Retreat to the enchanted countryside near Montreal, Quebec to join a women’s circle at the beautifully intimate Centre de Vie in Ripon. Practice yoga in a spectacularly renovated French country barn temple. Gather each evening by fire and candlelight as we share stories of the mythical goddesses. Take a writing journey to deeper reveal the many faces of our feminine nature. Indulge in home-prepared fresh vegetarian meals, wander through the countryside, and dip in the lake. We will bring the themes of the Divine Feminine to the here and now. You are invited to reconnect to the sacred energies within you.
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Centre de Vie offers inviting shared spaces, comfortable rooms with cozy beds, inspiring horizon views, dipping pond, dry sauna, therapy center, nature trails and delicious home-prepared vegetarian meals. The centre holds an enchanting atmosphere, and is perched in the midst of beautiful countryside. Enjoy the beauty from one of the comfortable lounges or the sundeck. Rotate between the dry sauna and the dipping lake. Centre de Vie has a bright spacious modern kitchen and dining area.
The retreat center has two shared lounge spaces, one with a fireplace, as well as a large sun terrace. Retreat guests will stay in beautifully decorated and uniquely designed rooms and can choose either shared accommodation (double/triple) or private upgrade. Expect unique rooms, cozy pillows, comfortable duvets, warm bedside lighting, and steamy showers. Please note that the bathrooms are shared.
The primary gathering space for sacred circle and yoga will be the spectacular, light-filled temple in the newly refurbished interior of the old style barn. The sun will pour in as you practice morning and yoga meditation, and the dusk will bring atmosphere to your afternoon gathering. The outdoor deck provides further space for gathering when the shade is sufficient. In the evening, you will gather by fire and perhaps candlelight, depending upon the mood that calls to the circle. Mats, props, and cushions will be provided.
Enjoy the atmospheric beauty of the Outaouais region of Québec in springtime as you gather to reignite the sharing of stories among women. This retreat will bring together the rich tradition of storytelling with the intimate power of the women's writing circle. Gather by fire to listen to the sacred stories, wake for meditation and yoga, and delve deeper into your nature through writing. You will bring the themes of the Divine Feminine to the here and now to explore the many faces of your own femininity and to bring insight to your unique intuitive leanings. You are invited to go deeper into the mysteries of your own being.
In this retreat, you will connect with your body through meditation, yoga and movement. You will gather by candlelight to listen to mystical stories of the Divine Feminine and how they reveal aspects of your inherent nature. You will circle for self-exploratory writing circles inspired by the rich themes for women stirred up by the stories. Writing serves as a channel to reveal insight, allow vulnerability and bring forth what is calling to be heard from within you.
As a woman, you are reclaiming your mythology. The universal stories hold personal keys for each woman. As you gather to listen to the tales of the Divine Feminine, you are invited to reawaken your connection to the sacred energies within you, to feel them rise and reclaim them as yours.
With daily guided meditation and yoga, you will listen in to the innate guidance that is found in your body and breath. The body holds the truth of our physical and sensual experience, and is the home of your deepest intuitions. Your breath is your way back home. As you practice listening to the guidance of your body, and honor and heed its wisdom, your intuition expands. You journey into more alignment with your inner knowing. Oral storytelling ignites the light of feminine intuition and understanding. This is a beautiful act of receiving in the wisdom tradition between women, a passing of the ember.
Each evening, you will listen to stories of the Divine Feminine as represented by mythical goddess stories. You will use their story to connect with the different faces of the feminine within yourself. Each goddess symbolizes energies and feminine archetypes that are alive within each of you. As an example, the Goddess Demeter opens your awareness of the rhythms of cycles and letting go. Her story brings you in touch with a more feminine experience of time.
The diversity of goddesses allows you to remember and re-invite the richness of aspects of your own feminine energy. Each sacred story provides a lens through which you can encounter more of your own feminine nature, gaining insight into what is alive within you, as well as what you have lost or forsaken or forgotten. The stories reveal essential insights into preserving and honoring your power as a woman. The power of story brings you back to yourself, again and again.
As you move through the stories of the goddesses, you will embody and explore the energies they represent for you, allowing them to inspire your writing and sharing circle. Whether it be honoring your own cycles, realizing the fertile power of letting go, harnessing your creative vision, or guarding over your own sacred fire, the stories provide you with rich and layered themes to unfold and explore in your life.
