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October 10, 2018 - October 17, 2018


Our annual Compassion retreat on Holy Island 

This autumn’s Mindsprings retreat is again looking at the subject of compassion. Taught by Alistair Appletono with yoga taught by Kirsty Davidson.

Right at the heart of Buddhist practice is the quality of warm connection that is called the “awakening heart”. Often we can get caught up into concept and ideas about how this compassionate heart “should” be. But Mindsprings teaches these bodhicitta practices from an embodied, here-and-now place.  Doing them this way makes them seem surprisingly natural and spontaneous.

Embodied and somatic practice

Alistair is teaching the embodied version of some classic ‘awakening heart’ practices and keeping the compassion warm and vital, rather than heavy and conceptual. Central to the practice of ‘somatic’ awareness is a surrender into the realities of our bodies and the skill of exiting the thinking mind for longer and longer periods of time. Some practices will be done lying down, some sitting up. There will be gentle yoga each morning. 

What you can expect on a Mindsprings retreat

Mindsprings retreats follow a general pattern over the week. 

  • the first few days are for arriving, stilling the mind and relaxing into the wide open field of the body
  • we will be in silence most mornings from lights out the night before till lunch time. There will be one full day of silence. 
  • everyone on the island is used to silence and it’s warm and friendly quiet
  • each morning there is the chance to warm up the body with some yoga led by Kirsty
  • the teaching and practice runs from 9 in the morning till lunch and again from 4 till soup at 6
  • the afternoons from end of lunch till 4pm are free for exploring the island or practising alone
  • the evening sessions are for practice, chanting or group experience
  • the food is delicious vegetarian – much of it from the island’s organic gardens – most intolerances are catered for

Not suitable for complete beginners

We would like to keep this retreat for practitioners who have some experience of a Mindsprings course or have some preferably embodied meditation practice. It’s not really suitable for complete beginners.

The Island

Holy Island is a stunning granite outcrop in Lamlash Bay off the isle of Arran in West Scotland. It’s been a holy site since the times of Celtic Christianity when St. Molaise lived in a cave here. In the last few decades it’s been a place of Buddhist-inspired contemplation. But the World Centre for Peace and Health where this course takes place is open to all faiths or none. It’s a  uniquely nurturing place for practice and draws people from all over the world .

You need to book here but then book your accommodation too!

Once you have booked the Mindsprings course below, you will need to book your Holy Island accommodation separately here. You can chose to stay in the room of your liking and stay a little longer on the island if you can… 



October 10, 2018
October 17, 2018
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Alistair Appleton


Holy Island
Lamlash Bay KA27 8GB United Kingdom + Google Map