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8 Days Yoga and Mindfulness Retreat in Morocco Desert

  • La Pause, Douar Lmik Laroussiène, Commune Agafy, Marrakech, Morocco

Overview

Mindfulness Journeys - Meditation and Yoga

There’s a seductive authenticity to this luxury 7 night stay in our Berber desert retreat. It’s also faultlessly stylish and deeply relaxing. Join this intimate group where you will be nourished by the practice of meditation, secret Tibetan yoga and optional running, ancient wisdom traditions shared by Brian Hilliard, a teacher of profound experience. Hosted by Shannon van Staden, all the details will be taken care of. These mindfulness holidays ensure that you leave rejuvenated and refreshed.

Highlights

  • All levels are welcome
  • Tibetan yoga sessions daily
  • Mindfulness meditation every morning
  • Time for talks and discussions, periods of inner reflection
  • 7 nights luxury accommodation
  • Daily healthy meals

Skill level

  • Beginner

  • Intermediate

  • Advanced

  • 6 days with instruction
  • English
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Your villa or glamping tent is designed to blend into the desert surroundings: simple mud-and-straw adobe walls or cotton canvas conceal sumptuous interiors awash with traditional Berber cushions, a profusion of thick Berber rugs, low tables with fresh roses, hand-sculpted bathrooms and huge, comfortable beds. All villa ensuites have wood stoves and comfortably furnished terraces with sun loungers overlooking vast vistas by day and night — some are on hilltops and others the river canyon. The glamping tents rest on a hilltop with large Bivouac lounging tents set on a little river canyon. Enjoy high thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, hot running water, luxury toiletries and bathrobes. Eco-friendly and without electricity, hundreds of lanterns, candles and wood fires light up the nighttime.

Daily schedule

Awaken to the gorgeous desert sunrise with optional running with Brian. Meet up with Brian and Shannon for one hour of Tibetan Yoga to wake up your body and prepare you for the day ahead.

Enjoy a delicious Moroccan breakfast to set you up for your morning meditation talk and practice with Brian Hilliard. In the meditation Bivouac tent, with uninterrupted desert views and thick carpets, you will be guided through the form and practice of meditation with talks, discussions and periods of silence for inner reflection. This is suitable for beginners or experienced meditators.

Then you will enjoy a long fresh, delicious lunch with your retreat companions in private bivouac dining tents or amongst olive trees.

The afternoons are at your leisure to rest, read, write or nap on your terrace or at the pool. Or maybe you’d like to take a ride into the desert, enjoy a round of cross golf or take a walk along the river canyon?

You will conclude your day with the evening practice before a delicious sunset dinner amidst lanterns, candles and campfires under Berber tents. Evenings there will be presentations and special events to deepen understanding and practice.

Mindfulness Holidays Meditation

Your day starts and closes with mindfulness meditation sessions guided by teacher Brian Hilliard. In a traditional Berber tent with thick carpets and rolling desert views you will learn the techniques and practice of sitting and walking meditation. There will be talks, discussions and some silence for inner reflection.

Our ability to perceive and enjoy an amazing display of desert sky resonates deeply with the experience of meditation. Senses are sharpened and clarified, felt newly in an expansive awareness which goes beyond our usual preoccupations. Deep personal experience is adorned with the beauty of sense perceptions. With deep relaxation you will experience the art of letting go. You will learn and understand incredible tools to take home with you. Suitable for beginners and advanced practitioners. See our Free Meditation for more on mindfulness meditation.

Tibetan Yoga

You will start the day joyfully awakening your bodies with one hour of Tibetan yoga. This strengthens and aligns body and mind, and leads to a sense of balance and harmony. This special yoga is suitable for all levels of fitness and ability.

Running with Meditation

For runners and walkers (optional). Running with meditation is an introduction to meditation in movement. Reach the zone easily with practical instructions for combining mindfulness and movement.

Brian Hilliard

Brian Hilliard has been practicing and teaching mindfulness/awareness meditation for over 35 years. Under the guidance of Tibetan Buddhist masters, he studied the ancient Tibetan wisdom traditions of the mahayana and vajrayana. In the 1970's and 1980's he studied under Chgyam Trungpa Rinpoche, who was instrumental in transplanting authentic meditation practices to the west. In the 1990's Brian completed a traditional three-year retreat under the guidance of one of Tibet's great teachers, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche. In the late 1990's and 2000's he studied and practiced the scholastic/yogic tradition of Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche. Brian is presently exploring the vision of good human society with Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and has been appointed Shastri, senior teacher, in the Shambhala tradition. In that role he teaches widely and is also a guest speaker for events and organizations.

Brian's teachings will guide and support you personally in the development of mindfulness in daily life. His teachings are spontaneous, responding to the unique talents or challenges of the participants. He brings a warm, gentle and humorous style to the instructions, conveying the subtlety and depth of these very practical instructions on how to fully live manifesting your best human qualities. He facilitates the process of self-learning and understanding through special physical exercises, group discussion and the practice of mindfulness itself.

The teachings that Brian presents are completely secular and do not require any affiliation anywhere. They are practical, functional, and work directly with the many kinds of difficult experiences we encounter, including stress, anxiety, dissatisfaction, physical pain, and painful emotions. We enable ourselves to meet and overcome these challenges and as well continue the celebration of our lives. Above all you gain confidence that you have the tools you need to meet the challenges of daily life.

Originally from Vermont, Brian has lived in Switzerland, Italy and France for the last fourteen years. He speaks Italian and English. He enjoys running marathons and teaching running with the mind of meditation, cooking Italian and playing the accordion with panache.

