Be Calm, Be Happy Weekend Retreat


23oct(oct 23)6:30 pm25(oct 25)4:00 pmBe Calm, Be Happy Weekend Retreat6:30 pm - 4:00 pm (25) BST

Event Details

Course Overview

Be Calm, Be Happy provides a gradual introduction to mindfulness and meditation and key teachings on positive happy living over six sessions, which will be covered throughout the online retreat. The course includes guided mindfulness exercises and meditations, group discussions and practical exercises led by experienced facilitators in a warm, friendly atmosphere. There will be a maximum of 40 people attending the course, with a ‘Family’ group in each session where you will meet with a smaller group of 8-10 people. The Family group will be the same throughout the weekend.

One of the Family groups will be facilitated by Katie Sheen, who will also be leading the Mindful Eating and Deep Relaxation elements of the Retreat.

Be Calm Be Happy mindfulness course

Information about the retreat

This online retreat covers 6 sessions of the Be Calm Be Happy course, from Friday evening at 18.30 to Sunday afternoon at 16.00. Each session lasts a maximum of 2 hours including a 15-minute comfort break to give you time to stretch and move away from the screen.

Fri 18.30 – 20.30 Session 1
Sat 09.30 – 11.30 Session 2
Sat 13.30 – 15.30 Session 3
Sat 18.30 – 20.00 Session 4
Sun 10.00 – 12.00 Session 5
Sun 14.00 – 16.00 Session 6

These are the online timings, but you will also be recommended to practise one of the guided meditations outside of these times. In the first session we will indicate how to access all the course materials.

Course content

Session 1: Stopping and calming

Session 2: Turning to the positive

Session 3: Loving communication

Session 4: Nourishing happiness

Session 5: Interdependence and community

Session 6: Guidelines for a happier life

Reported benefits

  • Increased enjoyment of life
  • Increased ability to be calm and relaxed
  • Increased control of emotions such as anger and anxiety
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Fewer feelings of anxiety and depression

Plum Village weekend retreat

Who can attend

This retreat is suitable for beginners, as well as those wishing to refresh their mindfulness practice. It is suitable for those of all faiths and none. Our course participants come from a wide range of backgrounds. Many of our participants are keen to learn new ways to look after their own well-being and to identify positive responses to challenging situations.

Please be aware that the retreat can raise emotional issues. Whilst mindfulness can be helpful with ordinary anxiety and low mood, this retreat is not suitable for people with extreme anxiety, severe depression, psychosis or personality disorder. The retreat is not intended to provide a therapeutic environment, and is not a substitute for ongoing medical support.

Proposed Commitment

Participants are expected to attend all 6 sessions from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon.

Course Leaders

The course leaders for this course are Dr. Lauri Bower and Vari McLuskie.

Picture of course leader, Lauri

Lauri has been practising meditation for 30 years and met Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings in 2006, from which point she committed to putting mindfulness practice at the centre of her life. In 2008 she began researching a Ph.D. on Thich Nhat Hanh and his teachings of mindfulness and Engaged Buddhism. With her Ph.D. complete Lauri began teaching mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) courses and is delighted to bring this experience to a course devoted to the Plum Village mindfulness tradition. Mindfulness has become a crucial aspect in Lauri’s life and she has experienced firsthand the healing and transformational aspects of this practice. Lauri has also been teaching mindfulness for 5 years and is continually inspired by the positive changes that it can bring. She has 15 years experience of running retreats.

Vari was ordained by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh in 1995 into the Order of Interbeing and as a lay Dharma teacher in 2012. Vari arrived home on her first Plum Village mindfulness retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh in 1990. Life became brighter, calmer, more enjoyable and understandable. She began to recognise how, supported by a mindfulness practice community, she could cultivate peace, love, and understanding in herself every day. It was clear that developing these qualities in herself also truly benefitted others. She put mindfulness practice and sangha at the centre of her life. Bit by bit; building her practice, accepting her shortcomings, encouraging herself through the difficulties – perceived and otherwise.

Through difficult times in her life she has practiced seeing that there cannot be happiness without suffering (“no mud, no lotus”)– through the premature death of a beloved friend, through the sudden deaths of my parents, through the challenges of parenthood, through work and health challenges.

Vari has been an ordained Dharma teacher since 2012 and combines this responsibility with work as a Strategic Consultant. She has shared mindfulness in corporate settings, with female offenders and victims of sexual abuse as well as through Plum Village UK retreats and the Be Calm, Be Happy courses which she co-developed. Vari is based in the Midlands having lived many years in London.

Tickets and Pricing

£30: Supported Ticket, unwaged

£60: Concession Ticket, low income

£95: Standard Ticket, breakeven price

£130: Supporter Rate – this ticket helps us to be able to offer ‘concession’ places on our courses.

£160: Sponsor Rate – this ticket further helps us to be able to offer ‘supported’ places on our courses.

We ask you to consider carefully what you can realistically afford without depriving yourself and your family or dependents. Supported and Concession Tickets are intended for those who are unwaged, have a low household income and/or limited funds available. In offering a range of ticket prices we aim to make the retreat available to as many people as possible.

What further information will I receive?

All our retreat attendees will receive an email after they have purchased their ticket, confirming their place on the retreat. A further email will be sent nearer the time with the Zoom link to access the course.

What is your cancellation policy?

If you cancel your booking at least 7 days before the start of the retreat we will refund your full course fee minus a £15 administration fee.

If you cancel your booking less than 7 days before the start of the retreat we will issue a 50% refund of the course fee.

Once the retreat has started no refunds will be issued.

Contact Information

Should you have any further questions please do email us at:



23 (Friday) 6:30 pm - 25 (Sunday) 4:00 pm BST