This 5-day online, live, interactive and teacher led mindfulness and self-compassion retreat offers us the wonderful opportunity to take time out from our busy lives and take care of ourselves, expanding and deepening our sense of aliveness, self-compassion and wellbeing. Join us and come together with other like minded people to nourish our minds and bodies with meditation, dialogue and some easy to do soothing movement. This retreat is delivered in a secular and modern style



Join us on Thursday, 13th – Tuesday 18th JANUARY 2022 for our Live, Online, Interactive, Teacher-Led mindfulness and compassion retreat with a real mindfulness instructor, real time, with a real group of people, delivered in a safe and nourishing online environment.


Why our 5-Day Mindfulness & Self-compassion Retreat?

This retreat is for MBSR/ MBCT teachers as well as practitioners and teachers of all forms of mindfulness interventions and approaches. This retreat is also open to the public who have reasonable experience in meditation practice. This 5-day retreat can split into two, 2.5 day retreats if necessary.

Retreat times: Thurs: 3-6pm, Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon: 9am – 5pm, Tue: 3-6pm

Many of us might feel like our lives have been put on pause especially with the current world wide health crises. Taking part in a home based mindfulness retreat can provide a us with a new and fresh opportunity to re-set and re-centre on the positive opportunities within the current situation. Our live, online, interactive, teacher led retreat is backed by modern Neuroscience as well as ancient Buddhist meditation practice. We teach mindfulness in a light hearted and practical way applicable to daily life. The retreat is led by Robert Gebka – international author of Managing Depression with Mindfulness for Dummies and Dr Julia Forster, an Educational Psychologist and MBSR mindfulenss teacher. The entire Mindfulness retreat is delivered live through video (Zoom) conferencing, rather than meeting in-person, participants engage with the teacher and interact with one another through their computer during the sessions.


This retreat meets the Good Practice Guidelines (GPG) for Mindfulness Based Teachers. Online retreats are an acceptable alternative to face to face group retreats. This will be reviewed towards the end of 2021. The importance of longer retreats for teachers of Mindfulness Based Interventions is expressed beautifully in this article by Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn.


This retreat is for you if you wish to:

tickEnhance your sense of mindful awareness, self appreciation and self compassion.

tickSit in retreat with fellow meditators, being held and supported by our wonderful mindfulness community.

tickDeepen your own meditation practice in a way that is deeply nourishing and life affirming.

tickMeet the annual 5-day silent retreat requirements as part of your professional mindfulness teacher training or registration.
Please note that this retreat is not suitable for beginners. We strongly advise that you consider our One-Day Mindfulness and Self-compassion retreat if you have little or no prior meditation experience.


Our retreats in the current times

We have facilitated nearly 50 retreats in the last seven years, all of them were live face to face group retreats as opposed to online. With the current world wide health situation the safety and wellbeing of our course students, as well as our trainers is top priority. We adhere to the UK Government guidance and intend to recommence our live face to face training when we are informed that it is safe to do so. In the meanwhile we have decided to offer our retreats online via a live and interactive method. We have completed numerous live, online retreats and feel extremely confident that the quality remains excellent with a wonderfully embodied experience.


The graceful retreat was full of relaxation, kindness and investigation into why the mind jumps around from place to place. The message I received during the evening, was to be more present and to view all events in the world without judgement. A wise message and one I hope to use daily. – Noel L S


What is included in the retreat?

This live, online retreat is highly experiential and interactive. We have a diverse programme of mindfulness and self-compassion activities such as body scan, compassionate soothing movement, guided walking meditation, Zen tea drinking meditation, sitting awareness of breath meditation as well as emotional soothing and regulation meditations. All activities are very gentle and optional, where participants are encouraged to take part in what they feel comfortable with.

Click here to view the 5-Day Retreat Programme


Secular yet connected to the heart of Buddhism

This is a non-Buddhist, non-religious but rather secular retreat. Our Mindfulness and Self-compassion retreat draws from foundational Buddhist psychology and Philosophy as well as evidence based approaches such as MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction), CFT (Compassion Focused Therapy) by Prof Paul Gilbert, MSC (Mindful Self-compassion), by Dr Christopher K. Germer & Dr Kristin Neff and Radical Acceptance by Dr Tara Brach. Our retreat is Trauma Sensitive which means that we are incorporating cutting edge discoveries in neuroscience as well as Mindfulness Based Self-compassion giving each course participant a safe space in which to explore their meditation.

Learning a new skill takes time and patience before a greater sense of ease can emerge. We offer group guided support during the retreat. It is however useful to remember that the retreat is not a form of therapy. It is important to note that if you have a history of severe or major depression and or other mental health difficulties and are in doubt about taking part in the retreat, that you discuss this with your chosen health professional or GP.

A randomized, controlled trial demonstrated that mindfulness and self-compassion significantly increased self-kindness, compassion for others, self-awareness, and general life satisfaction, as well as decreased depression, anxiety and stress. Click here to view the research article.


