Freshwater Bay, IOW

Freshwater Bay, IOW

Freshwater Bay, IOW

Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight

Seahorses Guesthouse, Freshwater, IOW

Seahorses Guesthouse, Freshwater, IOW

Seahorses Guesthouse, Freshwater, IOW

Seahorses Guesthouse, Freshwater, IOW

Seahorses Guesthouse
Freshwater, Isle of Wight

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My heartfelt thanks for the wonderful retreat weekend – what a joy it was.

My daily formal practice is now back in place, the work stress I talked about has not returned, and there are many other subtle changes in thought and behaviour that have persisted since coming home – it’s been the most impactful retreat experience I’ve had so far.
Thank you.

It was particularly wonderful to experience the weekend as one of playful experimentation rather than an opportunity for the mind to engage in a barrage of negative self-criticism – I feel at this moment very content.

These days my heart is mostly joyful and I haven’t yet tired of celebrating that!

Voice of a previous
retreat participant

Teacher-Led Mindfulness Meditation Retreats on the IOW

Susann Herrmann

Susann Herrmann, Dipl. Psych. (MA)
Co-Founder of London Meditation

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No amount of wordy explanations will ever lead us into the nature of our own selves.

The more you explain, the further it runs away from you.

It is like trying to get hold of your own shadow. You run after it and it runs with you at the identical rate of speed.

D.T. Suzuki

quotation marks If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?


quotation marks When we start to feel anxious or depressed, instead of asking,

" What do I need to get to be happy?"

The question becomes,
" What am I doing to disturb the inner peace that I already have?"

D.T. Suzuki

quotation marks All experiences are preceded by mind, having mind as their master, created by mind.

Gautama Buddha

quotation marks If you use your mind to study reality, you won't understand either your mind or reality.

If you study reality without using your mind, you'll understand both.


quotation marks Emotionally we have many problems, but these problems are not actual problems; they are something created; they are problems pointed out by our self-centered ideas or views.

Shunryu Suzuki

quotation marks Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away.

Hakuin Ekaku

quotation marks Emptiness which is conceptually liable to be mistaken for sheer nothingness is in fact the reservoir of infinite possibilities.

D.T. Suzuki

quotation marks Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness.

If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Freshwater Bay, IOW

Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight

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"I practiced a lot of wordless experiencing of things – e.g. in walking practice not thinking "I love being outside" but letting my heart respond – I want to live less in my mind and more in my heart.

I loved this weekend. The setting, the group size. Perfect.

Stunning gardens, delicious food, warm welcome, community spirit and concept behind the community. Seemed the perfect fit for a retreat.

quotation marks I have endless respect and admiration for the integrity that Susann brings to the practice.

She holds the space with such firm support, but her gentleness allows flexibility and choice.

Voices previous
retreat participants

Residential Events on the Isle of Wight

Secular Mindfulness Meditation Retreat

Coming Home: Awareness is your Refuge

" Awareness of the changingness
of feelings, of attitudes, of moods, of material change and emotional change:
Stay with that, because it’s a refuge that is indestructible.

It’s not something that changes.
It’s a refuge you can trust in.
This refuge is not something that you create.
It’s not a creation.
It’s not an ideal.

It’s very practical and very simple, but easily overlooked or not noticed.
When you’re mindful, you’re beginning to notice, it’s like this."

Ajahn Sumedo


How often in our lives do we search for a refuge to seek safety or at least to find possibilities to feel more comfortable in difficult situations or moments? Especially nowadays with all the uncertainties, fears or even geopolitical tumults each one of us is facing in life...

Everyone is looking for a reliable refuge, something or someone we can completely trust in. We often look for this refuge in things, in people and in situations that leave us often dissatisfied and frustrated.

We have developed many strategies with the hope of coping better with the full catastrophe of life. However, can we really trust these strategies, these creations we have generated?
Are they ALWAYS available to us, regardless of the circumstances?

