This retreat offers the practice of qigong, meditation, and inquiry to awaken your capacity to become a true human being and live life with power, love, and wisdom. It creates a powerful crucible of transformation, both within each of you and with the group, to burn through your old limitations, ideas, habits, and identities. The retreat is suitable for students with some experience of qigong or meditation.
The maximum participants in the group is 14.
There are nine bedrooms in the house which can accommodate up to fourteen people. Five of the rooms have en-suite facilities, while others share a bathroom. For this retreat, you will be provided shared accommodations, but some single rooms are also available.
One single en-suite bedroom is wheelchair accessible, as is the whole of the downstairs floor. They also have a wheelchair available for less able guests.
The library is a quiet seating area with books on yoga, Buddhism, poetry, spiritual paths, Devon, birds and nature, and maps. There is a small bedroom attached to the library.
There is a large kitchen area with an Aga cooker, electric hob, and oven, equipped for preparing vegetarian meals for up to fourteen people. The tables in the dining area can be arranged to suite the size of the group. Folding doors open onto the garden.
This is a beautiful light and airy space featuring wooden floors with underfloor heating. It is large enough to accommodate up to fourteen yoga mats. Two sets of doors open onto the garden and brook. They have a selection of mats, blankets, bolsters, blocks, and more.
The retreat is limited to 14 students, with the intention of being a small group with time for sharing your experience and individual guidance. Together, you will cultivate a quality of presence, an embodied, heartful awareness that is curious, responsive, insightful, and engaged with the immediacy of each moment. Resting in presence, you can begin to surrender and open more to your sense of "dynamic stillness" that is both alive and awake.
Within this field of presence, the specific practice of Huagong Qigong will include connecting to the central channel, energy fields, the three dantians, and the transformation of the three treasures of jing, qi, and shen. Through the physical aspect of the qigong, you cultivate your jing, physical essence or power, rejuvenating the body on a cellular level.
The meditative practices contain a strong energetic transmission, liberating the qi, releasing "stale energy" and "old information," connecting you to the richness of your inner life and the deep nourishment of life all around you.
From a grounded, connected, settled, open state, you let go into a more responsive practice, allowing the qi to move you, freeing up the body light, or shen. This initiates a strong internal transformation, reconnecting you to your essential nature and awakening your potential to live as a true human being.
The practice of inquiry in pairs explores various themes arising from the retreat within an environment of presence, stillness, and curiosity, helping you to integrate the depths of our being with the ordinariness of everyday life.
There will be early morning qigong and meditation before breakfast, with sessions throughout the day and evening and time to rest and digest the practice. Some of the retreat will be in silence.
Brad is an experienced Hua Gong teacher, teaching qigong since 1994. He offers ongoing groups retreats, camps, and a weekly class. Brad is also an experienced bodyworker, originally with Chinese acupressure, co-founding the Centre for Oriental Medicine in Totnes. He has a background in Buddhism, Qigong, and Chinese medicine. He spent a lot of his 20s in Asia and America studying and practicing these healing and spiritual arts. Returning to Britain in 1989, he met and begin studying with his qigong master, Zhixing Wang, from Beijing.
This retreat will take place at Bala Brook Retreat Centre in South Devon, UK. Bala Brook is situated in Dartmoor National Park and on the edge of the open moor. There are 35 acres of delightful gardens, fields, mature oak trees, and woodland adjoining the waterfalls of Bala Brook, which tumbles down to join the river Avon. They have a resident flock of Hebridean sheep. A gate from the meadow leads out onto the wide open Moor.
From the front, it is a short walk up the lane to Shipley Bridge and pedestrian track leading up to the Avon reservoir and higher open Moor. An exhilarating walk northward brings strong hikers to Princetown in the center of Dartmoor. Another walk westward leads to the famous ancient oaks at Piles Wood alongside the exquisite river Erme. There are other gentler walks around, some through woodland.
In this retreat, you will be served organic vegetarian meals daily.
Driving south after Exeter, leave the A38 at Marley Head (northeast of South Brent) and wriggle northwestward around lanes following signs to Avon Dam. Arrive at Shipley Bridge public carpark, beside River Avon.
Please book your flight to arrive at Exeter Airport (EXT).
Travel to Totnes station then take a taxi. They can try to arrange sharing. It is about eight miles. There is a half-hour bus service to South Brent from Totnes.