Owing to the catastrophic events over the weekend, our 2023 Moroccan retreat is cancelled. Thankfully all the staff and their immediate families at the centre are safe, but a period of time will be required to get everything straight once again, to grieve and to start the healing process.
We will return in 2024 to support this amazing retreat, its people and the country.
Date for 2024 will be released once the airlines have scheduled flights, so some time in December.
You'll find us in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco - a beautifully calm and peaceful oasis in North Africa. We'll be enjoying the hospitality of the Amazighe (Berbers) team who look after us with their amazing food and great hospitality. We're offering a week of Deep Listening and a week of Qigong and Meditation.
What happens on the Deep Listening Week?
Deep Listening is the practice of checking in with our own experience in this very moment. Very simple, but often overlooked when the mind finds itself called into action to judge, compare, comment on and control the experience that's arising.
When we learn to deeply listen we also give ourselves the opportunity to learn how to regulate ourselves if our nervous systems become hijacked (those panicky sensations when feeling under threat for example), we remember how to listen to what our hearts are telling us, we reconnect to our inner sat nav and we gently guide ourselves to face those parts of ourselves that we've kept hidden and secret (and honouring the body if it chooses not to go there!). Self compassion is always high on the agenda.
We'll do this through a series of discussions, meditations, LOTS of rest, some enquiry, having a couple of days (and some periods) of silence and and by bringing a curious and open mind to the week.
There will be plenty of time for lounging around, reading books, enjoying the weather (whatever it brings!) and walking. We've included a couple of trips in the week too. And this wouldn't be Serenity Retreat if we didn't tell you that nothing is compulsory. Take part in as much or as little as you like (although we will ask you to maintain silence for two full days and each afternoon).
What happens on the Meditation and Qigong week?
This week will focus on slowing down of body and mind. Finding our way into stillness and uncovering peace. We'll do that with a combination of meditation, qigong, walking in nature, and lots of time to rest, rest, rest.
There will be a number of meditation periods each day. You're welcome to join some or all of them. We'll have discussions around some central themes such as: the usefulness of roles, time, dealing with overwhelm and whatever else turns up on the day.
We'll also move through a qigong sequence called Shibashi Part One and we'll practise it most days. It has been adapted by the Holistic Tai Chi Qigong Academy to focus on the therapeutic benefits of these gentle and flowing movements in a safe and inclusive manner. The beauty of qigong is that by its very nature it helps to increase vagal tone (important for resilience), slows us down and helps us to ground into the body. We use our breath and our body to work together which is great for those who like some movement with their meditation. We'll practise outside weather allowing.
We'll have a day of silence and periods of silence every afternoon. This week is all about slowing down, gentle movement and lots and lots of relaxation.
- Solo ensuite accommodation
- All meals
- Transfers to and from the airport on Monday
- Trip to a local women's argan oil cooperative
- Trip to a local market
- An evening discussion with a local Amazighe - the best way to learn about another culture - ask a local directly!
- An evening of traditional music with local musicians (tbc)
- Three walks of about 4 miles with a local guide. One to a local village, one to the nearby dam and one into the Atlas mountains.
- All teaching and meditations
What's Not Included
- Flights to and from Marrakech Menara Airport
- Holiday insurance
Direct flights are from Gatwick, Stansted, Luton and Manchester with Easyjet, Ryanair, British Airways and WizzAir.
The transfer takes about an hour and ten minutes from the airport. We'll meet all flights, but some may be grouped together. The maximum waiting time will be an hour.
Bread is a huge part of the Moroccan food-scape. It's baked freshly every day outdoor in little mini ovens on the premises. Think more pitta style bread than loaf type bread. There are gluten-free alternatives available.
Breakfast: eggs, yoghurt, lots of bread (!), butter, jam, a special local peanut butter (with honey) and Moroccan mint tea.
Lunch: normally a delicious fresh salad and bread.
Dinner: three courses! Normally soup for starter, then there are meat, vegetarian and vegan options. There may be grilled meat, meat or vegetable tagine, meat or vegetable pasta dishes, meat or vegetable couscous, other traditional and freshly cooked Moroccan dinners and always a dessert.
I'm afraid that owing to the way that the kitchen runs we are unable to cater for any diets other than vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free.
Things To Bear In Mind
- You'll need to bring your own black tea - it's strangely quite hard to find, as the Moroccans drink mint tea using green tea (mint tea is freely available!)
- A kettle and mug is provided in the room. Milk is available from the kitchen. If your preference is for something other, please bring it with you.
- This is an alcohol-free retreat
- You'll need to bring your own decaf tea or coffee...
- Rather than having salt and pepper, the custom is to offer salt and cumin at the table! Pepper is available.
- Mattresses throughout Morocco are firm to very firm. Please be mindful of this.
- The last half hour of the drive to the retreat is on windy roads. If you suffer from car sickness, bring something to combat this with you.
- If you come out on the trip to the market or for lunch by the river, be mindful of the fact that people will always be trying to sell you things! I'm hoping that we'll have Mohammed with us (the centre manager) for our market trip and hopefully he'll be able to quell some of the tide ;)
Kim’s Serenity Retreat in Morocco was such an amazing opportunity to reconnect to yourself, having the time and space (alongside a glorious setting and delicious food) to think (or not think) and feel. It was exactly what I needed to unwind and re-balance.
The Morocco retreat was a beautiful, peaceful place with a perfect mix of activities, all optional of course,
balanced with plenty of relaxing sunshine time.
Wonderful to get away from daily life and feel safe.
I can't recommend the Morocco retreat highly enough. Kim has found the perfect place - beautiful, serene, excellent food and accommodation and the whole place to ourselves in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. It was truly magical and everything was organised just perfectly.