Frequently Asked Questions

See more information here (pdf document).

If you cancel a retreat booking it will be possible to recieve a refund or transfer the booking fee to another retreat within 12 months, provided you give us at least 1 month’s notice from the start of the retreat you are cancelling. After which booking fees are only transferable under special circumstances.  See our full cancellations and transfers policy here.

Our retreats are for people aged 18 and over.

  • Please bring your own towel.
  • Comfortable, loose-fitting clothes are usually best for meditation.
  • Slippers or indoor shoes.
  • Waterproofs, outdoor clothing and suitable footwear for walking will be useful if you are planning to explore the area.
  • A watch or travel clock is useful and will allow you to turn off your mobile for the retreat.

Please note that we cannot accept any liability for your personal possessions while you are staying at Dhanakosa.

To make the most of being on retreat please do not bring work with you. We also recommend you leave behind newspapers and the media generally. If you want to read bring something inspirational, rather than something 'distracting'. 

We also ask you to turn off your mobile phone and laptop/tablet. Leave behind the internet! Make sure you have confirmed and forward travel arrangements before you arrive and let your friends and family know you will be off line for the period of your stay.   

If being out of contact for a week is going to be a problem for friends or family, let our office team know and we will make sure you have access to the necessary communication links. In case of emergencies, family and friends can call our office number +44 (0)1877 384 213 if they need to reach you.

No. Our introductory retreats are a great way to learn meditation and other activities, such as hillwalking and yoga.  These retreats are open to all, suitable for both beginners and those with more experience. You will likely find on an introductory retreat people with a mix of experience of meditation - from none to infrequent to more regular.

Each morning begins with meditation, after which there is breakfast. In the mid-mornings there will usually be an activity related to the theme of the retreat, followed by lunch.

There will be a few hours of free time in the afternoon so that you can explore the beautiful countryside around the retreat centre.

In the evenings, after dinner, there are often talks from the retreat leaders on Buddhism and meditation, discussion groups, or activities related to the theme of the retreat. On week long retreats there will also be periods of silence introduced.

There will be a rota for work duties like washing up, usually for half an hour or so each day. On week long retreats there will also be a work period of one and a half to two hours where we ask people to help the retreat centre team with jobs such as cleaning, gardening and general maintenance.

Yes, on all of our retreats there are some periods of silence observed. Generally on an introductory retreat these periods would be relatively short, and you would be informed beforehand. It is always possible to find a member of the retreat team if you have specific needs during the silent periods.

Silence is a practice of being with others, in a simpler way, without the need to communicate beyond what is necessary practically. Retreat offers an opportunity to practice with keeping silence, and be with what arises for you, in a supportive context.

Yes. These retreats are more intensive than introductory retreats and although there will be meditation teaching some experience of meditation practice is a necessary foundation prior to coming. We recommend you have already attended at least a one week retreat and have a regular meditation practice. We do not assume however that your previous experience is with the Triratna Buddhist Community.

The programme will vary according to the teacher but is likely to be 5 or 6 hours of meditation a day broken down into sitting periods of between 30 and 45 minutes, often interspersed with walking meditation. The retreat is also likely to be mostly or wholly in silence. There will normally be talks from the retreat leader, and there may be opportunities for meditation interviews.

There will be a rota for work duties like washing up, usually for half an hour or so each day. There will also be a work period of one and a half to two hours each week usually doing domestic or gardening jobs.

No, we do not require you to have any background in Buddhism to attend an introductory retreat, or declare yourself a Buddhist to attend any of our retreats.

See our dana economy page for more information about coming on retreat and making a donation.

Retreat are normally led by experienced meditation teachers from the Triratna Buddhist Community but may also be led by teachers from outside Triratna, by people who have specialities in the specific retreat theme, such as yoga, or tai chi. The teacher leading the retreat is named on the retreat information pages (see the retreat calendar page) and, where available, a profile of the teacher can be found on individual retreat pages (accessible from the retreat calendar).

Generally on all of our retreats, there is free time in the afternoons for exploring the area around Dhanakosa, or resting.

We accept credit and debit cards, cheques and cash for donations, and bookstore purchases during the course of the retreat.

Please arrive only between 5-7pm on the day the retreat starts as we will not have reception outside of this time. Please let us know if you are arriving later than 7pm so that we can save some dinner for you.

Week long retreats will end at approximately 11am on the final day. Return travel should be booked leaving Stirling after 1pm, return flights should be no earlier than 4pm. Weekend retreats will finish around 3 – 4pm on the Sunday.

We ask that retreatants come for the entire duration of the retreat. Arriving late or leaving early disrupts the retreat for everyone and breaks up the sense of community that can develop between the participants over the retreat.

Coming on retreat is an opportunity to take a break from technology. We ask people to turn off their mobile phones (most mobiles have no reception here in the glen anyway) and not to bring laptops or tablets (there is no wifi or internet access available in the retreat centre).

If being out of contact for a week is going to be a problem for friends or family, let our office team know and we will make sure you have access to the necessary communication links.  In case of emergencies, family and friends can call our office number +44 (0)1877 384 213 if they need to reach you.

Make sure you have booked and confirmed your return travel arrangements before you arrive and let your friends and family know you will be off line for the period of your stay.   


