ART OF BEING: 8-Day Meditation & Arts in Sicily

Event Highlights

  • Come to the magical island of Sicily for a week-long journey of personal discovery, connection, and transformation through contemplative arts and meditation.
  • Experience the many layers of Sicily’s history as you explore your own unfolding story and unique place in the world.
  • Each day you will be guided through mindfulness meditation practices you can take back into your daily life. These practices will be woven together with contemplative arts experiences intended to cultivate your innate capacity for artistic expression. No experience in meditation or art required.
  • Visit the picturesque seaside town of Cefalù, where we will explore photography and poetry as contemplative practices.
  • See some of the finest preserved Greek temples at Agrigento, where we will explore Greek myth and the archetype of the Hero's Journey through theatre and visual arts.
  • Savor the sights, sounds, aromas and flavors of this gentle and timeless landscape. Be nourished by the simple and healthy Sicilian dishes prepared for you by the Maseria's kitchen staff using the best natural, local ingredients. End each day beneath a vast summer night's sky.

Schedule

7:30 Optional Morning Practice (30 Minutes)
8:30 Breakfast
10:00 Morning session (2.5 hours)
12:30 Lunch
14:00 Afternoon session (2.5 hours)
16:30 Free time
19:00 Dinner
20:00 Evening Soiree (guest and teacher presentations)

About This Event

Our journey will take us through the Masseria’s 17th century labyrinth gardens and surrounding countryside, to the Valley of Temples in the ruins of the ancient Greek city of Akragas, and the picturesque seaside town of Cefalù.

Day 1 – Welcome Dinner and Opening Session: Guided introduction to meditation and the week ahead. Settle in for a week of creative expression and discovery.

Day 2 – Finding your Line and Walking the Labyrinth: Give wings to the inner artist and let go of the inner critic through an introductory exploration of line and mark-making. A guided labyrinth walk will form a beginning and ending ritual to our week’s journey.

Day 3 – Harnessing the Elements: The elements of earth, water, air, and fire surround us and flow through us. A variety of meditation and art practices will allow us to tap into each of these elements and give visual expression to our experience of them.

Day 4 – The Hero’s Journey in the Valley of Temples: We will travel to the Valley of Temples, the ancient Greek city of Akragas in modern-day Agrigento. The temples here are some of the best preserved in all of the ancient Greek world. We will explore Greek myth and the archetype of the hero’s journey through theatre and visual arts.

Day 5 – Your Life is the Artwork: Charting a Map of Curiosities: Exploring the questions that captivate our curiosity and wonder brings insight into what makes us come alive as a unique human being. We will use the art of map-making to chart these curiosities and continue our exploration of the hero’s journey.

Day 6 – Cefalù: Snapshots of Reality: What does it mean to see the world as it is, with fresh eyes? The beautiful seaside town of Cefalù, with its towering Norman cathedral housing some of the world’s finest Byzantine mosaics, will be the setting for an exploration of contemplative photography and poetry, as we seek to capture the essential qualities and true nature of the world around us.

Day 7 – Looking Back and Forward: In our last full day we will walk the labyrinth one last time as we reflect back on our journey and integrate our experiences into our life’s path forward. We will celebrate the end of our journey together with a festive meal beneath the stars.

Day 8 – Breakfast and Departure

The artist is meant to put the objects of this world together in such a way that through them you will experience that light, that radiance which is the light of our consciousness..." - Joseph Campbell

What's Included

  • 7 nights accommodation, towel, sheets, and 1 room cleaning per week
  • 3 fresh Sicilian meals each day, vegetarian / vegan/ gluten-free options
  • Non-alcoholic beverages (juice, tea, coffee) & snacks each day
  • Excursions to Agrigento and Cefalù
  • Guided meditation and arts activities each day
  • Meditation cushions and mats
  • Basic art materials, including dry and wet media, paper, and brushes (please bring any specific materials you wish to work with, as well as a journal or sketchbook)

What's Not Included

Airfare
Airport transfer (Transfers may be booked with your reservation for additional 50 EUR each way)

Venue Highlights

Nested in the heart of the Madonie mountain park, a few miles from Gangi – “Most beautiful village in Italy” prize winner – and about 40km from the enchanting fishermen village of Cefalù, Sicilian Spirit hosts yoga, meditation and tantra retreats in a 17th century “Masseria”, wonderfully restored respecting her ancient feudal structure. Surrounded by the silence offered by its enclosed 25 hectares park, at 650 mts above the sea level, you will be able to walk for hours in the secret inner paths and in the hidden centuries-old oak forest, get lost in the labyrinth garden of the 18th century, explore the banks of our “private” river, meditate or practice yoga at sunrise or sunset in the terrace overlooking the mountains and the valley or just sunbathing and swimming in the infinity pool.
The historic barn of the Masseria has been beautifully restored and transformed into a fully equipped 130 sq.m. Yoga room, with a comfortable capacity for 26/28 people, technical floor above the old “cotto”, heating and air conditioning systems, PA system with Ipod / Telephone connection, videoprojector. At the students’ disposal, yoga mats, blocks, belts, meditation pillows, futons and blankets. Furthermore, the 400 sq.m panoramic terrace is a perfect, alternative, set for outdoor exercise.

