Welcome to the online community space for the wonderful Buddhafield Family Friendly Retreats. We no longer need to only meet in a field for a week a year. This is also for other child-friendly communities within Triratna / Buddhafield as a point of reference.
About the Original Buddhafield Child Friendly
The first child-friendly summer retreat within Buddhafield / Triratna began over 14 years ago, also known as the Village Retreat or Child Friendly. Infact some people call it the "inner child" friendly retreat. We like to give the Dharma a light touch and remember how to be playful. We were all children once!
This ever-popular retreat for all ages provides a unique opportunity to practice as a real community, exploring how to live lightly on the land, with a strong foundation in the principles of Triratna Buddhist practice. It is a point of connection, practice and reflection for other child-friendly happenings in the United Kingdom + overseas.
For one whole week a year, we come together as a spiritual community to re-create, with three organic meals a day cooked for us on beautiful land in Dartmoor. It's easy communal camping and a retreat environment you can shape to fit you and whoever you come with. You don't have to have children to come and you don't need to be Buddhist.
Our wonderful kids and teen teams organise daily activities for our young people, which include arts and crafts, Dharma drama, music and bushcraft. There are daily study groups and Dharma talks, and theme-based evening pujas and ritual celebrations. Everything is optional and very welcoming. Nurture yourself with nature, feast on fabulous food, celebrate with stories, song and dance, practice and play with other families as we work together to create our dream.
We hope you will join us, and that ALL children (including the child within) will one day find the safety, space and freedom to play, be and become, and so will their parents.
Find out more here… It booked out again this year (2013), so please get in early if you want to be sure to join that Village. Other chances below.
In 2012, we documented the history of the Buddhafield Family Retreat as a practice community. People generously offered wonderful and inspiring insights into a strong-hearted communal effort to find a way to engage fully with the Buddha's teaching through 'house holder' / family life. This first FBA Community Archive, produced by Libby Davy in conjunction with the team at Free Buddhist Audio, contains beautiful material, funny material, challenging material. It will be increasingly made available here and added to over the years.
It speaks clearly of the Dharma and of re-imagining the ancient tradition of 'householder practice' in ways that should be of immediate interest to anyone concerned with finding and opening up new paths to the Buddha in the 21st Century.
The whole project has been worth it just to hear Denise sing "Birth Song" during the new mother's ritual. I play it over and over. There are so many other beautiful, beautiful moments.
Join Our Online Community
+ "Follow" to join the group and find out when new material is avaiable.
We hope you will find interviews, dharma talks and information here to inspire your life. Feel free to join and post your own items of interest, photos, teachings, etc.
If you get lost help is online.
There are a wealth of projects and groups on offer throughout the Triratna global community. Finally we have a place we can all meet, wherever we are and no matter what time zone.
Other Child-Friendly Spaces
This is also a place to find out about other retreats and child-friendly activities happening within Triratna / Buddhafields. We are all connected in the work of raising children and as the old saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child.
Currently, we are aware of the following:
- London Buddhist Centre - Parents’ and Children’s Retreat. 8 Oct -1 Nov. For regulars, Mitras and those who have asked for ordination. Their Parents + Children’s entry point is here. The LBC also has meditation with creche + an after school club for young people aged 11 – 16 years old! Srivati Skelton got a request from some boys and responded to the call.
- Buddhafield North Open Retreat 25-30 August. Contact them direct for this year or next.
- Buddhafield East has previously done a child friendly, and might again. Contact them to stay informed.
- Brighton Buddhist Centre Family Camps - get in touch (very limited spaces at the Rivendell Family Retreat but still put your name down as things do change!).
- Brighton Buddhist Centre - Baby + toddler group germinating. Contact Libby Davy via firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get involved.
- Buddhafield Sussex Family Friendly - camping group is forming soon. Drop Dharmakara Phibes an email email@example.com. Happy to hear from people that want to help make it happen too!
- Buddhafield Wales Family Camp in development. Contact Sue Maw to find out more. Sue has a wealth of experience in working with children, young people and families, and has done a lot to help get our combined Family Friendly Village Retreat to happen.
Let Libby know via firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to add your project or event to this list (official Triratna items only). Otherwise you could share it via the Facebook group.
Some members of the community gather on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/buddhafieldfamilyretreats.
There are also many other local and global projects and spaces here at The Buddhist Centre you might like to explore, as well as at Buddhafield and Free Buddhist Audio.
Community Audio Archive now...