Awakening the Imagination

Awakening the Imagination

These retreats are suitable for those who have a regular meditation practice and who regularly attend retreats, a centre or a group within the context of the Triratna Buddhist Community. You will also need to be familiar with, and happy to participate in, Buddhist devotional practice and ritual (puja) and be comfortable with periods of silence.


The Heart’s Release - Women’s Week

With Vajradarshini, Sinhadakini and Vilokini

February 23 – March 02 | £350/320

“We have not come into this exquisite world to hold ourselves hostage from love ... or to confine our wondrous spirits, but to experience ever and ever more deeply our divine courage, freedom and light." - Hafiz

The path of dharma is a path of release, with ever deepening layers of letting go. But what is it that we let go into? We let go into beauty, we let go into sensitivity, and we let go into the mystery of life. On this retreat we’ll be looking at teachings that are the very essence of Dharma, known as the laksanas. These contemplations on life open doorways into a realm of clear seeing, deep compassion and confidence.

As a support for the practice Vajradarshini will draw on contemporary art in the form of music, poetry, film and images. We’ll aim for that magical balance of silence and sharing, meditation and reflection, and time to follow our own threads.

See for details of Vajradarshini’s dharma-arts project.

Vajradarshini is joined by two good friends, Vilokini and Sinhadakini, both with their own dharma/art practices.

Writing on the Way – Writing & Walking Long Weekend

With Subhadassi

May 25–28 (Bank Holiday Weekend) | £210/190

“In the course of a walk, we usually find out something about our companion, and this is true even when we travel alone”. - Thomas A. Clark

On this retreat we will meditate, walk and write to create mindful and reflective spaces in which we can deepen our dharma practice, to ‘map realities’. Writing and walking can both help us to stand firm in what and where we currently are in our lives. At the same time, they can help us to steer towards a truer direction; to carry less baggage; to let go. We will meditate, walk, write. We will cook, eat, sleep. We will shift, grow, open. With meditation, ritual, group writing sessions and a mindful two-hour group walk each day.

Subhadassi is a retreat leader and writer with more than two decades’ experience of leading retreats, and running writing workshops. He is currently chair of Brighton Buddhist Centre. More details:

Drawing Attention to Life – Art & Meditation

With Khemasiddhi, Vilokini & Vandika

13-15 July | £165/145

Mindfulness wakes us up to the extraordinary richness of our experience, while drawing enables us to communicate this with spontaneity and sensitivity.  On this retreat we will weave together mindful practices and imaginative drawing exercises to discover our own unique forms of expression, with the beautiful grounds of Rivendell providing a realm in which our ‘inner artist’ can emerge.  You don’t need any background as an artist, just the willingness to be present and to experiment.

Earth, Body & Breath – Movement & Meditation

With Padmadarshini & Inalu Antoli

July 20-27 | £350/320

Creating a space for expression, movement, spontaneity and playfulness. Engaging our capacity for sensing, for listening deeply to the body’s wisdom, finding our own dance and developing an embodied consciousness. We will use meditation, Authentic Movement, guided and improvised movement sessions and hands-on bodywork. Each day we will explore through Authentic Movement, how the body can be a 'doorway' into listening to ourselves and take us into a deeper, more open and easeful relationship to our experience. There will be guided and improvised movement explorations; for example how is it to feel ourselves made of the earth, to inhabit and breathe our bones and find the movements, stories and images they hold. Our explorations over the week will include movement, stillness, dance, dialogue, drawing, writing stories and poetry. With meditation, ritual and periods of silence. No experience of movement or bodywork is needed.

Padmadarshini is a yoga teacher and has trained as a Somatic Movement therapist and educator with the Institute for Integrative Bodywork and Movement Therapy. As part of this she is also exploring the practice of Authentic Movement. Inalu Antoli is also a teacher of yoga and creative movement. . She has practiced contemporary dance, Sensitive Dance, Butoh and Contact Improvisation and teaches regularly on retreats in the UK and Spain.

Gravity & Grace – Exploring Mindfulness & the Imagination

With Vidyamala, Padmadarshini & nagasiddhi

October 12-19 | £350/320

Vidyamala, Padmadarshini and nagasiddhi are excited to be joining forces again this year. Combining their passion for mindfulness, body work, love, myth and ritual, they will invite you on a journey that plunges into the paradox of being human: the falling quality of gravity and the lightness of grace; the beauty of both darkness and light; a diving into the depths where luminosity resides. The retreat will be an immersive experience involving the body, heart and mind along with all the senses, creativity and courage. Together we can come to rest in the truth in all its vivid magnificence and wonder.

Vidyamala founded Breathworks which has now spread internationally with trainers in over 25 countries teaching many different aspects of mindfulness. She has written three books: Living Well with Pain and Illness, Mindfulness for Health and Mindfulness for Women. More details: Padmadarshini is a yoga teacher and has trained as a Somatic Movement therapist and educator with the Institute for Integrative Bodywork and Movement Therapy. nagasiddhi has lived at Rivendell for 10 years where he regularly leads and supports retreats. nagasiddhi is also an artist his own art work can be viewed at

Exploring Myth

With Atula, Mandarava, nagasiddhi & Nagamudra

November 9-16 | £350/320

'We cannot see the world except through some perspective or imaginative framework - in short, some myth. Indeed, the world we see is the myth we are in.” – Patrick Harpur

This retreat will be an exploration of the psyche’s quest for wholeness through the exploration of a myth or fairy tale. A journey through both collective and personal experience using story, images, symbols and dreams. Includes discussion, meditation and ritual.

Atula has been ordained for 40 years and is an experienced therapist and retreat leader who has a gift for using myth and symbol to take us into the depths of our being. Mandarava is an artist, puppet maker and story teller. Nagamudra is a story teller and dramatherapist. For more details of Mandarava’s work:

Awakening the Imagination Retreats

see also:

Our Meditation and Dharma weeks and the week long retreats over Christmas and New Year.

Awakening the Imagination Retreats

Images & Text © 2018 | Rivendell Buddhist Retreat Centre is part of Triratna Buddhist Community Surrey | Registered charity No. 270460