Mindfulness, Insight and Freedom: a 7-Day Silent Residential Retreat with John Peacock, Bernat Font & Gerit Stöcklmair, August 2023

For Mindfulness Teachers and Trainee Teachers

6:00 pm
2:00 pm
7 Days
2023 Annual Retreat

Dr. John Peacock, Bernat Font & Gerit Stöcklmair

De La Salle Pastoral Centre,Castletown,Co. Laois
Full cost: It has always been our policy to charge as little as possible so that retreats, along with all that is offered by the Mindfulness Centre, are accessible to all.  Contact us if you wish to pay by installments. This price includes all meals, board, admin and teaching fees.
€675 shared large twin room; €790 standard; €890 ensuite.

Booking via link below. A €300 deposit is required and the completion of application form. Balance to be paid by 1st June 2023. Application Forms: For an application form please email

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Event Information

Dates: August 5th - 12th 2023

Venue: De La Salle Pastoral Centre, Castletown, County Laois

Cost: We are keeping the fee as low as we can as we do not seek to make any profit from our retreats.  It is important to us that we keep the retreats we offer as affordable as possible so that they can be inclusive.  This year we have to increase our fees in line with the rising cost of accommodation and food.  We offer the option to pay by installments. Please get in touch with us on if this is something you wish to avail of.  

Standard shared single: €675; standard single occupancy: €790; single en-suite: €890.


To allow us to be able to continue to be sustainable and inclusive in the current climate we would very much welcome donations

so that we can continue to offer places at reduced rates.

Suitable for:

The retreat is open to anyone with previous experience of similar types of silent retreat of 5 days or longer, but preference will be given to mindfulness teachers and teachers in training.  

The Retreat:

We are so sorry to say that John Peacock will not be able to attend the retreat in person but will be attending on zoom each day. He will be offering 3 Dharma talks and will be part of a Q&A session on one of the evenings.  In addition, he will offer instruction and guidance for the afternoon session each day.  John says:

“It is with great sadness that this year I won’t be able to be with you in-person at the retreat in Castletown. It is a double sadness as I always love coming to Ireland to teach such a wonderful and dedicated group of people - Ireland always remains one of my favourite venues! I will, however, be with you via Zoom.

September last year I had a knee replaced, which I thought would be straightforward but, unfortunately this hasn’t been the case and it now appears that the replacement knee itself needs replacing! The original surgery was a bit of a disaster and as a result of the failed surgery my mobility is awful, and I am in danger of falling flat on my face at any moment. So, I am rather grounded at present, with all of my teaching being done courtesy of Zoom. Nevertheless, I have been surprised at how well this works as a medium and I really look forward to seeing you all at the retreat in August.”

As John cannot be with us in person we are happy to announce that Gerit Stöcklmair has agreed to come to be with Bernat on site, while John comes in on zoom each day.


Personal meditation practice is an essential foundation for anyone who works with mindfulness-based interventions and participation in silent teacher-led mindfulness meditation retreats is part of all Good Practice Guidelines.  This retreat satisfies the MTAI criteria for a mindfulness teacher's annual retreat.

This retreat will explore aspects of the two central discourses of the Buddha which are the foundation for the so-called 'modern mindfulness movement': the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta, on the 4 establishments of mindfulness, and the Karaniya Metta Sutta, the Buddha's words on Loving Kindness (or boundless friendliness). These are profound teachings that encourage us to place the path of freedom and compassion in the classroom of our lives, nurturing a heart that is receptive and unshakeable. Developing the capacity to encounter our own inner and outer experience with equanimity and curiosity creates a foundation for meeting the experiences of our students and clients, in offering mindfulness-based interventions.

Each day will offer a sustained schedule of formal meditation practice (both Insight and Metta), group meetings with the teachers, talks and instructions, all within an underlying environment of silence.  

Access: We welcome people with disabilities to our retreat.  The venue is fully accessible.  Please contact us with your specific needs relating to disability, long-term illness or health condition.

