My week at Penninghame was truly the greatest gift life has given me to date, and I have given myself. It was the most empowering, enlightening, and liberating experience of my life, and I now realise I didn’t even know what those words really meant until I experienced them at Penninghame.
I finally believe from the core of my being that my previous thinking patterns of personal judgement, criticism, and old conditioned behaviour patterns I have learnt which were no longer serving me, are no longer going to stop me from living my life letting my light shine from this day on. I can't wait to see the changes unfold as I set about my life from this shifted, inner perspective.
I had been doing a lot of work prior to the course on awareness and trying to become ‘present’, and I knew that was where I wanted to get to, but I wasn’t sure how much the course was going to be about that.
I didn’t think that going over old stuff was going to give me that, but once we got to the end I saw that it really was all about giving you that back.
And that’s what the course gave me really, I feel like I am actually finally ‘here’, and ok with being myself. In The Power of Now, Eckhart mentions Buddhas definition of enlightenment as the end to suffering, that's how I feel, it was an end to my own inner suffering, and now I really know how that feels, I can know enlightenment. I’d say that was a pretty good result! Sometimes suffering still arises, but a huge part of it is gone for good, and what arises now I can recognise and dissolve.
Gordon, thank you for words at the end of the course regarding it being ok not to feel I need to do everything all at once. They have been a great comfort to me in the last couple of weeks when I have sometimes felt overwhelmed and unsure where to start to achieve my vision, or if I could really change anything in my life.
There are daily challenges, but every day I manage to take little steps towards shifting from where I was in my life (and thanks to your words, I am also not criticising myself if they are, at the moment, only small steps, because I know that every one of them is an achievement and they all count towards my goals.)
As a result, the belief that the work I did, and holding on to the values we set for our inner state, really will change my life, is going strong.
So, thank you, thank you thank you, all of you!
I feel truly blessed to have been one of the people you have touched with the work you do, and I can never begin to thank everyone involved in the course enough, but by some way of return, I make a commitment to honouring the gift by committing to continue my own inner work, and with everything I do moving forward I will do my best to give back this gift I have received in any way I can.
" the primal course at Penninghame was a profound and beautiful experience for me at a time of stress and transition in my life. Although I was feeling emotionally fragile when I went, I was able to fully immerse myself in the variety of activities because there was so much non judgemental support from the staff, the environment and the wonderful healthy food. The process the course took me through was powerful and deep but not frightening. I now know there is nothing inside me that I cannot face and embrace and that is a huge freedom. Sharing the process with others has also changed my life perspective in all sorts of ways. Words can't capture it. If you're drawn to it, do it! "
I had thought of taking part in the process for many years before actually doing it, but always found an excuse for not going; this was despite my husband and some of my closest friends having gone through and raved about it!
I felt great fear at the prospect of having to face my fears and deal with what ever may 'come up' during my time there...and sometimes it is easier to keep ones head in the sand and plod along, because, let's be frank: change is scary.
I have always been plagued by a hideously low self esteem-I had tons of self confidence, but inside I hated myself a lot of the time. I was convinced this lack of self esteem stemmed from a difficult and sometimes abusive childhood. The scars of my youth had haunted me all my adult life and sometimes led me down some very dark places indeed. I was trapped by my past, unable to move forward. I was absolutely functioning on the outside, but my heart was heavy.
I knew that to move on and grow as a human being I would have to look at and heal some of my past hurts...and where could help me safely do this? Penninghame.
I had seen the massive (positive) shift in my husband and I suppose I thought if it could help a cynical and hardheaded bloke like him (he is a Forman builder, famously gruff!) then it could help me too.
Eventually I plucked up the courage to contact the Penninghame team and can now say with my hand firmly on my heart, that this was the bravest, most valuable decision I've ever made.
I won't tell you about the process because that is for you to experience with your own eyes and heart.
What I will tell you is that it changed my life.