Shannon van Staden

Born and raised in South Africa, Shannon lived in London and New York, and worked in the worlds of fashion styling, interiors and luxury hospitality. Shannon has been breathing style and travel for most of her life and has seen many incredible places. Something was missing and in 2008 Shannon discovered meditation. This led her to finding secret spaces and places that bring together nature and well being – that have a spirit and wholeness and a place where it is possible to come and connect with yourself. Hosting and taking care of the little details for guests is what Shannon loves to do. Shannon is a Meditation Instructor and trained in the Shambhala Lineage.

The ancient Marrakchi Desert, 45 km from exotic Marrakech, is a haven for modern-day nomads where simple comforts and well-being merge into one. Rugged simplicity is in step with the beautiful severity of a rolling stone desert. It exudes an air of incredible romance in cinematic style. Berber rugs in vivid red, cushions and candles galore are the ingredients that set the cultural style of the ensuite mud villas & glamping tents. Bivouac dining tents are set on a meandering canyon.

After your morning Tibetan yogic exercises you’ll enjoy a delicious breakfast Moroccan style. It’s comprised of homemade pancakes, traditional breads, Moroccan tagine eggs, fresh seasonal fruits, orange juice, coffee, green and mint tea. Lunches and dinners are traditional North African dishes combining the best of Moroccan and French cuisine. They are lovingly prepared and beautifully presented in the private nomad dining tent with rolling desert views. Rocket salad, flavored with hand-made cold-pressed virgin olive oil, is picked daily from the garden completing the tantalizing of all your sense perceptions. You will rediscover balance and happiness through a well-nourished self with greater life-force and energy.

Spend the rest of your day lazing Moroccan Berber style — choose a terrace or colourful hammock under the ancient olive trees, or cool off in the tranquil swimming pool. You’ll find your ideal spots to relax, hide away or peacefully snooze. Keen eco-tourism travelers will find this a perfect starting point for adventures into the desert wilderness. Feel the freedom of the wide open spaces below the Atlas mountains. Go horse, donkey or camel riding, or maybe even try cross-golf?

Walks along the red clay river canyon are a must. You will see little turtles sunning themselves on rocks, shyly jumping into the water, or a shepherd and his goats crossing from one hilltop to the next. There is also a traditional Berber hammam for up to two people if you would like to have a nice steam. Browse the chic boutique for homemade olive oil, Moroccan blankets and teapots, slippers, essential oils and more.

Extras

  • Guided Shopping Tour to the Marrakech Souks - Spend the day with a knowledgeable shopping guide exploring the souks of exotic Marrakech. Enjoy lunch on the rooftop of a riad with views of the Atlas mountains.
  • Spend a Day at a Spa - Spend a day pampering yourself at a spa — enjoy a traditional hot steamy hammam, full body scrub and massage. Then enjoy a delicious lunch with views of the Atlas Mountains.
  • 5 Tibetan Yoga sessions (once daily) with Brian Hilliard
  • 7 nights luxury accommodation
  • 11 meditation talks, discussions and practice time with Brian (twice daily)
  • Daily breakfasts, lunch and dinners prepared by our chefs
  • Farewell Dinner
  • Optional desert running with Brian
  • Personal sessions with Brian and Shannon
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Camel, horse or donkey rides
  • Desert cross golf
  • Flights
  • Lunch on free day
  • Marrakech guided shopping excursion
  • Marrakech spa treatments
  • Transfers

Arrival by airplane

Easyjet, BA and Ryanair fly direct to Marrakesh from London. For flights from all destinations: www.skyscanner.com

For information about the booking conditions, please send Retreats - Mindfulness and Yoga an inquiry.
  • Review by Sara from London, UK
    10 out of 10

    "The retreat was incredible. I was held by both of you from the moment of my first email, through to meeting up with you at the airport, to that first session on the first day. I am ever so grateful. Grateful for your love and your care, your teachings and your taste. Grateful for the conditions you created for me to be held. And you should be really proud. Thank you so very much. What an incredible experience. This trip was precisely what I needed and will likely need again in May or September in Greece."

    Mindfulness Journeys website, edited

  • Review by Jane
    10 out of 10

    "It was unbelievable! In 25 years of travel writing Ive never experienced anything like it. Thank you."

    Mindfulness Journeys website, edited

  • Review by Ralph from Amsterdam, the Netherlands
    10 out of 10

    "During my one month retreat Brian patiently watched me drop the mental baggage that I brought in from my wordly life. As my sensitivity increased while opening up, he kindly and skillfully led me to a more confident attitude towards my being."

    Mindfulness Journeys website, edited

  • Review by Olga from Barcelona, Spain
    10 out of 10

    "Brian Hilliard as a teacher is fully present and creates an open space that allowed me to cultivate mindfulness and awareness. He has a kind, clear and precise way of communicating. His powerful and accurate questioning aroused my curiosity and made me explore deeply. His listening nourished me in my personal process of integration. I really appreciate Brians generosity, wisdom, skill and creative approach to interaction. I highly recommend him for one-to-one and group teachings."

    Mindfulness Journeys website, edited

  • Review by Mimi from Ireland
    10 out of 10

    "Brian Hilliards teachings are infused with his decades of practice and study of meditation. He is the real deal. Insightful, wise, funny, he shows us how the profound teachings are helpful in navigating our everyday lives. Brian is also a gracious host, providing good food and conversation. Taking a Mindfulness Journey with him is magical."

    Mindfulness Journeys website, edited

Brussels, Belgium

Mindfulness retreat holidays with a love for simple elegance, travel, culture, food and nature activities.

from --

8 days / 7 nights

Special discount

If you bring a friend a 100 EUR discount per person is applied on the displayed prices for shared accomodation.

 

Departure:
Tuesday January 3, 2017
(8 days / 7 nights)

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