Our Sacred Space


The Stupa at The Hermitage – A sacred Buddhist site in Criccieth, Gwynedd, North Wales

The Hermitage of the Awakened Heart near Criccieth, North Wales, is the centre of practice for the Awakened Heart Sangha and the home of Lama Shenpen. It is regarded as a sacred space, because of the Dharma practice that takes place and especially because it has a fully consecrated Stupa, built in 2011, containing the relics of many great Buddhist teachers.  The relics go back to the Buddha Shakyamuni himself, and include many of the Karmapas as well as HH Khyentse Rinpoche, Trungpa Rinpoche, Bokar Rinpoche and many others. At its heart is a smaller stupa consecrated by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche.

We are based in Criccieth because His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche drew a square on a map of the UK, the square being in Gwynedd, North Wales, and said to build a sacred Stupa or temple on the site there.


A stupa is traditionally a place of pilgrimage and spiritual practice in Buddhism. The power of intention, meditation and prayer that went into its construction is intensified by the sacred objects with their rich symbolism, ritual power and spiritual significance that form the contents of the stupa, and the authenticity of the rituals performed during its construction and consecration.

Celebrating the Stupa concecration ceremony here in Criccieth, North Wales

Its power continues to be augmented by the pure hearts and sincerity of those who come to meditate and pray in the presence of the stupa or direct their thoughts towards it from a distance. By interacting with the stupa in this way or by circumambulating it, making offerings or simply being inspired by it, you also become a conduit for goodness and well-being both for yourself and others.

Visitors are very welcome and we would be happy to show you around. As The Hermitage is a dedicated meditation and Buddhist retreat centre, we are only able to welcome visitors by appointment. If you would like to visit please see the About Us page for our contact details, we would love to hear from you.

The Hermitage of the Awakened Heart acts as a resource for the local community, as well  for existing members of the Awakened Heart Sangha, and is a regular venue for meditation days that are open to all, regardless of experience, as meditation instruction can be provided.

Daily meditation sessions are available to join online, click here for our schedule and login details. Some teachings are broadcast live – for more information, please visit the main Hermitage website.