Beautifully, gently; sometimes with great sweeping shifts; other times with hesitant baby steps...I had the breakthrough I was looking for and more.
People often ask me what the process consists of: all I can say is that it's there to help you heal yourself in the most loving, kind and heroic way possible. I call it the greatest gift you could ever give yourself. Go.
I used to have a drink problem which nearly destroyed me and my family. I stopped drinking by using a 12 step programme.
But I wanted to go deeper and discover why I drank in the first place. The Penninghame Process was suggested to me by a friend. I didn't have a clue what to expect , I'd never done any self development workshops before. I signed up and did the process 6 years ago. I used to live in Scotland and it stirred many memories within me when I journeyed North. I arrived on a cold November night, the man that walked in was not the man that left. It was over a 6 days but it felt like a life time. The only advice I'd been given was give it 100% by a friend that had already done it. I did and I got a lot from it. I discovered feelings and what they were, I was given the tools to take responsibility for my anger. The Penninghame Process gave me my life back. I'm not full of anger, revenge or blame also it has helped me with my family. If you are thinking of doing it, it will change your life and the friendships I made there are still strong to this day
I am now genuinely happy most of the time, in a peaceful way, and if I am not, I don’t fall into my old patterns of depression. It’s different, and I’m not sure how to explain it, but I usually come out of it quickly and with answers and insights, and then I accomplish a lot of things that I previously wouldn’t have known how to do.
I am so grateful to you, Rosie, Ray, Marie and everyone at Penninghame for the life lessons and tools that are really helping me in a way that is important to me, which is to be free of this sense of victimisation and to feel that I am actually steering my own boat. I have also learned to be so much more at peace with myself and everyone around me and to be more accepting of things as they are. It is a very liberating feeling on the one hand, and it is interesting that I have this need to get used to it – again reminding me of what I learned about the tendency to cling on to the old and familiar even though it may not feel good.
My life hasn’t changed in some spectacularly dramatic way, but the subtlety of the change is very profound. I see it reflected in other people’s faces because they also starting to see me for the first time. Although I still have a few more layers of fear and old stuff to work through, I am just astonished at the number of realisations that come tumbling down on me almost daily, so I can trust that I am right where I need to be.
I have been brought in touch much more deeply with the angry (rage) child in me and how she has been on the rampage with chaos, resentment and revenge. I now have awareness that I have a strong investment in negative thoughts that I need to let go of. Invaluable course.
The sessions when we got connected to our father and mother were very powerful for me and have helped me to see both of them in a new way. I have a relationship with my father now for the first time.
The journey at Penninghame can sometimes be emotionally difficult and challenging, but they take care of you in every physical way. The accommodation is luxurious, the food plentiful, healthy and delicious, the beautiful grounds calming and nurturing. Throughout the whole process, the staff are there to ensure you are safe and supported at all times.
Ms. ES, Therapist, UK
I was hoping to go on the Oneness course but due to some coincidences I got the day mixed up and got put on the Primal. I looked on the website and it mentioned the relationships with the father and mother, so I thought the course would do me some good anyway. After the course I felt more grounded, understand myself a lot more and am more open to everyone.
Bank Clerk, London
I thought that the course leadership was excellent, very thoughtful, caring and wise. The sense of a safe, experienced, wise, loving team brought wisdom and love into the group.
Artist & Film Producer, London
If you want to get the most out of life, whilst also contributing to our beautiful planet, you really couldn't do better than spend a week in the tranquil, natural ambience of Penninghame House.
Kate Russell Peace
I would like to thank the whole team, it has been a real honour to be part of this programme. All the awareness and knowledge you have put into it has made it a very powerful experience for me. Thank you again for such a wonderful, transformative time.
I love the owls in the night and the sound of river and the huge great ancient trees standing and watching us in silence.
The accommodation is luxurious, the food plentiful, healthy and delicious, the beautiful grounds calming and nurturing. Throughout the whole process, the staff are there to ensure you are comfortable and supported at all times.
