Self Compassion and the Portal of the Heart Retreat

With Robert Quinlan & Dr. Lynden Stone 18-21 December 2017

In this three day retreat participants will focus on cultivating self compassion and kindliness as they open to possibilities and directions for the coming year (or years!).

Robert utilizes approaches drawn from over 35 years experience as a counsellor and therapist including Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, Acceptance Commitment Therapy, Solution Oriented approaches and his own style of cognitive somatic therapy.

About the Retreat

The overall intent of the retreat will be to assist participants to work with “third wave” mindfulness based psychologies, which draw on the findings of neuropsychology and evidence based therapies, to set intents for the coming year.
Key elements of this will be the importance of compassion, self-kindness and curiosity in reviewing and releasing outmoded patterns that restrict the development of new behaviours, attitudes and understandings.

The tools utilised in this retreat are drawn from the works of Dr. Tara Brach (self compassion), Dr. Rick Hanson (neuroplasticity and change), Dr Stephen Hayes (Acceptance Commitment Therapy), David Whyte and Emeritus Professor, Jon Kabit-Zinn.

Each workshop is a unique energetic blend of the individuals attending. Robert and Lynden will make changes to the program that reflect the needs of the workshop group as a whole – accordingly certain aspects of the program may be explored more extensively in group time than others.

The cultivation and wisdom of the heart-mind will be particularly emphasized through the use of poetry, art and connection with the body and nature.

In this video, Robert explain a bit more of what the retreat entails.

Daily Themes

Day 1 – Gathering

Day 1 of the workshop will focus on setting intent and exploring old patterns that may interfere with this. The gateway/portal metaphor will be explored. Heart/Mind compassion will be emphasised in this process and the usefulness of “not knowing” and “not doing”! ACT hexaflex and key aspects of ACT introduced.

Day 2 – Cultivating

Day 2 will focus on the neuropsychology of the brain and ways to “hardwire it”. The nature of the old brain as fundamentally negative, survivalist and habituated will be explored and how this interferes with intent and committed action. Practices which help to wire in the good will be introduced. Participants will have the opportunity to become curious and compassionate about some difficult patterns they have noticed within their personality. There will be opportunities for participants to work with Robert directly in clearing these.

Day 3 – Journeying

Day 3 will focus on clarifying goals based on a renewed understanding and commitment to core values. Participants will utilize a “journeying” metaphor to become more specific about their desired goals for the next year and beyond. The role of refuge will be discussed. The Gateway/portal will be revisited. “The New Life” will be represented verbally and non-verbally.

About Robert Quinlan

Robert has over 35 years’ experience in assisting people to align with deeper aspects of themselves and express this in the world. He began integrating mediation in his practice in the early Eighties and has conducted seminars and workshops in Australia and internationally.

He first learned to meditate in the mid- Seventies and has been teaching the MBCT program on the Gold Coast for a number of years.

Robert is an accredited Mental Health Social worker, clinical hypnotherapist and psychotherapist. He was the co-coordinator of the the Byron Bay Mental Health Practitioners ACT group for a number of years and also was the original co-ordinator of RMIT University’s Centre for Education and Training in Addictions.

He maintains a private practice and is also Senior Social worker with Gold Coast Health( Qld., Australia).

Website – Healing Dialogue
Facebook – Healing Dialogue

About Dr. Lynden Stone

Lynden Stone is a full-time artist, arts researcher and arts educator. She holds a PhD in Fine Art from Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. Her practice is in painting, video, installation and performance.

She currently teaches painting and creative thinking. Focussing on processes and acts of creativity can provide stillness and refuge for the ruminating mind.

Lynden will guide you through a series of divergent thinking creative and fun exercises in art-making to spark and expand creative possibilities.

Website – Lynden Stone

Retreat Dates & Booking Information

Arrival and registration will take place from 9.30 to 15.30 on Monday 18 December 2017.

The opening session of the retreat will be at 09.00 on Tuesday, 19 December 2017.

The retreat will end by 17.00 on Thursday, 21 December 2017.

Places are limited so please sign up immediately so that we can reserve a room for you. For more information, please contact us at

Please DO NOT send your retreat fee prior to registering with us at the above email address. Kindly send an email first to check room availability.

Please note that New Life is a non-profit organisation. The fee covers only the costs of holding the retreat, including food, electricity, and accommodation. Being a young foundation, we need a lot of support, so additional donations are very welcome! Please help us spread the word and bring some friends.

We are a vegetarian community. Simple, healthy meals will be served, consisting of breakfast with fruit, eggs, cereal, bread, and yogurt, and Thai-style meals for lunch and dinner. We cannot cater to special diets, but do let us know if have any food allergies.

All rooms come with ensuite bathroom, warm water shower, ceiling fan, sheets, and towels. The number of places available is limited so please register quickly.

Retreat fee:

6000 baht per person, ensuite fan single room

The retreat fee covers 3 nights’ accommodation on December 18/19/20 and 3 vegetarian meals per day.

NB: An added cost of 950 baht per person per night applies if you wish to stay at the foundation the night after the retreat ends. Please check space availability with us at the time of registration. The retreat fee must be paid in full, in advance.

Please notify us of payment details and send a copy of the transfer receipt so that we can complete your registration.

Want to stay for longer? Enquire about our guest, resident or volunteer programs!

Dana: The retreat teachings are offered freely in accordance with the Buddhist tradition of Dana (the cultivation and practice of the virtue of generosity) where the retreatant is invited to contribute financially to the teachings and the mentoring based on their individual income and the value that they place on what has been offered. The livelihood of the teacher is dependent on the generosity of Dana. There will be more details provided on this during the retreat.

Location: New Life Foundation

No. 49 Moo 1, Ban Samanmit, Don Sila, Wiang Chai, Chiang Rai, Thailand

The retreat fee does not include transportation to and from the retreat location. There are a number of low-cost carriers within Thailand and the Asia region if you would like to fly to Chiang Rai. Buses are also a good option. Taxis and tuk-tuks that will take you straight to the foundation can be hired at the airport or bus station.

Travel information
Detailed map and directions

Things to bring for your stay

  • loose, comfortable clothing
  • mosquito repellent
  • torch
  • a refillable water bottle and/or cup or mug
  • your own toiletries
  • a warm jumper or jacket, socks, a light scarf or hat – it can be cool in the mornings and evenings in January
  • we provide meditation cushions and yoga mats but please feel free to bring your own if you wish.

We look forward to seeing you.

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