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3 Day Meditation Retreat in Germany's Black Forest: Shinrin-Yoku and Mindfulness in Nature

Mönchs Waldhotel, Zu den Mühlen 2, 75399 Unterreichenbach, Germany

Forest Therapy, Yoga & Mindfulness Retreat in Germany

Experience a Mindfulness retreat in the heart of the Black Forest in Germany, surrounded by a beautiful and iconic landscape near the border with France and Switzerland. The retreat component will be mainly based on nature and the healing power of the forest. Shinrin-Yoku (forest therapy) training and practice will be the focus of this relaxing holiday weekend, together with Mindfulness meditation sessions and introduction to Tibetan dream yoga. You will have an outing to the nearby tree canopy boardwalk with breath-taking views from its 40-meter spiral tower.

Meet the instructors

Helene Emma & Carlos
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Highlights

  • Daily practice and training on Shinrin Yoku (forest bathing)
  • Daily mindfulness meditation practice with MBSR basics training
  • Outdoor evening meditations and stargazing
  • Breakfast and snacks provided
  • 2 nights accommodation at typical and historical Black Forest Hotel
  • Introduction to Tibetan dream yoga

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


3 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: German, Spanish
Group size: Maximum of 14 participants
Airport transfer available:
Stuttgart Airport (US$111 per person)
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
15:00
Check-out Time:
11:00

Facilities

  • Health Club
  • Sauna
  • Spa
  • Steam room
  • Swimming pool (indoor)
  • Air-conditioned public areas
  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Bar
  • Café
  • Concierge desk
  • Dining area
  • Fireplace
  • Garden
  • Kitchen
  • Lobby
  • Lounge
  • Luggage room / storage
  • Multilingual staff
  • Restaurant
  • Special menu request
  • Terrace
  • Beauty salon
  • Conference room
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Internet access
  • Ironing / ironing board
  • Laundry
  • Meeting room
  • Parking lot
  • Tour assistance
  • Wireless internet

Mönchs Waldhotel is a well-known center for conferences, parties and active holidays in the Black Forest. Since 1693, hospitality in Kapfenhardt has been connected to the Mönch family name. With his wife Margaretha, Hans Jacob Mönch took over the Kapfenhardt Mill. Nowadays called Mühlenlädle (Mill Shop), this business is run by the tenth generation of the family.

The 65 rooms in Mönchs Waldhotel decorated with natural materials provide a warm atmosphere, you can choose between a room on the slopes of the valley with a view looking towards the Black Forest or one of the Panorama rooms overlooking the valley and the Kapfenhardt mill.

Hotel amenities and spa

Relax and enjoy the amazing amenities at the hotel, spacious rooms, large indoor swimming pool (14 meters x 8 meters), spa with three different types of saunas, a Finnish sauna, hot air sauna and a Roman steam bath with the starry sky above. You could top it up by pampering yourself with an optional beauty or wellness, face and body treatments like a hot stone or Ayurvedic massage.

Program

You have most likely experienced it yourself, how good it feels to spend time in a forest. Especially taking a walk alone, time seems to slow down naturally and effortlessly, as if nature welcomes you home to rest.

The Japanese know it as Shinrin-Yoku or “Forest Bathing”. It is considered there as a form of preventative medicine and it refers to routinely immersing oneself in the forest, attentively and mindfully, reconnecting with its nature through the senses.

Universe Mindfulness takes it up a notch by mixing in mindfulness practice and meditation to allow for everyone’s spirituality to enhance the healing effects of the forest. Universe Mindfulness has developed sensory practices which will enhance the whole forest immersion experience.

The techniques used are specifically designed to open the mind and body to fully receive the healing benefits of the woods. These forest bathing techniques will be a long-lasting take away for participants who can utilize them on their own future nature walks. The program encourages a mindful exchange with the forest environment through an evolving series of “stations”. All exercises were crafted to help participants deepen the connection with nature through the senses.

The retreat will take place at the heart of the iconic Black Forest in Germany, 50 kilometers west of Stuttgart. This is historical hotel in the town of Unterreichenbach.

It is indeed an amazing setting for the Mindfulness in a nature weekend retreat. Forest therapy practice, Mindfulness meditation, and introduction to Tibetan Dream yoga will be the focus of this relaxing and healing weekend retreat.

Universe Mindfulness' style is to provide a complete package designed to provide you with long-lasting memories of stunning places and for you to experience and take away stress management and wellness tools from this weekend-long retreat.

Mindfulness program details

The Mindfulness seminar piece of this package offers guided meditation sessions and training on Mindfulness practice techniques. The training's foundation is the Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program developed at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in the 1970s by Professor Jon Kabat-Zinn.

The lead trainer is MBSR certified with more than 15 years of experience teaching this course, She will provide daily guided meditation practices focusing on a variety of relaxation and self-compassion techniques. The other major component will be daily sessions of Shinrin Yoku and Forest Therapy. Shinrin-yoku, which means "forest bathing", was introduced in Japan in the early 1980s and it is now officially adopted as preventive health care and healing practice in Japanese medicine.

Several decades of medical research in Japan and South Korea have scientifically proven the effectiveness of this natural healing method and immune system enhancement. Their research is now the foundation for establishing Shinrin-yoku and Forest Therapy as a common practice throughout the world.

The program, which enjoys amazing reviews and has been featured in German publications is one of the first ones in central Europe.

Shinrin-Yoku sessions will, of course, take place in the nearby forest and the final one near the picturesque town of Bad Wildbad. The surrounding area also offers a great space for solitude and contemplation. Immerse yourself in the very safe local natural beauty that could be enjoyed during a solitary stroll.

