Cabot Shores Retreats

What do we mean by Retreat and why would one participate in one?

The word retreat suggests a temporary pulling back from the demands of one’s everyday life. Its purpose is to create space and time away to focus on something specific – to perhaps learn something new, such as a musical instrument,  or to deepen one’s  understanding or skill of something such as painting or yoga or meditation, or to connecting with others around a particular issue. Such a  retreat creates a kind of container that keeps out distractions, allowing one to relax into a more open mind, focus on a certain activity (or non-activity), and take time for reflection. Apart from deepening one’s skills in an area of focus, the result of such a process can include a sense of reconnecting with oneself and one’s purpose in life, a deeper sense of appreciation and more clarity. Having accomplished this, we then return into our everyday lives with more to offer.


In addition to types of retreats here, we also we also offer our guest the unique opportunity to incorporate aspects of a retreat into every day of their stay with us.

How do we do this? And what would be the purpose of participating in this process?

As to the how: One could begin by waking up one’s body and senses with a brief Morning in Motion class based on Qi Gong; and continue with a brief meditation and contemplation session setting the tone and intention for the day. One could choose to journal about the day’s experiences and exchange with others at the end of the day. One could also kayak or yolo-board, hike, spend time in the gardens, or play music, engage in contemplative photography, write…the how’s are up to you – allowing the internal chatter to slow down, and coming into the present moment.

The opportunities for opening the senses to the natural world here are endless.  Feeling the bite of the of the wind, taking in the power and the vastness of the sky and ocean, or immersing yourself  in the night sky all are powerful experiences that awaking a part of us we may not ordinarily be in touch with.

Moreover, we encourage guests to approach adventures on land and water from a retreat perspective: With an open mind, willing to move a bit beyond one’s comfort zone, with support and focus – enjoyment guaranteed!

So the purpose of this kind of retreating is to be more present to our lives –  on the road and at home.

Cabot Shores also offers a variety of Group Retreats such as our annual Breast Cancer Action NS Survivors’ Retreat,  Yoga and other Healing Arts, Writing and Shambhala meditation retreats. Your group may want to bring its own facilitators for a retreat of your own choosing, such as a team building, professional or social action retreat. Or you may want us to help you structure your group retreat from a menu we provide; or you can incorporate both of these possibilities.

We can help you design a Personal Retreat tailored to your needs. Personal retreats are intended for individuals, couples, friends, mothers/daughters etc.  For personal retreats, you tell us what you want to focus on, then choose from a menu of options including Healing Arts, outdoor adventures,  cultural experiences, culinary adventures, or tours to such places as Glooscap Cave, Kalapa Valley and other spiritual places on Cape Breton, occasionally participate in Native ceremony or during July & August, a visit to Gampo Abbey.

Personal Retreats can be scheduled for any time of the year. Please inquire in advance.


Upcoming Retreats

*July 2012: Retreat Yourself, Young Adult Cancer Canada East Coast Retreat

* September 22-23, 2012: Shambhala Harvest of Peace:

Harvest of Peace Gathering
Saturday, September 22, 2012,
at Cabot Shores, Cape Breton Island


2pm onward – Arrival, set up your tent, or settle into a chalet*
4pm – Gather for sitting practice and to hear the Sakyong’s Address
6pm – Prepare potluck dinner together,  start bonfire

Everyone is asked to bring a main dish or salad or dessert (enough for 6 people) plus a drink to share. If you plan to stay over, please also bring a breakfast item to share.

6:30pm – Dinner around the fire
7:30pm – Salon around the fire

Sunday Morning:  Shamatha Yoga and Warrior Walk, stay around for swimming and Kayaking/Canoeing

All are Welcome!

*Cost—Tenting: $10;  “Camp out”  in a chalet: $20 per person (please bring bedding/towel);  rooms in the lodge or private chalets are also available; Attend just for the afternoon & evening: $5,

For information and to register contact Barbara,, or call 902- 929- 2584 — Barbara is also organizing the potluck – please let her know what dish you plan to bring.


* September 12-18, 2012: Road Scholar Cultural Adventures
* September 29-30, 2012: Yoga Retreat

* October 9-14, 2012: Road Scholar Cultural Adventures
* October 19-21, 2012 – Breast Cancer Action Nova Scotia Cape Breton Survivor Retreat

* October 26-28, 2012 – Shambhala Werma Practice weekend

Past Retreats

Shambhala Werma Practice Weekend

BCANS retreat

ICEAP Leadership Training Retreat

Univ. Kings College Team Building Retreat

Women’s Writing Retreat

Katimavik Retreat

Native nutrition retreat

What our Guests say

From a BCANS retreat participant: ” A Retreat for the soul! Barbara is a gentle gift for those who enjoy Qi Gong and meditation. Paul is an amazing wilderness guide and took us on a hike that filled our senses with the great outdoors and left us rejuvenated and in awe with all we took in”.

From a participant of a Team Building retreat: “Both the Main lodge and the Farm House served us well for our training sessions and for general relaxing.”

From guests who incorporated some retreat aspects into every day of their stay with us: “They offer a range of community experiences to satisfy the outer and inner life. we started most mornings with Barbara leading us in a Qi Gong class followed by a short session of guided sitting meditation – it was a great way to get centered for a new day of exploring Cape Breton”.

From a woman  who did a mother-daughter personal retreat with us: “the stop smoking and drinking worked for (my daughter) in anticipation of beginning a family.  And like her mother she was instantly pregnant!!!!!…You were an angel in our lives at exactly the right moment and for that we will always be grateful”.

From one of the Werma Practice Weekend participants: “Thanks again for the weekend. What a great way to spend it practicing”.

From a woman who did a personal retreat with us: “Thank you for the restful (and adventurous) weekend! What a lovely mix of acupuncture, Qi Gong, reading, journaling and communing with nature. What a gift!”

From a guest who experienced a therapeutic massage: “The acupressure massage was lovely and left me feeling very peaceful. Hope to be back soon”.


VI. Survey:
* What type of retreat are you interested in
* Number of people in your group
* Your profile

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