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Self-Compassion in Nature Retreat (5 days) Sydney

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Self-Compassion in Nature Retreat (Sydney) for Professionals

Mindfulness Silent Retreat (5 days)

“as we quiet our mind, we can hear”   Rumi

We pause, to take care of ourselves, to replenish, so we can better take care of others.

You are invited to join us for five exquisite days in a Silent Retreat to come home to yourself with kindness in a friendly silence. We will gather at a beautiful place (Mount Carmel Retreat Centre in Varoville, NSW) where you can enjoy privacy, peace, and solitude to de-stress, to meditate, and to reconnect with yourself.

This will be a wonderful opportunity to unwind, away from the demands of work and family life to re-charge. This will be a time to care for yourself, to refresh your practices in mindfulness and self-compassion, to cultivate your inner resources.  You can pause, to better relate to yourself in your own mind and in this way improve your relationships with others. Again and again, you can attend to yourself like you would attend to a dear friend, giving yourself what you need to thrive, to flourish, so in return, you can better support others. Your well-being and positive engagement will benefit everyone.

Self-Compassion and mindfulness greatly increase our ability to deal with difficulties with balance, to protect us from burnout and caregiver fatigue.

Give yourself the gift of silence!

Connect with your inner joy and sense of purpose!


Mt Carmel Retreat Centre is set on 300 acres of beautiful ground in the Scenic Hills district in Macarthur in NSW on the edge of Sydney.

You will have your own bedroom and en suites with free Wifi.  It is in a convenient location being a 45 minutes drive from Sydney CBD or Sydney airport, and close to Wollongong (60 min) and Canberra (2.5 hr). In addition it is a13 minutes drive from Campbeltown train station.

You can explore the beautiful, lush grounds on one of several scenic walking trails.

Why a silent self-compassion retreat?
Maintaining silence in a retreat frees you from the distraction of engaging with others so that you can begin to meet yourself anew, with kind awareness. You can let go of doing and striving, to allow yourself simply to be. In addition, when we are silent,  our senses are more open, we are more present, we feel more alive, we connect to something that is greater than us, greater than our difficulties, pain and drama. Nature gives us a sense of space, allowing us to be in touch with our spirituality, connecting with a compassionate inner knowing, that is uplifting and empowering.

Who it is for?
This retreat targets professionals and caregivers, such as psychologists, social workers, counsellors, occupational therapists, teachers, nurses, medical practitioners, coaches, yoga teachers and anyone else who is in a helping role. It is an opportunity to stop, to re-charge, to fill our cup so we can give back. 

This retreat is also for anyone who is interested in teaching Mindful Self-Compassion, and other mindfulness-based programs (MBP) such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.  The five-day retreat meets the requirement to have attended a five-day, silent, teacher-led retreat to become a Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher.

What to expect?
The retreat aims to deepen our capacity to respond to difficult moments with kindness, care, courage, and wisdom. The content of the retreat will consist of topics, teacher-guided and self-guided seating/movement/walking meditations, as well as self-reflective meditations in self-compassion, compassion and mindfulness to promote wellbeing and resilience. During the retreat, a workbook will be provided to promote reflective journaling on the topics and meditations included in the program.

We wish to take full advantage of the picturesque surroundings by providing ample opportunities to go on mindful walks for contemplative reflections where you can immerse yourself in nature. 

We aim to provide a peaceful and relaxing retreat for a small number of participants. You will be staying in a room of your own with your own bathroom. Delicious healthy meals will be served with vegan/gluten-free/dairy-free options. 

The use of mobile phones and other Internet-connected devices will be strongly discouraged.

Short individual interviews with Marianna or Marie can be scheduled throughout the retreat for clarification and support. During the retreat, at any time, if issues arise, you will be able to communicate with the manager.

