Keeping it Real
in a Frantic World

Ruby Wax
Gelong Thubten & Rahla Xenopoulos

5-night retreat
Tuesday 12th March – Sunday 17thMarch 2024
Arrival 4pm Tuesday - Depart 2pm Sunday
After the resounding success of their first retreat at Avalon in August 2023, Ruby Wax, Gelong Thubten & Rahla Xenopoulos are back!
In their different yet very complimentary styles, the terrific trio will show you how to de-frazzle in a frantic world by making simple changes whilst keeping it real!

"Ruby is accessible and her advice is often hilarious. It is all eminently practical."

The Daily Mail

"Ruby and Thubten have nailed it. As a double act, they’re TED Talk meets tantric yoga meets psychotherapy with a cherry on top. My advice is: sign up."

The Times
A message from Ruby Wax

Thubten, Rahla and I are offering this 5-night retreat because we know that when we feel connected to our bodies and minds, it’s as if we’ve found home.

And when we find home, things like uncertainty and loneliness don’t pack the same punch.

The outside world may be in chaos, but if we know we’ve always got the house of “us” to come back to, we will always have a refuge.

The aim of this retreat is to help you find that refuge, or at least help you build one.

To do that, we have to be fearless, bring dark realities out into the light and accept them. This takes courage and effort, and most people would rather just “have a nice day”.

But we’ve seen what happens when the days stop being so nice. We know we need some kind of safety net so the fall doesn’t kill us.

None of us want to face the unfaceable, but there has to be a baptism of fire if we’re to come out the other end – wise, not broken.

We offer this retreat as a guide to help bulk up our emotional resilience as far as learning to deal with the unknown.

So that when the waves of living feel unswimmable, and we feel we’re going under, there are enough life jackets to go round.

During the retreat, we will offer workshops and tools which support us to get through a day - without thinking we’ve failed, that we didn’t do enough, that we should have or could have ... (well, you know the lyrics).

To remind us that who we are is enough. And that if we can believe that, if we can create a calmer environment inside us, this will impact on what’s outside us, too.

"Retreats are all about community, connection, which are an antidote to loneliness. That’s what we teach”

Ruby Wax speaking in The Times
I’m Not as Well as I Thought I Was, from the Number One Bestselling Author Ruby Wax

"An exceptional account on mental health from a true tour de force. We're all a little messed up in our own ways, but we should all strive to be as fabulously fearless as Ruby"
Fearne Cotton

"If you buy only one book this year, make it this one. Brilliant, heartbreakingly funny and painful: I couldn't put it down"
Joanna Lumley 

"Nobody can make the serious funny and the funny serious quite like Ruby. It's why she is so important to the mental-health debate"
Alastair Campbell 

"One of the most powerful books of the year"
The Daily Mail

Handbook for Hard Times; A Monk’s Guide to Fearless Living

"'This is a timely and practical guide to help us navigate the fear and challenges of the times upon us. Uplifting and empowering!"
Mo Gawdat

"[Thubten] is a most qualified guide in the journey from darkness and turmoil towards inner peace and positivity. At a time when many of us are experiencing a 'new level of societal fear', everyone can absolutely benefit from this accessible and supportive life handbook."
Annie Lennox

"No one is more brilliant at bringing you out of the dark and into the light."
Ruby Wax

"When our computers overload, we know to switch them off and boot them up again a bit later. Why can’t we do that to ourselves without feeling like a failure?”

Ruby Wax

Example Day

*Please note the schedule is not set and may change.

7.30am – 8.30am

Yoga or Pool Suite

8.30am - 9.30am


9.45am – 12.45pm

Workshop with Ruby and Thubten

1pm – 1.45pm

Light lunch

2pm till 3pm

Workshop with Ruby and Thubten

3pm – 5pm

Workshop with Rahla

5.15pm - 6.45pm

Pool Suite / Gym / Bike Ride / Individual Treatments

6.45pm – 7.30pm


7.45pm – 9pm

Unwind Time / Pool Suite / Individual Therapies

Practical Considerations

Cushions and back jacks will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own. Chairs will be available for those who need them.
Drinking water will be provided at Broughton Sanctuary (please bring your own personal water bottles to refill).

