Individual and group retreats and workshops-Le Sentier Tranquille ... a retreat centre in the Pyrenees

Le Sentier Tranquille ... a retreat centre in the Pyrenees

Group retreat-workshops

mindfulness and the 'clear space path'

butterfly
 

... towards a relationship with ourself, with others, with our planet

Group retreats at Le Sentier Tranquille draw on the natural ambiance of our surroundings, as well as Simon's background of counsellor-therapist.  Without conflicting with any spiritual tradition or any other meditation approach, he seeks to anchor understanding in the essence of our being the human beings we are, needing to relate effectively with every aspect of the world going on around us.  This is where true insight must come from, undistorted by the clutter that has built up from our years of struggling to survive.

So meditation is about finding the space where nothing has to happen and where there is no need for expectation.  And in this freedom we find our path of exploration and discovery.  It starts with developing mindfulness in the very special way that is possible in our natural surroundings here. 

New in 2021 following the publication of Simon's book "just BE here" is our "Musicking Mindfulness Retreat". This is a very different way to come to mindfulness - and, despite the title, does not need any previous musical experience.  We interpret the term 'musicking' very broadly - "Yes, it can include playing music, or singing, or humming, or rap," says Simon in his book, "but it also includes poetry and dancing and making faces and swirling your arms about and standing on one leg, and waving wistfully as your friend's train pulls away. Musicking is expressing ourselves in a spontaneous way without meaning it to make a difference to someone else (though it most often does) and without it making a difference to us how it is received by others."  How does all that connect to mindfulness?  Well, you can't do any of those things without 'being in the moment'.  So why not give it a try?

In the retreat you will discover how mindfulness is really about Flow, with its three aspects - Musicking, Dialoguing and Levelling.  The mornings will develop these through teaching, discussion and practice; the afternoons will be for walking or for your own creativity or reading or relaxation or improvisation or individual work with Simon if you wish; the evenings are a community period and can be story-telling, your own experiences, themed meditation... a closing of the day.  And, as with all our retreats, there will be good food, wine, companionship, relaxation and the opportunity for counselling-therapy if you wish.

In our "Mindfulness, Meditation and Relationship" group retreats the meditation following the channel of the 'clear space path' is coupled with teaching which draws on the work of Carl Rogers, Martin Buber and Eugene Gendlin and allows us a vision of ourselves as a human being connected... with ourselves, with others and with our planet.

Each retreat day follows a typical (but not rigid) pattern, which starts with a silent meditation (not obligatory but encouraged) and is followed by breakfast.  There is a morning session which includes teaching and practice and, after a break, discussion and perhaps a sharing of individual experience and insights.  There is a walk after lunch, which can bring another opportunity for practice and exchange.  Following our evening meal there is a closing short themed meditation.

 

Nothing is set in stone at Le Sentier Tranquille and Simon as the facilitator will adjust times and content according to the background and disposition of the group, but as a guide, the days will be allocated along these lines:
 

  • Day 1 - developing a mindful way of being, training, and practice
  • Day 2 - listening to ourselves and developing a sense of flow
  • Day 3 - understanding relationship, the insights of Martin Buber
  • Day 4 - meditation as discovery, passage, and direction

In our "Music of the Mountains Meditation Retreat" for groups, we are joined by Jocelyne Caumont, who works with all age groups providing singing and voice development as well as being a performer as a singer and story-teller herself.  She believes that we can each find our own voice and feel our own music.  Life is like music - it doesn't stand still, and the enjoyment is in the flow.  So it will be with this retreat, whether or not you can sing or play or chant, you will find your own way to resonate with the splendour of our mountains.  Each morning we will go to a different location for the very special experience of simply sitting in the presence of the mountains.  We will contemplate, sing, sit in meditation, listen to stories, (have a break for refreshment!) and then take a short walk before returning to the centre for a late-ish lunch.  The rest of the afternoon will be free for you to use as you wish... read, take a walk, make music, or simply talk... and Simon will always be around for an individual conversation if you wish.


Click to see what people have said about our retreats

We believe in feeding mind and body - we keep you comfortable and well-nourished and, for those times when it is important to have your own time with yourself, we have space for that as well.
 

Dates and costs are here
 































Hongnan Sun from China:
"The retreat at Le Sentier Tranquille was absolutely enjoyable. The experience I gained from Simon's teaching was very refreshing. Most especially, I learnt to recapture things around me without placing labels on them. For example, when I closed my eyes and heard the birds sing, I started to explore the beauty of the singing, instead of labeling it as bird sound and ignoring it right away. In that way, I could appreciate a lot of things which I used to take for granted. The delicious meals cooked by Janet was definitely another highlight: always fresh and fulfilling. And also, the retreat center itself was such a lovely and peaceful place, it helped me forget the stress of my routines - although the routines were still there, I did not feel stressed."

Mariella Privitera from Malta:
"I liked the way Simon spoke and explained the meditation in simple steps, his method of giving headings to each stage of the journey of the form of meditation he proposes. It put mindfulness more user-friendly for me to practise on a daily basis. And now I am feeling the benefits of a daily practice, as uncomplicated easy method to use and look forward to doing it too. Also I am not so reluctant to do an unguided meditation alone."

Peter Brown from Great Britain:
"There was nothing I did not like... The accommodation and ambience was really relaxing. The other attendees were good company and this helped to make the week. The food was great and we had some great discussions about things that donít generally crop up in normal conversation. This is not a hard core meditation retreat but that wasnít what I was after. Altogether a very good week in a fabulous location. Even though the castle walk nearly killed me!"


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