Week-long Retreat in the Woods: Foundations of Natural Intelligence

Saturday, 14th August, 2021 19:00
Saturday, 28th August, 2021 14:00


Can I see myself and the world as one self?

Please note: This course is now extended as an option to run for up to four weeks in August.
For everyone there will be a period of three days of quarantine on arrival, followed by a covid test. For those happy to come for a longer period, there is now also the option for practical preparation, before starting the one week course in the yurts.

So arrival dates are now:
July 31: Course + two and a half weeks of practical preparation
August 7: Course + one and a half weeks of practical preparation
August 14: Course + quarantine, and some days to prepare

For more details please contact secretary@chisholme.org
/ call +44 (0)1450 880215

The Course:

Could you see yourself spending a week without electricity, phone reception, and contact with the outside world? On this 7-day retreat we will strip ourselves down to the bare essentials: delicious food, fresh water, clean air, warm shelter, wood-fired hot water outdoor showers, and exceptional company.

Who are we when all that is non-essential is stripped away? What do we mean by natural intelligence and what lies at its core?

Each day focuses on a theme for discussion, such as being, unity, wholeness, and our existence in the universe. Can we find out through direct experience what is necessary for human existence? Together we will explore these questions, and more. The course facilitators also partake on this journey, joining in as students on the course: there are no teachers.

The schedule is rigorous, beginning with a guided meditation each day, with the morning dedicated to conversation. The afternoon provides time for respite and physical work (such as cooking, gardening, or chopping wood), followed by further discussion and meditation before supper. In the evenings we go for walks or sit by the fire and study the stars.

All meals are nutritious (with many of the ingredients from the organic garden) and prepared together, cooked on a fire that you have kindled yourself with wood chopped by your own hands.

Although the course is challenging, it is accessible to all. If you have any questions or special requirements please do let us know.


“Never in my life had I been with a group of people who conversed like this. We all opened up to express ourselves and found out little clues as to who we really are.”
Gregory, course participant, 2017



The quarantine period:
To keep you and everyone else at Chisholme safe, the intention is to start with 3 days of quarantine, free of charge, followed by a covid test. Please consider this, in the spirit of retreat, as a time of preparation, in which you will be fully supported. There'll be activities available in the garden and woodland and three meals a day will be provided. Social-distancing will be an essential requirement for this time. This is for the protection of those already living here and for yourself, as there will be others in quarantine with you.

Helping to get ready for the course:
There is the option to arrive early in August, and spend time taking part in the day to day life of Chisholme in a practical and hands-on way, before the course.

The course takes place at Chisholme House, a beautiful estate in the moors of the Scottish Borders, less than two hours drive from Edinburgh, Newcastle and Carlisle.

– Quarantine + Woodland Retreat Course: £350
– Quarantine + one and a half weeks volunteering + Course: £460, or £430 (Students and unwaged)
– Quarantine + two and a half weeks volunteering + Course: £550, or £490 (Students and unwaged)

A non-refundable deposit of £60 is required to confirm your place; please pay the balance when you arrive. If you wish to pay over several months then that is also possible.
Please contact secretary@chisholme.org for more information.

To book
Please write to secretary@chisholme.org / call +44 (0)1450 880215 to book.

Read here about the experience of doing such a course...

Watch a short video on the course:



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