October 7, 2022 6:00 PM
October 9, 2022 4:00 PM


Friday 7th October 6pm — Sunday 9th October 4pm


Happy River Retreat, Wareham, Dorset.

After such a powerful and transformative online healing journey this Spring it feels amazing to release the details of my in person retreat. Working with men in my online container has really grounded in how passionate and committed I am to giving men a place to heal and be part of a conscious community that lifts each other up. This retreat has been in my vision for quite sometime so it feels exciting to finally bring this dream into reality.

The Talking Stick Retreat is a healing space for men. A place for men to connect, be part of community and be seen and heard with compassion. It will provide a space for men to explore different healing modalities, communicate with integrity and to receive healing through being held and holding space for others. We will not be looking to fix ourselves as no man is broken but we will be looking to ignite shifts and build greater awareness and understanding of who we are and what our role is in this world as a man.

We will use the power of the fire and the elements to channel our prayers and alchemise what we want to release, whilst having accountability and support from myself and other brothers in the group to integrate. Coming together in this way will bring a new sense of purpose and allow men to feel empowered, authentic and connected to who we really are so we can fully show up for ourselves and others.

The retreat will give you an opportunity to be witnessed in an intimate group environment and will be a held space for all to be open, share and move through emotional and mental stories and programming. We will use the power of The Talking Stick for us all to be present with each other and transmute any stagnant energy that is holding us back. We will work with different themes and healing modalities throughout the weekend to embody to support transformation and ground our energy with the Earth. This is about reclaiming our ancient ways of community. It is about remembering the importance of healing together. This is the missing link for men in our culture and it is time to bring it back. We were never meant to do this alone. I will be there to hold space, support and guide you through the journey alongside other practitioners. I believe we hold the keys to a more positive and conscious future.

We will connect to our true nature

We will be our authentic selves

We will honour who we are and each other

We will listen with our hearts

We will surrender

We will grow together

We will pass the stick

We will talk our truest tone

We will keep the fire burning

Most of all will be part of something way bigger than ourselves


  • Men who feel lonely on a conscious path and are seeking connection
  • Men who feel a lack of purpose and inspiration
  • Men who are ready to rise into their truest self
  • Men who are ready for transformation and growth
  • Men who are seeking a deeper connection to self, others and oneness
  • Men who are seeking a conscious masculine community
  • Men who are seeking a spiritual connection


  • Sharing circles
  • Fire ceremony
  • Wild swim at Durdle Door
  • Sacred tobacco ceremony (Guided by a dear friend and incredible Shaman)
  • Movement (Guided by Stu Geds)
  • Breathwork (Guided by Elle Taylor)
  • Meditation & Sound healing (Guided by Chris)
  • Process work - Mother & Father (Guided by Stu Geds)
  • Plant based food (All meals provided by Chris)
  • Camping (You are required to bring your own tent and camping equipment)
  • Drum circle

TESTIMONIAL “The talking Stick became the exact mens group I had been looking for. After trying a few in person and online groups that didn't quite meet me where I was. Chris' group held the perfect balance of space, opening up the masculine, spiritual, emotion and physical elements that this type of work needs. And Chris manages to hold all these elements beautifully in a light but definite way. The opening, breaking and of course growing that occurred throughout the sessions was almost indescribable. I've absolutely shed some layers, come to terms with some realities and made really strong meaningful bonds with a group of men I didn't know before. Thanks Chris for putting yourself out there and holding this group offering insights, practices and support both in the workshops and beyond in the group that has developed” — Ross (Talking Stick Online Healing Journey


