The programme is co-created with the group. During a gathering of the group at the start of each day, a plan will emerge for how participants would like to spend their time whether individually or collectively. Towards the end of each day there is an opportunity to share experiences and reflections.
At the initial gathering, shortly after arrival, the facilitator will offer some options for activities that might be undertaken during the retreat. There may be as many as 5 more structured sessions or as few as 2 according to what the group chooses.
To date, these more structured sessions – introduced and led by the facilitator – have included:
Making sense of our senses
A sequence of activities that enable us to become more aware of how strongly our senses (of which there are many more than five!) influence and shape us.
Using art, metaphors, photographs, description as prompts for more imaginative responses to who we are, how we see ourselves and what we aspire to be
Starting with a large empty piece of paper and building a personal ‘map’ to convey where we have been, where we are now and where we are heading – whether with paint, felt tips, collage or words.
Starting a journal to keep a record of our random thoughts, reflections, feelings – something to re-visit at a later date that will remind us of things that felt Important.
As far as we can tell, stories feature in all cultures and traditions – often handed down from one generation to the next as ways of teaching, memorialising and / or community-building. What stories do we have and what can we learn from each other’s?
The ground on which we stand
Exploring what makes us who we are – our inherited characteristics, how our experiences have shaped us over time, the talents we were born with or have acquired, our values and beliefs. Are we warriors or peace-makers? Are we innovators or activists? Are we coordinators or shapers?
Making the most of the opportunity to listen attentively and to speak with clarity – leaving space between what one person has said before the next person speaks… this is both an art and a science. When it works well, it can have an almost musical / rhythmical / healing quality
…can be offered and led by members of the group – to date these have included: music-making, mindfulness meditation, creating sculptures out of found objects in the landscape and wilderness walks.
Opening & closing the day
For those who like to start and end the day in a meditative spirit, there are 30 minute silent sessions before breakfast and after supper – with music or a verse to open and close.