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Holy Island Summer Retreat 2020: Sitting With The Body

July 4 - July 11


Our annual Summer retreat on Holy Island for beginners

Mindsprings summer meditation retreat on Holy Island is aimed at anyone who is looking to explore practice in a more body-based way. Taught by Alistair Appleton and  Kirsty Davidson.

Suitable for practiced meditators and complete beginners alike, the 7 -retreat is a chance to visit meditation afresh in the beautiful natural surrounding of this car-free Scottish island, enjoy delicious food and make new friends.  

Sitting With the Body

Meditation practice usually conjures up images of people bolt-upright in full-lotus with beatific smiles. For many of us coming to meditation as beginners, it’s cramping legs, sore backs, busy minds, and needles-and-pins. 

It’s a shame that sitting meditation comes with all these ideas of stillness and perfect poise, because properly inhabited, the sitting body can be a space of enormous joy and fascination. By following the steps of somatic practice – starting with full relaxation and connection to the warmth and support of the Earth – sitting practice is relaxed and open field. Rather than an blank zoned-out space, sitting is full of micro movements, flows of information-rich energy, a growing sense of expansiveness and curiosity about the raw stuff of life. 

This week on Holy Island is building up this somatic form of sitting and offering everyone who comes a vibrant and alive form of this simple practice of “just sitting”. 

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 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

To hear more about the container of a Mindsprings retreat, listen here. 

Suitable for complete beginners

We have a retreat for more advanced practitioners in the Autumn on the island but this summer gathering is a wonderful chance for you to have a deep and lasting introduction to the practices of somatic meditation. Compete beginners are most welcome as are longer-term meditators who would like to explore this fresh approach. If you have any question about the fit of the retreat for you then please do write to [email protected].

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 can visit our Holy Island Gallery here and hear more about the Island here

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… 

Bursaries are available

Mindsprings would like people to practice even if they are struggling financially, for whatever reason. We offer a limited number of partial and full bursaries for these retreats. Please write to [email protected] for more information. 


July 4
July 11
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Holy Island
Lamlash Bay KA27 8GB United Kingdom


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Mindsprings Summer Retreat: Sitting with the Body
£ 250.00
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