I hope this note finds you able to savour whatever is available to you during the season. We are in the Marche hills of Italy working on the up and coming mindful, gastronomy retreat. Since it is the first Italian retreat I'm offering, I wanted to book the villa and meet with those who will be involved. Truly after two years of pandemic, I needed to know that what was created in 2019 is still in line with my offerings, and oh my, my my.
From the moment we arrived at the villa, under the full moon illuminating the rolling hills, I was overcome with immense peace. The same that I remembered from my last visit in January of 2020. Just to be at the stone villa with the salt water pool, a teaching kitchen, outdoor dining, numerous places to retreat with a book or conversation, would be enough to house our practice and restore one's inner tranquility. The outings to meet the passion of some special locals is an added inspiration to experience Italy at its best.
So yes, it has not only met my needs but far exceeded them. To spend time with people who dedicate their heart and life to culture, giving back and looking after the land, truly warms the heart.
We met with Alessandro and his amazing dogs on their private land to experience truffle hunting, which we then took back to the kitchen. The little cherished nuggets quickly extended to the mouth watering aromas that soon meet our plates in many forms.
When Thich Nhat Hanh would talk about mindful eating, he would tell us "when you are eating a carrot, eat the carrot. Be present with it. Taste the sun and the rain, the soil and the tremendous work of the farmer and the process of the earth to make it happen. Don't eat it with your to do list, projects or worries." It was very easy to be fully present with the treasure you witnessed being foraged.
So far, we met passion and compassion. An easy combination to be inspired by. We also visited an organic winery nearby that has been a family's pride and loving commitment for 110 years. I had no idea how much went into wine making.
The week is shaping into a mindful, conscious, caring and educational experience. It is humbling to feel the spirit of the earth when it’s truly cared for.
Not to tease you if you cannot come, but there is one spot left. May 22 - 29. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
From these hills to you, with love, a lotus and smile,