Vacation component details

Maintaining the traditional vacation-retreat format, you will also have a “holiday” component during the weekend retreat. A half-day outing is planned to “Baumwipfelpfad Schwarzwald” a gigantic spiral tower with amazing views of the surrounding thick forest and its treetop boardwalk trail. This excursion includes a walking tour of picturesque Bad Wildbad, including cable car to Sommerberg Mountain and Sommerberg suspension bridge.

Weekend overview

Participants will stay at the very typical, Black Forest style, Ringhotel Mönch's Waldhotel. Upon arrival, after welcoming guests and each settling in their room, a small reception will be held in The Conservatory, a dining area in this exclusive winter garden designed in the style of a French orangerie. Appetizers and Prosecco will be served while everyone will have the chance to get acquainted with other participants and the hosts.

After dinner, before bedtime, you’ll have a meditation session in the beautiful seminar room you’ll be occupying for the weekend. On Saturday morning, after breakfast, you will begin with the first forest therapy tour along a pre-selected trail in the surrounding woods.

After the forest bathing exercises, you’ll head back to the hotel for lunch. In the afternoon, Universe Mindfulness will offer a mindfulness training session based on the MBSR methods. Before dinner, participants will have the chance to enjoy the indoor pool, spa and sauna. Dinner will be served in the most typical Black Forest restaurant where you’ll have a large table reserved for the group. Sometime after dinner, guests can do a session of star-gazing on the terrace outside the Conservatory, or enjoy the pool and spa.

Next morning, after breakfast, you will proceed to check out and store the luggage at the hotel. You will travel to the Picturesque town of Bad Wildbad where you’ll have another Shinrin Yoku session with a new set of exercises. You’ll have a picnic lunch in the forest at the end of your last Shinrin-yoku session. You will then take the cable car up Sommerberg mountain and enjoy the treetop board walk and the amazing views from the spiral viewing tower “Baumwipfelpfad Schwarzwald”, and the Sommerberg suspension bridge.

Upon return to the Mönch's Waldhotel, you’ll proceed to doing a closing circle, collect the luggage and depart to the train station.

Daily schedule

Day 1 - Friday: Arrival day

  • 16:00 - 18:00 Arrivals, registration, and check-in
  • 18:30 Reception with prosecco and appetizers
  • 19:00 Welcome dinner
  • 20:30 Program overview, orientation, and welcome meditation practice

Day 2 - Saturday: Full retreat day

  • 07:30 Wake up
  • 08:15 Morning meditation practice
  • 09:00 Breakfast
  • 10:00 Shinrin Yoku session in the nearby forest
  • 13:15 Lunch back at the hotel
  • 14:00 Free time
  • 15:00 Mindfulness session
  • 18:00 Free time
  • 19:00 Dinner
  • 20:30 End of day meditation
  • 21:30 Stargazing session

Day 3 - Sunday: Half day retreat and half day outing

  • 07:30 Wake up
  • 08:15 Morning meditation practice
  • 09:00 Breakfast
  • 10:00 Check out and travel to Bad Wildbad
  • 11:15 Shinrin Yoku session in local forest trail
  • 13:15 Picnic lunch in the forest
  • 14:15 Take the cable car up Sommerberg Mountain
  • 14:45 Enjoy the treetop board walk, the spiral viewing tower “Baumwipfelpfad Schwarzwald”, and the Sommerberg suspension bridge.
  • 17:00 Return to the hotel to pick up luggage
  • 18:00 Closing circle and departure

Included excursions

This program includes a half-day outing to “Baumwipfelpfad Schwarzwald” a gigantic spiral tower with amazing views of the surrounding thick forest and its treetop boardwalk trail. This excursion includes a walking tour of picturesque Bad Wildbad, including cable car to Sommerberg Mountain and Sommerberg suspension bridge.

Instructors

Helene Emma Wisser

Carlos Ponte

Location

Unterreichenbach is a town in the district of Calw in the Northern Black Forest in the state of Baden-Württemberg in Germany. This area is the most heavily forested region of the Black Forest and it is said to have been the place where Hiking was invented, at the end of the 19th century, by Philipp Bussemer from Baden-Baden. Herr Bussemer opened what was probably the first tourist information centre in the Black Forest. Publishing hiking maps and numerous hiking guides for the "Schwarzwaldverein" (Black Forest Association), which had been promoting hiking in the Black Forest since 1864.

Food

Breakfast and snacks are included and provided by the hotel. Meanwhile, lunch and dinner are á la carte available at the hotel's restaurant. Meal packages are available upon request.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Snacks
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • Extended stay in Mönchs Waldhotel
  • Visit Maulbronn Monastery - UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Visit Hermann Hesse’s City of Calw and Museum
  • Optional beauty and wellness, face and body treatments like hot stone or Ayurvedic massages

What's included

  • Two nights accommodation
  • Mindfulness and Forest Therapy practice
  • Guided meditation sessions
  • Handouts and take-home practice tools
  • Evening outdoor group activities (weather permitted)
  • Reflection activities and nature meditation practices
  • Breakfast and snacks
  • Coffee, tea, ginger water, Italian Prosecco during reception
  • Shuttle service between nearest train station and hotel

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Airport transfers (available for a fee)
  • Lunch and dinner (optional meal packages available from hotel)

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Stuttgart Airport (STR). Airport transfer is available at an extra fee of 95 EUR. Transfer cost is by Uber, per vehicle. Shared ride for four passengers, 48 minute drive.

Transportation by train also available from Stuttgart Airport. It will be one hour 35 minutes train ride, approximately 19.90 EUR per person.

Airport: Stuttgart Airport Airport transfer available: Stuttgart Airport (US$111 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 21 days before arrival.

Value for money
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3 days / 2 nights
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Availability

Arrival: Friday September 18, 2020
Departure: Sunday September 20, 2020

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