Over the weekend we will be grounding into the beautiful Dorset land and the elements together. We will open up and share in a circle to hold space for what rises. The fire will be burning to represent the masculine energy and support us in moving through what no longer serves us collectively and individually. There will be a mix of practical exercises and also inward journeys to bring growth, insight and grounding. We will be working with a number of healing modalities such as Breathwork, Movement, Sound Healing, Meditation, Tobacco Ceremony and Process Work to help us receive healing. I have invited some special practitioners to the retreat to broaden the experience. We have local breathwork facilitator Ellie Taylor visiting to bring her warm feminine energy into the masculine space with her potent breathwork session. We have London based practitioner and dear brother Stu Geds who is a therapeutic coach, mens work facilitator, movement and breath ambassador. Stu will be guiding a process work circle working with the father and mother aspects, along with some movement sessions. We are also very lucky to receive a sacred tobacco (Mapacho) ceremony from a dear friend and incredible Shaman who was trained in the Peruvian Amazon. We will have a wild swim at a sacred site on the Jurassic coast called Durdle Door to cleanse and clear our energies. We will connect to our tribal essence around a roaring fire. I will be holding space throughout the retreat weaving sound, meditation and various practices to support your journey. Ultimately we will be connecting to our masculinity and choosing to heal in brotherhood. I will also be providing nourishing high vibe food over the weekend and we will be camping on the beautiful grounds nestled in Wareham Forest in Dorset.  To back drop the whole experience we DJ, brother, retreat organiser Adam Shelton providing a the musical journey and extra support.


  • Camping Equipment - Tent, Sleeping Bag, Sleeping Mat
  • Warm Clothes
  • Walking Boots
  • Swimming Trunks
  • Towel
  • Drinking Flasks
  • Drum (Don’t worry if you don’t have one as I will bring extra instruments)
  • Please note, if you don’t have a tent you can sleep in the yurt which is onsite at Happy River. Just ensure you bring sleeping bag, mat etc

Conscious Cook (He/Him)

I am Chris Bookless AKA Conscious Cook. I am a real foodie at heart with a passion for cooking authentic, healthy and healing food. Diet and nutrition are of great importance to me, as is sharing my story of how healthy, conscious living changed my life and how it can change yours too. Nutritious food does not need to be boring - it should be fun, exciting and packed full of flavour, leaving you feeling nourished in mind, body and soul.

Living in Turkey as a child exposed me to a rich and exciting food culture. Travelling the country, meeting and sharing food with locals in their open-hearted, casual approach has been a major influence on the ethos of my food and cooking style. I cherish food as a positive and ceremonial element of life that can put smiles on faces and bring people together.

I have always been a passionate home cook which led me into naturally being a self-taught chef. Along the way to expand my horizons, I have had experience working with amazing food entrepreneur Jimmys POP-UP, vegan organic cafe Mother in Hackney wick and London Fields Brewery.

I have also worked within the creative industry for the past 15 years as a DJ, music producer, label and events manager, freelance graphic designer and creative director, as well as owning a fashion label LESS Clothing.

Eating well has always been a central aspect to life with my family being foodies but when I suffered serious gut problems 4 years ago, I was pushed to entirely re-evaluate my diet and lifestyle. During this period I learned a lot about nutrition and how you can make the tastiest food with very few ingredients and little budget. I now live a dairy-free, gluten-free and refined sugar-free diet which has made me highly inventive, concentrating on whole foods and an endless array of herbs and spices.

6 years ago my lifestyle change led me into a spiritual journey, exploring energy healing, sound and other modalities of holistic healing, which enhanced my view on food and nutrition, realising that our view on food needs to be shifted towards a more conscious one. Where we buy our food, where it comes from, understanding food is energy and vibration made by the elements. Food is a life force for our bodies so we should think about our food and eating choices, and we should always give gratitude. My mission is to use food as my healing modality, combining energy practices and wellbeing to create a more educated future for ourselves and our planet.

I have a true passion for cooking vegan food with veggies always taking centre stage on my menus. It is my mission to provide a tasty conscious food experience that is free from dairy, gluten and refined sugar, using superfoods, spices, seasonal whole foods and organic produce - leaving diners feeling nurtured and educated in every sense.

My unfolding venture as Conscious Cook allows me to give people an exciting take on healthy food and wellbeing - whether I’m providing Conscious Catering, supper clubs or teaching my Conscious Cookshops. Food has and always will be a complete way of life for me, so I’m excited to share my trademark, flavoursome and healing food with you all!

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