September 18th – 20th 2020

The Peace of Wild things led by Peter and Julie Johnson:

Exploring Rest through Nature, Meditation and the Poems of Wendell Berry

Sept 18th -20th, 2020

In the beautiful setting of Gayles we will use the poems of Wendell Berry to explore some of the key elements in resting well. Rest means different things to different people. For example, Claudia Hammond identified mindfulness as one of the top ten ways people like to rest (alongside a good walk, day dreaming, reading and more; gardening was absent from the top ten but Claudia’s favourite). 

Rest isn’t just an indulgence, but an essential part of living well. Rest is different from sleep. Sleep is vital to our own mental wellbeing and an important topic in our work as psychotherapists. But we need to rest well too; we have only so much energy to give and when used up we need to recharge. To rest well is as important as it is to sleep well.

Wendell Berry, farmer, environmental activist writer and poet, has the habit of going into the woods on a Sunday. For him that’s an important place to find his Sabbath rest.

 This weekend retreat will explore the theme of rest around a structure of meditation, short reflections, time in Nature, Silence and fresh, home cooked food. There will be two short periods of work on the land.

The retreat begins with your arrival from 4pm onwards on Friday and ends after lunch on Sunday. After supper and introductions, and a short period of meditation we will enter into a companionable silence for the retreat. Many retreatants have found this silence one of the most restful aspects of the weekend.

Accommodation is in two single sex dormitories. 

Meals are vegetarian but not necessarily vegan. Special diets can only be accommodated to a limited extent, so let us know well in advance and we will find out what Gayles can provide.

The cost of the weekend (which covers accommodation and food) is £216.00. 

Please contact to make a booking or for further information. We will ask for a £100 deposit which will be non-refundable if you cancel after June 1st.

About Julie and Pete Johnson:

Julie and Pete originally trained as general nurses before moving into the community; Pete as a Health Visitor and Julie as a School Nurse. Eventually they set up their own business offering training and psychotherapy. 

Their work in general draws deeply on our understanding that we have emotional needs, as well as physical needs, that all need to be fed and nourished.

Julie is a leading provider of workshops and seminars for families in London and the surrounding area. Her latest book,’ Wellbeing: The essential guide to my child’s physical and mental health’, is published by The Parent Brief.

They have been practicing mindfulness for over ten years. Pete completed an MBSR course with Shamash Alidna and Julie trained in mindfulness with Michael Chaskalon.

Subsequently Julie and Pete completed the .b teacher training at Bangor University, allowing them to teach the .b program to year 7 upwards.

They also went on to train at Bangor and at Oxford Mindfulness Centre to deliver mindfulness courses to adults.For the past six years they have taught mindfulness in schools, offering both the .b and Paws b curriculum. They have also run numerous courses for Staff and Parents. 

Recently they have trained with Kristin Neff to teach Mindful Self Compassion.

This last development perhaps reveals their heart in teaching mindfulness. Their great wish is help individuals and communities acquire the skills and knowledge with which to increase their own wellbeing. 

There is also the recognition that kindness to self and others is essential for the mind/body to flourish and thrive.

This weekend retreat reflects our desire to create a space where participants can connect with nature, cultivate kindness and nurture a deep stillness of mind. 

We will be posting more details about this retreat shortly and if you would like to know more please feel welcome to email Peter via the link below:

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