All food is included in your retreat programme. The food is vegan (meaning vegetarian and without eggs or dairy) and is both tasty and wholesome. We provide soya milk for your hot drinks.

There will be someone cooking for you, but you will be asked to help with washing up.

If you have a genuine medical need, such as celiac or gluten allergy for example, then we are able to cater for your dietary needs.  Please inform the office staff when you make your booking of your specific needs.

If you need to bring your own food, please discuss this with us beforehand, so we can determine if there is space available to accommodate your needs.  We are aware that occasionally people have specific dietary needs that involve the regular consumption of meat or fish protein. Although this conflicts with our vegan retreat centre policy, we do not want unnecessary attendance barriers for people with special needs. For more information see here and please contact the office to discuss your needs.

Sleeping arrangements on all of our retreats are generally on a single gender basis, and it is not possible to share with your opposite gender partner, and we encourage same gender partners to let us know when they book, as we will place you in separate rooms.  If you have any questions about this, please call the office.

Dhanakosa is an ex-hotel, is centrally heated and generally very comfortable. You are likely to be sharing a room with between 1 and 3 other people of the same gender. Most rooms have en-suite bath/shower rooms. Some rooms have bunk beds, please let us know at the time of booking if you have mobility issues which would make using a bunk bed uncomfortable.

We have a very limited number of single rooms, usually only 2 per retreat. Single rooms cannot be booked online, please call the office to ask about availability.

If you have mobility or other health issues that mean you may have special accommodation requirements please discuss these with our office team prior to booking so we can ensure we can properly accommodate your needs.

There are usually between 15 and 25 people on retreat, including the team.


There are 12 bedrooms in the retreat centre, most of them are shared occupancy with 1-3 other people, and some rooms have bunk beds. Many of the shared rooms also have en-suite bathrooms with lockable doors. The communal bathrooms are all ungendered with lockable doors/stalls.

If you identify as trans or non-binary and have questions about accommodation we encourage you to contact us. Some people may prefer a single room and you are welcome to request one. Our single rooms are limited, usually only 2 per retreat, and they do book quickly. To request a single room you need to call or email us, you cannot book a single room online.

Our shared rooms are usually allocated on the basis of gender. On booking we will ask you to describe your gender, if you identify as non-binary we ask you to get in touch to discuss your needs and to make sure we can comfortably accommodate you.

We do have space for one or two people on retreat to camp on our lawn. You will need to bring your own tent, sleeping bag and mattress.

Please contact the office if you would like to camp, so we can accommodate this.

Introductory retreats are relaxed and enjoyable and we try to keep rules to a minimum. If you are having difficulty with the program you can discuss your needs with the retreat leader. We do ask people to refrain from alcohol, illicit drugs, meat-eating and sexual activity during the retreat.

Smokers are asked not to smoke on the premises but may do so outside the main gate (this includes electronic cigarettes).  Pets are not allowed at Dhanakosa.

In order to get the most out of your retreat we ask that you turn off your mobile phone (most mobile phones do not work here in the glen anyway) and keep contact with friends and family to a minimum during your stay.

Since having our extension built in 2012, we now have some ground floor rooms and a bathroom accessible for those with physical disabilities. The shrine room is acccessed up a small slope. Please get in touch with us to discuss your access needs.

There are no facilities for retreatants to wash clothes, except in a sink, so we do advise you to bring adequate and appropriate clothing for the retreat you are attending.

The weather at Dhanakosa can be quite unpredictable, so we do recommend coming prepared for all eventualities, which means bring your waterproofs!

Insects including midges, ticks and horseflies are seasonal (late spring to early autumn for most).

Generally we discourage folks from bringing instruments on retreat with them, as it can be a source of additional distraction to themselves and others.

There are one or two retreats in which this would be appropriate due to the nature of the retreat and this will be clearly stated in the retreat information sheet you receive when you register, and do contact the office if you are unsure.

While we all generally love canines, we cannot accommodate pet dogs here at the retreat centre.  Guide dogs or other assistance dogs may be able to be accommodated but please contact the office before booking your retreat so we can discuss your needs.

In order to get the most out of the retreat we do ask that you have a reasonable expectation of being able to attend all scheduled activities.  However we recognise that this will not always be possible.  If you have any concerns about your ability to attend the program please call the office to discuss your needs and we will be able to advise you accordingly. 

You are welcome to come to Dhanakosa on retreat if you are pregnant, however our primary concern in someone attending a retreat is their own wellbeing; so please consider your own general health and stage of pregnancy when deciding whether to come on retreat. It is important to know that Dhanakosa is in a rural location; half an hour’s drive from the nearest doctors’ surgery, with a minimum 25-minute call out time for an ambulance and is 1 hour 15 minutes from the nearest A&E. Furthermore, retreat team members are not medically trained.

Pregnancy and yoga or bodywork retreats

If you are pregnant and considering attending a yoga or bodywork retreat please call or email the office in advance to discuss your needs. Whilst bodywork can be beneficial for women who are pregnant, suitability for these classes is assessed on an individual basis depending on trimester and any other health conditions or complications (along with the level of training in this area of the teacher); we will usually put you in contact with the yoga or bodywork teacher for the retreat who will be able to advise.

*Please note it is not advised for Yoga to be practiced in the 1st Trimester due to risk of miscarriage.