Date(s) - 13 May 2023 - 20 May 2023
3:00 pm - 2:00 pm
The Nightingale Centre
Why choose an Ajahn Brahmali retreat?
Ajahn Brahmali, a close disciple of Ajahn Brahm, is an exemplary practicing monk, Buddhist scholar and much sought-after teacher of early Buddhism. Ajahn Brahmali brings the depth and scope of the Buddha’s message to life, with direct application to a holistic practice oriented both to a happy life here and now and to Enlightenment! Rarely are the Buddha’s teachings elucidated with so much clarity and contagious joy.
As the teachings come alive within, your relationship with the historical Buddha will deepen, bringing increased confidence and independence on the path. Moreover, the Buddha’s teachings will give you the profound inspiration to sustain your practice and apply it to every aspect of your life.
What is the theme of the retreat?
The retreat will be an in-depth exploration of breath meditation (anapanasati), and Ajahn Brahmali has shared this inspiring description:
The Buddhist path is almost ridiculously simple: kindness and awareness of the breath. This is enough to take you all the way to Awakening. Why, then, can it seem so hard? During this retreat we will focus on mindfulness of breathing and its supporting conditions. We will look at the obstacles that stop this practice from flowing naturally. And we will consider the qualities of mind that we need to develop to allow the flowering of the mind. You may not be Awakened by the end of this, but you will be much closer than when you started. If you don’t want to make spiritual progress, don’t come to this retreat!
Where will the retreat be held?
We are delighted to have a beautiful venue, worthy of such a special retreat! The Nightingale Centre nestles in the hills of Derbyshire’s Peak District National Park, in the tranquil village of Great Hucklow, with good transport links from Manchester and Sheffield. This is the same retreat venue that we used for Ajahn Brahmali’s 2018 retreat, which was a fabulous success.
The retreat will be held in silence and so to support this we have exclusive usage of the centre. Furthermore, the Nightingale’s friendly staff will look after all our needs, preparing and serving our meals as well as doing all the washing up! The retreat is suitable for both beginners and experienced meditators alike and will accommodate a maximum of 50 people. Since it is five years since Ajahn Brahmali visited England in person, the retreat is likely to be popular, so be sure to register early and secure your place!
Tentative Retreat Schedule
In the same spirit as Ajahn Brahm, Ajahn Brahmali has a relaxed approach to meditation that allows you to find your own pace and joy in practice. Below is a rough schedule that includes talks, guided meditations, sutta classes, Q&A and (unlisted) group interviews with Ajahn Brahmali. Ample time will be available for relaxing and walking in the countryside as you please – and, if the weather is nice, you can meditate in the surrounding forests and fields.
Arrivals between 15:00 and 17:00
18:00 Light Supper
19:30 – 20:20 Introduction talk (silence begins!)
20:30 – 21:00 Guided meditation
Days Two To Seven
(please note that days 2-7 may be subject to slight alteration)
06:00 Group meditation
07:30 – 09:00 Breakfast
09:00 – 10:00 Morning talk
10:00 – 12:00 Personal practice
12:00 – 14:00 Lunch and rest period
14:00 – 15:00 Guided meditation
15:15 – 16:30 Sutta study
16:30 – 17:30 Personal practice
17:30 – 19:00 Drinks, rest period
19:00 – 20:00 Group meditation
20:15 – 21:30 Anonymous Q&A from “the box”
06:00 Group meditation
07:30 – 09:00 Breakfast
09:00 – 10:30 Closing talk and loving kindness meditation
10:30 – 12:00 Discussion and meeting each other (silence lifts!)
Departures by 14:00
Accommodation and facilities
Happily, there is space to accommodate everyone in a twin (or larger) room sharing with just one other person. Standard twin rooms all contain wash basins, and have nearby toilet and bathroom facilities. En-suite twin rooms have private toilet and bathroom facilities.
One disabled access en-suite twin room is available, and there are a further four ordinary en-suite twin rooms on the ground floor. In the application form you will be asked to specify your choice of either an en-suite twin or standard twin room. Please also let us know if you require disabled facilities or a ground floor room and we will do our best to meet your needs. The meditation hall is a few steps below the ground floor and has disabled/wheelchair access.
