... is the meditation and healing centre established by Sonia Moriceau and her partner Ad Brugman since 1985
The Orchard is situated on the borders of England and Wales near the Black Mountains and close to the Golden Valley. Its setting is rural and peaceful with a touch of wilderness without being remote.
The centre offers a spacious and beautiful zendo for practice and comfortable, simple accommodation for up to 15 people.
From 1997 to 2003 it was the chosen venue in the UK for the late Venerable NAMGYAL RINPOCHE to hold his retreats, a place of refuge where the practice of mindfulness is tangible.
Hereford HR2 0HP
Tel: 01873 860 207
If you would like to contact Sonia please click here
from Germany: 0044 - 1873 860 207
from Switzerland: 0044 - 1873 860 207
from France: 1944 - 1873 860 207
What to bring
- a watch or clock for time keeping
- loose, easy fitting clothing for exercises, like track suit, martial art outfit, or the like
- waterproofs,wellies or walking boots for outdoor activities
- open sandals or flip-flops for pacing outside
- No shoes are allowed in the house, so you may want to bring slippers or thick socks.
- your meditation stool or cushion if you have one
- pens and paper for making notes
- drawing materials
- bedding: blankets and duvets are available; you would need to bring your own single sheets and/or single duvet-cover or a sleeping bag, and pillow case
- usual toiletries, including towel
The Orchard Sangha
The Orchard Sangha is a group of students who study mindfulness practices at The Orchard Dharma Centre under the guidance of Sonia Moriceau and Ad Brugman.
For more information: www.orchardsangha.com
Bursaries from The Orchard Sangha Bursary Funds can be obtained to cover part of the course fees for any retreat either with Sonia or Ad at The Orchard.
Enquiries, contact Gini at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are looking for server meditators to cook during courses and retreats.
As a server meditator you will be responsible to cook lunch and dinner with the help for one hour a day of one or two students. In total this responsibility would take you up to 3 hours a day. In exchange for your work you will be given free food and lodging. You would still need to cover some of the course fee at a reduced rate of £15 per day and the offering of dana for the teaching still applies.
If you are interested, please contact The Orchard as soon as possible.
For all the meditation courses and retreats I am introducing the parami of Dana. Dana is a Pali word meaning: “liberality, generosity, offering” and is the first of the “Six Paramis”, ”theThe virtues that helps us go further”.
Dana is the antidote to holding on and egoism or self-referencing. The Ven. Namgyal Rinpoche stressed this first virtue as most important to make genuine changes in one’s life. To turn one’s mind to the welfare of others through offering, giving, brings about a loosening of the self-referencing of “I, Me and Mine”. It is the opposite of the attitude of poverty, where one sees the world in terms of lacks rather than offerings and openings.
So, I invite you to join in this practice of spontaneous offering and opening, of trusting that as we freely give, in turn we are so nurtured.
by Alison, The Orchard Oct. ‘05
“ My experience of dana as appreciation for the teachings has changed and deepened and I am sure it will continue to do so.
Often, before a retreat, I try to work out how much money to bring. There is often some fear involved about work being scarce, etc.
Then I come on the retreat and am bowled over by the richness and preciousness of what I have received. It is always beyond what I could have imagined. The fear falls away and I feel able to joyfully offer from an open heart what I truly have to give.
The teaching that Sonia as shared with me has brought me more happiness, healing and freedom than I could ever have imagined. There is no way I can “repay” what I have received, but I can offer what I have.
Two pitfalls I have encountered are holding back through fear or coming from the intention of seeking approval. The way I find the “right” amount to give is to use the feeling in the body and mind. Creating some calm and then feeling into how much to offer. The “right” amount always has a light, happy feeling in the body and mind.
More recently an aspect of dana I have come to appreciate is the feeling of “joining”. That the student and teacher form a partnership which is about growing. That we do it together and also that this support goes out into the world. So all the teaching and support I receive also reaches all the people and situations I am in contact with in my life. By supporting the Teacher, it is helping her to support the many other beings she is offering help to. We are part of a movement towards wholeness.”
