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8 Days Open Mind Mindfulness, Meditation, and Yoga Retreat in Alentejo, Portugal

Sao Teotónio, 7630-678 Portugal

Mindfulness Meditation and Yoga Retreat Portugal

You may know the feeling of your mind being open, fully present, and full of possibilities while letting life flow through you, those moments of fun, succeeding, or being on vacation. But what about the other moments? The ones in which life doesn't go as planned or you are caught up in an automatic doing mode, thoughts, or feelings? How do you tune in on a space of openness, watching the waves of life, without being thrown in the sea? This is what the open mind retreat is all about.

Meet the instructors

Geraldine, Anna, & Geraldine
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Highlights

  • Twice daily one-hour yoga sessions
  • 7 one-hour evening relaxing sessions
  • 6 three-hour morning mindfulness sessions
  • Experience an integrated MBCT-MBSR course
  • Enjoy some of the optional group activities
  • 3 healthy vegetarian meals per day
  • 7 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Yoga styles


8 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: Dutch, French, Polish, Portuguese, English
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Accommodation

Facilities

  • Swimming pool (outdoor)
  • Dining area
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Fireplace
  • Garden
  • Lounge
  • Meditation garden
  • Multilingual staff
  • Picnic area
  • Terrace
  • Yoga deck
  • Yoga shala
  • Yoga studio
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Internet access
  • Patio
  • Outdoor shower

The accommodation options are on private, double, triple, and dorm room occupancy basis. The retreat center offers everything you need, such as a garden surrounded by 71 hectares of nature to make beautiful walks, a bio-pool to refresh, a massage hut in the middle of nature, and a meditation and yoga temple and a relaxing hall and sun deck.

Program

This retreat will teach you the art of being present, compassionately embracing, and deeply observing. This retreat will be a week to expand the possibilities in perceiving the world in and around ourselves. You will investigate how expansion can take shape on the different layers of experience (brain, body, mind, heart, and subconsciousness) so that a holistic understanding is established.

The intention for this retreat is to connect to a particular kind of attention and open awareness - able to observe thoughts, emotions, stress, tensions, and learn from them, without letting them define reality. You will develop an awareness that favors the process of thinking to the content of thoughts, and deal differently with what is coming up. You will let go of all the layers of the mind, and reactions, and simply be here, enjoying life, and taking in the moment.

This retreat is not just a vacation with some occasional meditations or yoga sessions, it’s a journey within yourself with different practices, context theory, sharing, and reflections. In sum, this will allow you to get in touch with an open awareness for all layers - brain, mind, body, and heart.

What's the retreat about?

  • Opening to an observational space that doesn't try to change stories, opinions, judgments, and feelings, but simply - and more profoundly - cuts through it
  • Opening to the possibilities of the mind and learn to observe the process of thinking, without drawning in the content of thoughts, as to unhook from self-imposed limitations
  • Opening to the possibilities of moods and feelings, letting them flow gracefully and compassionately, to learn from the from them, without letting it define reality or actions
  • Opening to the possibilities of the body, to learn the art of being present, enjoying life, and taking in the good even when there is a storm at sea

Because even when you cannot stop the waves, you can learn how to surf and connect to the wisdom of the body, the clarity of the mind, and the compassionate heart. How would life be, if your mind would be free?

Mindfulness-based meditation

Mindfulness-based meditation (MBSR-MBCT) forms the core of the open mind sessions and will complement heart and positive neuro-plasticity meditation practices. A Lotus Seed integrates both and adds insights from neuroscience and deep ancient Buddhism (Theravada and Tibetan) to deepen the practice. In the morning and late afternoon there is also Hatha yoga, Nidra, and Yin yoga to let your body empower itself.

What will you learn?

See if you can read this with an open mind though as this list could be longer or shorter depending on what you bump into, this retreat is foremost an experience. An investigation of your own being, and an observation of the different components of experience, while letting outcome of this investigation be open to receive what one needs in this moment in life.

