Can a retreat be without a dogma?

I created this retreat in part because we couldn’t find anything similar that I could go on.

I looked around at the yoga retreats and meditation centre on offer in Morocco and in Europe and they were either way too expensive or else came with the tacit assumption that one would subscribe to their underlying beliefs. You could come and meditate but only if you believed chanting Om would bring world peace. You could come and stay in silence but only if you were willing to listen to an interpretation of the teachings of the Buddha.

Not a robe to be seen

Not a robe to be seen

But I’ve always been a bit allergic to spirituality.

Not to the mystic poems of Rumi and Hafiz that inspired me since I was young, or to the words of Eckhart and Rilke, for that matter, but rather to the pious glow that seemed to accompany anyone dressed in white who wanted to teach others how to live better.

The philosophy of our meditation and yoga retreats is that while a person might freely choose to wear saffron, chant a mantra, follow a guru, it’s not necessary to help you still your mind and come in contact with your body. Neither do you need to be a hippie to enjoy spending a week in nature and singing around the fire.

It’s an old adage that the only bigger fool than the one who leads is the one who follows and so on our retreats we encourage everyone to come and take some silent time, open their hearts to the group, be inspired by the workshops on offer, but ultimately to find your own way.

The spiritual life is profoundly DIY.