Under the auspices of Venerable Ahbay Rinpoche – Our centre Patron

Ahbay RinpocheAlthough our retreat is secular (non-religious) and Rinpoche will not be there himself in person, being the patron of our centre he has blessed this retreat and will be there with us in spirit. Ahbay Rinpoche has a Geshe degree in Buddhist Philosophy, the equivalent of a Ph.D. degree. Lama Ahbay Tulku Jigme Thupten Tendar Rinpoche (full name) was born in Darjeeling/India in 1973. When he was nine years old he was fully initiated into monkhood and the tutor of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Khabche Ling Rinpoche gave him the name Thupten Tendar. When he was twelve, His Holiness the Dalai Lama identified him as the reincarnation of the hermit Lama Lobsang Tenzin. Ahbay Rinpoche has become the Patron of the Dorset Mindfulness Centre in March 2017 after delivering a Dharma talk and Medicine Buddha ceremony at the centre in Bournemouth. He has since then offered the Compassion Blessing ceremony and taught a 2-Day retreat with Robert in April this 2018. Rinpoche is actively engaged in charitable community projects in India that support cultural education of children and the Dorset Mindfulness Centre informally supports this initiative.


About your retreat teachers: Julia and Robert


The training is delivered by Robert Gebka and Dr Julia Forster. Robert is a Qualified MBSR Mindfulness Teacher with the University of California San Diego Medical School, USA and the director of training for MBSR TT programme. He is former Buddhist monk who lived, worked and trained for five years at the Nan Hua Zen Buddhist monastery before joining the NHS. It was during this time that he was fortunate enough to meet HH the 14th Dalai Lama. Robert has been practicing mindfulness for 20 years and taught over 30 MBSR 8-Week courses. He is also an accredited counsellor and the author Managing Depression with Mindfulness for Dummies. Robert studied the neuroscience and physiology of mindfulness with Neuragy UK. He also currently works in mental health for Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust and is CRB checked and fully insured. Julia is an Educational Psychologist and MBSR Teacher with a Ph.D. in psychology. She started her career in mental health nursing during which time she became very interested in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as an empowering tool for those with anxiety, depression and eating disorders. Moving on to teach nurses and then into further education and teacher training. Julia’s interest in CBT extended to consider how such approaches could be adapted to support professionals in managing the emotional complexities of their roles. Julia is a former director of training at Bournemouth and Poole College and has extensive experience in delivering training in the education and psychology sectors.

Our director of training is a member of: National Counselling Society, British Neuroscience Association, Association of Contextual Behavioural Science and the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies

Listen to us on soundcloud below.


Retreat options

tickWe are aware that taking the whole five days for out for self-care can be challenging especially under the current circumstances, which means that you are more than welcome to join only for the first 2.5 days. It is recommended that you allow yourself to feel at ease with the time you can offer yourself and feel restful with your choice.

What you will need

A PC/Laptop/Macbook or Tablet with a stable internet connection as well as a webcam and microphone. (this is usually build into the device so no need for an external one)

A private space where you can be undisturbed and were you can enjoy the sessions feeling safe.

We recommend that you plug directly into the network with a cord rather than using wireless (WiFi), if possible, to ensure appropriate bandwidth and minimise unnecessary electromagnetic exposure.
Please note that there is no cost to download Zoom. You can check the operating requirements of Zoom here

Personal preparation

The attitude we bring to this experience is key and we need to be prepared to commit as fully as possible to the retreat programme as you would if you were with us in-person.

This will require some additional personal preparation of your own physical space so that you can engage with full attention and presence for the duration of retreat. We will also support each other in maintaining this commitment through our interaction with each other.

In preparation, consider where you will set up your space and how you will create the physical environment that will support you during this time:
A quiet, well-lit room, where you can rest your computer screen and be visible sitting, lying down and standing; also free of interruptions and distractions – remember what you see on your screen is what we see too!
Family support to allow you to join the online retreat (including allowing you full access to your network bandwidth for the duration of live sessions)
Agreements on how to interact with family and work commitments during this time, ie while in session and in between.
Access to easy, nutritious meals, water and snacks.

I’d like to join, what do I do next?

Please fill in the form and email it back to us before making payment. We will assess the form and if needed we shall contact you to arrange a quick telephone chat. This is to ensure that the retreat is the best possible experience for you.



Retreat cost

We are aware that people’s financial circumstances might be affected due to the current world-wide health crises. We have created a sliding scale to accommodate more people. Generosity policy applies—to cover business costs, and to ensure adequate compensation for the instructor, please use your own wisdom to determine the level that applies to your personal situation. We thank you for your generosity which will support the charitable work of Ahbay Rinpoche in India.

OPTION 1 (Supporting Others): £495

OPTION 2 (Our Cost): £395

OPTION 3 (Subsidized Rate): £345

We try our best not to turn people away if they are unable to pay the above retreat fee. Please contact us for more information about our concessions and we will support you if are in a position to do so.
Please note you DO NOT necessarily need a Paypal account to purchase – Just click the paypal button below and select other payment options to pay SECURELY with a debit or credit card.

YOU WILL RECEIVE AN AUTOMATIC PAYPAL TICKET CONFIRMATION EMAIL, SECURING YOUR PLACE. Please note that tickets are non-refundable once booked and cannot be forwarded to future events should you be unable to attend.

We will email you the Zoom link and password once we have received your booking form and payment.

Secure your Retreat Place


For more information please contact us

Email us on or give us a call on

01202 021 063 for a no obligation telephone chat
or click here to use our CONTACT FORM

Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.
– M. Scott Peck