Spring Half Dathün Retreat - First Two Weeks

This programme has ended. View the upcoming programmes.
17 May 2014 - 1 June 2014
Acharya Barbara Märtens
Simon La Haye



Through rich and profound meditation techniques, a Shambhala Dathün is an exploration of our humanity. It is aimed at anybody interested in making friends with who they are at a fundamental level. Literally meaning ‘moon session’ it is a month long practice dedicated to the sitting practice of meditation. From early morning to evening, we will sit together and develop a friendly relationship with our body, speech and mind.

This is a unique opportunity to cultivate peace and strength of mind through shamatha meditationthe art of peaceful abiding. With loving kindness and compassion, we will gently learn to get to know ourselves, the world around us, in order to allow mindfulness and awareness to develop naturally. We will train our mind, discover how to ‘turn it into an ally’, as described by the Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, and learn how to abandon our usual modes of clinging to the past or concerns of the future.

A Dathün is a time during which we are taught how to return to the present moment with your breath, one breath at a time. As the breath begins to calm, the mind follows. Through consistent and regular practice, we can then look at the mind, truly be in touch with your emotions and develop the courage to look at your direct experience. We can experience the stability and joy of a mind content and happy by nature.


Led by senior teachers Barbara Märtens and Simon La Haye, guided meditation will be given with full instruction in the six points of posture. Each day will consist of:

  • Eight to nine hours of alternate sitting and walking meditation supported by mind-body disciplines.
  • Intellectual and emotional support with lectures, discussion groups and individual meditation interviews with qualified instructors, regularly throughout the retreat.
  • Functional speech and silent periods will be observed to support the meditation practice.
  • Meals served and eaten in formal oryoki-style derived from the Zen monastic tradition of eating as practice.
  • Exploration of the natural beauty and expansive space Dechen Choling offers during free periods. 

Above all else, meditation in a Dathun is a very personal journey. It gives the sincere seeker time. It takes great courage to take the time for ourselves, away from our habitual tendencies and daily distractions. You will be provided with space to experience the mutual support and inspiration created by group discipline, held in a safe, nurturing container. You can read more about the Dathün's dialy schedule here.


This programme starts on Saturday May 17 at 20:00 and ends on Saturday May 31 in the evening. You can choose to leave anytime next day, on Sunday June 1.

There is also the option of attending :

The Full Dathün Retreat

Date: 17 May 2014 - 15 June 2014

The Last Two Weeks Half Dathün Retreat

Date: 1 June 2014 - 15 June 2014


This programme is open to relative newcomers as well as experienced practitioners seeking to engage in a period of intensive practice. 


This retreat is taught in English. Translation into other languages are available at no extra costs. Please give us notice of your request as early as possible - about 2 months in advance -, so that we can provide translation services. In case you register short-term please get in touch with us in case you need translation into your language.