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Experience a mindfulness retreat in a quiet country house near Munich, surrounded by the beautiful Bavarian landscape near the Alps. 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 main 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 lake, evening bonfires, and stargazing.
Country Home for Mindful Living is an accommodation in the outskirts of Weyarn with private and shared rooms at the Bavarian style modern country house, 35 minutes from Munich. The accommodation is very spacious and bright. There are a large kitchen and private guests dining area. The bedroom is oversized even for North American standards.
There are a large garden and recreational space for outdoor meals and evening bonfires. The property has a lot of nature, surrounded by forested areas, hiking, and biking trails on the nearby Mangfall River. The place is very close to the Alps' foothills, a Bavarian hotspot. It is minutes to the Austrian border and close to Salzburg and Innsbruck.
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. Decades of research performed by several scientists from major Japanese universities have found overwhelming measurable evidence of physiological therapeutic effects as a direct result of this practice.
Universe Mindfulness does take it up a notch by mixing in mindfulness practice and meditation to allow for each individual’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 40 kilometers southeast of Munich. This is Universe Mindfulness home base, the Country Home for Mindful Living, in the town of Weyarn. The place is surrounded by green farmland and forests, very close to the Alps. The forest trail goes through the paradisiacal Mangfall River valley with its crystalline waters amid a thick mixed forest with Beech, Spruce and fir trees as the main species.
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.
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 and 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. Mindfulness sessions to be held outdoors whenever possible, on a large terrace in the property, the house also has a spacious loft seminar room.
All Shinrin-Yoku sessions will, of course, take place in the nearby forest in the Mangfall River valley. 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.
Maintaining the traditional format, you will also have a “holiday” component during the weekend retreat. A half-day outing is planned to a nearby lake, with possible activities including swimming, canoeing or just hanging out in the woods by the water.
Later back at the country house, a session of star gazing and a bonfire to end the evening, with activities like storytelling explaining the history of the area; poetic readings or any other bonding activities the group may be interested in. If you play a musical instrument or have any performing talents you’d like to share, this would be a great opportunity to do so.
The guests will stay at the Country Home for Mindful Living. After welcoming guests and settling in, you will be served a fixed menu home-made dinner. Before bedtime, you’ll have a meditation session in the beautiful seminar room. On Friday morning, you will begin with the first-day forest therapy tour along a pre-selected trail through the surrounding woods and along the crystal clear Mangfall river.
After the forest bathing exercises, you’ll head back to the Country house for lunch. In the afternoon, Universe Mindfulness will offer a mindfulness training session based on the MBSR methods. Dinner will be freshly made in a family atmosphere and enjoyed together at a large table. Sometime after dinner, guests can do a session of star-gazing, weather permitting.
Next morning, after a hearty breakfast, you’ll have another Shinrin Yoku session with a new set of exercises. After lunch, you’ll take the group to a nearby lake to spend the afternoon. Saturday evening, you’ll have dinner at a local typical Bavarian restaurant in a neighboring farming village.
Upon return to the Country House, you’ll get a bonfire going to have a bonding experience with the group enjoying some Italian Prosecco. On Sunday morning, you will have your last Shinrin-yoku session and a picnic lunch by the river. In the early afternoon, you’ll conduct a closing meditation session with a question and answer session.
You will visit the Mangfall River Valley and the Seehamer See Lake in Alpine foothills, Bavaria.
Emma began her meditation practice over 25 years ago, she is a certified MBSR trainer (mindfulness-based stress reduction) and a trained teacher for Mindful Self Compassion (MSC). For the past 15 years, she has taught mindfulness and self-compassion courses, coached individuals and run workshops in her own practice in Munich, Germany (practice for a mindful living) and at various public organizations and private corporations. In 2018, Emma became a certified Shinrin Yoku practitioner in England. She is a co-designer and guide of the forest therapy program in the German language in Bavaria.
He studied forest therapy in England and Japan. In Canada, he ran his own information systems company for almost 20 years. In Argentina, he grew up in an entrepreneurial family, with Italian roots. He grew up in the countryside surrounded by vineyards and next to the family-owned winery. He worked as a teacher and in healthcare in Canada for many years. Mindfulness came into his life and meditation helped a profound transformation into a new calling. Nature has always been pivotal in his life. He offers his guidance and training, very successfully, delivering his unique Shinrin Yoku program.
Weyarn is a municipality in the district of Miesbach in Bavaria in Germany. It dates back to a monastery that was founded by Siboto II, count of Falkenstein in 1133. It is located 38 kilometers southeast of Munich and can be easily reached on highway A8 running from Munich to Salzburg or by train from Munich city center.
Locals have worked towards retaining their original identity through a project of Village Renewal since the 1990s, they have been declared to be very successful in this regard and are now known for their established approach to rural development which has become an example in Germany and Europe.
The approach to rural development has become a subject of analyses in an academic research journals publication, in and outside Germany. Many farming villages in the surrounding area are part of the municipality.
You will be served with genuine Bavarian recipes, freshly cooked on-site for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Snacks will be provided during morning and afternoon tea and coffee breaks. A selection of tea and coffee, ginger water, selection of Italian wines will be included with dinner at no extra cost. Domestic non-alcoholic beverages are also available.
Transfer not provided
Please book your flight to arrive at Munich International Airport (MUC). A suburban train line to the city center is available right from the airport terminal one. Affordable train services are available from the airport terminal to the nearest train station. Universe Mindfulness will provide transportation to and from the nearest station free of charge.
From the Munich central train station (München Hauptbahnhof) there is a direct train service to Darching, which is the nearest train station to the Country House. Universe Mindfulness will provide transportation to and from Darching at no extra cost.
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