Penninghame House's holistic programme for mind, body and soul suggests ways to help the individual make choices to create a more balanced life and benefit the greater good. I left with a sense of empowerment, hope and peace.
I am so grateful for each and every person who has contributed to this jewel ... not a retreat, more a "forward"! Not only course but true wisdom delivered with kindness and compassion
Kate Russell Peace
I feel that I have been given a second chance to live life fully to my true self.
Bonnie Ying Liu
Business Owner, Bejing
Having done all of the Penninghame courses, I have seen how deeply and profoundly my life has changed. I've reached a new level of inner peace, joy, freedom and creativity.
Business Consultant, Croatia
Penninghame...Where the world really starts to make sense and YOU start to feel alive, engaged and vital. I really can't recommend it enough!
Management Consultant, London
I have undergone many similar processes over the past 20 years both within the UK and other countries and I can honestly say that the Penninghame Process is the most powerful, life-changing course I have ever undertaken. I would whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone and everyone.
I'm not sure what words I can use to thank you for giving me a piece of myself back - what gift is more priceless and precious than that!
Emily Davies, P.A., UK
Firstly I would like to thank Ray, Rosie and Lynn (& team) for a wonderful week at Penninghame. Going to Penninghame changed my life for the better. Before attending I felt stuck, unable to move on which was so unlike me. The course was so well structured, something for everyone. The macrobiotic diet, the dynamic meditations, activities all contributed to me having much more energy. Never have I experienced so much love and gratitude in one place, such a nurturing environment. All participants felt cared for as if we lived with the most caring parents for a week.
The strangest thing was the last evening when we went into town, once I stepped out the taxi it was like coming out of the womb, with fresh eyes seeing things for the first time, even my brain had to recall – do I remember how to cross the road?
My friends and family could see the change in me, my outlook to life was different, I had got my mojo back. Even when I returned to work and there had been lots of changes (redundancies/restructuring etc), I was still so cheerful and upbeat that I was able to still motivate my team. They worried for me in my absence that the change would drag us all down, yet I was feeling as light as feather.
I’ve recommended the course to so many people as they are all curious as to why I look and feel amazing.
My journey at Penninghame began with me pointing out of the car window at the fat, smiling stone Buddha at the entrance and nudging my partner to look, so he too could enjoy the cheerful countenance of that famous eastern embodiment of letting go. My ‘letting go’ of my fear and anxiety of what was to come lasted for approx. 20 minutes. ‘Is it usual to feel terrified at this point?’ I asked one of the assistants as were descending the staircase from the tour of my accommodation block. He looked at me, laughed and said ‘Of course! But trust me, I have done this 4 times now and it gets so much better, and it really can be a lot of fun…’ Fun? Hmmm, I switched on my radar for that word I associated with helium balloons and laughter. In the dusky silence of the tree-studded grounds, my radar was working over-time.
I have struggled long and hard with myself – I have tried alcohol, long walks, (sometimes both together, which ended up in a dark meeting with a nettle infused ditch) studying, physical labour, eating only brown rice, cutting my hair short, growing my hair long, moving house, leaving jobs and getting a dog. The dog was the most effective out of the lot, for through him I learnt about consistency, routine, afternoon naps and play-time. Yet, even my lovely hound could not put an end to all the inner turmoil I felt on a sometimes moment-to moment basis. Feelings of anxiety, anger and despair, which writhed around like dank, dark fish and long slithery hot eels in a black sludge of self-hatred and disgust deep down inside myself. Which made people, situations, events etc. feel frightening, as if life was a huge beast, and I was on its back, clinging on in the best way I could, trying to stay small and trying to survive.
