Compassion, the Great Connector

Our annual Compassion retreat on Holy Island


Leader: Alistair Appleton and Kirsty Davidson

Cost Information: £385 single room, £280 pp twin room, £224 dorm Retreat fee £250

Course outline

This autumn’s Mindsprings retreat on Holy Island follows on from last year’s exploration of  Maitri, or loving-kindness for our own experience of Life – this year completing our exploration by moving from maitri (loving self) to karuna or compassion (loving the ‘other’). 

Very often with compassion training we skip over our own experience to concentrate on making others feel better. So with maitri  we learn to stay in the open heart and be aware of the various ‘parts’ of our unique being that play out each day. Once we have some tender relationship with these, often warring, parts and can breathe the gentleness of Big Self or ultimate bodhicitta on them, then the space clears for us to connect truly with the vast panoply of the world around us – people, animals, the natural world, the Universe. 

It’s like we’ve been hypnotised into thinking that the endless spiralling of our inner world is the world, but the World with a capital W is a sacred one that is dazzling and ego-shattering when we really touch into it. The move from maitri to karuna is one that brings great joy but also a huge spur to wise action. We recognise how our own patterns have held us back from this luminosity and great space, then we can’t help but want that others feel it too. Their constriction becomes part of our expanded awareness and we are unable to judge in anyway whatsoever. 

In the embodied space of the expanded heart, the illusion of a separate ‘other’ falls away and we rest in a state of Mahakaruna or Great Compassion. 

This retreat is not suitable for complete beginners. We would like to keep this retreat for practitioners who have experience of a Mindsprings course in the last 3 years or have some preferably embodied compassion practice. If you have any question about the fit of the retreat for you then please do contact Alistair on the email below.

For more info and to book:

The cost of the retreat is £250, payable through the Mindsprings website, or contact Alistair:

Once you have made your booking with Mindsprings, please book your accommodation on Holy Isle, which you pay for on arrival. Use the Book Now button in the sidebar - 7 nights from Saturday 3rd October. A screen will come up with the available accommodation, please select. You will then see a page called Additional ExtrasPlease select Compassion, the Great Connector