The Dharma of Spring Awakening Retreat
A four-night residential community retreat with Lama Rod Owens
Winter is a rich time for many of us. It represents a period of deep introspection and learning.
Some of us are struggling to learn lessons from the pandemic, ongoing economic instability, political unrest, climate crisis, and various forms of systematic violence, the flash points of which act as a reminder of this symbolic winter we are living through.
As a result, both our individual and collective grief and trauma seems overwhelming.
Spring is also symbolic for us and our bodies.It represents an awakening from the darkness of winter as we bring winter’s wisdom in, into the re-emerging life and energy of the spring season.
In this community retreat we will practice a Dharma of Spring Awakening that will help us move through the brokenheartedness of a long winter, into the vitality of spring.
Our time together will take us through:
- love and compassion practices
- ancestor practices
- earth based rituals and practices
- laughter and joy
Tickets are available at supported, standard and benefactor rates. With costs rising around us all, our basic costs for running the retreat have risen too. The costs of our standard and benefactor rate tickets have increased slightly to reflect this.
If you are able to meet your monthly outgoings with spaciousness, we invite you to lean in and consider this opportunity to be a benefactor to our community.
The generosity of those who contribute at a benefactor rate allows us to offer a limited number of supported spaces. We freely invite those of you who would not otherwise be able to attend to choose this option.
Coming soon, we will also be offering a Pay-It-Forward option. This allows those who have the material means to give the future gift of Spring Awakening to those who would not otherwise be able to attend due to financial constraints. All contributions will be safeguarded and form the beginnings of our community LIDS (Low Income Dana Support) fund.
We are mindful that even the supported rate cost of the retreat remains inaccessible to some, and so we hope that this will allow us to offer bursary places in the future as our community grows.
Please note that your ticket price covers only our basic costs for running the retreat. Our teachers do not receive any payment from this. At the end of the retreat you will be invited to offer dana in recognition of the generosity of their time and teachings.
The waiting list is now closed for The Dharma of Spring Awakening Retreat.
What You Need to Know
The Retreat Container
Following our first shared evening meal, where folks get to meet and connect with their fellow retreatants, we invite all retreatants to enter into noble silence together throughout the houses and grounds, until our last evening meal on Sunday where silence will end.
In the spirit of silence, all yogis are invited to refrain from all forms of verbal and written communication with others within and outside the retreat. This includes telephone calls, social media, text messaging and checking emails.
We understand that yogis at times may need to check in with family or loved ones during the retreat. An area in the car park, away from the main site is reserved for making such essential communications.
A phone number for the venue and an email for the retreat coordinator is provided for emergencies. You will be invited to communicate with teachers and retreat co-ordinators using a written note system. Spaces each day are scheduled for an opportunity for questions with teachers, and discussions with yogi affinity groups, during which silence may be broken if you wish.
A delicious hot lunch and evening meal is provided each day. All meals provided are vegan and gluten free. We are usually able to accommodate allergies and intolerances. Please let us know of these in our registration form which will be shared following ticket purchase.
Retreatants are asked to provide their own breakfasts. Self catering kitchens are available in all accommodation.
Should you have any further questions around allergy and dietary requirements, please contact us at [email protected]
Travelling and Parking
The private venue is located in Pulborough, West Sussex. It is accessible via car and there is plenty of parking on site. It is a 30 minute walk or a 5 minute drive via taxi from Pulborough Train Station.
Further details on travel and arrivals will be sent upon registration.
In 2022, our first retreat was held with 45 yogis of varying access needs. We continue to learn and adapt so that we can create a space that best supports as many folks as we can. We share deep thanks to the community for providing feedback and insight that has led to the creation of our Retreat Accessibility Document, which you can read to find out more about accessibility on site.
If you have any questions relating to whether this retreat may be accessible to you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at [email protected].
Room Allocation and Registration Process
Our intention was to find a residential venue which was affordable and accessible to as many folks as possible. Our considerations included location, accessibility, colonial heritage and gender inclusivity, which inevitably limited our options. The accommodation our venue offers is not perfect, and it’s cosy and comfortable. Part of the retreat experience includes navigating shower schedules and negotiating sharing space with new friends!
Please note that we are not able to offer single rooms, and you may be sharing with up to seven others. We recognise folks may have needs around which genders they share with, and other access needs that impact where they can stay.
We operate a registration system which accommodates this and allows our coordinators to meet retreatants needs. Everybody who has purchased a ticket will be allocated a space in a shared room based on their needs which they will be invited to share following ticket purchase.
After initial tickets have sold out, we will open our waiting list so that individuals may apply for our remaining spaces. If you are on the waiting list, and your accommodation needs match a room we have available, we will get in touch so you can complete payment and confirm your space. All waiting list tickets are available at standard and benefactor rates only.
