There’s a seductive authenticity to this luxury 7 night stay in our Berber desert retreat. It’s also faultlessly stylish and deeply relaxing. Join our intimate group where you will be nourished by the practice of meditation, secret Tibetan yoga and optional running.
23 – 30 April 2017
Glamping Single Accommodation: 1950€ (£1,699)
Glamping Shared Accommodation in Double/Twin: 1600€ (£1,394)
Shared Accommodation reduced to 1500€ if you bring a friend (£1,307)
Villa Single Accommodation: 2300€ (£2,004)
Villa Shared Accommodation in Double/Twin: 1950€ (£1,699)
Shared Accommodation reduced to 1850€ if you bring a friend (£1,612)
Limited to 10 guests!
7 nights luxury accommodation
Daily breakfasts, lunch and dinners prepared by our chefs
11 meditation talks, discussions and practice time with Brian (twice daily)
5 Tibetan Yoga sessions (once daily) with Brian
Optional desert running/walking with Brian
1 Personal meditation session with Brian or Shannon
The ancient Marrakchi Desert, 45 km from exotic Marrakech, is a haven for modern-day nomads where simple comforts and well-being merge into one. Rugged simplicity is in step with the beautiful severity of a rolling stone desert. It exudes an air of incredible romance in cinematic style. Berber rugs in vivid red, cushions and candles galore are the ingredients that set the cultural style of the ensuite mud villas & glamping tents. Bivouac dining tents are set on a meandering canyon.
Your one week meditation and yoga retreat Morocco will reset your life and give you profound tools to take home with you.
"As a travel writer with 20 years experience, I have a lot of really interesting experiences, but I think my trip with Mindfulness Journeys to Morocco was the best week of my professional life. Gentle and warm, but also highly professional and organised, Brian and Shannon were superb teachers and infectiously generous people: I came away feeling extraordinarily relaxed and refreshed, armed with a set of meditation skills that I still use every day, six months after the trip. It would be no exaggeration to say that the trip changed my life. "
Jeremy Lazell, UK
Your villa or glamping tent is designed to blend into the desert surroundings: simple mud-and-straw adobe walls or cotton canvas conceal sumptuous interiors awash with traditional Berber cushions, a profusion of thick Berber rugs, low tables with fresh roses, hand-sculpted bathrooms and huge, comfortable beds. All villa ensuites have wood stoves and comfortably furnished terraces with sun loungers overlooking vast vistas by day and night — some are on hilltops and others the river canyon. The glamping tents rest on a hilltop with large Bivouac lounging tents set on a little river canyon. Enjoy high thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, hot running water, luxury toiletries and bathrobes. Eco-friendly and without electricity, hundreds of lanterns, candles and wood fires light up the nighttime.
After our morning Tibetan yogic exercises you’ll enjoy a delicious breakfast Moroccan style. It’s comprised of homemade pancakes, traditional breads, Moroccan tagine eggs, fresh seasonal fruits, orange juice, coffee, green and mint tea. Lunches and dinners are traditional North African dishes combining the best of Moroccan and French cuisine. They are lovingly prepared and beautifully presented in our private nomad dining tent with rolling desert views. Rocket salad, flavoured with hand-made cold-pressed virgin olive oil, is picked daily from the garden completing the tantalising of all your sense perceptions. You will rediscover balance and happiness through a well-nourished self with greater life-force and energy.
"The location, beautiful surroundings, food, atmosphere were amazing. The size of the group and dynamics were perfect. The meditation instruction was incredibly helpful, and unfolded nicely at a great pace. We also liked not being connected to the world of digital and phone. Brian and Shannon complement each other very well. This was a lot more intimate than other retreats. There were great discussions, openness and maturity by the whole group."
Brian and Anita H., London
Your day starts and closes with mindfulness meditation sessions guided by teacher Brian Hilliard. In a traditional Berber tent with thick carpets and rolling desert views you will learn the techniques and practice of sitting and walking meditation. There will be talks, discussions and some silence for inner reflection.
Our ability to perceive and enjoy an amazing display of desert sky resonates deeply with the experience of meditation. Senses are sharpened and clarified, felt newly in an expansive awareness which goes beyond our usual preoccupations. Deep personal experience is adorned with the beauty of sense perceptions. With deep relaxation you will experience the art of letting go. You will learn and understand incredible tools to take home with you. Suitable for beginners and advanced practitioners. See The Mindfulness Journal for more on mindfulness meditation.
We will start the day joyfully awakening our bodies with one hour of tibetan yoga. This strengthens and aligns body and mind, and leads to a sense of balance and harmony. This special yoga is suitable for all levels of fitness and ability. See our post: Synchronising Body and Mind with Tibetan Yoga.
For runners and walkers (optional). Running with meditation is an introduction to meditation in movement. Reach the zone easily with practical instructions for combining mindfulness and movement. See our post: Running with Meditation and a great article by one of our participants.