Donations: We hope to offer rates which continue to reflect our intention that anyone who would like to attend can do so, through collective generosity.  Please consider making a donation, no matter how small.  

Supporter's rate:

Pay for yourself and help support one person to join on a Bursary with any further donation you feel able to offer.

Concession rate:

For those in financial hardship who cannot afford our full priced rate (see below for more) - talk to the organisers about your situation and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Cancellation policy:

Cancellations up to 1st June 2023 will incur a €50 administration fee.

Cancellations after 1st June 2023 will incur the loss of the deposit.

The organisers may waive cancellation fees in exceptional circumstances, at their discretion.

Prior to your retreat, we will send some more information about what to expect whilst at Castletown.


John Peacock
Dr. John Peacock

Dr John Peacock has been an academic and a Buddhist practitioner for nearly fifty years. Trained in India in the Tibetan Gelugpa tradition, he subsequently spent time in Sri Lanka studying Theravada.  He lectured in Buddhist Studies at the University of Bristol, he was Associate Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre and teacher on the Master of Studies programme in MBCT (Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy) at Oxford University until recently.  

John has been teaching meditation internationally for more than thirty years and is a Gaia House guiding teacher. He is a co-founder of The Bodhi College, which is dedicated to the study and practice of the early teachings of the Buddha.  John has been supporting the development of mindfulness and mindfulness teaching in Ireland for the past 9 years, and has co-facilitated the Mindfulness Centre's annual 7-day retreats here in August 2015, August 2017, online in 2021, and in person again in August 2022.  We are delighted to welcome him back in 2023.

Bernat Font
Bernat Font

Bernat Font encountered the Dharma in his early teens and has practiced and taught mindfulness and the Dharma in his native Spain, throughout Europe, in North America and in Asia. A graduate from the Gaia House Community Dharma Leadership programme, he recently graduated from Dharma Teacher Training at the Bodhi College, with Stephen Batchelor as his primary mentor. He holds an MA in Buddhist Studies and is currently engaged in studying for his Ph.D. in Buddhist Psychology.  Bernat assisted Christina Feldman on our annual retreat in Castletown in August 2017 and his teaching was greatly appreciated by all those who were there.  It  is a pleasure to welcome him back to Ireland again.

Christina Feldman says of Bernat: "Bernat Font is a recent graduate of the Bodhi College teacher training programme as well as being a Buddhist scholar. He has  a wealth of experience in insight meditation and I recommend him as a skilled and compassionate teacher."

Martine Batchelor says of Bernat: “Bernat is a dharma jewel. I enjoy teaching with him as he has a wealth of knowledge about the suttas. He is also a serious meditator and brings a creative artistic flavour to his teachings which are very relevant to practice in daily life and enlivening.”

Gerit Stöcklmair
Gerit Stöcklmair

Gerit Stocklmair is a microbiologist,psychotherapist and Body Movement Therapist, originally from Austria.

Curiosity about the inner and outer world has put her on many journeys, and she has lived in England, Scotland and South Korea, before settling in Denmark, where she now lives. She has been practicing meditation since 1994 and has been on extended retreats since 1998, mainly Vipassana, but also within the Zen and Triratna traditions.

She graduated from the Bodhi College Teacher Training in 2022 and has an interest in personal development through body-mind-soul integration, which means you might also find her dancing on occasion.  Gerit is co-founder of Copenhagen Insight Meditation.

Akincano says of Gerit:

"I’ve enjoyed teaching retreats with Gerit on both sides of the Atlantic and appreciate her skills, her heartfulness and the depth of her personal contemplative experience.  As a long-term practitioner of meditation and recent graduate of Bodhi College’s Dharma Teacher programme she already brought to this the wealth of her therapeutic competence and the clarity and rigour of her academic background. Gerit has much to share as a teacher and is an embodied, lively and warmhearted presence."