Retreat Training objectives
After participating in this retreat, you will be more able to:   
     - Practice mindfulness and self-compassion in daily life
 - Extend feelings of goodwill, kindness and warmth towards self and others
 - Motivate self and others with encouragement rather than harsh self-criticism
 - Handle difficult emotions with greater balance
 - Manage stress, anxiety, anger, guilt and shame with greater ease 
 - Meet difficult relationships with compassion
 - Manage burnout, caregiver fatigue and vicarious trauma
     - Become more aware and able to attend skilfully to the needs of self and others
     - Promote positive emotions in self and others
     - Teach self-compassion practices to patients, clients, students, and children

Continued Professional Development (CPD)
A Continuing Professional Development (CPD) certificate providing the number of hours attended will be given to everyone to provide evidence of professional development training (i.e. psychologists, social workers, counsellors, teachers, medical practitioners, nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, yoga teachers etc.). The Self-Compassion in Nature Retreat will provide 30 CPD hours. This Retreat also satisfies one of the requirements for the Mindful Self-Compassion teacher training to attend a five-day silent retreat. 


The pre-requisites are that you have already been introduced to mindfulness, self-compassion and meditation and that you have a regular practice.  The expectation is that you have an understanding of Mindful Self-Compassion (Kristin Neff and Chris Germer) and/or Compassion-Focused Therapy (Paul Gilbert). Prior to the retreat, you will be required to complete a Registration Form and sign a Release of Liability. 

What Self-Compassion in Nature Retreat is not:
We believe that this Retreat will be most beneficial if you have been introduced already to mindfulness and self-compassion. This Retreat is not group therapy and does not replace psychological or psychiatric treatment and it may not be suitable if you have certain medical conditions.  If you are receiving treatment for a serious physical or health problem, or have a history of a serious physical or mental health disorder, you should consult with your medical practitioner or health care provider to check if your participation in the Retreat is suitable for someone in your condition,  and inform the organiser Marie Bloomfield. The Retreat consists of an educational and self-practice program and is not a substitute for medical or psychological treatments.  The emphasis is on skill-building to enhance emotional resources and personal capacities to learn for ourselves and to teach others.

Suggested prior reading (optional)

Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook by Kristin Neff & Christopher Germer, 2018
Experiencing Compassion-Focused Therapy from the inside out by R. Kolts,  T. Bell,  J. Bennett-Levy, &  C. Irons, 2018


Marie Bloomfield B.Sc(Psych.), M.Clin. Psych(UNSW), MAPS(Coll.Clin.Psych) 

Clinical Psychologist and Senior Certified Mindful Self-Compassion teacher. Marie is an accomplished teacher in mindful self-compassion having presented over 50 workshops most of which were targeting health professionals since 2014.  As a clinical psychologist, Marie has over 40 years of experience in working in mental health, including public, academic and private sectors.  Marie has been using Compassion-Focused Therapy and Mindful Self-Compassion in her clinical practice since 2011. She is a leader in teaching Mindfulness and Self-Compassion for health professionals in Australia. She knows from personal and clinical experience that compassion changes and enhances lives. 

Marianna Lolas Grad.Dip. Psych., M.Clin. Psych., MAPS, FCCLP.

Clinical Psychologist and trained Mindful Self-Compassion teacher.

Next Retreat:

Self-Compassion in Nature Retreat For Professionals (5 days)

Dates: 5-Day Retreat: 22 October - 27 October 2023
  -arriving at 2 pm on Sunday 22 October., and finishing at 1:00 pm Friday 27 October 2023
Location: Mount Carmel Retreat Centre 247 St Andrews Rd, Varroville, NSW 2566

Full price: $2,600.00 
Discounts are available for direct payment, for more information contact

The fees will include teaching, accommodation, and meals.

 Please contact us for more information

We would love to meet you there!

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Refund policy

If you make the payment and cancel 28 days before the start of the retreat you will be fully refunded minus the booking fee of $200.00. If you cancel 14-28 days prior to the retreat you will be refunded 50% of your payment. If you want to cancel less than 14 days before the retreat, you will be given a 25% refund of your payment. Sorry, there will be no refund 7 days prior to or during the retreat.