Our retreats include optional running training. Here’s what one of our participants has to say:
Running has always been about my time, to reflect, to remember, to forget, to escape. I have been running since my teens, but only started competing in my thirties. In the last few years I had completed half marathons, triathlons and two marathons. I was struggling though, instead of flying I was stumbling; I was losing the love for running. Then I came across a briefing in the Sunday Times, how to improve your running through meditation. I had never meditated before, but was open to the idea especially with only 4 weeks to go to the London Marathon. The Morocco retreat was incredible, and I strongly recommend it. From the time of arriving at La Pause, I instantly fell in love with the place, and at peace, partly because Shannon was there to ensure I was comfortable from day one to the end, but also the setting for the week was beautiful. Surrounded by mountains, spectacular sunrises, birds and camels, delicious food, lovely people and with no contact with reality, it was picture perfect. Then came Brian, in his quiet intellectual, unassuming, gentle manner, working his magical charm through his skilful meditation techniques, he managed to transform and help me find my way and focus again. I could breathe, see clear light and felt completely energised. Truly amazing things can happen when you open your mind to meditation, not to mention the fact that I had the best race of my life in the London Marathon 2016, my running mojo had returned…Thank you Brian and Shannon.
Becky S., Doctor, Birmingham
Spend the rest of your day lazing Moroccan Berber style — choose a terrace or colourful hammock under the ancient olive trees, or cool off in the tranquil swimming pool. You’ll find your ideal spots to relax, hide away or peacefully snooze. Keen eco-tourism travelers will find this a perfect starting point for adventures into the desert wilderness. Feel the freedom of the wide open spaces below the Atlas mountains. Go horse, donkey or camel riding, or maybe even try cross-golf?
Walks along the red clay river canyon are a must. You will see little turtles sunning themselves on rocks, shyly jumping into the water, or a shepherd and his goats crossing from one hilltop to the next. There is also a traditional Berber hammam for up to two people if you would like to have a nice steam. Browse the chic boutique for homemade olive oil, Moroccan blankets and teapots, slippers, essential oils and more.
Spend a day pampering yourself at a spa — enjoy a traditional hot steamy hammam, full body scrub and massage. Then enjoy a delicious lunch with views of the Atlas Mountains. Explore the exotic souks for beautiful Moroccan designs to take home.
“I liked the rigour of practice and the discipline of several hours a day meditating with the teaching gradually deepening my practice. The sharing in the group intensified the experiences and liberated emotions. Brian’s teaching and Shannon’s care for us made the retreat truly unique.”
Mindfulness holidays retreatant, Michael N., London
Flights are not included, however, the best airport to fly to is Marrakech Menara. There are great direct flights from London and elsewhere on arrival and departure days. We recommend www.skyscanner.com for good deals and best timings.Transfer by 4 x 4 from Marrakech Airport to the Marrakchi Desert. You will enjoy seeing Moroccan village culture on your 45 minute ride. Arrive at the desert by 17.00 latest to your welcome drink, meet us, unpack, unwind and enjoy our introductory talk before dinner.
Awaken to the gorgeous desert sunrise with optional running with Brian. Meet up with Brian and Shannon for one hour of Tibetan Yoga to wake up your body and prepare you for the day ahead.
Enjoy a delicious Moroccan breakfast to set you up for your morning meditation talk and practice with Brian Hilliard. In our meditation Bivouac tent, with uninterrupted desert views and thick carpets, you will be guided through the form and practice of meditation with talks, discussions and periods of silence for inner reflection. This is suitable for beginners or experienced meditators.
Then we enjoy a long fresh, delicious lunch with our retreat companions in private bivouac dining tents or amongst olive trees.
The afternoons are at your leisure to rest, read, write or nap on your terrace or at the pool. Or maybe you’d like to take a ride into the desert, enjoy a round of cross golf or take a walk along the river canyon?
We gently close our day with the evening practice before a delicious sunset dinner amidst lanterns, candles and campfires under Berber tents. Evenings will have presentations and specials events to deepen understanding and practice.
Camel, horse or donkey rides
Desert cross golf
Marrakech spa, lunch and souk shopping day
“I had come to a time in my life when I needed to spend time for just “me”. As I have spent many years practising Tai Chi and Pilates, and have always wanted to visit Morocco, it seemed perfect. Now, since returning back to the UK I think I have just caught my breath. It was an experience I will never forget: meeting Shannon and learning from the true expert Brian in the magical desert of Morocco and it’s ring of Atlas Mountains. By the end of the week I felt fully recharged, lighter in my emotions, and truly ready with bounds of confidence and strength to face the world again. I would highly recommend this to anyone who are looking to switch off and find themselves.”
Jo L., Make-up Artist, London
"Brian Hilliard and Shannon van Staden are leaders in their field when it comes to mindfulness and meditation. Brian is an expert guide - soft spirited, practical, full of empathy, tips and appreciation for the challenges of modern life. Shannon stylishly holds the space and ensures everything runs smoothly. Together they are a dream team on the wellness scene."
DAISY FINER, Spa and Health Writer
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