You are invited to join us for seven or four exquisite days to come home to yourself with kindness. We will gather at a beautiful place in the spectacular Gondwana Rainforest in Springbrook National Park on the Gold Coast. There you can enjoy privacy, peace and solitude to de-stress, with many opportunities to engage in forest bathing.
This is a wonderful opportunity to unwind, away from the demands of work and family life. You can take the time to care for yourself, to refresh your practices in mindfulness and self-compassion, to cultivate your inner resources. You can pause, to better relate to yourself in your own mind and in this way improve your relationships with others. Again and again, you can attend to yourself like you would attend to a dear friend, giving yourself what you need to thrive, to flourish, so in return, you can better support others. Your well-being and positive engagement will benefit everyone.
Self-Compassion, mindfulness and forest bathing greatly increase our ability to deal with difficulties with balance to protect us from burnout and caregiver fatigue.
Give yourself the gift of silence!
Revitalise in nature!
Connect with your inner joy and sense of purpose!
Why a silent self-compassion retreat in nature?
Maintaining silence in a retreat frees you from the distraction of engaging with others so that you can begin to meet yourself anew, with a kind awareness. You can let go of doing and striving, to allow yourself simply to be. In addition, when we are silent, in nature, engaging in forest bathing, our senses are more open, we are more present, we feel more alive, we open to something that is greater than us, greater than our difficulties, pain and drama. Nature gives us a sense of space, allowing us to be in touch with our spirituality, connecting with a compassionate inner knowing, that is uplifting and empowering.
Who it is for?
This retreat targets professionals and caregivers, such as psychologists, social workers, counsellors, occupational therapists, teachers, nurses, medical practitioners, and anyone else who is in a helping role. It is an opportunity to stop, to re-charge, to fill our cup so we can give back.
This retreat is also for anyone who is interested in teaching Mindful Self-Compassion, and other mindfulness-based programs (MBP) such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. The seven-day retreat meets the requirement to have attended a five-day, silent, teacher-led retreat to become a Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher. This retreat also fulfils the silent retreat requirement for professional teacher training in other mindfulness programs such as MBSR and MBCT.
What to expect?
The retreat aims to present tools and practices to enable participants to respond to the difficult moments in their lives with kindness, care, courage, and wisdom. The content of the retreat will consist of topics, guided meditations, walking meditation, self-reflective exercises in self-compassion, compassion and mindfulness to promote wellbeing and resilience.
We wish to take full advantage of the picturesque surroundings by providing ample opportunities to go on mindful walks for contemplative reflections where you can immerse yourself in nature. You will be introduced to different aspects of forest bathing.
We aim to provide a peaceful and relaxing retreat for a small number of participants (15). You will be staying in a room of your own with a single bed using shared bathroom facilities with three others. Delicious healthy vegetarian meals will be served with vegan/gluten-free/dairy-free options.
On the first afternoon, there will be an orientation session to meet and greet. For the next six days, we will ask you to mostly maintain a friendly silence. Each day we will present topics, exercises and guided meditations in the mornings and afternoons. We will alternate between sitting, lying down, and movement/walking meditation practices. The aim will be to deepen your personal practices in mindfulness, loving-kindness, compassion, self-compassion, joy, gratitude, and equanimity.
In the early morning at 7 am, before breakfast, you have the option to join on a mindful walk/movement and a guided wheel of awareness meditation. At the end of the 4th-day program, there will be opportunities to talk, to reflect and farewell the participants who are leaving. For the 7-day program, on the 6th day, in the morning, we will break out of silence, being free to talk and meet the other like-minded participants for the rest of the retreat. Short individual interviews with Marianna or Marie can be scheduled throughout the retreat for clarification or support. During the retreat, at any time, if issues arise, you will be able to communicate with the manager.
Retreat Training objectives
After participating in this retreat, you will be more able to:
- Understand and practice forest bathing
- Practice mindfulness and self-compassion in daily life
- Extend feelings of goodwill, kindness and warmth towards self and others
- Motivate yourself and others with encouragement rather than harsh self-criticism
- Handle difficult emotions with greater balance
- Manage stress, anxiety, anger, guilt and shame with greater ease
- Meet difficult relationships with compassion
- Manage burnout, caregiver fatigue and vicarious trauma
- Become more aware and able to attend skilfully to your needs and the needs of others
- Promote positive emotions in yourself and others
- Teach self-compassion practices to patients, clients, students, and children
The Retreat is located in peaceful surroundings, with panoramic views of tropical rainforest, mountains and waterfalls. It is located 30 minutes inland from Mudgeeraba and 50 minutes from the Gold Coast airport and is accessible only by car. It is perfect for a mindfulness retreat in nature. Situated in a National Park area, great care has been taken to reduce the impact on the environment. Only vegetarian meals are to be consumed in the location of the retreat and no smoking/alcohol is allowed anywhere on the property. Each participant will have a room of their own but will share a bathroom with three others. Delicious healthy vegetarian meals will be served with vegan/gluten-free/dairy-free options.
Continued Professional Development (CPD)
A Continuing Professional Development (CPD) certificate providing the number of hours attended will be given to everyone to provide evidence of professional development training (i.e. psychologists, social workers, counsellors, teachers, medical practitioners, nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, yoga teachers etc.). The 4-day retreat will provide 18 CPD hours and the 7-day retreat will provide 36 CPD hours.
There are no strict prerequisites. It is recommended that prior to the retreat, you already have been introduced to mindfulness and meditations. It would help also if you have an understanding of Compassion-Focused Therapy (Paul Gilbert) and/or Mindful Self-Compassion (Kristin Neff and Chris Germer). Prior to the retreat, you will be sent a registration questionnaire to help us to get to know you more.
Suggested prior reading (optional)
Experiencing Compassion-Focused Therapy from the inside out by R. Kolts, T. Bell, J. Bennett-Levy, and C. Irons, 2018
Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook by Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer, 2018
Fierce Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff, 2021
Into the Magic Shop by James R. Doty, 2016
The cancellation policy is as follow:
Marie Bloomfield: Clinical Psychologist and Senior Certified Mindful Self-Compassion teacher. Marie is an accomplished teacher in mindful self-compassion having presented over 50 workshops most of which were targeting health professionals since 2014. As a clinical psychologist, Marie has over 40 years of experience in working in mental health, including public, academic and private sectors. Marie has been using Compassion-Focused Therapy and Mindful Self-Compassion in her clinical practice since 2011. She is one of a leader in teaching Mindfulness and Self-Compassion for health professionals in Australia.
Marianna Lolas: Clinical Psychologist and training to become a Mindful Self-Compassion teacher.
Presenters: Marie Bloomfield and assistant teacher Marianna Lolas, Clinical Psychologists
Starting: 4:00 pm on Wednesday 1st December 2021
Dates:7-Day Retreat: 7-14 December 2022
4-Day Retreat: 7 -10 December 2022
Cost: Early bird (30 Oct): 7-Day: $2,310.00 or 4-Day: $1,540.00 ~
Regular: 7-Day: $2,695.00 or 4-Day: $1,760.00
The fees will include teaching fees, accommodation, and meals.
Discount available for direct payments
If you would like to know more or to register please contact us