"Awareness is your Refuge!"
Awareness of constant change moment to moment.

How can we be awake to this reality? How can we wake up to the way things are?
Coming and going, rising and falling in awareness...

The poet Kabir said:
"We don’t realize that what is most alive
lives inside our own house and we wander around confused."

We invite you to join us in stillness and silence to wake up to the beauty of being alive.
To encounter the life we have with freshness and wonder.

We will realize that awareness is our best friend:
Sitting with awareness of breath.
Sitting with awareness of mind.
Sitting with awareness of body.

It doesn’t matter what causes and conditions we are meeting, but we can meet them!

This is our practice and this is the invitation:
Coming Home: Awareness is your Refuge!

Trusting awareness as the source and cause of happiness, peace and freedom!

Each day will offer a sustained schedule of formal meditation practice (both sitting and walking practice), instructions and short inspirational talks on different subjects related to our practice, as well as facilitation of a group inquiry process, all within an underlying environment of silence.

The retreat programme will also include a longer lunch & rest period to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Freshwater Bay and its cliffs, which is less than a 15 mins walk from the retreat venue.

No Prerequisites!

The present moment doesn’t distinguish between newcomers and experienced practitioners. Therefore you are most welcome to join us, if our Mindfulness Meditation Retreat speaks to you and you notice curiosity when you read this page!

This is the only pre-requisite!
We would love to have you at our retreat and would be delighted to welcome you.

Your Retreat Facilitator/Teacher:

Susann Herrmann, CPsychol./OccupPsychol. (MA)

Susann has been meditating for more than 25 years and deepens her regular meditation practice each year by attending various retreats, trainings and groups.

She teaches from her decades of being a meditator and her academic understanding as a psychologist.

Susann is a personal student of Melissa Myozen Blacker, Roshi,
and a member of the Boundless Way Zen Temple in Worcester, Massachusetts.
The Temple is an affiliate of Boundless Way Zen, a multilineage school of Zen Buddhism.

Details & Booking Retreat 2019

6-Day Teacher-led Mindfulness Meditation Retreat

Seahorses Guest House, Victoria Road, Freshwater, Isle of Wight, PO40 9PP

Lymington Pier to Yarmouth (IOW) is the direct way to Seahorses.
Taxi time from Yarmouth (IOW) to Seahorses is approximately five minutes.

Dates & Timings:

  • June 2019: Thu 06.06. - Tue 11.06.
  • October 2019: Thu 10.10. - Tue 15.10.

Please arrive on the first day between 4 and 6pm to allow time to get settled into your room before dinner at 6.30pm and orientation in the evening.
The retreat ends on the final day at 2pm after lunch.


  • Tuition Fee (does not include Seahorses accommodation fee):
    • £ 475
  • Accommodation charges including full board at Seahorses Guest House:
    • Twin ensuite: £ 300 incl. VAT
    • Triple ensuite: £ 250 incl. VAT

Shared Rooms:

  • Accommodation is in same-sex shared rooms for 2 or 3 people. So, to attend a retreat you need to be prepared to share a room.
    Our retreats are founded upon the principles of community, generosity and co-operation. While we recognise that sharing accommodation can take us away from our familiar patterns and therefore can be challenging, we believe it’s an important factor in creating community. Sharing our space can generate an atmosphere of care and mutual concern and help to connect everyone on the retreat.

If you would like to see lovely pictures please click here.


If you would like to join please let us know and we will send you a reservation email with payment details.

In order to be able to confirm your place on the retreat, we do require full Tuition Fee payment by bank transfer.

Once we confirm your place we will email you a confirmation of your booking along with the Seahorses Accommodation Booking Form, which you will need to complete and email to Seahorses directly. They ask for a non-refundable deposit of £ 50. The remaining payment of the Accommodation charge is due on the day of arrival.

If you would like to proceed, please send an email to

If you have any questions please call 020 3137 1358 or send an email.