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This retreat program is designed to help you explore or deepen the subject of your choice; choose from Tao yoga, a variety of qigong forms and practices or from a variety of meditation methods from Taoist and Buddhist lineages. Ideally, you will be looking to stop all your habitual daily activities-including mobile devices and internet although they are available-and simply relax while enjoying two hours a day of gentle guided instructions in your chosen subject. We are happy to extend your stay. If you prefer a longer retreat, please let us know and we will adjust the package accordingly.
Tourné is a large maison de maître, considered locally to be one of the finest examples. Large airy rooms with high ceilings set in mature gardens surrounded by a welcoming forest valley. Tourné has been offering retreats as well as holidays for the last 15 years. Historically, it had previously housed a music school, acclaimed for presenting public performances making use of the stunning natural acoustics of the valley in which the house is set.
You will have your own large room with views of the valley and en suite bathroom. Set in a totally natural environment, a clear mountain stream running through the extensive gardens - no light pollution here, no traffic , just clean fresh air, no light pollution and plenty of opportunity to view the amazing night skies filled with more stars than you can imagine. Abundant wildlife, flora and fauna make this a perfect place to relax and refresh with support from a completely natural environment.
This Tao meditation retreat is aimed at increasing calm awareness, stress release and heightened energy levels. Daily meditation sessions to release stress and develop a calm mind are followed by a series of taoist yoga postures. The principles of sitting practice are brought into movement. Tao meditation is a natural practice which awakens the mind's inherent capacity to heal and to reorganise. You will leave the retreat with confidence that you can practice what you have learned and make progress in daily life.
On your arrival day you will have the opportunity to discuss your requirements with Ram Chatlani. Together you will decide on the details of your daily program. You will have 5 one hour sessions, two on each of the first days and one before you leave on your last day. Sessions are usually at 9.30 a.m. and 3.30 p.m., but times are flexible according to your needs.
Your daily sessions will be tailored to your specific needs and level of experience. Depending on the weather and the season, sessions may be outdoors or in one of our three dojos or practice areas. You will be able to use these spaces at your pleasure during your stay.
You will have use of a good quality mountain bike for a daily visit to the village, 3 kilometres away, if you choose. Only breakfast and evening meal is provided so that you can enjoy the gentle cycle ride to the village along the river Artillac, in the forest. The village is small and quiet with an excellent restaurant, Chez Victor, a third generation family restaurant. The village bakery has a good choice of breads and food for a picnic.
Dependent on weather conditions you will be offered the opportunity to witness sunrise on the Pyrenees mountains. We will drive to an altitude of 1500 metres and walk through a beech forest to arrive at the col de Portel for a morning practice or simply to breathe in the spectacle of sunrise on the mountain.
Ram is an expert teacher of Tao yoga, Tai Chi, Bagua (eight trigrams circle walking), Qigong, and meditation with over 30 years experience. He has been certified by Master B.K. Frantzis as a teacher of various Qigong forms, breathing, and Bagua circle walking for health and meditation. His other teachers include Dadi Janki, Sepa Dorjé Rinpoche, Lama Lena Yeshe Katyub, and Victor Sanchez. He has students worldwide and is an inspiring teacher with vast practical knowledge and a unique approach to the universal methods of Tao. He has trained extensively in Buddhist, Yogic, and Taoist tradition.
Tourné is a fine maison de maitre in the Artillac valley, built by the Vicomte de Bellissens in 1858, reputedly for his maitre d’affaires. Hence, it is a genuine maison de maitre-built by a noble for his right hand man.
With extensive gardens, woodland and river access, the house has three floors with a large adjoining activity studios. The valley is an area of protected environment in the heart of the Parc naturel régional des Pyrénées ariégeoises.
In the park, there is virtually no industry (1%); the population is sparse - 1 person for every 2 kilometers and consequently minimal traffic, with very few cars passing the House.
There are many walks, for all levels of fitness, of astounding beauty that can be made directly from the house. Beautiful wild flowers in spring, stunning walks in summer cooled by the forest. The voie verte is a recently opened 42-kilometer route reserved for cyclists and walkers running from St Girons and Foix accessed at Castelnau Durban and is wonderful at all times of year.
In the house, you will find guides and maps with local attractions and walks. With no pollution, the river runs clear and the nights sky bright for star gazers. Many local activities and historic sites are under 30 minutes' drive. There are lots to see and do in the area, and the House provides a very calm and tranquil base for a gentle calm retreat.
Breakfast and a four-course evening meal are provided for you. Meals are prepared from the fresh ingredients each day, often using vegetables from their own organic garden. Tao Meditation is happy to cater for special diets.
Transfer not provided
Transfer not provided
The nearest airport is Toulouse–Blagnac Airport (TLS). The venue is accessible by public transport.
The nearest major train station is Foix. It is about 60 minutes by road or 85 minutes by train from Toulouse. A shuttle service leaves from the airport to the train station every 20 minutes for 6 EUR, from 07:35 a.m. to 00:15 a.m. daily. The bus station is next to Gare Matabiau. There is also a tram.
From Toulouse, take the train to Foix. The journey time is about 85 minutes. Trains run hourly. From Foix, you can either take a taxi (about 45 EUR), a bus, (3 EUR), or Tao Meditation can arrange to have you met and driven to Tourné by one of their support team (30 EUR). If you would like them to meet you, please let them know at least three days in advance. Also Tao Meditation asks that you ring them once on the train from Toulouse to confirm your arrival time at Foix.
Buses leave from the post office in Foix and will stop at Castlenau Durban. Ring Tao Meditation from the village and they will collect you (no charge, but please let them know in advance). Please check the bus timetable as bus times change according to school holidays. Generally there are three buses a day between Foix and Castelnau Durban at about 08:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. (not on Saturdays or Sundays). But please check with the St Girons or Foix tourist office whose web address is easily found.
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