Winter Retreat: Being Still, Hearing Silence

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Winter Retreat: Being Still, Hearing Silence

29 January 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 2 February 2020 @ 3:00 pm

Meditation, T’ai Chi and Calligraphy in the Mountains
(Choose a 3, 4, or 5-day retreat format)

You need moments in your life when you can leave all the “to-dos” behind and allow yourself to be silent. To tap into the powerer of stillness by just observing, without the need for intervention.

This kind of stillness is sacred. It allows us to see these aspects of ourselves that go unnoticed as we engage in everyday actions and distractions.

The Stillness in Action Winter Retreat is the opportunity for deep, purposeful rest from your routine. By taking conscious time out, you open the space for listening to yourself and planting important seeds for the year to come.

Lauvitel Lodge - Winter Sunshine
Lauvitel Lodge Fireplace

What’s on the Programme?

The Stillness in Action Winter Retreat is designed to create space within yourself. Once you have this space, you will able able to welcome and design the changes that the coming year will bring.

By embracing the attitude of the beginner, you will learn how to be comfortable in the unknown and be totally present in the now.

It may appear that we are doing very little – and yet, it takes your active engagement in the experience of stillness for the authentic restoration to take place.

The retreat will include:

  • Meditation that channels the energy of the group to help you engage deeply in your own practice.
  • Caligraphy, or Zen Brush Work, to both lose and find yourself in the subtle art of putting ink on paper.
  • Visualisation exercises to tap into the power of your own imagination and see clearly what it is that you really want for yourself.
  • Winter walks through the fairytale mountain snowscape to heighten awareness and sharpen perception.

How will you benefit?

You may see the Winter Retreat as a “spa for the soul”.

The immediate benefit will be four days of full rest and active attention – things that are often difficult to offer yourself in your busy daily life.

Moreover, the impact of this retreat extends far beyond these four days. With the support and guidance from experienced coach, Caroline Purkhardt, and Zen Master, Jos Hadfield, you will translate your experience of stillness into meaningful, long-lasting insights.

These will be the seeds for your future growth and expansion.

“The collaboration and complementarity of Caroline and Jos form a perfect duo, bringing this training alive, listening and adapting to each other. I love the Zen brushwork! Enjoying the meditative black mark on white paper, preparing the ink slowly, in silence. Water, ink, brush, paper and ritual: a delight! And i loved the practices: both the Chi Kung in the early morning outdoors, and also learning the ancient section of the T’ai Chi form. I have been practicing them almost every day with great pleasure. Definitely a much enjoyed and worthwhile retreat!  – Elizabeth Beaupere

For those who like to know more…

Each day, we start with an early morning Moving Meditation out in the crisp mountain air. Then we continue indoors, with a 30-minute seated meditation around the fireplace.

After we have greeted the day with consciousness and intention, we indulge in a healthy, mindful breakfast. Then we immerse ourselves in Tai Chi flow, focusing on the yin energy in balance with yang, and tuning into guidance beyond the small self.

Grounded in our bodies, we smoothly move into a calligraphy session led by Jos Hadfield, Zen Brushwork teacher, followed by lunch and a time to rest.

In the afternoon, we go out and explore the great winter snowscapes of the French Alps. This naturally heightens our awareness and brings us firmly to the present moment.

In the late afternoon, we may have a less structured Tai Chi or calligraphy session or simply enjoy some free time for reflection and journaling.

Dinnertime is an invitation to celebrate together by sharing a delicious three-course meal (we’re in France, after all!), relaxing in front of the fireplace and reflecting on the day.

Note: We will spend at least one day of the Retreat in silence (excluding dinnertime). We intend this to be an opportunity to really connect to ourselves and make a transition from the hustle and bustle of daily life into the sacred space of the Stillness in Action Retreat.

About Caroline

Caroline Purkhardt

Author, Doctor of Social Psychology, Transition Coach, T’ai Chi Master

Caroline Purkhardt has owned Lauvitel Lodge for over ten years. She has organised and led multiple group and personal retreats focused on personal development, creative leadership and spiritual growth. She has recently published a book called Stillness in Action: the 7 elements of success for leaders.

Caroline combines recent her personal wisdom with recent scientific findings and experiential practices such as T’ai Chi, meditation and energetics. She believes that drawing on our connection with Nature is one of the best short-cuts towards personal insight and self-realisation.

Caroline’s ultimate mission is to bring body wisdom and spiritual connection into busy work places and large organisations.

About Jos

Jos Hadfield

Jos has trained for over twenty-five years in the soft martial art of t’ai chi, which has been invaluable to understand how being open and prepared (presence) is key to any, and all, situations. It teaches us to yield in order to overcome difficulties and to listen and connect fully with ourselves and with another (compassion). Jos has been teaching Zen Brushwork since 2008 following in the lineage of Terayama Tanchu Sensei.

About Lauvitel Lodge

Lauvitel Lodge is a mountain getaway in the heart of the French Alps: the Oisans valley famous for cycling and skiing. It is a place for family gatherings, holidays with friends, as well as a base for well-being retreats which are held here on a regular basis.

The Lodge provides a comfortable place to rest and relax in between various mountain adventures. You can enjoy a fresh and delicious meal, coffee, or simply use one of our terraced gardens to read a book or nap in a hammock. There is a wide offer of wellbeing services, too: massage, Reiki, Tai-Chi and wellness coaching.

The beautiful natural surroundings of the Lodge are comprised of magnificent mountain peaks, crystal clear lakes, running rivers and pristine forests. The exceptional landscape makes it a perfect place to reconnect with your true self and simply take a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

How to get there?

Lauvitel Lodge is located in a small hamlet of La Danchere, about one-hour drive from Grenoble, which is also the closest train station. If you are travelling by plane, the closest airports are Lyon, Geneva or Turin. You can contact us directly if you need help with travel arrangements.

Your mountain adventure happens from the tranquility of Lauvitel Lodge. We make sure that there is ample opportunity to rest in the spacious gardens, to enjoy the comfort of home and to share in the delicious food that is served in the restaurant.

Practical Info

Number of participants: up to 8 people

Dates: Wed-Sun, 29 Jan – 2 Feb, 2020.
            (Please inquire for a 3 or 4-day weekend option)

Your investment (per person):

Retreat Participation:   €250
Food & Lodging:   €360 – €560
Provides access to all group activities and practices.
Single or shared room with private or shared bathroom.

Reserve your place now with a deposit of €250.

What’s included:

  • Lodging in Lauvitel Lodge (4 nights)
  • Bed linen and towels
  • Full board (3 meals a day plus tea, coffee and fresh drinks)
  • Guided activities included in the program

Price does not include:

  • Insurance
  • Travel costs
  • Any extra activities throughout your stay
  • Wine and other beverages charged separately

Please tell us in advance if you have any health issues that might influence your participation in the retreat activities.

If you have any dietary requirements, please let us know well ahead of time.

What to bring

  • Comfortable clothing for Tai-chi/meditation sessions
  • Warm clothes such as woollen socks and a comfy sweater
  • Outdoor clothing suitable for winter hiking
  • Winter jacket
  • Waterproof hiking boots
  • A pair of comfy shoes to wear indoors
  • Journal and/or a good book
  • Thermos/Water bottle
  • Sunglasses and sun cream
  • Rucksack

We will provide yoga mats, meditation pillows and blankets, if needed.

To check what else is available at the Lodge, please feel free to contact us directly.

Retreat Registration

To reserve your place, click the register now button to pay the deposit of €250.

Once we have received your registration we will contact you to confirm your choice of accommodation from the options available. The remaining balance is due no later than 15 days before the date of the Retreat.