Mindful Living Retreat for Educators and Mental Health Practitioners

  • Five Oaks Five Oaks
  • 1 Bethel Road, Paris, ON N3L 3E3
  • Mar 29 - Apr 1, 2018 (4 days)
  • CAD $500.00 - Early Bird (before February 28th) CAD $550.00 - Regular (March 1st onwards)

About us

Mindful Living retreat for Educators and Mental Health practitioners

A semi-silent immersion into mindfulness and heartfulness

 March 29 to April 1, 2018 (Easter long weekend)

4 days/3 nights

Five Oaks Retreat Centre, Paris, ON


“Do not try to save the whole world or do anything grandiose.  Instead, create a clearing in the dense forest of your life and wait there patiently, until the song that is your life falls into your own cupped hands and you recognize and greet it.  Only then will you know how to give yourself to this world so worth of rescue.” – poet Martha Postlewaite


Building on the past two retreats (held in Spring and Fall 2017 at Sugar Ridge Retreat Centre), we are offering this retreat for the first time over a long weekend (for an even deeper immersion)! The intention of the Mindful Living retreat is to cultivate a habit of conscious and authentic living and working and to support a sustainable integration of the practice and attitudes of mindfulness into daily life. This retreat will provide opportunities to reflect and share together on important themes relating to the work we do, in order to bring mindfulness into our lives and to the lives of those we work with.  Most importantly, the retreat will restore and rejuvenate your mind, body and heart, leaving you feeling invigorated, inspired and empowered.

This retreat is geared primarily towards educators and mental health practitioners, including those new to meditation and/or yoga; however, those from other “helping professions” are welcome to join. Only some of the practices, reflections and sharing will be tailored towards these audiences in particular, especially since those working in these fields frequently experience burnout and compassion fatigue. Cultivating mindfulness can help to prevent burnout and and increase feelings of effectiveness, wellbeing and fulfillment in our work.

Most importantly, this weekend is about “slowing down” and breaking automatic pilot, providing opportunities to cultivate present-moment awareness and reconnect with yourself and with like-minded professionals. Twice-daily yoga and mindfulness meditation, as well as ample free time, will be part of each day to support and nourish us in this UNdoing. We will also engage in everyday mindfulness practices such as mindful communication, eating, walking, journaling and self-compassion/kindness practices. Rounding out the days will be interactive and experiential UNworkshops and reflective dialogue to support us in our exploration of mindful living and working.

Another word for mindfulness is heartfulness and this weekend is first and foremost about self-care and kindness – hence, all activities scheduled in this weekend are completely optional and you can participate in as little or as much as you like.  Allow this weekend to be the kindest gift you could give yourself and honour your needs.

NOTE: This retreat includes an extended period of silence, which will begin on Thursday night (Day 1) and end sometime on Saturday (Day 3) – further details will be given at the retreat.

Some of the benefits of participating in this retreat:

  • increase your connection to yourself and your deep values and intentions
  • access and cultivate your inner awareness, wisdom and authentic self
  • cultivate a sustainable mindfulness practice, or enhance your existing mindfulness practice
  • learn about the core understandings of mindful living, including the foundational attitudes of mindfulness and the power of intentionality
  • explore and understand your personal relationship to important themes relevant to the work of helping and healing
  • gain an understanding of the role of mindfulness in preventing burnout and compassion fatigue, and the steps that would support you to cultivate balance in your life
  • experience a variety of mindfulness meditation, yoga, and compassion practices (“formal” practices of mindfulness)
  • experience a variety of practices in mindful living (“informal” practices of mindfulness that are transferrable to your life and work)
  • share, learn from, and reflect on common experiences within a community of practitioners, educators and mental health professionals
  • leave feeling rejuvenated, inspired, connected, and empowered


Tentative Schedule (*subject to minor changes)

Thursday March 29

4:00 to 6:00 pm – arriving and settling in

6:00 pm – Dinner

7:00 pm – Welcome/Opening circle + orientation to retreat

8:00-9:00 pm – Restorative yoga class (all levels)

