West London Buddhist Centre

The Great Elements – retreat at Vajrasana, Suffolk

Published in Calendar for all events, Retreats

  • Fri May 24th 2019
  • Sun May 26th 2019
  • 7:00 pm
  • 3:00 pm
  • Booking required
  • £190 Full waged / £160 Part waged /£130 Unwaged / Bursaries available

The great elements in Buddhism (the mahabhutas) refer to experiences everyone has of earth, water, fire and air; or of solidity, fluidity, heat and light, and movement and energy. To these four are often added the two elements of space and awareness. One of the prerequisites of Buddhist practice is that we get down to our true embodied experience. All mindfulness practice is based in body experience, and in tuning into the elemental qualities of our embodied experience, we become more grounded and at ease. Meditation and reflection on the elements can also be fun and enjoyable, and on this retreat we hope to show you how. And in the right circumstances, direct experience of the nature of the elements can lead to Awakening.

The best way to get in touch with the elements is to be out in the countryside between trees, vast landscapes, clouds, skies, flowers, birds and hopefully squirrels and moles. Both Ratnadeva and Yashobodhi have spent many magical hours under canvas at Buddhafield and in the mountains of Spain and hope to bring some of this magic into this sangha retreat. We will be using the amazing spaces of Vajrasana retreat centre to practise being with the elements, and learning from them.

Going on retreat is one of the most powerful of Buddhist practices – taking time and space, surrounded by nature, to let go of the pressures of daily life and allow the mind naturally to relax and open. There’ll be a simple programme of meditation, study/discussion groups and devotional practice, with plenty of time to do nothing, go for walks or hang out together.

Vajrasana shrine room

Vajrasana is an award winning purpose built Buddhist retreat centre in the midst of the Suffolk countryside, easily accessible from London. The weekend is a chance to come back to ourselves and reconnect with what’s most important in our life; a chance also to connect with others, finding mutual support and friendship as we live together in harmonious community. In conditions like these, even just a few days can have a strong and surprisingly lasting effect. All welcome.

There is a small and strictly limited number of low-cost bursary places available for those who cannot afford the retreat fee. Please contact the Centre if you wish to apply.


The easiest way to book is online - just click the button below.

Please make sure you have read all the details of the event, have made sure you are eligible to attend (eg for 'going deeper' events) and are willing to make any commitments that are required.

Bookings are fully refundable up to 7 days in advance. After that we cannot usually offer refunds.

Book Online

You can also book in person at the Centre, or by sending a cheque payable to West London Buddhist Centre along with your name, email and phone number and the name and date of the event to:

The West London Buddhist Centre,

45a Porchester Rd,

London W2 5DP

Please include your name, email and phone number with your booking.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): The Centre is closed to the public until further notice and we have moved our events online. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest, or follow us on Instagram or Facebook.