We are very pleased that you are interested in joining us on this work retreat at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT). On this page there is some more practical and background information to help you get a feel for the retreat. We have tried to keep it brief, and details such as how to get there will be sent to you on booking.
If you feel like joining us please fill out the registration by following the link at the bottom of the page.
Our intention is to nourish, resource and inspire our collective and personal responses to the ecological, social, political and spiritual challenges of our times, in service to ‘the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible’.
Building on the last six years of retreats at CAT we will work together to create a small inclusive temporary community in one of the Eco-Cabins at the Centre for Alternative Technology. The days will be framed by regular daily meditation practice and periods of silent reflection, volunteering with physical work in the growing fields, gardens and woodland at C.A.T., and nurturing our deepening connection to the web of life through workshop activities drawn from the ‘Work that Reconnects’, created by Joanna Macy and other Spiritual Activist luminaries.
We will stay on one of CAT’s two eco-cabins which provide basic but comfortable accommodation. This includes bunk bed dormitories with around 3 people per room. We typically start each day with a period of meditation and a shared breakfast, before working in the gardens or woodland for up to 5 hours a day. The work will be arranged so it is suitable for a range of abilities and includes regular breaks. We finish work mid-afternoon with a period of free time to explore the site or rest. We gather in the evening for meditation and dinner in the restaurant, after which there is an evening programme which introduces themes from Joanna Macy’s “Work that Reconnects” (more information on the “Work that Reconnects” is below).
The spirit of the week is one of co-creating community, and there are daily opportunities to feedback and reflect together on how we mutually hold the programme according to our needs.
We actively encourage and support diversity in terms of race, gender, age, class, sexuality and ethnicity, and wholeheartedly welcome people of all backgrounds. The physical work and simple nature of the bunk bed dormitory style accommodation do require a certain level of physical health, however, we endeavour to include any and all who are willing to enter into the spirit of the retreat regardless of capacity. We are committed to a fair and openly accessible financial arrangement; there are a limited number of bursaries available, and once we are able to cover costs are willing to discuss a sliding scale of payment for those in need of this. Please feel free to contact us for clarification or questions!
We are also offered a tour of the CAT site and an introduction to CAT’s innovative technologies and flagship research on “Zero-Carbon Britain”.
"What made the retreat special for me was the people, our surroundings, learning about what could be possible for our future" (participant in 2016)
The full cost of the retreat is £230. We offer an ‘early bird’ discount of £190 if you pay in full before 10th March 2020. This covers accommodation in the eco-cabins, all food from the first evening meal on the day the retreat starts, to the last lunchtime on the day the retreat finishes.
The cost of this retreat does not include a fee for the facilitators. They are offering their time as part of an ancient system of ‘Dana’- an old word from the time of the Buddha meaning ’generosity’. It is a gift economy in which the facilitation and teaching are offered freely, and participants are invited to offer donations to support the facilitators to continue offering in the future. We will explain more about this in our booking materials and in the week.
If you would like to join the retreat but require financial assistance, please do contact us. If you are touched by this project but cannot join us, you could also help by sponsoring someone else to go, please contact us for further information on how to do this.
The retreat will be facilitated by Gareth Fysh-Foskett and Julia Wallond.
The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) was founded in 1973 on the site of the disused Llwyngwern slate quarry near Machynlleth, in Mid Wales. It was renowned for it’s innovative explorations of sustainable living. It has now grown to be an international education and visitor centre that covers environmental building, eco-sanitation, woodland management, renewable energy, energy efficiency and organic growing. It has authored a series of research reports “Zero-carbon Britain”. The latest report is titled “Making it Happen” and explores the economic, cultural and psychological barriers to achieving net zero greenhouse gas, suggesting a range of possible research-based solutions to address them.
“The Work that Reconnects” has arisen from the work of eco-philosopher Joanna Macy. Informed by deep ecology, systems thinking, Eastern and earth-based spiritualities, she and her colleagues have evolved exercises and practices that encourage us to awaken to our intrinsic inter- connection with all life, and help us identify the strengths and resources we can mobilize in our commitment to the self-healing of the world.
To secure your place for this retreat we require a non-refundable deposit of £75. Please fill out the form below and you will receive an email with more information; such as how to get there, and how to pay the deposit. If you do not hear from us within a week, please check your spam / junk mail and if our message is not there please contact us again.
For any questions please contact us
To register your interest for this retreat please fill out the form