9:00 pm – silent period begins* (will end sometime on Saturday/Day 3)

*further guidelines for the period of silence to be given at the retreat


Friday March 30 (silent day)

7:00-8:30 am – Morning hatha yoga + meditation class (all levels)

8:30 am – Breakfast and free time

11:00-12:30 pm – UNWORKSHOP

12:30 pm – Lunch and free time

3:00-5:30 pm – Intro to Mala-Making hands-on workshop *with special guest Kimberly Simpson

5:30 pm – Dinner and free time

7:00-8:00 pm – UNWORKSHOP

8:00-9:00 pm – Yoga nidra (guided relaxation)


Intro to Mala Making Workshop description: 

A mala (the Sanskrit name for ‘garland’) is a set of beads traditionally worn and used for meditation. Malas are typically made of 108 beads (108 being a sacred number in many Eastern cultures) and serve to keep count of the wearer’s affirmations by focusing their awareness and staying mindful in the present moment.

Explore the therapeutic energy by creating and practicing your own mala during a 2.5-hour workshop. Inspired by tradition, you will be guided through making your own mala and how to use it to recite an affirmation or mantra. As you create, you will have the opportunity to infuse your mala with the power of your intention! A variety of materials including wood, seeds and or gemstones will be used. All mala materials are provided and this workshop includes a custom take-away mala that you will create!


Saturday March 31 (silent period ends sometime today)

7:00-8:30 am – Morning hatha yoga + meditation class (all levels)

8:30 am – Breakfast

9:30 am – Walking meditation (outdoors, weather permitting)

10:30 am – Tea meditation

11:30-12:30 pm – UNWORKSHOP

12:30 pm – Lunch and free time

4:00-5:30 pm – Yin yoga + meditation class (all levels)

5:30 pm – Dinner

6:30-8:00 pm – UNWORKSHOP

8:00-9:00 pm – Groove Dance *with special guest instructor Tracey Fowler


Sunday April 1

7:00-8:30 am – Morning hatha yoga + meditation class (all levels)

8:30 am – Breakfast

9:30-11:00 am – Free time/packing

11:00-12:00 pm – UNWORKSHOP

12:00 pm – Closing circle

12:30 pm – Lunch

Departure at leisure


Facilitated by:

Ameeta Dudani, Mental health practitioner, mindfulness and yoga teacher

Karen Davis, Educator and mindfulness teacher

…and special guests!


Cost: *fee also includes a mala-making workshop and take-away custom mala!

Early Bird (before February 28th): $500 all-inclusive of shared accommodation for three nights, 3 vegetarian meals + snacks daily, all programming, and taxes.

Regular (March 1st onwards):  $550 all-inclusive.


For more information, visit: http://www.fiveoaks.on.ca/RGProgram.htm#/events

Limited spaces available. No experience with mindfulness or yoga is required.


To register: Please contact ameetadudani@gmail.com or 416-884-2383.


Registration is by e-transfer only. Full payment is due upon registration. A receipt will be provided.

All registrations after March 1st are final and no refunds will be available – if your circumstances change after registering and you can no longer attend the retreat, you can send a friend in your place (however, please make sure to inform the facilitators in advance).

Note: Carpooling will be arranged to minimize our environmental footprint. A pre-retreat questionnaire will be sent to all registrants to obtain some information to assist in planning and organizing as well as facilitate carpooling arrangements.

We look forward to meeting you!


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Mindful Living Retreat for Educators and Mental Health Practitioners

at Five Oaks

  • Mar 29, 2018 - Apr 1, 2018 (4 days)


Thank you!

We're glad you've joined our retreat community. See you around :)

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Why Retreat?

We asked people why they go on retreat, here's what they said:

I'm having a baby in October and want to focus my practice so I can be present and calm! Laine

Retreat Guru's Vision

We believe human beings are innately wise, strong and kind. This wisdom, although not always experienced, is always present. Going on retreat is a beautiful way to reconnect to our basic sanity and health. Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness.

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