Mind

  • Developing open mind qualities like focus, open concentration, compassionate attention, choice-less attention, curiosity, creativity and a beginner's mind
  • Unraveling the mind-body mechanisms and patterns
  • Letting go of thinking patterns and story lines
  • Developing cognitive flexibility to see new possibilities
  • Learning the art of being present

Body

  • Restoring balance in the body as a gateway for an open mind
  • Observing the influence of mental and emotional states on the physical body
  • Walking meditation, alignment-based Iyengar and Hatha yoga (morning) and yin/nidra yoga (afternoon), meditative dancing (optional)

Feelings

  • Observing the true nature of emotions: non-self, impermanent, feedback loop
  • Tapping into different layers of open attention relating to letting go, acceptance, compassion, and empathy
  • Learning the role of subconscious mind and old emotions in developing in open mind
  • Open mind practices in dealing with stress and emotions

Brain

  • Learning to tap into the adaptive brain network and implications for the open mind state
  • Tapping into the parasympathetic nervous system
  • Storing positive experiences in memory to create new neural traces

Heart

  • Tapping into the open brain waves of gratitude, shared joy, equanimity, and loving kindness
  • Learning to soothe the heart rythm pattern for an open mind to flourish
  • Activating the soothing system for the release of oxytocin

Behavior

  • Replacing old, habitual, automatic ways with new flexible and intentional ways of behaving
  • Learning the subconscious mechanisms that drive your actions
  • Taking actions in creating the life you want

What makes this retreat different?

No blabla

Expect no superficial tips and tricks, no transformation to "a better version of yourself" but a proven process of deeper practices to connect with an open awareness to deal with the waves of life, sometimes in joy, sometimes in pain. You can only grow out of acceptance and recognition with what you encounter, not out of a fight or striving for something better.

Holistic

Here you will practice mindfulness-based meditation (MBSR-MBCT), heart, and positive neuro-plasticity meditation practices, neuroscience, deep ancient Buddhism (Theravada and Tibetan), yoga (Hatha, Nidra, and Yin), and healing massages (Thai-Aryuvedic and Reiki).

A journey within

This retreat is not just a vacation. It's also not a yoga vacation in which you have two hours of yoga and some occasional meditation. It’s a journey within yourself with different practices, context theory, sharing, and reflections. This allows you to get in touch with an open awareness for all layers - brain, mind, body, and heart.

Balance

This retreat is also an opportunity to let your body recover and enjoying the surroundings, nature, food, and a wonderful group. The open mind sessions forms the core of this inner journey and the practice builds up with each day so it's good to be there. Early morning and late afternoon you can also practice yoga which is optional. In the afternoon you are free to give yourself the time to relax and enjoy being in nature, or at the beach, take a massage, make a walk.

Looking deeply enough

Mindfulness is a simple, mild, and honest observation stripped of interpretation. Because it is not always easy "to see" what you observe, the mind starts interpreting, evaluating, and projecting again. During this retreat you will also learn to unravel the mechanisms of your subconscious, so that you can gain a deeper insight into the true causes of suffering and happiness instead of combatting symptoms or search for quick fixes.

Skill training

You will not delve in stories about the past, the future, who you are or are not. Instead you will learn to observe the stories and believes in a particular way, without going into the content of the story. This allow you to arrive in the here and now and to master the new skills.

In summary, enjoy

  • Open mind sessions - sharings, reflections and theory will be alternated by sitting and walking meditations, and some silent moments to integrate some insights deeper.
  • Daily yoga sessions - Hatha-Iyengar in the mornings for an active freshness, Nidra or Yin yoga in the afternoons for deep relaxation
  • Optional Reiki and Thai Aryuvedic massages to release blockages and enter deep relaxation
  • Free afternoons to explore the cute villages and beaches around, or chill in the 75ha garden
  • Delicious vegetarian food buffets - organic, very tasty and mostly from the garden!
  • An amazing community of people with different backgrounds, dreams and hearts - both total beginners and experienced meditators and yogis, are welcome
  • In this journey you will go beyond the "knowing". See life as it is, simply, here.

