Autumn Equinox Retreat

Mindfulness & Compassion Autumn Equinox Retreat 

Explore your mindfulness practice, touch into the roots of compassion and, be refreshed by the fall colours of the natural world.

September 25, 26, 27 | 2020
Chatsworth, Ontario
Cost: $250

Register Here

includes all meals. 
Thanks to a generous community donor for supporting our annual autumn retreat.

COVID-19 UPDATE: Please note that we are taking into consideration the current situation regarding COVID-19. At this time, we are still accepting registrations for the Autumn Equinox Retreat, 2020. If for any reason the situation changes and the retreat is postponed or cancelled this year, you will have the option of receiving a refund for all payments made for the Autumn Equinox Retreat, 2020 OR receiving a credit for use in future Autumn Equinox Retreat, 2020/Sarana Institute programs. We truly hope to see you all in September and we are doing absolutely everything we can to make it happen.


  • Tend to Mindfulness daily with both seated and trail walking practices
  • Contemplate Compassion for self and others
  • Practice Deep Listening with this partially silent retreat
  • Explore and Encounter nature on its own terms
  • Revitalize with locally catered, mostly organic meals
  • Customize Your Stay with camping, retreat cabins or B&B options
  • Leave Renewed and Refreshed

Mindfulness + Compassion Skills with Nature build a foundation for loving kindness and a deepening our sense of interrelation and oneness.

Including nature in our reflective and practice time allows us to deepen and expand our heart awareness towards all beings.  Sarana Springs is set in a beautiful with a wilderness environment, where fresh water springs carve creeks throughout the property and where a small lake, ponds and river remind us how water sustains all life. Here, as our practice expands to sense into the roots of suffering, we share as a community the role of developing kindness, tenderly turning towards our vulnerability, and meeting forgiveness as a means for sustaining our selves and for extending this loving awareness towards our world.

Admin Contact for Retreat Inquiries:  519.270.7450

Program Location at Sarana Springs near Chatsworth, Ontario.

Sarana Springs is approximately a 2.5 hour drive from Toronto, north of Markdale and south of Owen Sound, located on 171 acres of sprawling wilderness, wetland, and meadow.
Scroll Down for where to stay options.

Opening Our Tender Heart to Compassion

With guided meditation instruction and practice in our temple barn, time for personal contemplation and insight, and a retreat structure that supports our wandering minds, we peer into the reflections that appear in our mind.

Mindfulness grounds our attention into the present moment and reminds us to come back when we drift away.  Practicing compassion is both a inner feeling response to suffering, ours or another, as well as  offering  kind actions that arising from our heart’s empathy.  During this weekend of group practice,  we will also reflect on our relationship outwardly to the world of all beings that support us, where we find our gratitude and the realization that we are not separate but rather interconnected in web of interdependence.

I greatly appreciated the immensely beautiful setting I found myself on at the Sarana Spring retreat. It is simply beautiful. The ‘barn’ temple is simple but rich in detail and interest. I found the teaching on compassion relevant, wise, inspiring and heartfelt. I left the retreat felling full in heart, emotionally connected and a with a deep feeling of calm in my body. Andrew’s teaching have positively influenced my meditation practice. I continue to be inspired by the practice of kind attention toward myself. – Nina Andic

Thank you to Andrew and his team for a weekend of healing words, food and insight into self-compassion.  The stories and teaching shared throughout the weekend were tangible and left me feeling restored and hopeful for transformation.  – Lisa Hawthornthwaite

Where to Stay:

On site: payment made by cash or cheque the day of to Angie Di Iorio Blake

  • Tenting: $25 per night
  • Off Grid Retreat Cabins: Please contact us to check availability. $50 per night. Bring your own bedding.

Off site:

Planning your trip:

  • Plan to arrive in the area between 2 – 4:30 pm on Friday. We will gather at the Barn Temple  at 5 pm, followed by dinner and our evening session.
  • Morning sitting begins at 7 am with breakfast, lunch and dinner served on site to support your inward time.
  • Program ends by 4:00 pm Sunday.

Further Info:

On Being Compassionate:
by (Rev.) Andrew Blake

With practice, we learn to be with the qualities present in our moment-by-moment experience, and then with more curiousity and perseverance, we learn to touch into the roots of a reactive emotion or a strong trigger that sets us off into fear, sadness, jealousy, or rage. Slowing down brings us greater awareness of these states and, through this first skill of mindfulness, we learn that we can let them go in any given moment. This gradually brings us ease, acceptance and greater trust of emotionally states. This is not control, but rather what in neuroscience is called “regulation.” But how to we understand the roots of our emotions and even transform those old prickly triggers? How do we direct compassion and kindness to our own reactions and suffering? This is where your meditation cushion hits the pavement…continue reading here.