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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.
You will have a large bedroom and private en suite bathroom in the main house. Rooms have a writing desk and a seating area. The house has a wide ranging library and two lounges.
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.
This retreat will take place in Tourné, set in a secluded river valley in the foothills of the Ariège Pyrénées Mountains. Tourné and the Artillac River are at the very center of the Ariège Pyrénées National Park. Tourné has substantial gardens and outside seating areas with 1000 meters of private river frontage. The altitude of just under 500 meters allows you to enjoy exceptional air quality, warm sunshine with cool shade never far away.
Numerous local activities like skiing, walking, lake bathing, cycling, paragliding, horse riding, and white water canoeing are available for you. The area is surrounded by many historic sites, as well. The area is a favorite with serious cyclists many of whom have chosen Tourné as a base within easy reach of challenging Tour de France climbs. The nearest village to Tourné is Castelnau Durban which is on the edge of the Forêt de Bellissens where one can walk for days without meeting a soul.
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Breakfast will be served as will an evening meal. Meals are prepared from freshest of ingredients made with subtle flavors using herbs, spices, and homemade condiments.
Tourné is two kilometers south of the village of Castelnau Durban. The village is on the D117 which is the main road between Perpignan and Biaritz. If you are coming form the direction of Perpignan, follow the signs for Foix, Tarbes. If you are coming form the direction of Biaritz, follow the signs for Barcelona, Andorra.
Please book your flight to arrive at Carcassonne Airport (CCF) or Toulouse Blagnac Airport (TLS).
Local buses run from St Girons and Foix to Castelnau Durban. Buses run twice a day, with no service on Sunday and bank holidays. A bus leaves Foix at 12:30 p.m., arriving at Castlenau at 1:00 p.m. A bus also leaves at 5:30 p.m. arriving at 6:00 p.m. at Castlenau. On Mondays, there is an additional bus that leaves at 7:00 a.m. arriving at 8:00 a.m.
From Foix the bus leaves from by the main post office in the town, about 10-minute walk from the train station.
You can arrive from UK to Toulouse by using Eurostar or search SNCF website to find train times for all French rail travel. When arriving by train, it is usually recommended to arrive at Foix station. Transfer from the station to the venue can be arranged for 20 EUR.
Taxis are available at the airport at all times. At Foix train station, they are less reliable. It is recommended that you contact the organizers in advance with your arrival time and they will arrange for a pick up from Foix for 25 EUR.
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