Accommodations

Two rooms (around 25sq.m each) with private bathroom, are located in the main building, above the Yoga room. A third room with private bathroom is on the labyrinth garden side, and has a living room and a private terrace. The other 10 double rooms, with shared bathroom – one every two rooms – are located in five cottages (around 60 sqm each) in the garden, all with their own equipped private patio and their own kitchenette. Each cottage has two double rooms, one of which is separated by colourful heavy curtains, which can be opened to create a large common area. All beds – except in two rooms, which have a single king-size bed - can be separated or joined together, depending on need. Rooms are equipped with cotton sheets and towels. All rooms have heating and air conditioning facilities and are elegantly furnished with antique or Sicilian style furniture.

Amenities

  • Air Conditioning in Rooms
  • Free Wifi
  • Pool
  • Towels
  • Free Parking
  • Kitchen
  • Hot Tub
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Cafe
  • Restaurant
  • Yoga Studio
  • House-Keeping
  • Bicycles For Rent

Menu/Cuisine

Located in the center of the Mediterranean, Sicily has always been a melting pot of culture, art and traditions and also the cradle of the most authentic Mediterranean cuisine. A bridge between the Arab world and the West, over the centuries the island has developed what is considered the most original among the Italian regional cuisines. It is based largely on the use and imaginative preparation of the extraordinary vegetables that grow on the Sicilian soil. Therefore it is already largely vegetarian, if not vegan, since the origins. From oranges to lemons, to basil, mint, capers, wild fennel, saffron, tomatoes and artichokes, everything contributes to create dishes that are unique for taste and nutritional properties.
With its 25 hectares park, its 700 olive trees, the vegetable garden, the orchard and the vineyard, the Masseria is a certified organic farm since 15 years and produces its own extra virgin olive oil, wheat, wine, vegetables and fruit, preserves and jams. We offer our guests three vegetarian buffet meals a day, based on traditional Sicilian recipes expertly reworked and lightened by our Chef. In addition, vegan, gluten free, without sugar preparation will always be present on the table. As well as herbal teas prepared with the medicinal plants of our garden, and fresh fruit juices. The retreat center follows an alcohol free policy.

Directions

Catania and Palermo airports are about 1,5 hour drive from the Masseria, and we offer an optional Shuttle service. Catania and Palermo airports are linked to the main European cities with direct flights operated by Ryanair, Easyjet and all the other main lowcost companies.
Direction by private car: In order to get to our Yoga holidays retreat center coming from Catania, take the freeway to Palermo (A 19), then take Irosa exit, head to the village of Blufi (follow the directions). Cross the village Trinità-Pianello and from there, head to San Giovanni-Verdi and the signals to San Giovanni Sgardari. From Palermo 120 km From Catania 100 km.

arts creative writing creativity heros journey meditation mindfulness photography poetry the arts theatre

Reviews  
  Write a review - tell others about your experience.

  • Ray Welch   June 04, 2019

      Spectacular Setting for a Weeklong Yoga Retreat

    I just finished Yoflaminga's Weeklong yoga retreat at the Masseria and it was spectacular. Hard to say what tops the list--the food or the views. Let's say both. The food is local, fresh and so lovingly prepared it's like a meditation in itself. The setting is perfect for yoga. The stone buildings are gorgeously restored so that you have modern comforts while still feeling the history of their 400 years. It's a fantastic place to stroll and explore the olive groves, the river and beautiful labyrinth garden--a nice place to sit at sunrise or sunset. The pool has great views and my favorite feature--the very hot outdoor shower. And the folks who work at the Center are lovely, supportive, accommodating and very interested in you and your having a great experience. Thank you to everyone for creating a wonderful week of yoga!

Thank you!

We're glad you've joined our retreat community. See you around :)

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Why Retreat?

We asked people why they go on retreat, here's what they said:

To continue down this amazing path I am on ! Linsey
 

Retreat Guru's Vision

We believe human beings are innately wise, strong and kind. This wisdom, although not always experienced, is always present. Going on retreat is a beautiful way to reconnect to our basic sanity and health. Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness.

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