How to get to The Orchard
From either Abergavenny or Hereford take the A465.
At Pontrilas which is about halfway between the two towns, take the B4347, sign posted Ewyas Harold, Abbey Dore, etc. Then take the first on your left towards the centre of Ewyas Harold village, sign posted Longtown and Dulas. After about 3 miles turn right at signpost for Lower-Maescoed.
Proceed for another half mile and turn right at the phone box.
The Orchard is on your right after about 100 metres.
From Hay-on-Wye take the B4348 to Peterchurch.
A few miles after Peterchurch take the B4347 to Abbey Dore and Pontrilas which takes you to Ewyas Harold from where you follow direction Longtown and Dulas as described above.
The nearest railway stations are Hereford & Abergavenny. Coming from the north, aim for Hereford; coming from London or the south, aim for Abergavenny.
There are local bus services (except on Sundays) from either town to Pontrilas from where you can be picked up by us.
Buses from Hereford to Pontrilas: depart every two hours from 08.30 to 14.30 and then at 16.10, 17.20 and last bus at 18.05 (Bus X3/4, destination Cardiff).
Buses from Abergavenny to Pontrilas: depart every two hours from 07.20, then from 09.30, to the last one at 17.20 (Bus X3/4, destination Hereford).
In both cases the bus journey takes about 30 minutes.
National Express Coaches from London Victoria to Hereford, or to Newport/Gwent and from there by train to Abergavenny.
If you don't have a car we strongly recommend that you get in touch with someone else on the course who travels by car and is able to give you a lift.
You can also get a taxi from Hereford or Abergavenny. There are taxis at the stations but it may save you time and money to prearrange a taxi:
Abbey Cars on 01981 570 301;
from Abergavenny you can also try Premier Taxis on 07958 908 743.
All above companies know the Orchard.
Travel Arrangements for Travellers from Abroad
The nearest airports are Bristol, Birmingham and Cardiff; you could also fly to London but that means a longer and more expensive journey by train once in England:
take the coach (Rail-Air Link) to Reading and from there the train to Newport (direction Swansea/Cardiff), change at Newport for Abergavenny,or
take the National Express coach from Heathrow to Newport, and then the train to Abergavenny
Travelling time around 3 hours.
National Express Coaches London HR to Hereford (service number NX413), but not always direct (direct takes ca.4 hours, via Gloucester takes 5 and via London Victoria takes 6 hours). In comparison by train from London HR to Abergavenny takes about 3 hours.
other London Airports:
take a train to London, then by underground to London-Paddington station
take the Intercity train from London-Paddington to Newport/Gwent (destination Swansea/Cardiff). Change at Newport for Abergavenny.
or, take National Express coach from London-Victoria to Newport, and then the train to Abergavenny.
Travelling time 3 to 4 hours.
: arrival in London-Waterloo
take the metro/tube to London-Paddington
from London-Paddington, take the train to Newport (Gwent)/Destination Swansea/Cardiff. Or the National Express coach (see above)
change in Newport for the train to Abergavenny
take the train from Birmingham airport/International to Birmingham - New Street, from there take the train to Hereford.
Travelling time 2 to 2 hours 30 mins.
National Express Coaches now also has a limited coach service from Birmingham direct to Pontrilas: Coach service number: NX321
take the bus (or taxi) to Bristol Temple Mead station
from Bristol Temple Mead, take the train to Newport. Change at Newport for Abergavenny
Travelling time about 2 hours
take the bus (or taxi) to Cardiff station
take the train from Cardiff to Abergavenny
Travelling time about 2 hours
to arrange your train
tickets, etc. before travelling as that will be cheaper.
Always take a return ticket as they are valid for one month.
In general taking the National Express Coaches will be cheaper than the train.
us know your time of arrival in Hereford or in Abergavenny and we will
then try to pick you up. Otherwise take the bus to Pontrilas where
we can pick you up.
In case we are not available, you might need to take a taxi to The Orchard, see taxi details above.