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Join our intimate group and experience limitless blue sky and sea on the verdant island of Lefkada, Greece. You will be introduced to finding the extraordinary in everyday life through the practice of meditation and yoga. Your 7 night stay will be in one of four architecturally designed villas made of local sandstone. Each has a private pool, large deck, sun loungers and umbrellas. Nestled high on a hilltop surrounded by nothing but lush greenery and birdsong, you will at all times have vast views of Ionian Seas and majestic Greek islands. You will be expertly guided by Brian Hilliard in the practice of meditation, and hosted by Shannon van Staden, who will take care of all the details to ensure your stay is relaxing, and that you leave rejuvenated and refreshed. Your one week retreat holiday will give you deep relaxation, a new outlook on life, and profound tools to take home with you.
You will share a stylishly decorated, spacious, double storey villa comprised of three ensuite luxury rooms with jacuzzi baths or walk-in showers, as well as an open plan living room and fully equipped kitchen. Each villa has full length terraces, endless breathtaking sea views, and a private pool with loungers and an outdoor shower. All villas are air-conditioned.
Awake to a gorgeous sunrise over crystal waters. For runners (optional) start with a morning run with Brian enjoying gorgeous sea views. After a light breakfast, meet up with Shannon for yoga.
Then you will enjoy a fresh, balanced brunch with your retreat companions on the pool deck.
The afternoons are at your leisure. Rest, read, write or nap at your private pool. Maybe you’d like to hike down to the private beach and enjoy a skinny dip, take walks along the country road on this beautiful hilltop or languish on one of the world famous beaches nearby?
In late afternoons you gather at the meditation shala of uninterrupted views, where 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.
The day will be concluded with a delicious sunset dinner on one of the decks or terraces with exquisite views. Some evenings there will be movies or special events after dinner to deepen your understanding and practice of meditation and yoga, or explore the philosophy and practice of Macrobiotics.
Your day includes mindfulness meditation sessions guided by Brian Hilliard. You will learn the techniques and practice of sitting and walking meditation in a beautiful meditation shala with incredible views of Ionian Seas and majestic Greek Islands. There will be talks, discussions, private interviews on request, and some silence for inner reflection.
The ability to perceive and enjoy an amazing display of sea and 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 sense of letting go. You will learn and understand incredible tools to take home with you. Our meditation holiday is suitable for beginners and advanced practitioners. See our Free Meditation for more on mindfulness meditation.
Shannon's unique approach to yoga is closely aligned with meditation practice. Meticulous attention to correct yoga postures combines with the view of meditation. This is an approach for total health of mind and body.
Our retreats include optional running training. Running with meditation is an introduction to meditation in movement. Reach the zone easily with practical instructions for combining mindfulness and movement.
Shannon van Staden
Shannon van Staden believes in making mindfulness accessible to everyone. Her passion and expertise for meditation and yoga allows a gentle introduction to an ultimately life-changing experience within a space of love and gentleness.
Brian carefully and expertly guides beginners and experienced meditators through all the steps of mindfulness meditation. He provides lots of opportunities for you to build on strengths and let go of weaknesses, while inviting you to engage in solitary connection with yourself, and warm and friendly group interaction. At 18, Brian got life-changing teachings from the great Tibetan master Chőgyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Following many advanced seminaries and years of training, Brian completed the traditional Tibetan three-year retreat, and has studied and taught mindfulness for over 35 years.
This mindfulness retreat will take place at the Urania Villas, Lefkada, Greece.
Our chef Kostas Tzallilas will be presenting a range of delicious, healthy, organic macrobiotic meals. The essence of Macrobiotic diet is balance and adaptation to the environment and to the needs of each individual. During the retreat the nutrition is designed in such a way to maximize the cleansing, strengthening and centering effects of the yoga practice and the meditation. Each meal is prepared with a variety of ingredients such as grains, vegetables, beans and bean products, seaweed, fermented products, nuts, seeds and fruits; mostly organic. All the meals are 100% vegan and sugar free.
Take some time to swim, lounge, nap or read at your private pool deck, or take a 45 minute hike to our private pebbled beach with crystal clear waters. You may even spot dolphins and seals in this protected natural habitat.
A 15-minute drive brings you to one of three world class beaches of breathtaking beauty. Majestic sheer cliffs meet sand, pebbles and turquoise waters. Porto Katsiki is an easy walk, while Egremnoi beach has some 300 access steps - the spectacular part nudist beach is well worth the hike.
Take a boat trip to small coves where you can snorkel and explore the sea life of crystal clean waters. Enjoy lunch at a local Greek Taverna.
Flights are not included, however, we will suggest suitable flights. The best airport is Preveza, Lefkada (PVK), and there are great flights direct from London Gatwick on arrival and departure days. Our second choice is Kefalonia, then taxi to Fiscardo Marina to take West Ferry boat to Vassiliki Bay, and a 10-minute taxi ride to the villas. If you need to fly from a different destination we recommend www.skyscanner.com
Transfer by car from Preveza on the winding roads of Lefkada Island enjoying spectacular views and little Greek villages on your 1.2 hour ride. Arrive at the villas by 17.00 latest. Meet us, enjoy a welcome drink, unpack, unwind, and enjoy our introductory talk before dinner.
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