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Retreat in a Mug

And, breathe ...

A man drinking a hot drink sat on a balcony, with a Treargel Retreat mug.
My brother on the balcony with his Treargel mug

Let's be honest, none of us have the time or money to always be on retreat. In any case, that isn't real life, just as a continual holiday or everlasting Christmas isn't as idyllic as it sounds. But what if we could take a mini-retreat or nano-break everyday!

Enter, the Retreat in a Mug. I don't know about you, but when I get my hands around a steaming hot cup of something delicious, my shoulders begin to slacken, my breathing gets deeper and my thoughts stop spinning for 5 minutes. Busy with work, I often don't even realise I'm so tight and hunched over, slightly holding my breath, as I once again attempt to multitask my way through the day.

However, as I wait for the kettle to boil, preparing the ingredients as I've done many times before (Barley Cup obvi) time goes a little slower. Taking in the aroma and that first sip is like a balm to the busyness and stress of everything else. Whatever is biting at my heels to be done, can wait 5 minutes, I am allowing myself a mini-retreat and doing a short mindfullness excercise. Time to rest, and get perspective, realign, and check my priorities. Am I doing what I really want or need? Am I avoiding ‘eating the frog’, taking on someone else’s agenda, or not appreciating the good things in life?

So go on, take a break and have a Retreat in a Mug today.

However, if you can I encourage you to take some time out for yourself this winter. Whether by enjoying a walk, day out, or staying somewhere overnight. Fearne Cotton, in her book Happy, says she likes to take a bath to stay balanced and keep away the blackness of depression. These breaks are a great time to re-evaluate our journey. To retreat, in order to go forward. Why not plan some time away in the next few months? Either come and stay with us here at Treargel. Or look up one near you on the Retreat Association map.

Plus, as a thank you for subscribing to our blog, we have a special offer just for you.

4 nights for the price of 3 from November to February. Just quote WinterBlogOffer in the 'tell us what you are looking for' box as you book, and I will adjust your final bill. (This is a saving of £100 if booking for two in the Byre).

Or perhaps you know someone else who needs a retreat; a busy minister getting ready for Advent, a jaded health worker, or anyone who needs time to breathe deeply. Why not send them this blog?

So, wherever you are, whether in a high-rise flat, at your favourite coffee shop, or sitting at Talland Beach, you too can take a Retreat in a Mug.

(Thank you to my wonderful brother David and my handsome husband Martyn for these photos).

Man sat drinking coffee in a coffee shop.
Martyn pondering
‘The practice of Mindfulness is very simple.
You stop, you breathe, and you still your mind.
You come home to yourself so that you can enjoy the here and now in every moment.’

Thich Nhat Hanh, Silence

A bookended retreat

This year several guests have enjoyed having a Listening Ear session with me at the beginning and end of their retreat. To share some of their journey and think about how to spend their time at Treargel. At the end of the stay, they sum up what has been meaningful to them and what they want to take away. Here is what our Hermitage guest had to say in September;

“Thank you Naomi. I've got so much out of this stay. A reset, options to look at, and looking upon life as pathways. Thank you for your listening ear, so very helpful when spending time alone. It's such a wonderful and needed gift you offer.
Here's to buds that risk blooming, butterflies, and very delicious juicy pears!”
Empty coffee cup in outdoor street seating.
My 'retreat' in Ljublijana

Wreath making workshop

Once again we will be making beautiful festive wreaths facilitated by the wonderfully creative Lindsey Morgan-Lundie. Only 12 spaces. Last year got booked up very quickly. Just saying;)

Sunday 10th December, 5-9pm. Tickets are £30 suggested donation, including refreshments and materials.

Loss Quiet Day

In Spring we’ll be running a quiet day for those who have been bereaved. The day will focus on working with clay in the beautiful surroundings of Treargel, helping us to reflect, talk and learn about grief and our journey. This will be co-facilitated with a team from the charity Loss and Life. The date and details are to be arranged, so it would be useful to know if you are interested, so we can plan accordingly.

Cup of coffee on table by beach.
Talland Beach


We welcome groups coming for the day to Treargel. We can cater for up to 15 people. You can lead this yourself or I can run reflections on Journeys, Breathing Deeply, or others from the website. These reflections have neutral language so anyone can use them, including those with a particular faith and those not. Book here.

Or book your own individual quiet day. Either using your own material or ours. Come and enjoy our gardens, woods, labyrinth and Shepherd’s Hut or Hermitage for the day.

Email us to book.


Thank you so much for subscribing to this bi-monthly blog.

If you no longer want to receive the blog, please feel free to email us with the heading ‘unsubscribe’, it’s been great having you with us on the journey.

If you want to carry on, please email saying ‘continue’.

I will keep your details for 5 years and then delete them if there’s been no contact.

Thanks again for your continued support and I look forward to hearing from you or your friends at some point soon.

The Last Word

We had a very busy summer, with many guests enjoying the coastal path, our labyrinth and wild swimming. Here’s what our September guest wrote in the book.

“The second that I stopped and sat at the sanctuary that is The Hermitage; the soothing power of nature washed over me like a balm.The sound of nature took me back to an ancient place of gentle rhythms.
I found myself totally absorbed in the sound of the running water, watching the adolescent moorhens going about their business, feeding and making gentle noises, oblivious to me. And as I sat, I envied them then, the simplicity of their existence.
At dusk a dragonfly hovered right in front of my face, checking me out. I could hear intensively the vibrations of its wings.My heart, the night, and its inhabitants started to wind down, enveloping me in calm.
Then a Tawny Owl, a female I think, was calling to the dark, waiting for a response, none came tonight. The bright moon and the stars came out, timeless in ‘its’ beauty.
Time stood still …”


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