What are the Retreats about?
Whether for three, five or seven days, each retreat aims to provide you with opportunities to discover which pathways to achieving stillness best suit you. In essence, on a retreat you will:
- assimilate the practice of changing your thinking, stilling your mind and attaining inner peace;
- learn how to become more mindful and alert;
- learn and assimilate skills to take with you and practice whenever and wherever.
We are all different and, as such, we each have different responsibilities, priorities and commitments. To accommodate for that, and based on what you able to commit to in terms of time for retreat (3, 5 or 7 days), we work out a programme that aims to suit you, balancing your needs between retreat learning, assimilation and relaxation.
"To find and know yourself, look all around you in the world. To find and know the world, look into all the depths within yourself" Rudolf Steiner, Harmony of the Creative Word
How does a Retreat aim to do that?
A typical retreat starts with an informal discussion to identify what you would like to explore and match this with techniques and practices which suit you to bring about the stillness you are seeking.
The following are examples of what you may decide to experience and experiment with.
Meditation Techniques and Practice
Try one or more techniques from nine core groups that are simple to employ and proven to calm, clear, stabilise and still minds and bodies. Through a combination of learning, practice and discussion, we aim to help you determine the techniques which best help you get to where you want to be.
Depending on the length of time you wish to devote on retreat, you might want to learn several new techniques each day or prefer to take them on board more slowly, one at a time.
Remember, it's your retreat and so the choices are yours.
You may choose to start each morning with some gentle yoga stretching exercises to get you in the zone. You may follow this by learning and putting into practise a new meditational technique designed to help you find calm at times of stress, or help you self-heal physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Or you may prefer to start your day re-connecting with the natural beauty of the living world around us and learn about walking meditation techniques or simply enjoy walking for well-being by taking a refreshing guided or self-guided hike in the glorious countryside that surrounds us at the foothills of the Pyrenees. Many people working and living in towns and cities who have almost lost touch with nature experience an instant calming and soulful joy when undertaking these nurturing and nourishing ventures out into the countryside.
If the weather proves inclement, you may prefer to experience a guided meditation or even some shamanic journeying - whether these techniques are new or familiar to you, the outcomes and messages are never the same. We always feel particularly inspired while partaking in these sessions.
After lunch, you may choose to join in an individual or group discussion session based on one of the popular topics. You may even have some of your own discussion topics you'd like to bring to the fore.
You may like to engage in a creative writing session or two, a technique we regularly use in order to get in touch with our inner voices and which we like to call soul-writing. This technique has been the basis and inspiration for all our publications to date.
All work and no play may leave you feeling depleted and drained and so you might want to intersperse your meditational practice and have a bit of fun refreshing that rusty french you learnt at school. Or simply take some time out, by car, on foot or by bike, to enjoy the local French markets, wine and cuisine.
Guided or self-guided, day and half-day trips, to the local Cathar castles are also available for those who choose to visit the region's famous 12th century châteaux which served as the Cathars' strongholds against the papal crusade. Many visitors today feel the peace of the Cathar people when visiting Montségur, Peyreperteuse and Carcassonne. Why not try an outdoor meditation at one of these sacred sites?
Whatever you choose to do, we want you to feel a sense of achievement and happiness at leaving here having discovered some simple yet profound stillness practices that suit you.
The above are typical activity suggestions for a seven day retreat in the Razès. Bear in mind that there is a myriad of alternatives so please don't hesitate to request inclusions and exclusions of specific topics and activities.
If you like the sound of a retreat but would like to spend more or less time on your first visit, check out our Retreat Prices page and then please discuss your particular needs and time constraints with us when you fill in the form on the Contact us page.