So I went to Penninghame clutching onto the only hope that maybe I be able to find a way to get clean inside. With the incredible support offered from the staff, assistants, and other members of my group, I engaged with the process, I began to trust. It was hard, it was liberating, it was exhausting, it was life-affirming, it was moving, it was joyous and at times very, very funny. After a couple of days, I noticed a lightness in myself emerging up from my stomach, which seemed to flow up into my head and give me new lovely thoughts about myself -zesty, sustaining thoughts, like fruity gob-stoppers for my mind to suck on. By the end of the week, I felt physically different. I felt as if a jam- jar full of shiny, copper pennies had been placed on a sunny shelf down inside my being. I felt connected, alive, certain, full of life, potential and wonder, and I saw that I was good and I could offer this goodness out. The night before I left, I went back to the stone Buddha. In the cool night air, I rubbed his belly and left him an offering of a pine cone, my currency of gratitude and thanks.
Penninghame will be the best gift you could give to yourself.
I’m so glad I went to Penninghame. Though it was challenging, the rewards were massive. It was great to let go of some things that I’ve been hanging on to for a long time. By the end of the week I felt a really powerful connection to myself. I actually had to pull the car over twice on my journey home because I was crying – not through sadness, but because of some sort of feeling of joy/happiness/connection/love/release.
The course is described as a ‘process’ and that’s it’s exactly what it is. It’s not always clear when doing the course, why you’re doing each part of it. However, when you get to the end you can really see how well designed it is and how you’ve been taken along a path that leads to greater clarity and a better connection with yourself. The course leaders and the assistants were all amazing. I felt so well looked after and cared for throughout the whole experience.
If you’re reading this wondering if it’s worth risking the money to go on this course…the answer is in my opinion is YES. DEFINITELY. 100%! Don’t hesitate.
I first heard about Penninghame through my sister-in-law who attended the course two years ago and also went back last year to assist. She raved about it and the change in her was amazing. I still held my reservations as I hadn’t done anything like this before. It wasn’t until my ex-partner attended last year and I saw how much he had gained from the experience did I then start to consider attending the course myself.
I was at a stage in my life where I felt I didn’t know who I was and had lost my identity. I almost didn’t feel ready to face up to my past as I had buried the pain deep inside hoping it would disappear. With a little push from my sister-in-law I decided the only way to make a positive change was to throw myself in the deep end. What did I have to lose?
The first day I felt so scared as I didn’t know what to expect but wow how quickly my feelings changed. For the first time in years I was able to express my emotions and share my story, no judgements made. I didn’t have to worry about what people would think, I could be myself and know there was a room full of other people who were there for the same reason as me and were there to support me. The journey was amazing! I have made friendships with truly amazing people of which I would of never of been blessed to meet if I had not attended this life changing course.
The whole team are amazing and helped me open up and get the most out of the experience. I felt like a scared little girl when I arrived and left a strong women! I have gained so many life skills to help me continue my journey.
I feel honoured to have been a part of this wonderful course and thank you to everyone I shared my journey with.
I went to Penninghame feeling flat and disconnected to others and what was around me.
It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. It woke me up in so many ways and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
The people, the food, the setting and the process are all amazing.
So many people have commented on the difference they’ve seen in me. It’s definitely worth it!
Prior to commencing my Penninghame journey, I was retreating into a steep and rapid decline. As I denied and rationalised my emotional ill health, my physical health began to suffer. Deep down, I was aware that the manifestation of my physical ailments stemmed from emotional pain but I was too disconnected to help myself.
My initial attempt to book onto Penninghame failed as the programme was fully booked but just as I stooped deeper into helplessness, I received a lifeline; I got offered a place.
At the beginning of my Penninghame journey my mind resisted everything, causing further physical pain. Only when I began to be present did I begin the journey.
As I began to take personal responsibility for myself there was a remarkable positive shift in my physical and emotional health. I do not believe that any amount of talking therapies could have such an prolific effect in such a short space of time. The insights and awareness I experienced in one week could not have been realised elsewhere.