We are using a carbon offsetting company who offer verified emission reduction (VER) credits as a way of ensuring projects supported through carbon offsetting donations are sustainable, effective and protected. Donations will be made to High Impact Gold Standard Carbon Credits to offset the carbon footprint of both Lama Rod and Sadada Jackson travelling from the U.S.
Should there be travel restrictions preventing Lama Rod Owens travelling to the UK, the retreat will be postponed to a later date and all yogis will be refunded. In the case of local lockdowns, local travel restrictions or national lockdowns, refunds will be issued. If you find it necessary to cancel your booking due to Covid-19 related reasons, a full refund will be available.
If you cancel one month (or more) before the retreat start date, the cancellation fee will be £100.
If you cancel less than 1 month but more than 2 weeks before the retreat start date, the cancellation fee will be half the cost of your retreat.
If you cancel less than 2 weeks before the start date, the cancellation fee will be the full amount paid, which can be waived in exceptional circumstances.
Lama Rod Owens
Lama Rod Owens (he/him) is a Buddhist minister, bestselling author, activist, yoga instructor and authorised Lama, or Buddhist teacher, in the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism and is considered one of the leaders of his generation of Buddhist teachers.
He holds a Master of Divinity degree in Buddhist Studies from Harvard Divinity School and is included in the 2021 GOMES STB ’68 Distinguished Alumni Honorees List. He is a co-author of Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love and Liberation and has appeared on Good Morning America and The BBC and spoken alongside IIyasah Shabazz and Joshua DuBois on issues of social justice and spiritual activism.
Owens has also been featured in the Washington Post Magazine and published in Buddhadharma, Lion’s Roar, Tricycle and The Harvard Divinity Bulletin and been invited to speak at Yale, Harvard, New York & Brown University. Lama Rod is the co-founder of Bhumisparsha, a Buddhist tantric practice and study community and offers talks, retreats and workshops in more than seven countries.
A book for these times, Love & Rage: The Path to Liberation Through Anger, published in June 2020 featured in the L.A Times Top Ten Best Sellers list for 2021.
This critically acclaimed work, for its prophetic truth, timing, honesty and wisdom, in dealing with the multiplicity of challenges this generation is waking up to, is also published in German by Worten Und Meer this Spring, March 2022 as a priority title in the world of activism, and spirituality for the next generation.
sister sadada (she/they) since 2012 has provided professional mentoring and facilitation services to clients in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, from leadership development to instructional solutions, with a focus on curating the causes and conditions for individual and collective liberation.
sister sadada works independently as an embodied liberation teacher mentoring, consulting, and facilitating. she works with individuals and groups in fields of healing and education. she has a deep commitment to justice, access, love, and liberation for everyone in all contexts. the aim of her work is to diminish the relational and the structural violences impacting black and indigenous people in the practices of healing and educating.
for over 20 years sister sadada has been a practitioner of contemplative in both buddhist and yoga tradition. she has primarily practiced primary zen buddism and other mahayana forms of meditation. since 2016 she has been practicing vajrayana with lama rod owens. in 2019 she began practicing lama rod owens and lama justin at bhumisparsha. sadada is a trained 200- hour Hatha and Therapeutics yoga teacher and trained with bo forbes.
sister sadada has earned two masters: a master's in theological studies from harvard in indigenous traditions, and a master's in education from university of massachusetts in boston in secondary english language arts through boston teacher's residency program and her bachelor’s of art in theatre with a minor in english from umass.
sister sadada is black nipmuc.
Daniel Sutton-Johanson (he/they) is the founder and Community Dharma Leader of Southsea Sangha, a dharma community rooted in social justice and removing barriers to the dharma and meditation on on the island city of Portsmouth, U.K, where he lives with his son Oshan and their little dog, Stevie Nicks.
Daniel began dharma practice in 2004, encountering Vipassana at a time of addiction and depression and now practises as a Psychotherapist, trained through the Metanoia Institute masters program. Daniel is a member of the Radical Therapist Network and member of the GSRD (Gender, Sexuality & Relationship Diversity) Special Interest Group for The Person Centred Association, focussing on GSRD issues and their relationship to theory and practice to ensure person-centred practitioners are well-prepared and receptive to the lived experiences of the GSRD clients.
He is trained by L.A based Mindful Schools as a mindfulness educator with young people, and has worked as a mentor for young people with iBme UK. Daniel is also part of the organising group for Beyond Patriarchy, a meditation space from Southsea Sangha and assists Lama Rod and facilitates workshops and meditation retreats, around gender liberation and undoing patriarchy work with masculine and male identified folks, engaging in restorative work through meditation, dialogue, personal storytelling, and ritual work.
Within the container of community practice this work examines the individual's relationship to violence and domination, power, femininity, love and sexuality along a contemplative path to honouring non-patriarchal expressions of who we are as human beings. He identifies as a queer white cis male and is currently rooted in co-parenthood, spiritual social justice and building community.
If you have any questions about this retreat or about your registration, please contact [email protected]