Having been part of the Community Sitting Group since January, I was curious about the possible benefits of joining the Retreat on the Isle of Wight.
I found it to be an interesting and at times challenging experience. Interesting in the sense of our meditation practice being both solitary and at the same time collective. I found the collective aspect was supportive of my individual practice. The challenge came in the true sense of the word ‘Retreat’ in giving up phones, laptops, reading, tv and radio this also included the restriction of conversation, the hardest part for me!
Nevertheless, this all provided an opportunity to reflect and focus!
Even though my compliance with the restrictions was imperfect, committing and taking part was positive. This was both in terms of mindfulness practice and my ability to meditate more effectively.
Susann’s non-judgemental encouragement and direction was invaluable and we could not have been made more welcome at Hill View House.
The chattering in my head subsided. The disconnection from Twitter meant Trump and Boris allowed me to settle calmly into my body.
Thank you to Susann for being my teacher for the last 14 years who always amazes me with her knowledge of Secular Mindfulness, which definitely is not McMindfulness. Her relocation to The Isle of Wight from London now means I’ll have to maintain my annual visit to the island.
My heartfelt thanks for the wonderful retreat weekend – what a joy it was.
My daily formal practice is now back in place. The work stress I talked about has not returned, and there are many other subtle changes in thought and behaviour that have persisted since coming home – it’s been the most impactful retreat experience I’ve had so far. Thank you.
It was particularly wonderful to experience the weekend as one of playful experimentation rather than an opportunity for the mind to engage in a barrage of negative self-criticism – I feel at this moment very content.
These days my heart is mostly joyful, and I haven’t yet tired of celebrating that!
I really enjoyed having the opportunity to pause the responsibilities of everyday life and focus on my mindfulness practice.
It was fantastic to connect with my practice in a deeper way. I also appreciated the countryside nearby and our thoughtful B&B hosts. I just wish I could come on retreat more often!
This was the first time I had been on a retreat even though I have known Susann for many years.
The guidance was simple and expertly done, as she structured the days. I always felt nurtured and fulfilled by the days’ practice, talks and the one-to-one personal guidance. I would definitely recommend doing a retreat to truly unwind and know your deep inner self. It really is very relaxing and calming to the mind and body.
I have endless respect and admiration for the integrity that Susann brings to the practice.
She holds the space with such firm support, but her gentleness allows flexibility and choice.
I practiced a lot of wordless experiencing of things – e.g. in walking practice not thinking ‘I love being outside’ but letting my heart respond – I want to live less in my mind and more in my heart.
I loved this weekend. The setting, the group size. Perfect. Stunning gardens, delicious food, warm welcome, community spirit and concept behind the community. Seemed the perfect fit for a retreat.
I couldn’t be more happy, grateful and satisfied with the experience of doing the Relational Mindfulness Training. I’ve been practising and studying mindfulness for five years now (including the 8-week MBSR), but I’ve never experienced such a great impact on my daily living, especially in such a small span of time, as I have in this course.
First of all, the content and guidances provide powerful tools and insights that enhanced my ability to experience feelings and situations with a mindful approach. On top of that, the opportunity to continuously apply, debate and practise what is taught during the whole duration of the course with Susann and the other practitioners is a wonderful, safe and perfect place to allow challenging emotions to emerge and teach the mind how to deal with them in a healthy and supportive way whilst receiving and providing support from and for the others. Even before the end of the course, I could already feel a significant change in the way I was relating to people and situations.
Furthermore, the online experience allowed me to stay at home which was extremely comfortable and during the breaks, I had the chance to rest, practice with people outside the course what I was learning and attend to things that I needed to do outside the course.
In terms of the people involved, Susann genuinely cares about each participant and their experiences, she is loving, kind, inspiring, extremely supportive, definitely non-judgemental, flexible and open both as a speaker and as a listener. Also, I felt a deep sense of support, openness and respect from the other participants which added even more to the whole experience.
Therefore, I highly recommend this course for anyone who wants to develop self-awareness, a strong, prepared and supportive mind, experience life to the fullest, learn how to be friends with any emotion, sensation or feeling and be a better friend, partner or colleague.
Finally, for those thinking that it might be too much or too intense, most likely you’re going to wish you had more time with the group.
When I originally found the International Community Centre for Mindful Living, I was looking for something to fill the gap of a 10-day silent retreat that I had planned to attend, but that had been cancelled due to the pandemic. What I found instead not only filled that gap, but provided a space in which I could apply the elements of meditation directly into my everyday life….without having to leave home!
This is what I loved most about the Interpersonal Mindfulness Intensive: the freedom to dive deep into practice with others ‘on the cushion’ despite the restrictions placed on every other social aspect of our lives at the time (due to the pandemic).
Although initially I had reservations as to how a course like this would work online, I very soon came to appreciate all of the benefits that being in the Zoom environment provided – the comfort of being at home while being pushed out of my comfort zone by exploring the content of the course, getting to put into practice what I was learning immediately with the people I interact with most, and cultivating deep relationships with my fellow course members in the breakout room sessions, which felt extremely safe and supportive. I am very much looking forward to taking the next step in my journey of Mindfulness Teacher Training with Susann, whether that be online or in person!
I found this course very insightful, inspirational, and challenging at times. The on-line format is very convenient. It provides plenty of opportunities (during the ‘comfort breaks’ and evening rest) to go back to your ‘real life’ (relationships, everyday exchanges, alone time) and put into practice what you are learning. Being able to then reflect on it within the group.
The technology allows different set-ups for sittings, teaching periods, group discussions, 121 tasks or contemplations etc., which makes the course dynamic so time flies!
I would definitely recommend this course, not only to those thinking of starting a teacher training path but to anyone interested in deepening their practice and learning more about themselves and how they communicate with others. A truly transformative and humbling learning experience!
It seems extremely pertinent to my work in Human Resources and I wonder whether all managers could undergo this training. Just PAUSE alone, would be beneficial and make a huge difference to interpersonal relationships in the workplace.
Using the guidelines enabled connection on a deeper level – it’s quite clear that when truly in the present moment, we share so many experiences, feel the same pain, suffer the same attachments, fear the same ideas of future or past regrets – all just different subjective experiences of the same consciousness.
The guidelines and everything I have learnt about using them is going to be invaluable in my coaching and facilitating. Being able to access where I am and what is going on for me as I interact is going to be so liberating and life-changing.
The guidelines provide a structure in a seemingly natural and perfect sequence, enabling the uncovering of unnecessary thought patterns, historical data, preconceived ideas – what ‘I think I know about myself’ – to allow what arises in that moment in relation to the being in which I was communicating with at that time, the group and myself, to come thru.
I really enjoyed the contemplations, especially change & impermanence / ageing / roles. These are brilliant topics to practice the guidelines.
Susann facilitates in such a way that complex explanations are not required, the contemplations allow me to understand through practical experience. And I loved the beach practice of ‘open’.
The structured approach & guidelines gives me a good grounding as to how to approach participants in future events lead by me as a facilitator. Thank you very much for such an amazing experience.
I found that this event has reinforced my aspirations of becoming a MBSR facilitator as well as giving more focus to my regular personal practice.