Buddhafield North

Most of us live our lives in a highly artificial way; the demands and addictions of the modern world control what we do and even what we dream of doing. Buddhafield North is the beginning of an escape from this cycle, an attempt to live out the teachings of the Buddha in a way more akin to life the Buddha himself led.

We offer a small programme of outdoor retreats; all activities are held outdoors or under canvas.They are for a weekend or longer; some are meditation retreats, some are for families and children, but all have the common thread of the outdoors, a return to nature, and the teachings of the Buddha.

Retreats

A retreat is a period of time spent away from our usual life, spent in conditions that are helpful to our spiritual development.Retreats vary, some are silent and some can have a full programme of activities. Retreats are not meant to be holidays, in the sense of a period away from home in which to relax, there may be a lot going on! But everything that happens on retreat is aimed at developing in us the twin goals of wisdom and compassion.

On a retreat you may be meditating, studying Buddhist texts, looking after your children (or indeed, someone else’s children!), chopping wood and cooking. All the activities of the day can be carried out in a way that will bring us closer and closer to the mind of the Buddha.

One of the great benefits of retreats for most people is sense of community or of belonging. For a period you become part of a group of people who, to some extent at least, have a common purpose and who care about each other and will attempt to act with kindness towards each other.

Please select a retreat:

Kids Area

The Kids Area provides loads of stuff for the children on the open retreat to do through the day. It’s hard to convince a 9 year old to meditate (for more than a few seconds…) so we have alternatives to keep them happy. One of the most famous is the ‘Chocolate Meditation’, Buddhafield North’s attempt to combine calm and craving – the kids love it! There are a huge range of craft activities and games, past years have seen: jewellery making, puppet shows, Buddhafield North Olympics, parachute games, making instruments, clay modelling, creating gnome gardens and lots more.

We do have to emphasise that the Kids Area is not a crèche; your children will need their usual amount of supervision.

Here’s what a few of the children say: Maya Knight, aged 9, says “In the kids area there are lots of games and creative activities for children to play at” Freddie Harris, aged 11, says: “Great games, I loved the Buddhafield Olympics last year best of all”.

Camping Tips

Here are some lists of tips the team have come up with, to help make your stay a happy one!

In no particular order…

  • Put a blanket or two, or a rug, underneath your bed (especially if it’s an airbed) as insulation from the cold ground beneath you.
  • Bring lots of spare socks! It’s so easy to stand in wet patches of carpet just as you take your wellies off!
  • If you lay down a wooden board under your sleeping mat, you’ll have smooth, even ground to sleep on.
  • If you are camping on a slope, lay down a wooden board under your sleeping mat and prop it up with a brick to make a flat surface.
  • If you lay down a yoga mat under your sleeping mat, you won’t slide downhill in the night!
  • Earplugs!
  • Layers of blankets or spare sleeping bags trap air between them for extra insulation.
  • A sleeping bag is warmer than a duvet (although some may disagree….!)
  • Hot water bottles – a must!
  • Bring a scarf and hat to wear in and out of bed on very cold nights!
  • You may wish to bring your own snacks, for you or your children to eat in your tent, separate from the communal food. (Check whether or not we have a peanut-free policy).
  • Wellies are far more waterproof than walking boots in long, wet grass. Walking boots good for walks though.
  • Tippex, paint or brand with fire (!) your initials or a pattern on your wellies, so they are easily identifiable in a sea of other wellies
  • Some may choose to bring a large plastic tub with a lid, to avoid leaving the tent in the night if a wee is needed.
  • A torch. Or two. Headtorches are especially useful when trying to find something or sorting out your tent on your hands and knees.
  • Plenty of warm clothes. In fact, clothes for all weathers!
  • Bedsocks!
  • Waterproofs
  • Cosy blanket for the shrine tent evenings (although lots are provided)
  • An umbrella
  • Airbeds often deflate! Self-inflating mats are more trustworthy (Thermarest or similar.) These can be made extra comfy by buying a foam mattress topper or similar.

Any further tips welcome!

Buddhism

Buddhism is often described as a path of practice, leading from where we are now, to a higher state of being, to a more and more positive life. The depths and heights of our being are progressively transformed, culminating, ultimately, in the state of Enlightenment

Buddhism has moved to many different cultures and as it does it takes on the local cultural ‘clothes’; in Japan Zen Buddhism can appear very austere, Tibetan Buddhism is very colourful and flamboyant

But each manifestation of the Buddha’s teachings is intended to take us closer and closer to the state of Enlightenment

In the West

Buddhism has now arrived in the West. In fact all the cultural manifestations of Buddhism have arrived here virtually simultaneously. We now have to make sense of all these different teachings, we have to find a way of using what we have inherited from the East; but it has to be a way that works for us living now in the modern world.

People in the west are often alienated from the natural world, and, in a related way, alienated from ourselves. At Buddhafield North we hope to go a small way to bring ourselves back into touch with nature and more in touch with our deeper selves.

For more on Buddhism visit The Buddhist Centre

Get In touch

Please use the form to get in touch with us.