The Penninghame Process was one of the most painful yet amazing experiences of my life. There truly is ‘nowhere to hide’ and everyone has ‘their story’ but what makes this different is: the uniqueness of the process, the feeling of ‘a safe place’, the level of support offered by people who have been through and who continue their journey, as well as the aftercare I am receiving.
I now feel reborn, insightful and refreshed. I am going to embrace everyday by being present and listening to my thoughts, my heart and my feelings, I am going to stay connected!
Penninghame is a priceless gift, you just need to be ready to receive it.
I started my journey by attending The Penninghame Process in 2014. Having been a chef since leaving catering college, I found myself feeling quite irritable and stressed for many years. I thought that due to my line of work that it came with the job and I deemed it acceptable, both in and out of work. Don’t get me wrong, I loved to party and have a good laugh but I also had a side of me that for many, many years was not present in most things that I did. Going on The Penninghame Process and seeing Gordon once a week has really helped me be present within myself. Acceptance of anger, greeting it and thinking before I react…these things may seem so small, but for me they are huge.
The blame I had for my loved ones, friends and work mates has now dissolved. I’ve learnt through seeing Gordon, that it is my personal responsibility how I approach different situations, and mainly my dad. For 26 years I held on to so much hatred, anger and hurt, and blamed him solely for all of this. Listening to other people’s experiences and thinking about my own, I have learnt to take a different approach with others, especially the relationship I had with my dad.
Going into his house made me worried and I had my guard up, ready for a fight. Instead, I was showing love and compassion. For years and years I had craved my dad’s attention and after changing my outlook and approach to him his actions seem to have softened. I was finally getting some love and attention that I had wanted for years. He even turned up at my house to say hello, we have also been out socialising (without arguing) recently. These things, up until now, were unheard of. Miracles do happen.
I have never felt so happy and free in my life until now; I put good intentions out and everything seemed to slowly but surely fall into place. I do what I want to do with my life, rather than pleasing others all the time. I have attracted new, like-minded friends who I adore spending time with. I’ve learnt that I can become addicted to people due to my nature; I can become addicted to people just like an addict is dependant to heroin. I’ve learnt to give myself boundaries and to surround myself with like-minded people.
I feel like I’ve been a dancing bear, locked up for years and years and now I’ve been set free.
This was an incredible experience for me. Before I was in a dark place seeking change and knowing I needed to help myself. I couldn’t get out of my mind, I spent hours of everyday letting it control my feelings and affect my actions. Miserable periods of ups and downs, anxiety, panic attacks and distraction. I started planning every minute of my days months in advance so I’d know there’d be no possibility I’d spend a second alone with my thoughts.
It came out in various different ways; I would go out a lot and act like a completely different person, sometimes binge drinking or smoking. Other times I would spend weeks alone, hibernating in my room, not talking to any family or friends for days and weeks. I saw no way out of any situation and felt like the world was against me. I became fed up that everyone relied on me and that I had to fix everyone’s problems, I was the person they would call for solutions.
I was giving a lot to others but was receiving nothing in return. Why did I always have to visit everyone but they never came to visit me? I have spent the last few years feeling angry towards my mother who is going through her own process of depression. Why can’t she just sort herself out? I was recommended The Penninghame Process by my healer, Gordon who is an assistant on the course. I’ve been seeing Gordon for over a year as a method of therapy but working with energy which is just fantastic. It was a blessing for me and it was such a strong recommendation, one I will cherish forever.
The Penninghame Process is a sanctuary of well being and an incredibly safe environment in which I could share all of my deepest issues and not feel judged or dismissed. I could share my issues and worries with not just one person but with all of the course leaders and other participants. Sharing openly with so many people was an achievement in itself. I talked, cried, shouted, screamed, learnt to say ‘no’ and took back my power. I got in touch with problems I so deeply suppressed in order to rid them from my life. It’s a gift, one to myself and my life, I have begun to set myself free.
I would recommend this experience so highly, it’s never too late, but the sooner the better.
Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.