‘Eight Steps to Happiness’

KMC Birmingham Countryside Retreat at Thornby Hall

Friday, 29th to Sunday 31st January with resident teacher Gen Kelsang Leksang

Enjoy a weekend away in the countryside with a relaxing meditation retreat guided by Buddhist nun Gen Kelsang Leksang, Resident Teacher of Kadampa Meditation Centre Birmingham. The venue for the retreat is Thornby Hall, the home of Nagarjuna Kadampa Meditation Centre in Northamptonshire, less that 1 hour drive from Birmingham.

Built in the seventeenth century, Thornby Hall is a stunning Grade-2 listed Jacobean manor. The Hall is set in seventeen acres of grounds including formal lawns, natural woodland and a lake. Surrounded by beautiful Northamptonshire countryside, this is an ideal opportunity to get away from busy city life and immerse yourself in retreat.

Retreat Details – ‘Eight Steps to Happiness’

The retreat will focus around the book ‘The New Eight Steps to Happiness’ by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. We will be exploring  essential methods for transforming all life’s difficulties into valuable spiritual insights and for developing universal love and compassion, the source of true happiness for both self and others.

This relaxing weekend is an informal balance of meditations, practical teachings and time to rest and relax. It is an opportunity for those new to meditation to learn how to find inner peace and to cope with our busy everyday lives. And a chance for those with more experience to deepen their experience of meditation and Buddha’s teachings.

Eight Steps

Retreat schedule
Friday: Registration open at 4pm, Retreat introduction 7.30pm

Saturday: Session I 10am, Session II 12pm, Lunch at 1pm, Session III 5pm, Supper, Session IV 7.30pm

Sunday: Session V 10am, Session VI 12pm

About the Teacher

Gen Kelsang Leksang is an ordained Buddhist nun who has been studying and teaching under the guidance of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso for over 18 year. She was appointed by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso as Resident Teacher of KMC Birmingham in 2007. Following a brief period as Resident Teacher at Kalpa Bhadra KBC, she has recently returned to take up that role again at the KMC in Birmingham. Known for her kind and joyful approach she is able to clearly communicate and show through her sincere example, the relevance of Buddha’s teachings to modern-day life.

Gen Kelsang Leksang

About this Event

Date and Time

Friday 29th January – Sunday 31st January

Registration opens at 4pm on the Friday evening and meals included both supper on Friday and lunch on Sunday.

Accommodation and Course Fees

Single en-suite: £180*

Twin/Double en-suite: £320 (two rooms only)*

*cost includes room, all meals and course fees, full payment is required on booking

Cancellation policy: refund minus £30 admin fee until January 21st – from January 22nd unfortunately we cannot issue refunds.

If we have to cancel due to covid-19 restrictions then we will issue you a full refund.

Booking Options:

'Eight Steps to Happiness' Retreat
Sharing with (for twin only)

Safeguarding Measures for the Retreat

To ensure the environment for the retreat is safe the following safeguarding measures will be in place:

Meditation Hall

The retreat will be lead by Gen Leksang in the large meditation hall following the Government Covid-19 guidelines for Places of Worship:

  • Maximum of 18 people with seating at least 1m apart
  • Hand-sanitiser will be provided at the entrance to the hall
  • A one-way system will operate entering and leaving the hall
  • Mask to be worn during each session
  • The same seat should be used for the duration of the retreat
  • Pre-recorded prayers will be played with no singing
  • Silence will be maintained in the meditation hall during session apart from the teaching from Gen Leksang
  • At the end of each retreat session, all touch areas will be cleaned and sanitised

World Peace Café

  • Take away drinks and cakes with limited seating indoors but there will be plenty of seating provided outdoors with 2m spacing
  • Hand sanitiser gel will be located at the entrance to the cafe
  • Staff will be located behind counter screens wearing masks and appropriate PPE
  • A one-way queuing system will be in operation to enter and leave the café and waiting points will be two metres apart
  • Contactless card payments only
  • All seating and surfaces will be cleaned and sanitised after the café closes


  • Maximum of three people can enter the shop at any time
  • Hand sanitiser gel will be located at the entrance to the shop
  • Hands will need to be sanitised before handling any products
  • Shop staff will be located behind a counter screen and wearing appropriate PPE
  • All surfaces will be cleaned and sanitised