A Smaller Concordia Forum Retreat
retreats in 2020 will be announced soon
For the past 10 years, the Concordia Forum has run exclusive retreats for up to 220 people in Europe and North America. These retreats have offered an opportunity to learn, network, and be entertained in beautiful surroundings.
Lately, we wondered if we weren't paying attention to our own mindfulness amidst all the excitement? And with Ramadan mere weeks away, are we spiritually and physically prepared to be the best versions of ourselves and to endure the long days without food or drink? With this in mind, in April 2019 we brought together a small group of Concordians in the tranquil hills of Devon, England for the first ever Concordia Forum Mindfulness Retreat. We spent four days with professional facilitators learning the skills of mindfulness and meditation in the context of better dealing with stress and avoiding the burnout cycle.
This 4-night retreat won’t be a vacation you’ll need another vacation from! It won't be the usual wellness retreat either. The Concordia Forum team hire professional facilitators to lead us in the following:
Spiritual mindfulness and building resilience
Professionally managed sessions on establishing relationship boundaries, healing from toxic shame and re-writing old scripts.
Achieving regenerative detoxification
Clean-eating from local farms
Daily walks and gentle exercise in an area of outstanding natural beauty
Drowning out the noise of the world to practice effective silence and quietness
Connecting the dots between our Muslim faith and the best practices from other traditions
A 30-minute private appointment with a GP: lifestyle screening, cardiovascular risk assessment, mental wellbeing assessment, personalised wellbeing consultation
Concordians give so much of themselves in their daily lives that it can be difficult to really take time out for themselves.
Who is this for?
The retreat is for you if...
You need rest, replenishment, renewal and inspiration.
You tend to drive yourself, resulting in regular feelings of stress, exhaustion, anxiety and overwhelm.
You want to increase your personal resilience and self-care in a safe and supportive setting.
You want to learn how to create and maintain boundaries in your personal and professional life
You want to replace old scripts that stem from childhood experiences
You'd benefit from reflection and connecting to nature and your creativity, far away from the busy-ness of your day-to-day life and work.
You're interested in creatively enquiring into your relationship with your work in the world.
You'd like to meet and learn from others on a similar journey.
The retreat is for all adults aged 18 and above and all we ask is that you bring an open curiosity to exploring these issues. Please note that this retreat might not be suitable if you are experiencing major depression or other serious and clinically diagnosed psychiatric illness.
“He it is Who sent down the sakinah into the hearts of the believers that they might add faith unto their faith.”
The Holy Qur’an
Devon, england and others
The 2019 retreat took place near Totnes, Devon, beside the River Dart within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
At the heart of our ethos is our desire to build a more mindful, compassionate and environmentally-sustainable world. We connect people with nature and foster mindfulness and well-being through our programme of retreats, mindfulness courses, events and the arts.
The venue is a fine example of 18th Century Palladian heritage set in Grade 2-listed gardens, with superb views of the River Dart.
Kanada Elizabeth Gorla, 2019 Facilitator
Kanada is a leadership & transformational change coach, mentor and facilitator. With more than 20 years' experience facilitating individuals and groups, Kanada is a long-time meditator and mindfulness practitioner. As a self-employed, single working mum, Kanada has walked the path toward ‘sustaining herself’ as a daily practice.
Kanada is a Senior Associate with Embercombe, a leadership centre where she co-leads The Journey, Catalyst and Speaking out; an Associate with Common Purpose American Express Leadership Academy for emerging leaders in the 3rd sector; and course leader on bi-annual residential programmes with cohorts from On Purpose and Executive On Purpose.
ollie frame, 2019 Facilitator
Ollie Frame works as an integrative therapist, mindfulness teacher and retreat leader. Trained in Mindfulness-based approaches with the University of Exeter, he runs 8-week courses for the general public, for teachers and students in schools and colleges, and for various other client groups on behalf of Devon County Council. Having completed additional training in Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living (MBCL), he is especially enthusiastic about self compassion, Metta meditation and other heart-based approaches within the world of mindfulness. Ollie also works as a Polarity therapist and an integrative counsellor, with a particular interest in Psychosynthesis, depth psychology and inner journeying.