Sample daily schedule

  • 08:00 - 09:00 Combination Iyengar-Hatha yoga
  • 09:00 - 10:00 Breakfast
  • 10:00 - 13:00 Mindfulness, Metta-heart meditation, and open mind practices, reflection, and theory
  • 13:00 - 14:00 Lunch
  • 14:00 -17:00 Personal time to take a therapeutic massage, swim in the natural pool, go to the beach or go for a hike
  • 17:30 -18:30 Restorative, Yin yoga, or Nidra Yoga
  • 19:00 - 20:00 Dinner
  • 20:00 - 21:00 Relaxation session and daily sharing

Instructors

Geraldine Gobert

Anna

Geraldine De La Vigne

Retreat location

The retreat will take place in Odemira, Alentejo, in the midst of Portugal's most beautiful nature, within the Natural Reservation Park of Costa Vicentina, and not too far from Portugal's wild scenic coastlines.

Nearby places

  • Zambujeiro do Mar - 10 minutes
  • Odemira - 10 minutes
  • Villa Nova de Milfontes - 20 minutes
  • Odeceixe - 20 minutes

Unique features

Activities

  • Cooking classes
  • Massage
  • Mountain walking
  • Reiki
  • Stargazing
  • Surfing
  • Swimming pool (outdoor)

General

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Fireplace
  • Garden
  • Hammock
  • Lounge
  • Meditation garden
  • Terrace
  • Yoga deck
  • Yoga shala
  • Patio

This Yoga Retreat is vegetarian-friendly

Click to see more vegetarian-friendly Yoga Retreats

Food

The food served in this retreat is vegetarian with local, fresh and savoury ingredients. A delicious,and healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffet will be served every day. Vegan or other dietary requirements are possible upon request.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Detox juices

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Yogic
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Depending on the preferences of the group, you can have excursions to the following:

  • Have lunch along the river and the sea of Odeceixe.
  • Enjoy the cute little town of Odemira with a walk to some magic rocks or meditate.
  • Walk in the dunes and have lunch along the seaside in Ribeira da Azenha and Ilha do Pessegeiro.
  • Explore the most beautiful little town of Zambujeiro do Mar on the Alentejano coast with stunning beaches.
  • Relax along the shore of the sea in the beautiful town of Vila Nova de Milfontes.

You may also do the following during your free time:

  • Explore the region
  • Go horse riding
  • Go surfing
  • Massages and Reiki treatments upon request at additional costs
  • Meditation on magic ancient rocks
  • Mindful walking session on the beach
  • Read a good book
  • Refresh in the bio-pool
  • Take a massage in a massage hut in the middle of nature
  • Take a walk to explore the garden surrounded by 71 hectares of nature

What's included

  • 3 healthy vegetarian meals a day
  • 7 evening relaxation sessions (one hour each)
  • 7 morning meditation and open mind sessions sessions (three hour each)
  • 7 yoga sessions (morning and afternoon)
  • 7 nights’ accommodation
  • Course material: booklet and audio meditations
  • Integrated MBCT-MBSR course
  • Optional group activities

What's not included

  • Airport transfers
  • Additional drinks/food bought outside the retreat center

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS) or Faro airport. Rented cars can be shared among participants. Rental costs will be around 65 EUR per person for a whole week. A Lotus Seed will meet you at Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS) and you will drive together to the retreat center.

Alternatively, you can fly to Faro Airport (FAO) from which you can take public transportation or share a car to get to the retreat venue.

Participants are divided into car groups depending on the flight schedules. Ask for more information after inscription.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 60 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Food
Location
Quality of activity
8 days / 7 nights
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Availability

Arrival: Saturday September 28, 2019
Departure: Saturday October 5, 2019

Special discount

There will be 10% reduction on the price for one person if you bring a friend or if you are living and working in Portugal. Special prices are also offered to those who would like to join with more friends. Please ask A Lotus Seed for more information.

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