Learn To Meditate on a Residential Course at Oxon Hoath, Tonbridge, Kent
Have more than just a fabulous, profoundly relaxing break.
Take home a skill which will enhance your life more and more as the years go by. is the simplest, most powerful and natural approach to meditation, representing a major breakthrough compared with other understandings. Through deep rest and profound stress release, it brings benefits in all areas of life naturally and without effort.
Learn T on retreat. Our residential courses run Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon, taught by Dr Gemma Beckley, Trust Director, alongside an advanced retreat for those who have already learned.
You will enjoy the standard Transcendental Meditation course, with the following added elements:
- Wonderfully tranquil, beautiful environment with delicious and plentiful vegetarian food.
- Opportunity to join extra group meditation sessions and meetings for deeper experience and understanding.
- More time to chat privately with your teacher if desired.
- Optional FREE 1 hour yoga posture class with a qualified instructor.
Arrive in time for your 1 hour appointment for personal instruction, giving yourself time to settle into the deep tranquility of the house; its Georgian grandeur giving a magical feeling of timelessness. Stroll around the 73 acres of beautiful grounds or relax in the old library and, on cold days, warm yourself by the huge log fire. This is a time to remember what it’s like to really relax. A self-service selection of drinks are always available, plus some scones today from 4pm.
At your appointed time Gemma will guide you expertly through your private instruction, a simple and very enjoyable procedure which lasts one hour. The key to TM is the passing on of a mantra (sound) in the same way as it has been passed down for thousands of years in the yoga tradition. This starts with a short ceremony chanted in Sanskrit, the language of yoga, in gratitude (not worship as in religion) from the teacher to the tradition, which you just watch. This settles the atmosphere and produces a deep level of silence in the teacher, enabling the mantra to be passed on in just the right way to ensure effectiveness of teaching. After some time meditating under the instruction of your teacher, you will be given the experience of meditating on your own for a short time to build your confidence, and the session ends with further one to one discussion with your teacher. You emerge in the afterglow of your first “real” meditation, probably surprised at the simplicity and power of the effortless process and continue to enjoy more than ever the house or grounds, or maybe just to lie on your bed in profound relaxation or sleep.
Your optional first group meditation at 6.30pm is followed by a delicious vegetarian dinner at 7.15pm. A short group meeting before retiring to bed allows Gemma to tell you about the house with an overview of the programme. She will also set the context of the course within the principles of yoga (which means the settling of the mind into silence) and to begin answering your many questions about what you have learned and how something so simple could produce the vast range of potential benefits which are so widely researched.
This morning starts with an optional hour of yoga postures with a professional teacher at 7.15am, followed by group meditation, breakfast and the first main meeting of the course, verifying correct practice. You will learn practical details such as how to begin and end meditation, when and where to do it, when you can do extra and how to deal with noise or disturbances. A second group meditation prepares you for lunch and a group walk in the beautiful Kent countryside if you want it.
The afternoon meeting explores the mechanics of meditation and is for most participants a major break-through as you begin to understand the profound significance of the mind/body connection, how accumulated stress and tension is released from the nervous system and the effect of this on mental experience during and after meditation. The role of thoughts in meditation begins to be understood, leading to enhanced experience and satisfaction. After meditation and dinner, a further meeting, before retiring to bed, allows time for discussion and deeper insights into the themes of the day.
This morning is a similar schedule to yesterday, but in the meeting, with reference to our experiences, we look at the cumulative effects of meditation on day-to-day life and the development of our full human potential (enlightenment). Through fascinating and inspiring explanations of the spiritual mechanics of Nature from the Yoga Vedanta tradition, we begin to discover the wonderful truth of who we really are. We begin to see how Nature’s invincible force of evolution will support our every thought and action and the effortless fulfilment of our deepest desires if we allow it to happen. Gemma closes the course before lunch with the reminder that TM will always work for everyone, with regular practice and contact with your teacher, and that free support and guidance for life is included in your course fee.
After lunch you have the opportunity, if you wish, to join the meeting with those on the advanced retreat with Colin Beckley, Founder of the Meditation Trust. The retreat ends by 4pm after a last group meditation and relaxed departure.
Location: Oxon Hoath, Hadlow, nr Tonbridge, Kent TN11 9SS
Oxon Hoath is an extraordinarily beautiful and secluded country estate retreat in north-west Kent.
Just 15 minutes from the M25, 45 minutes from London, 40 minutes from Gatwick and 1 hour from Heathrow.
Cost (2021): Course fee according to household income (bursary not available on retreat) plus accommodation cost: 2 night’s full board from £295 (plus single supplement from £50).
The former stately home was originally built more than 600 years ago by Sir John Culpepper, a Knight of King Henry V, as a royal park for the kingdom’s oxen and deer. Over the centuries the estate has been the ancestral family home to eleven Knights of the Realm, many of whom enhanced both the house and grounds in a fascinating variety of classical architectural styles. It remains in family ownership today and is preserved as an enchanting and historic country estate of exquisite beauty.
Accommodation is warm, simple and comfortable and the delicious vegetarian food has been enthusiastically praised by our retreat participants (the majority meat eaters!) since we started offering teaching and retreats here in 2000. Most of the 28 bedrooms are en-suite and retain the original mansion proportions, many enjoying great views over the grounds and the Weald of Kent beyond.
Surrounded by 73 acres of its own parkland, which are yours to explore, its exotic trees, romantic gardens, sweeping lawns, mysterious woodlands, sculptured lake and distant horizons create an outstandingly beautiful environment. The tremendous sense of space and natural peace and tranquillity are perfect for self-discovery, self-healing and spiritual growth.
“Both house and food were wonderful and perfect, the course joyful, insightful and personal, with a wonderful teacher. The schedule was packed but the course itself enlightens you on how to truly rest, so the momentum was perfect. Group discussions were helpful and pleasurable, and the individual sessions with our teacher meant we all were able to discuss/elaborate on our personal experiences. I wholeheartedly recommend this course to all.” Alice Crimini