapist and yoga teacher by training she is interested in an embodied practice that integrates sitting, walking and movement. Katrin completed her Dharma teacher training under the guidance of Martine Batchelor and teaches in South Africa and in the UK.

RIVER WOLTON attended her first Insight Meditation retreat in 2000, and subsequently helped to establish Sheffield Insight Meditation. She is a Community Dharma Leader authorised by Gaia House Teacher Council, and has completed Dharma Teacher Training with Bodhi College. A former Derbyshire Poet Laureate, she has led writing and arts projects for many years, and is an activist in the LGBTQI+ community. For further information please visit her website. Listen to one of River's talks on Dharma Seed: The Story of Ptolemy the Tortoise and Mettā (Duration 46:24)

BERNAT FONT met the Dharma at a very young age and has practiced in Europe, India and Myanmar, gradually putting aside his artistic career. He completed his Dharma teacher training with the Bodhi College in 2022, mentored by Stephen Batchelor, and is doing a PhD in Buddhist Studies. He guides a small sangha in his native Barcelona and teaches in English, Catalan and Spanish.Assisted online by


All times shown are in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)

The schedule will follow that of the house and full details will be made available nearer the time.  The daily schedule runs from around 6.25 am – 9.15 pm and you are welcome to join all or any of the sessions during the day (please stay for the whole session).

We would encourage your intention to commit to attending the three essential sessions of the day preferably live, but if your situation does not allow this it would be beneficial to listen to the recording at a later time.  The times of these sessions will be circa:

9.30 am — Morning instructions 2.30 pm — Guided meditation 7.00 pm — Evening Dharma talk

The retreat will finish at approximately 12 pm on Tuesday.

Using Zoom

This online retreat will use the Zoom platform. For support with learning how to use Zoom, please click here to read the guidance we’ve put together on our website. Please read the first section, ‘Using Zoom’, before registering.


If you have any questions regarding the retreat, you can send an email to


None of your registration fee goes to the teachers. Gaia House teachers rely on the generosity of students for their livelihood. There will be an opportunity to make a dana offering to Katrin, River and Bernat at the end of the retreat.

Click here to read more about the practice of dana.

Dana can be offered to the teachers through the Gaia House website.  Please click on Teacher and then specify that your donation is for ‘rainbow online’ in the notes section on the checkout page.

Dana can also be offered to Gaia House.   To make a donation please click here and specify that your donation is also for ‘rainbow online’ in the notes section on the checkout page. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us to continue offering the teachings of the Dharma from our centre in Devon and online.

With deep appreciation for your generosity.

Preparing for the retreat

We suggest that you have in mind your plan for the days of our retreat. For example, will you be:

  • Maintaining silence?
  • Continuing with/doing additional sitting and walking meditation?
  • Cultivating an attitude of retreat throughout?

If so, be sure to set up conditions that support you, including discussing with those you share your space at home with.

It would be helpful to plan in advance, using the guidelines below, to simplify as much as you can and set boundaries around what you will and will not engage with. These are skilful ways of creating continuity and settling more deeply into practice and quiet.

Creating a retreat environment
  • Find a quiet and comfortable space to practice and make it as pleasant and welcoming as you can
  • If you like, you can arrange a small altar with candles, flowers, or altar objects near you
  • You may like to keep a small candle burning throughout the day as this helps to remind us that we are practising on retreat
  • We want to create a space that feels like we are with each other as much as possible. Even though we are not together physically, arriving on time is still important. Settle in and prepare your space and yourself before each session begins.
  • Whilst we are online together, don’t multitask. Turn off your other devices and any other programs you have been using. Engage with the session and teachings offered just as you would on a retreat you attend in a retreat centre. Give yourself this time to be present and awake.
  • Consider how you are going to use the time between our online sessions and try to keep life as simple and free from distractions as possible
  • Arrange your computer or device so you can see and hear well
  • Make sure you have easy access to the schedule and Zoom links and arrive on time for all the sessions you can attend
  • If you have to miss any sessions, please check the noticeboard to access recordings of the missed sessions
  • Think about where you might go to practice any walking meditation
  • Shop before the retreat if you can so that you don’t have to do this during the retreat. Planning meals in advance may also be helpful
  • Think about disengaging from unnecessary conversations and interactions: explain to any other people in your household what you will be doing and discuss how they can support you
Well-being and online retreats

Before you book, please read these guidelines about mental well-being and silent online retreats:

Meditation retreats can be very nourishing; however, as they require sustained meditation practice, they also need some stability of psychological health. If you have recently (within the past year or so) experienced significant trauma or psychiatric illness, or if you are currently experiencing acute emotional distress such as serious depression or anxiety, it may not be the best time for you to participate in a retreat. The teachers might not be able to give you the kind of individual psychological care you need at this time. A setting with more opportunities for interpersonal engagement may be more appropriate.

  • If you are currently under the care of a mental health professional, please discuss your attendance with them. You should be in a relatively stable period of mental well-being and have adequate psychological resilience.
  • If you have any questions about this, please contact Laura using the email address,

Online: Rainbow Dharma

Registration is on a sliding-scale starting at £0. Please consider paying at the highest rate that you are able to. Your generosity is vital in supporting Gaia House to sustain its Dharma offerings for the benefit of all. We are committed to ensuring that our programme is available to everyone who wishes to participate. If our suggested registration band is too high for you, you can enter the amount you are able to pay. Registration:         £64 — £172  (if this amount is too high, please feel welcome to pay what is appropriate for your current circumstances) Dānanandi Sangha:       £0 As a regular donor to Gaia House you are contributing already. Thank you.A note on dana/generosity None of your registration fee goes to the teacher(s). Gaia House teachers rely on the generosity of students for their livelihood. There will be an opportunity to make a dana offering to your teacher(s) at the end of the event.To register for this retreat: Please look at the rates listed below and enter the amount appropriate to you in the amount box. Then complete the registration form. Please read our Booking & cancellation conditions before completing your booking. Rates:

Amount ( £ )

  • Your Name*First Name Last Name
  • Your email address*
  • Have you read the well-being guidelines above?*I have read the well-being guidelines above and am happy to proceed with the registration.
  • Are you a member of the Dānanandi Sangha?I am signed up to the Dānanandi Sangha To thank and honour those who choose to make regular contributions to our beloved Dharma centre, we have created the Dānanandi Sangha ‘the community that delights in giving’. Click here to find out more and sign up.
  • Have you attended a Gaia House retreat/course before?residential retreat/day within the last five years residential retreat/day more than five years ago online only this is my first Gaia House retreat/course
  • Would you like to be contacted about future offerings with the same teacher/s as this retreat?Yes
  • We never share your details with third parties. For full details on the use of your information please view our Privacy Statement.
  • Now click Add to Basket. Then Proceed to Checkout and fill in the checkout form. Click on Place order to confirm your registration.

Partager cet événement

Dāna : la pratique du don

Selon la  tradition Dana telle qu'elle existe en Asie du Sud-Est,  les enseignements sont considérés comme trop précieux pour être vendus et les enseignements de qualité restent ainsi accessibles à tous. Les enseignants dépendent pour leur subsistance des dons offerts gratuitement à la fin du cours.

Image by Artem Kovalev


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