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Be Calm Be Happy: Weekend Mindfulness Retreat

Everyone is welcome to this weekend mindfulness retreat, based on the well-loved, and practical teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh.

key info

30 Aug 2024 - 4 Sep 2024

Briery Retreat Centre, Ilkley, LS29 9BW

Our Be Calm Be Happy Weekend Mindfulness Retreat 2024 will be held at The Briery, Ilkley, West Yorkshire, a beautiful and tranquil venue set in its own gardens and a short walk from the town of Ilkley.

Retreat overview

This Be Calm Be Happy Weekend Retreat is an opportunity to experience ways to generate mindful awareness and wellbeing, create new friendships and release the stresses and strains of daily life.

Guided by experienced Course Leaders who are practitioners in the tradition of Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh (often referred to as ‘the Father of Mindfulness’ in the West), this retreat is for everyone – you don’t have to be Buddhist to benefit from meditation.

During the guided group sessions, you will learn and practise meditation as well as ways to bring mindfulness into your daily life, so you can ease painful thoughts and emotions and generate wellbeing.

We invite you to join this weekend retreat comprising guided practices, group discussions and practical exercises, for a light-hearted and deep exploration of mindfulness together, in a peaceful and welcoming atmosphere. Food and accommodation are included.

You will be allocated a single room unless you are joining with someone you prefer to share a room with.

Retreat content

The teaching sessions of the course explore the following themes:

• Stopping and calming
• Turning to the positive
• Loving communication
• Nourishing happiness
• Interdependence and community
• Guidelines for a happier life

Reported benefits

• Increased enjoyment of life
• Increased ability to be calm and relaxed
• Increased control of emotions such as anger and anxiety
• Improved sleep quality
• Fewer feelings of anxiety and low mood

Who can attend?

This retreat is suitable for beginners, as well as those wishing to gain a fuller understanding of how mindfulness can support calm and peaceful living. Mindfulness is a practice originating in Buddhism and supported by neuroscience and psychology; it may be practised by those of all faiths and none.

Many of our participants learn new ways to care for their wellbeing and can develop positive responses to challenging situations.


Our retreat will be held at the picturesque Briery Retreat Centre, in the heart of rural Ilkley, West Yorkshire. The Catholic centre offers comfortable accommodation and natural surroundings that can inspire mindfulness.

The Briery Retreat Centre
38 Victoria Avenue
West Yorkshire
LS29 9BW



Ilkley has a railway station and The Briery is less than a mile away, an approximate 16m walk.

There is on-street parking for cars, as well as parking for some cars on site.

Date and Time

Arrival: Friday, 30 Aug 2024 at 4:00 PM
Departure: Sunday, 1 Sep 2024 at 4:00 PM

NB please let us know if you will arrive after dinner (6pm) on Friday evening.


During the retreat vegan and vegetarian food will be offered, with gluten free options. On the booking form please indicate your preferences.

Ticket pricing

In offering a range of ticket prices we aim to make the retreat available to as many people as possible. Please note we only have a very limited amount of the lowest price ticket, aimed at the unwaged. Please only use this ticket price if you are certain you cannot afford another price level.

These options will be available once you click to book.

Course leaders

The course leaders are Lauri Bower and Ian Sneath.

Lauri has been practising meditation for over 35 years and met Thich Nhat Hanh’s (Thay) teachings in 2006, from which point she committed to putting mindfulness practice at the centre of her life. Now she is deeply immersed in offering the three Mindfulness courses for Plum Village UK, Be Calm Be Happy, Looking Deeply and Living Mindfully courses, as well as Mindful Writing Workshops and Retreats.

Lauri has offered the Be Calm Be Happy course over 30 times, and still finds much to gain from exploring these simple yet deep teachings.

From 2008-12 she researched a PhD on Thich Nhat Hanh and his teachings of Mindfulness and Engaged Buddhism. With her PhD complete Lauri began teaching mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) courses and is delighted to bring this experience to courses devoted to the Plum Village mindfulness tradition. Mindfulness is a crucial aspect of Lauri’s life, and she has experienced first-hand the transformational aspects of peacefulness, calm and clarity that this practice generates. She has many years’ experience of running and organising retreats.

She is firmly committed to the Plum Village approach to mindfulness and received the transmission of the 14 Mindfulness Trainings at Plum Village in 2014 to become an Order member. Her True name is True Mountain of Non-Fear. She is now an aspirant Dharma Teacher.

Lauri also has a creative practice as a Paper Collage Artist and finds the combination of mindfulness and creativity fit together extremely well. Her creative work (original artwork, cards, and poetry) can be viewed from her website. Lauri lives in Yorkshire and practises with the York and Bramham Sanghas.

Ian lived in Plum Village for two years, this experience allowed him to immerse himself in Thay’s deep-wisdom mindfulness practices. During this time Ian received the transmission of the 14 Mindfulness Trainings and the name True Insight on the Path.

Ian discovered Thay in 2010 after studying with various mindfulness teachers. In 2014 he attended the 21-day retreat, “What happens when we are alive, what happens when we die?” led by Thay. This was a deeply powerful, healing, and transformative teaching that made Ian stop, look deeply, and realise that he had been on the wrong entrepreneurial path for most of his life.

Mindfulness has given Ian so much benefit, helping every aspect of his life (ethics, health, relationships, compassion, insight, concentration, livelihood, peace, kindness, openness, etc) and his volition is now to dedicate his life to continuing to deepen his practice, to lead a happy and joyful life and to help bring Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings to others, whilst also building community.

Ian spends time between Plum Village France and the UK and practices predominantly with Nottingham Deep Roots and Durham Sacred Earth Sanghas.

Previous Feedback

I have learned so much this weekend and know now that to practise in this way is vital to me. Thank you.

The opportunity to immerse myself in practice, being away with no distractions of daily life.

Course Leaders who clearly love, know and understand the practice and role-model compassion and loving kindness.

We recommend that everyone who joins this retreat signs up to become a member of the Community of Interbeing, to support Thich Nhat Hanh’s mindfulness teachings in the UK.
If you need to contact us, please email via hello@plumvillage.uk

How to attend

Please book via Eventbrite.

Book now