I hope you are enjoying every moment of happiness that is available to you in the seedling stage of the new decade. No matter what is happening in the world, cultivating joy not only enables peace and outward compassion, but by it's very nature, is contagious. This reminds me of a fantastic 14th century poem I have engraved on jewellery in the past:
"I caught this happy virus last night while singing beneath the stars. It's remarkably contagious, so kiss me!" - Hafiz
It’s been a very fruitful journey to Italy. Every place I explored, every encounter made for the retreat in May, has left me with tremendous love and gratitude. I got to stay in the studio of the private villa in Le Marche region where our retreat will be. Just to be here is actually enough, even off season when the land is dormant.
Villa Tereze is a magnificent renovated villa on a secluded hilltop with delightful amenities, including a salt water pool, an outdoor pizza oven and a teaching kitchen. Here you can feel deeply nurtured, in nature, and free from the frenetic world we must navigate most of the time.
Retreats can help us ground into what is important in our lives. It's an opportunity to take space and time to heal areas of our core that get blocked or tired. Villa Tereze is a perfect container for sharing meditation, yoga, qigong, mindfulness practices and, of course, delicious nurturing food.
During our full seven days occupying this magnificent land, I have organized a few outings. Le Marche is known worldwide for it's truffles, so we will have an experience of truffle hunting. This week I went to meet Alessandro and one of the dogs on his organic farm land. He ended up taking us out into the hills, we picked some truffles and he made us lunch. This was a new experience for me. I've not even tasted a truffle. It's like nature's gold. What a glorious heartfelt day.
I realize that the experiential component of our mindful meditative retreat here in Italy is even more than gastronomic. It is putting love into practice. A practice that begins with seeing deeply and lovingly our bodies and minds. Then it's not long before we recognize that we are interconnected with all life.
The Ireland retreat is very much about connecting with the dance of your spirit. Italy about opening the floor for love.
On this retreat we have brought in a residential chef. Here is a little of what Sol Vita would like you to know about her..
You cannot imagine Italy without enjoying its food. Taste is definitely one of the key senses through which you get to know this land. And you will love what you will eat.
Materia prima (raw material) is of utmost importance. I love to interact with clean, energetically charged food produced by organic farmers or people that I know personally; to cook with seasonal products. All my cooking process is aimed at saving the spirit of the plant, vegetable, fruit, grain or nut. Therefore, my dishes are simple, alive and nourished by spices and herbs. My method does not include overcooking dishes. I love working with Italian grandmother recipes to bring out the best part in food. Italian gastronomic heritage has deep roots, and this is always a great pleasure to share with the guests.
Imagine, also pasta, pizza, tiramisu can be healthy! We just need to choose excellent ingredients and be careful with the cooking process. The cooking is the way how I express myself — through colours, taste, aroma and tradition.
Hungry yet? ;-)
Now that my excitement is bursting at the seams, I’d like to open my arms wide and with great enthusiasm say this retreat should not be missed.
For the month of January I will offer 10% off. If this retreat calls your name and you are able, please don't wait too long. There are not many spaces. Visit our retreat page.. Italy, 2020
with love, a lotus and a smile from the hills of Le Marche