You will bring in dynamic self-exploratory writing exercises to unlock deep personal truth and insights. You may also call in movement or other channels of exploration. The women's circle provides a loving and encouraging space to reveal your heart, connect to your feelings, share your truths, spark your imagination and journey into deeper intimacy with yourself and others.
You renew your wise and wild feminine energy when you heed the call to gather, and when you honor this moment - this here, this now - as your sacred space. You will bring in ritual and beauty. Through sharing your stories, you hold the mirror of compassion for each other. In this reflection, you witness and embrace more of who we all are.
As co-facilitator Melanie says, "May we let the stories move through us and let them whisper in the vulnerability of our hearts the treasures we long to recollect."
Guests may arrive to Centre de Vie on Thursday, May 3rd (check-in is at 4:00 p.m.) to relax and settle in. After dinner, you will open your circle. The daily flow will begin on Friday, May 4th.
The retreat will finish by 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 8th, and you have the option to linger and enjoy the beauty of Centre de Vie as well as lunch. Delicious meals are vegetarian and served in the outdoor kitchen. Coffee, tea and snacks are available at all times. On-site therapies are available during break times, as well as many opportunities to relax or walk or bike in nature and explore the enchanting beauty of this very special place. You might feel like taking a sauna or perhaps going on a walk to visit the resident donkeys.
Please note the guidelines for booking travel if you wish to share transport to the retreat center.
The Centre De Vie retreat center is located in Ripon, in the heart of nature, just one hour and 45 minutes from Montreal. In the heart of the Petite Nation, in the beautiful Outaouais region, Centre de Vie offers a gorgeous French Canadian country-style retreat setting. The Petite Nation is known for its sparkling rivers, green and lush hillsides, glowing fields and refreshing lakes. At the valley's center, Centre de Vie is located on 216 acres of beautiful countryside lined with walking trails, providing the space to disconnect and reconnect with yourself and nature.
The retreat center combines the intimacy of a country home setting with the spaciousness of a nature retreat. At the "Center of Life", you will feel very well taken care of and most certainly, charmed.
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All delicious meals will be vegetarian, varied, and generous in portions. The meals are prepared with big love by Hélène and Michael, the resident owners of Centre de Vie. If you require a vegan/gluten free option or require separate meals due to allergies, this is available at 10 USD per day extra. The first included meal will be dinner on May 3rd. The final meal will be lunch on May 8th. Coffee, tea, and snacks are available throughout the day. The kitchen also offers a small refrigerator for guest use.
Within five minutes of Centre de Vie, you can find the organic farm The Fruits of The Earth, the organic veggie farm La Défriche, and local organic winery Domaine Des Meteores. Each of these family-run properties boasts gorgeous farm buildings in vibrant and sweet country setting. The Outaouais region is blessed with hiking, hillside panoramas, culinary treats, museums, unique lodging, an incredible spa, adventure opportunities, and tucked away tourist gems. You can explore the region via walking trails, bicycle, or car.
Treat yourself. In addition to the outdoor sauna, the in-house therapy center offers healing consultations and treatments such as massage, energy harmonization, naturopathy, iridology, and cupping therapy. These are available for an extra cost.
Please book your flight to arrive at Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL). Transfer from and to this airport is available upon request. The airport is less than two hours away from Ripon, without traffic. Storyteller Within Retreats will help to arrange the most economical ground transport option for shared transport - eg. shuttle, taxi, shared rental car. The cost may range from 50 to 75 USD for transport each way, depending on how many are wishing to share.
To take part in shared transportation during arrival, they suggest to book your flight to arrive between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., and be willing to wait for others arrival if on the earlier side of that range. Alternatively, you can arrive the night before and be picked up from a Montreal hotel. On departure, you should book your flight at 4:00 p.m. or later, which would mean taking off from the center around 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. to give lots of time.
If you wish to linger and enjoy the final half-day to soak up the surroundings, you can book your flight at 7:00 p.m. or later, which would mean taking off after lunch around 1:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Please see the address for the GPS location. If you plan to drive, Storyteller Within Retreats can provide additional directions for arriving to Centro De Vie. The cost estimate to rent a car by yourself for the week is 340 CAD from the airport with unlimited kilometers.
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