The Four Foundations of Mindfulness were articulated 2500 years ago in one of the Buddha’s seminal texts on mindfulness: the Satipatthana Sutta. They are applicable to all of us whether we are interested in Buddhism or not as they are a deep investigation of the human mind.

The Foundations are:

  1. Mindfulness of body – how we position our body, breathing, activities etc
  2. Mindfulness of sensations - and the feelings that arise from those
  3. Mindfulness of mind – is our mind tight and contracted or broad, open, and flexible?
  4. Mindfulness of intention – are we moving towards freedom in our lives or are we trapped in restrictive habits?

Over the days we will deeply explore each of these dimensions and try to establish initiative and choice in relation to whatever arises.

The retreat will include a mix of meditation, mindful movement, group enquiries and talks from the teachers.

To join the week long version of this retreat, please visit the Week Retreat page here

Retreat Schedule

The times given are those in the United Kingdom. If you are joining from elsewhere in the world you can use this Time Zone Converter to work out the times for you in our own country.

Sessions will be recorded and available for a catch up on YouTube if a session is missed during the retreat. None of the session will be available for the public.

03-Dec 04-Dec 05-Dec
session 1 7.30 - 8.30     Movement and meditation Movement and meditation
session 2 10.30 - 11.30   Talk on theme Talk on Body Foundation
11.30 - 12.00  Break Break
12.00 - 13.00  Meditation and enquiry Awareness of body meditation and enquiry
session 3 15.30 - 16.00    Body scan   
16.00 - 16.15  Break
16.15 - 17.00  Q& A on mindfulness practice
session 4 19.30- 20.30 Introduction and meditation Breath input and meditation

Who is this event for?

The retreat is suitable for people coming for their own personal benefit, as well as mindfulness and meditation teachers and associated disciplines.

People need to have been meditating for at least 6 months to attend this retreat.

Mindfulness teachers and practitioners can use this as a CPD opportunity. A certificate of attendance with 8 hours CPD will be available on request.  

What will you gain?

A deeper understanding of the foundations of mindfulness and how to practice it in your life.

How to prepare for an online retreat?

Here are a few preparation details: 

  • Please wear loose and comfy clothing
  • For the retreat we will be doing a mixture of lying down meditations, simple mindful movement and sitting meditation. Ideally you'll create a space in your home to do this where you can also access the zoom room. So please take time preparing a space before the event, if possible. No worries if you can't as I'll lead all the sessions accommodating whatever situation you have at home.
  • To help create a sense of being on retreat, please un-plug from as many distractions as possible. We recognise you'll be online during the retreat accessing the zoom room but if you can stay off other digital distractions this will help you feel on 'retreat at home'. Likewise, if appropriate, please let anyone you live with know that you'll be on retreat and create as spacious a context as possible.
  • If possible please prepare snacks and lunch in advance so you don't need to get busy in the kitchen during the event. Again this will help you feel more in retreat model.

Meet the Retreat Leaders

Vidyamala Burch

Originally from New Zealand, Vidyamala sustained life-changing spinal injuries in her teens.

35 years ago she started exploring mindfulness and meditation to help her manage her pain and disability and she has been a dedicated practitioner since that time.

In 2001 she started running mindfulness courses and in 2003 co-founded Breathworks, an internationally successful organisation dedicated to offering mindfulness and compassion to people suffering from pain, illness and stress

Vidyamala’s vision in establishing Breathworks was to translate ancient Buddhist practices into language that is accessible to anyone living with difficult circumstances - regardless of faith, culture or race. Her particular interest is how to work with physical suffering, but her approach can be applied to working with any sort of pain or difficulty. There are now nearly 500 Breathworks teachers in over 35 countries.

Vidyamala teaches and speaks internationally. She specializes in mindfulness and compassion retreats and workshops.

She has written several books:

  • the best-selling Mindfulness for Health – a practical guide to relieving pain, reducing stress and restoring well-being (with Danny Penman
  • Living well with Pain and Illness – the mindful way to free yourself from suffering
  • Mindfulness for Women - declutter your mind, simplify your life, find time to ‘be’ (with Claire Irvin).

She has also published a number of guided meditation CDs and DVDs and is featured on several apps including Insight Timer.

Mindfulness Expert Vidyamala Burch - Founding Director - Breathworks

Sona Fricker

Sona started practising hatha yoga in his early twenties, and then took up meditation at a Buddhist centre in North London. That was back in the early 1970s. Soon after, he was ordained into the Western Buddhist Order, now the Triratna Buddhist Order.

For the subsequent forty odd years he has devoted his life to practising and teaching mindfulness, meditation and Buddhist philosophy around the world. He was involved in the establishment and running of several public centres, including in Stockholm, Sweden, and worked as director of a retreat centre in the UK, where he spent much time leading and attending intensive retreats. He has led retreats and training programmes in the UK, Germany, Holland, Sweden, North America, Australia and New Zealand.

Following a powerful experience on a retreat some years ago, he has responded to a growing urge to devote more of his life to caring for people who suffer from pain and illness. At that time he had developed a close friendship with Vidyamala and was inspired by the work she was doing teaching mindfulness-based techniques to manage long-term health conditions. He trained with Vidyamala in the Breathworks Programme back in 2003 and is a co-founder of the Breathworks organisation.


We're offering four different pricing options to those wishing to join us, and asking participants to pay the highest sustainable amount that they can, so that we can offer places at a reduced cost to those less able to afford a place. The average cost per person per day to Breathworks to offer a programme is £120.

£30 Scholarship rate
£80 Reduced rate
£120 Individual rate
£150 Supporter's rate - pays for yourself and one scholarship for another

Reduced Rate

There are a limited number of concessionary places which are available to people in financial hardship. As a guide we suggest this applies to people with an income of less than £17,000 a year, or less than £20,000 if you live in London. If your annual income is higher than this and would like to discuss your eligibility for a concessionary place for other reasons, please contact us.

Please note that the meditations and the teaching elements from the retreat will be recorded and made available to the group only. 
If you don't wish to be recorded, please feel free to switch off your video and/or audio during the event. 

Book a place

Ticket Quantity Price

Concession - Scholarship - Retreat Weekend Dec 2021

Decrease Increase £30.00

Concession - Reduced Rate - Weekend Retreat Dec 2021

Decrease Increase £80.00

Individual Rate - Weekend Retreat Dec 2021

Decrease Increase £120.00

Individual - Support' rate- Weekend Retreat Dec 2021

Decrease Increase £150.00