Aamna Khokhar, 2019 Facilitator
Aamna Khokhar is a qualified life coach specialising in relationships. Her work and study in the field of psychology and education spans over twenty years. With a background in teaching she runs workshops on self-development and the creation and maintenance of healthy relationships. She is determined to equip clients with the tools to strengthen communication, regard and love for themselves and others. In her one to one work she helps people overcome destructive thought patterns, obstructive emotional responses and manage stress and anxiety. She believes that the management of these can help people heal their relationships and reclaim their self-worth and improve their lives.
luqman ali, 2019 Facilitator
Luqman initially trained in the sciences of Islam and the languages (Arabic, Persian and Urdu), literature and cultures of the Middle East and the Indian Sub-continent before serving communities in the UK, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Pakistan, South Africa, Bermuda, Dominican Republic, Bahrain and beyond.
In 1997, Luqman co-founded Khayaal, the first professional theatre company dedicated to the exploration of classic Muslim literature through contemporary stagecraft as a means of fostering greater intercultural and interfaith engagement and understanding.
Luqman is currently working to nurture an inclusive humanitarian discourse of story and dream in Muslim communities and between those communities and wider society through Khayaal’s national on-demand Theatre-without-Walls programme that includes adaptations of wisdom tales from Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam while also developing the company’s next medium scale production exploring the intersection of Britain and Islam in the story of coffee.
Dr Hina ShahiD, 2019 Facilitator
Dr Shahid is a General Practitioner and Chairperson of the Muslim Doctors Association. She qualified with a distinction in Medical Sciences at University College London with the first prize in Psychology, Sociology and Epidemiology. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Pharmacology from University College London, and a Masters of Science in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
She works as a General Practitioner in London, and holds diplomas in women’s health, sexual and reproductive health and children’s health. She has an interest in chronic disease and elderly care, mental health, public health and humanitarian medicine. She is an honorary clinical tutor at Imperial College Medical School and an honorary faculty member at An-Najah National University, training doctors specialising in Family Medicine. She has worked in research and humanitarian settings in Europe and the Middle East and sits on the Commission for Refugee and Migrant Health at the World Islamic Health Union.
She is the recipient of the British Muslim Awards for Services to Medicine in 2017 and was named as one of the top 100 influential Muslims in Britain in 2018. She was shortlisted for the Asian Women of Achievement Awards 2018 and is an Ambassador for the Women of the Future programme connecting students with role models to inspire the future generation of females. She is a keen traveller and linguist and enjoys reading, yoga, swimming, and spending time with her family.
“I loved the fact that I could walk in nature far away from civilization for hours and wake up each morning in the middle of nature. The facilitators were such good souls, deeply supportive, caring and patient. They offered an ideal combination of theory and practice.”
Aqilah Sandhu (Germany), 2019 Retreat participant
Details of the 2019 retreat
Closest Train Station: Totnes
Closest Airport: Exeter
The only method of transport from Totnes Station would be via taxi which will cost approximately £12 each way.
What to bring
Comfortable, loose clothing for meditation and movement sessions
Warm outdoor clothing at all times of the year
Boots and a waterproof jacket are advisable for local walks
A watch or clock for morning wake up - this avoids the need for mobile phone use
A journal or notepad for reflection during your time here
Your own toiletries & insect repellent (preferably environmentally-friendly)
We offer slippers for your comfort, but you may prefer to bring your own, preferably non-slip
Running gear if you’re a jogger. Some participants love to run on the lanes and footpaths
for Mindfulness through Walking
Walking boots or shoes, preferably waterproof
Waterproof jacket and trousers
Your own lunchboxes and water bottles (essential) - we will not be able to supply them
A daypack for carrying lunch, water, spare clothing
A small flask if you would like to carry a hot drink with you
Sun hat and sunscreen
Building Resilience through Wellness
The Concordia Forum invites you to register your interest in future health retreats, which will be held in the UK and in the Americas. Please complete this form.