Sahara Retreat

Saturday 4th - Wednesday 8th March 2017

Meditation Retreat\r\n\r\nThis is going to be the adventure of a lifetime. This is YOUR chance to switch off, unwind, relax and recharge! And all that you need to do is say “YES” and book your place.\r\n\r\nJoin us for 5 days in a secure and private camp in the Sahara Desert.  That’s 4 nights gazing up at the stars after the most beautiful sunsets.  That’s 4 mornings where you can watch in awe as the sun rises over the desert. If you are an early bird you will also be able to check the dunes for trails of the night’s activities.  And there’s more…\r\n\r\nOver the 5 days we will have plenty of time for relaxing as well as exploring.  We will have a range of workshops, in fact, if you have a skill you want to share, you can apply to lead a workshop.  Anyone that leads a workshop will be eligible to a reduced rate for the retreat.  If you fancy it, pop me an email and let’s see if it will work.  So far we have participants offering to lead meditation and qigong.  What could you add to the mix?\r\n\r\nIn the evening we will sit around the campfire, sing songs, tell stories or simply soak in the atmosphere.\r\n\r\nI am sure you have loads of questions and this should answer most of them…\r\n\r\nHow do I get to the camp?\r\nFly into Marrakech and we will transport you to the camp from there on the 4th March.  You will have a choice of travelling by camel or on foot for the last section to the camp (1.5 hours). Transport from Marrakech and back again is included in the cost, your flight is not.\r\n\r\nAre meals provided?\r\nYes, all meals are provided and we will do our best to cater for any special dietary requirements.  Get in touch before you book to make sure we can cater for you.\r\n\r\nWill I be safe?\r\nAbsolutely.  The camp is safe and secure (local guides staying with us) and when you book and when you arrive we will give you information on all matters related to safety and well being (spiders and the sun).  We do recommend bringing a personal first aid kit as we are in a remote area and you need to have some responsibility for your health and well being.  You MUST have your own travel insurance.\r\n\r\nWhat about snakes and scorpions?\r\nAgain, we will advise further on this when you reach camp but it is simple things like looking under your blankets before going to bed and tipping your shoes over before putting them on. By being reasonably cautious and following the advice given, the risk is really low. Reptiles are less active in the winter.\r\n\r\nIs there water?\r\nYeah, there is water but there is no running water and there are no showers.  Yip! You read that right, you will have to manage for a few days without the luxury of a shower, but sure, we will all be in the same boat (so to speak).\r\n\r\nAre there toilets?\r\nOh yes! Just outside the camp are cabins and the toilets are in those.\r\n\r\nWhat are the tents like?\r\nThe tents have beds and bedding in them.  They are basic and comfortable.  Tents will have beds for 2 – 6 people and if you are travelling with friends we can make sure you have a private tent.  The lone travellers will have to share for definite, single occupancy is not an option.\r\n\r\nWhat should I wear?\r\nAgain, we will send a list of what to bring when you book.  As a heads up, during the day it will get to about 25° but it will be cooler.  You MUST wear modest clothing (shoulder, belly and thighs must be covered) and then you can add layers in the evening.  Good walking shoes or sandals with thick soles, so that you can also walk on stones. A large cotton turban, the Moroccan Shesh (easily bought in Morocco). You also need very good and highly protective sun screen with a hydrating cream.\r\n\r\nHow much does it cost?\r\nThe cost is £450 and includes transport from Marrakech and back again, accommodation and meals. If you volunteer to lead a workshop or activity for the group then your place will only cost £375.\r\n\r\nRemember, you need to sort your own flights and a night in Marrakech before and after the retreat. We can book the extra nights for you and then you will get to spend more time with everyone else on the retreat.\r\n\r\nGot more questions?\r\nLet us know and we will then add them to this list.\r\n\r\nReady to book?\r\nHave a look at the video and then scroll down to book your place!\r\n\r\n

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Introduction to Mindfulness

Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment.\r\n\r\nMindfulness NI\r\n\r\nMindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in any given moment. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.\r\n\r\nThis course will help you understand how Mindfulness came about, how it can improve you physically and mentally as well as showing your some simple techniques that you can easily apply to your new mindful life.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nResearch shows that Mindfulness can bring:\r\n

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  • Great insight
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  • Improved problem solving
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  • Better attention
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  • Less selfishness
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  • Less neurosis
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  • More acceptance
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  • Greater experience of “life”
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  • Less “beating ourselves up”
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  • Better mind-body integration
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Mindfulness is the way forward for dealing with depression and anxiety, and for general well-being. Ruby Wax

\r\nTell me more about your courses\r\n\r\nOur courses are focused on providing you with tools and insights that will enhance your life. We will challenge you to think differently and provide a safe space to share your ideas, thoughts and experiences with other curious individuals.\r\n\r\nWe will also provide you with optional homework if you are interested in further study and learning.\r\n\r\nShould I attend Introduction to Mindfulness?\r\n\r\nAbsolutely, you don’t need any previous experience. Mindfulness has roots within Buddhism but the practice of it is free from all religious beliefs therefore making it suitable for everyone.\r\n\r\nWhen and where?\r\n\r\nThe Introduction to Mindfulness is on Sunday 8th May 2016 from 10.00am – 4.00pm.  It will be held at Greenhill YMCA in Newcastle, County Down at the foot of the Mourne Mountains with stunning views over the Irish Sea.\r\n\r\n

Know, love and be yourself

I was listening to the radio just the other day when I heard a song come on that took me right back to when I was 15 or 16.  I could remember, quite vividly, being at the local teenage disco.  I remembered dancing to that song and how I was comparing my dancing to some of the other boys.  Boys that I would have looked up to and I wished I could dance more like them.\r\n\r\nLove yourself\r\n\r\nI have no idea at what age in my life I started to compare myself to others.  Nor do I know when I stopped comparing myself to others.  I do know that I don’t do that anymore.  Something that I have learned over time, no doubt.  As I have matured and re-learned to be happy in my own skin.\r\n\r\nI know that I am me.  I like me.  There is no one quite like me.  And that is great!\r\n\r\n

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