Healing the Mind • Restoring the Earth:
France – September 11-24, 2023
Mindfulness Retreat and Cultural Immersion in France
“Too many people distinguish between the inner world of our mind and the world outside,
but these worlds are not separate. They belong to the same reality.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh, Interbeing
This Moveable Feast time together includes three days at the venerable chateau teaching estate of Dechen Choling – Tibetan for ‘The Great Bliss” – located in the spacious Limousin forests of southern France. The unique retreat center is set in a lush pocket of paradise, nestled between vineyards, rolling hills, meadows, and majestic old growth trees, a perfect refuge for walking, contemplation, and meditation. All presentations will be in English.
Led by Catherine Eveillard, president of the Dechen Choling Council, and practitioner in mindfulness and Shambhala teachings for almost forty years, Catherine will lead the retreat “Caring for the Earth – Gaia: An Approach to Global Ecology”. The retreat explores the links between spirituality, meditation, compassion, and cultivating courage practices. There will be periods of compassionate practice, sharing circles, meditation, forest walks, ecological thinking and engaged Buddhism.
We then share six days immersed in the southern France spiritual community, founded by Nobel Peace Prize recipient Vietnamese zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh. We will be embedded in the daily rhythm of the internationally renowned Plum Village contemplative community, partaking in foundational teachings and meditations on mindful living and cultivating altruistic intent. As the trees shed their leaves, what afflictions can we shed to lighten our load?
Guest teacher will be Roshi Linda Myoki Lehrhaupt, Zen koan teacher, who will offer daily teachings in embodied mindfulness. The sessions share movement exercises deepening awareness of one’s physical body, awareness of sensations, and exploring through exercises and guided meditations, a deeper contact with oneself, cultivating trust and recognizing our own reactivity and triggers, and presenting ways to rechannel our behavior.
Departing Plum Village, we will participate in two days’ teachings, exercises, and dialogues nurturing our practice of embodied mindfulness at Roshi Linda Myoki’s retreat center – a glorious landscaped gem of a garden estate in the storied Dordogne region of southern France. Linda will lead us in some of the practices she imparts when training teachers in ten countries as Director of the Institute for Mindfulness-Based Approaches. Roshi Linda will be sharing Tai Chi and QiGong movement and other meditative bodywork and MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) that she has practiced and taught for 40 years.
In our cultural immersion, we will also visit spectacular gardens, museums, French markets, hamlets, castles and wineries, and the jaw-dropping Lascaux Caves featuring prehistoric cave paintings and neolithic culture.
Contact: Charles Simmons and Marla Perry Simmons – firstname.lastname@example.org – (520) 331-8338