About the Facilitators

Ruby Wax

From the Royal Shakespeare Company to primetime TV; from a master's degree in mindfulness based cognitive therapy from Oxford University to best-selling author; from interviewing the president who shall not be named as part of her BBC series spanning 25 years, to script editing all series of “Absolutely Fabulous.” And from a mental health campaigner to being awarded an OBE for services to mental health.

In the field of mental health, Ruby's brought support for mental health to a whole new audience discussing complex neurological theory in an accessible and often hilarious way but always with a serious point that we need to reframe the conversation and remove the stigma that mental health illness still carries.

Ruby helps us understand how we can take control of our overstressed and over critical minds which we can't think of as a better foundation for a frantic world.

Learn more:

Gelong Thubten

Gelong Thubten is a Buddhist monk who teaches meditation and specialises in providing non-religious mindfulness workshops and training programmes for businesses and organisations. Thubten has been a monk since 1993 at Kagyu Samye Ling Tibetan Buddhist Monastery, has trained under some of the world's most accomplished teachers of meditation, and has spent over six years in intensive meditation retreats

Rahla Xenopoulos

Rahla Xenopoulos is an author, a mother of triplets and was one of thirty-four South African women profiled in ‘The Power Within Companion’. She gives talks on mental health and empowerment, as well as hosting workshops that focus on health and personal inspiration. Rahla has written for The Sunday Times, Cosmopolitan, Glamour and Oprah Magazine and her latest book, The Season of Glass was a finalist for the Sunday Times Literary Awards.

In an ideal world Rahla would have a broad mind and a narrow waist but failing the narrow waist she’ll just settle for the broad mind.

Learn more:

About Broughton Sanctuary

Keeping it Real in a Frantic World will be held at the 3000-acre Broughton Sanctuary, situated in the very centre of the UK, in the foothills of The Yorkshire Dales and one of the most picturesque parts of the country. Established in 1097, Broughton Hall has been home to the Tempest family for over 900 years and enjoys a rich history stretching back over the millennium. Surrounding the historic Broughton Hall are formal gardens studded with statues, ponds, parterres and fountains offering a glimpse of 18th century fashion all set against contemporary architecture making the location a truly unique experience. The Broughton Sanctuary is home to one of Britain’s most exciting nature recovery projects, with an extensive tree-planting and rewilding programme. Broughton is a place dedicated to the journey of coming home and rewilding the spirit.


About Avalon Wellbeing

Keeping it Real in a Frantic World will take place in Avalon, the UK’s leading, state-of-the-art wellbeing centre and beating heart of Broughton Sanctuary. This stunning building is based on biophillic (organic) design with sacred geometry and the Fibonacci incorporated throughout. During your stay, you will have the opportunity to experience the unique Pool Suite: a low-chemical swimming pool looking out onto the adjacent woodland, a sauna, a steam room and hydrotherapy pool. There are many places beyond the building itself in the Sanctuary grounds to return to source, from meditation labyrinths, wild swimming reservoirs, a cosmic garden and much more.



You will experience a feeling of ‘blissful seclusion’ yet Broughton Sanctuary and Avalon are well connected in terms of reach:

By Air

Leeds Bradford Airport: 40 minutes (24 miles): 40 minutes
Manchester Airport: 1 hour (55 miles)
Liverpool: 1 hour 15 minutes (69 miles)

By Train

The nearest train station is Skipton, (a 5-minute drive).
Trains from London Kings Cross are approximately 3 hours (direct and with a single quick change at Leeds).

By Car

Driving from London takes between 4-5 hours (traffic dependent).


Broughton Sanctuary, Skipton, Yorkshire, UK, BD23 3AE


Booking and Pricing Accommodation and meals

There are many accommodation options available, both within Broughton Hall and in Retreat Houses situated within Broughton Sanctuary.

For any queries regarding booking please contact Liz Dawes on:
01756 799608 or