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Kim Bennett

Hello, I'm Kim and I started Serenity Retreat back in 2010. I am a big fan of meditation and mindfulness practices because of my own experience in how useful they've been in smoothing my relationship to life's lumps and bumps. I've become much better at using and trusting my internal satnav but also in the Art of Letting Go (always a work in progress, mind).

I have really come to love Zen for its straightforward, clear seeing approach. It asks us to get right to the heart of the matter - what's our DIRECT experience of life? I try my best to pass this on in my own words until it's time for the words to stop and we investigate for ourselves. As much as I love Zen, I have also come to see that there are some other beautiful practices out there in the world and that there is space for all of it. So I've cherry picked over the years. You, without question, are your own highest authority. You have the answers you're looking for. It's a question of getting used to being quiet and listening. I hope to show you how that can be possible.

Feedback from Kim's courses:

Kim is a wonderful, warm, likable teacher and guide, explaining things in an accessible down-to-earth way, sharing generously from her own life experience.

Kim brings a full-colour description of her life wisdom. I found I could grab hold of what we were exploring rather than it slipping through my fingers or over my head, that's down to Kim.

Kim's approach set the bar for the environment of the guests by her honesty and non judgemental style.

Jane Matthews

Jane is an accredited teacher of Louise Hay’s Heal Your Life programmes, a life coach and author of self-help books. As well as the popular You Can Heal Your Life courses she runs workshops in self esteem, meditation and prosperity.

She's also a truly lovely human being. We love having her here at Serenity Retreat. She's been a long time friend of ours and we really value her integrity and her innate kindness. Being in her company is a salve for the soul all on its own.

Jane’s latest book Living Softly is in the pipeline. Her other highly recommended book - Have the Best Year of Your Life - was published in September 2010. Her website is

Feedback from Jane's courses:

The perfect mix of personal and spiritual development.

The course was brilliant and professionally run.

The course was very well constructed, prepared and Jane is the perfect teacher, allowing everyone a voice but gently challenging us all.

Jane offered herself from the heart and from a place of relationship with self and others. The presence of her compassion was tangible.

Kevin Pickard

Kevin is an all round good guy. I've known him for some time as we're part of the same Zen community. We both came to the same conclusion at the same time that a new approach to an age-old question might be useful; the Compassion- Based Who Am I? course was born (we're still working on the title...).

Kevin first studied Buddhist meditation as an undergraduate student in the late 1980s and early 1990s and formally became a Zen Buddhist in 1997. In 2017 he became a junior-level teacher in the Rinzai Zen tradition and teaches under the guidance of Daizan Roshi. He is a also a qualified Zen Yoga teacher.

He works as a Psychotherapist in the NHS and has a particular interest in the application of Zen to psychological and spiritual wellbeing for individuals and their relationships. He is developing a number of courses in this area (ours being one of them).

He has a wide knowledge and experience of several schools of Buddhism, Taoist and Buddhist healing and energy practices, and a number of schools of psychotherapy, including Buddhist psychotherapy.

He facilitates a small meditation group in Poole, Dorset based around the premise that we are all unique and can all benefit from developing our own individual approaches to mindfulness and meditation. Kevin draws on a wide range of meditation approaches and both Western and Buddhist psychology in his teaching.

Feedback from Kevin’s courses:

Perfectly pitched and very well explained, it was particularly helpful to me as a meditation teacher.

I really like the fact that you balance taking this all seriously and clearly having a lot of knowledge, with being able to be quite irreverent and down to earth about it.

Nice energy, well presented, good combination of teaching and discussion. Really enjoyable!




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