Food for the Heart - The Factors of Awakening: a 7-Day Silent Residential Retreat, August 2024

For Experienced Practitioners, Mindfulness Teachers and Trainee Teachers

6:00 pm
2:00 pm
6 Days
2024 Annual Retreat

Jaya Rudgard and Christoph Köck

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 & Compassion Centre, are accessible to all.  Contact us if you wish to pay by installments.  This fee 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 2024. Application Forms: For an application form please email

Book Now

Event Information

Dates: August 11th - 17th 2024

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

Cost: We are keeping the fees 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.  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.  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.  

Suitable for:

The retreat is open to anyone with previous experience of similar types of silent retreat of 5 days or longer.  It is important that you have had some experience of being on retreat, in silence, before underatking a retreat of this length.

The Retreat:

This retreat is an opportunity to put aside time to dedicate it to your personal preactice, without the usual pressures of daily life. You are invited into silence, supported by others also practising in silence. This can be such a supportive environment in which to immerse ourselves in living wakefully, coming closer to our own experience, coming to know 'the stranger who was yourself.'

For mindfulness teachers and teacher trainees, personal meditation practice is an essential foundation for thsi work, 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 discourses of the Buddha which are the foundation for the so-called 'modern mindfulness movement.': Part of the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta, the Awakening Factors 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.  There will be periods of guided mindful movement each day.

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

We 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 2024 will incur a €50 administration fee.

Cancellations after 1st June 2024 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.


Jaya Rudgard

Jaya (Karen) Rudgard is a member of the faculty of The Bodhi College.  She began meditating in 1984, and from 1996 to 2005 was ordained as a nun in the Thai forest tradition in England at Amaravati Buddhist Monastery. She subsequently trained as an Insight Meditation teacher at Spirit Rock in California and Insight Meditation Society in Massachusetts. She teaches meditation retreats and courses in the UK and internationally. Jaya has extensive experience teaching Buddhist psychology, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Mindful Self-Compassion and teaches retreats for Mindfulness teachers and teachers in training. She also enjoys practising and teaching qigong.

Christoph Köck

Christoph Köck is also a member of the Bodhi College faculty. He led an online retreat in Ireland in 2022 for the MTAI and those who attended really appreciated his gentle, thoughtful style of teaching and reflecting.

Christoph was born in Vienna, Austria, and spent 17 years of his life as a Buddhist monk in the Theravadin tradition. He lived mainly in monasteries connected with Ajahn Chah in Thailand and the West.  Currently he lives in Vienna, working as a psychotherapist in a private practice. He teaches Buddhism and meditation internationally, and is trained to teach MBSR and MBCT.

Jaya and Christoph recently led a Day of Contemplation on 'Trust and Confidence' for The Mindfulness and Compassion Centre and they were very well received by those who attended. We are really looking forward to welcoming them in person this Summer in Castletown and hope you will be able to join us.