Exploring Refuge and Connection

Led by Sumedha in english - Retreat on site at Ekuthuleni with online option available

Thursday 14th to Tuesday 19th of July 2022

Since time immemorial the question of how as humans we suffer and create suffering in the world
around us – or not – has been a theme. The historical Buddha, 2600 years ago (all that time ago!)
recognised how deluded and harmful we can be – and also that we can find an embodied presence
within that sees more clearly. This presence, is already naturally here. It can, drop by drop, liberate
us from harming ourselves and the life we are connected with.
This feels especially vital now with, for example, the extent of the climate crisis, ongoing wars and
never ending consumerism. Looking always to find comfort outwardly, in ways that are more and
more disconnected from our nature, and from living nature, we can see in our worlds, the results.
So, supported by teachings, guided meditations, silence, community and beautiful nature, this
retreat will explore looking deeper within. In our hearts, in our bodies and in nature to find a space
of listening and embodied presence. A stiller and clearer warm hearted space from which to
respond in our worlds.
In buddhist terms the term refuge invites us to find exactly this kind of shelter : a way of listening,
of expanded awareness and connection that can give a different perspective on our habits
individually and collectively. Cultivating refuge can help us to find an anchor from which to see
how delusion, greed or aversion moves us to act in ways that are harmful – and gives us the strength
and vision to refrain and choose a more connected path.
We are all, always, and now in this retreat, gently invited to come and renew a sense of connection
within our bodies and our being, with the nature that can nourish us. Bringing this connection and
its beauty and wisdom into our own hearts and into the world.

 grew up in the wilds of the Outer Hebrides.  Inspired by this and the Forest tradition of Ajahn Chah tradition she is passionate in exploring our interconnection with nature: the different perspective this creates on ourselves, and the care it brings to how we live in the world.  

Sumedha graduated in Comparative Religion from Manchester University in 1997, and spent the next twelve years practicing in the Forest tradition, as a novice and then as a nun. She was based at Amaravati and Chithurst monasteries and later Aloka Vihara in California.  After disrobing in 2010 she spent a year managing Dharmagiri Hermitage in South Africa with Noon Baldwin and in 2011 they co-founded Ekuthuleni retreat place in France.


The emphasis on living simply, close to the wildness of nature, and on cultivating embodied, connected awareness are all important elements in her practice. They link with cultivating a stability and warmth of heart that enable an ongoing exploration and opening to the unknown - a curiosity in keeping practice alive and real and open to all comers, inside and out. 


To book contact us on ekuthuleni.retreat@gmail.com

Costs : 

€150 reservation fee plus €10 membership of the Association Ekuthuleni for one year, plus dana / donations for the Association, teachers and managers. 

The reservation fee covers the very basic costs of the retreat such as food, gas, water.

We are a non profit organisation and for all other costs (teachers, travel for teachers, managers and ongoing Ekuthuleni costs) we depend on donations.

It is this way of participation and generosity that really keeps the Dharma rolling, as in dharma centers all over the world!