Meeting rooms and lounges
The largest hall will be used as our main meditation hall. A carpeted hall is available for walking meditation, and the very comfortable sun lounge provides the perfect cosy space for very relaxed meditation or just chilling-out with a cup of tea. Breakfast, lunch and drinks will be provided in the dining room next to the lounge. There is a yet another, smaller meeting room, which can be used for group interviews with Ajahn Brahmali.
Outdoor areas and Private Forest
You can also practice walking meditation in the garden area outside the building or in the Centre’s privately-owned forest just opposite.
The village is surrounded by hills and fields which invite long walks for exercise, or just a peaceful amble to enjoy the views.
Food and drinks
Food will be simple vegetarian with a vegan option. Tea and coffee is available around the clock. During this retreat we will abstain from eating in the evening, to support the deepening of meditation practice. Please therefore note that only breakfast and lunch will be provided.
If you require food in the evening for medical purposes, please ensure that you bring along simple snacks that are easy to store in your room, such as flapjacks, as there is no cooking facility available.
The total cost of the retreat, per person, is as follows:
£600 based on staying in a standard twin room
£700 based on staying in an en-suite twin room.
£680 based on staying in a standard single room
£780 based on staying in an en-suite single room.
Please note that this covers food and lodgings only. Ajahn Brahmali is kindly coming all the way from Perth to England to support Anukampa by helping us establish a Forest Monastery where women can, for the very first time, train toward full monastic ordination as a bhikkhuni. There will be opportunity to donate towards that aim at the retreat in person or via our website.
We are extremely fortunate to have three monastics attending this retreat: Ajahn Brahmali, Ven Canda, and a guest bhikkhuni! If you would like to contribute to the costs for accommodating the Sangha (monastics) you can donate here, you can donate here, reference ‘monastic costs.’
We may be able to offer some financial assistance to those of limited means through our bursary fund.
You are welcome to donate to our bursary fund here.
The nearest train station to The Nightingale Centre is in Hope. Please note that there are three different villages named Hope in England (!): you will be coming to Hope (Derbyshire).
The nearest international airport is Manchester.
Overseas travellers should fly to Manchester and take a train to Hope.
Domestic travellers can take a train to either Manchester or Sheffield and then a train to Hope.
From London, the most cost effective option is travelling by bus to Sheffield and then another bus or taxi to the Centre. You can find information from these websites: https://www.tfwm.org.uk/ , https://www.nationalexpress.com/, https://www.highpeakbuses.com/, https://uk.megabus.com/, or plan your journey with Google Maps.
Busses from Sheffield to Great Hucklow
Meadowhall Interchange, Platform A4, bus number 65 / 65a.
Mon-Sat: 09:10am, 11:10am, 13:10pm, 15:12pm.
Please note that they may be changes within the public transport timetable e.g., a road closed, delay etc. Download First Bus App. and Trainline App. to access real time information.
Disclaimer: We are not affiliates nor endorsing those companies.
As the retreat approaches, you can coordinate with other participants via a lift share spreadsheet, for example to arrange to share taxis or lifts.
From Hope (Derbyshire), two taxi companies offer a special rate for those travelling to The Nightingale Centre:
Penny’s Cars 07917 710771 or 01433 659363
NICE private hire 07710 609 699 or 01433 623427
Note: Please do not contact the Nightingale Centre directly as the staff only have the capacity to liaise with the booking’s group leaders.
Any further enquiry can be directed to email@example.com
Congratulations, you made it here!
1. Please ensure you read all the above information carefully first, and then fill in the application form below. At this stage you will not be required to make a payment.
2. After submitting your application form, within five minutes you should receive an email confirming that we have received it. Please check your junk mail inbox if you do not receive it. We advise you to add our email address firstname.lastname@example.org as a contact, to prevent our emails going into your junk folder. Please contact us if there is any problem and your confirmation does not arrive.
Please note that this payment is non-refundable. Please note that no refund will be given unless someone on our waiting list would like to take your place. In this case, you will be refunded minus a £200 booking bond. Whilst we will make every effort to offer your ticket on, this cannot be guaranteed.
We aim to approve your application within two weeks. If you haven’t heard from us after 2 weeks, please contact us at: email@example.com.
We will allocate your room based on the room type you selected in this application form. When it comes to payment you must stick to the room type you originally chose in this application form, because we have organised the rooms chart on the basis of your choice and cannot change it later on at the time of payment!
If the room type is no longer visible to you below, it means the room is currently taken. If you do need a single room you can apply to be in the waiting list and state your room preference and your reasons.