• Umbria, Italy

Learn Vedic Meditation & Rounding in Italy

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Join renowned meditation teacher Light Watkins on a magical 7-day Italian countryside adventure at a luxurious hermitage-cum-design-hotel imagined by an ex-fashion designer and buried deep in the Umbrian hills of Italy.

Designed with solo travelers in mind, this 'little hotel of the soul' offers a restorative escape from the modern world. This stunning space is welcoming and surprisingly sensuous. You will float between meditation sessions, countryside walks, to the spa, the garden and to the fire pit. In the cross-vaulted common area, piles of cushions, futons and antique wooden furnishings sit on slate floors between stone arches, while long, stained wooden rectory tables line the candlelit dining room. Upstairs, a small chapel-like area awaits, and, outside, a courtyard and terraces will beckon you with stunning views of the rolling, tree-covered hills. 

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New meditators will receive Light’s comprehensive Vedic meditation training, and if you already practice VM or TM, Light will teach you “Rounding," which is an advanced meditation technique that will elevate your current practice to a new level. In addition to the meditation training for existing and new meditators, there are trails to walk or hike on the resort’s ample acreage, with more beyond its borders in the nearly 7,500-acre nature reserve surrounding it. Here’s what guests who’ve retreated there had to say:

“It's a completely unique experience. Nowhere else I have been compares as an environment for giving a sense of calm and getting away from it all. ”

— Ed, UK

“Everything was exceptional, starting from the staff, to the food prepared. I never had such a good vegetarian meal as the ones I had here! I did a retreat with other women and we enjoyed the silence, the yoga room, the jacuzzi and the nature surrounding us. Just perfect.”

— Anna, Italy

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“Although it was a retreat, I was not deprived in any way. My room was actually quite spacious, the bed was very comfortable, the setting was idyllic, the food was extraordinarily good, and all vegetarian - healthy and delicious. I looked forward to every single meal. The no-speaking evening meals by candlelight, with Gregorian chant music playing, were incredible, very moving.”

— Rosalind, UK

“It's just the perfect place for time-out and you feel so at home.”

— Marianne, Switzerland

How you can spend your 7-days in paradise:

  • Receive comprehensive Vedic Meditation if you’re new to meditation, or “Rounding” instruction if you’ve already learned Vedic Meditation

  • Enjoy a morning breakfast buffet serving homemade jams and locally-grown produce

  • You’ll have evening access to the jacuzzi and steam baths

  • All meals are local, organic and chef-prepared

  • 4-course dinners are served in silence

  • Cozy up with a good book and natural homemade Teas

  • Feed your soul with morning yin yoga

  • Take morning or afternoon walks in the surrounding forest

  • Spend afternoons quietly reflecting by the Chiani River

  • Make pasta from scratch in an authentic Italian Cuisine Cooking Class

  • Ride horses on the promenade in the neighboring nature

  • Zone out in a Tibetan Gong Bath Session Sound Meditation

  • Enjoy a bonfire evening under the stars on the outside terrace

The retreat also includes:

  • Airport transfers to the retreat center

  • Accommodation for 7 days and 6 nights

  • All vegetarian meals (caffeine and alcohol-free)

  • Daily yin yoga (suitable for all levels)

  • Plenty of rest and relaxation

  • Daily knowledge talks

  • Cell and wifi free retreating (you’re encouraged to take a digital detox)

What's Not Included:

  • Flights

  • Airport arrival and departure taxes

  • Additional nights accommodation

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Light Watkins

Light Watkins has been operating in the meditation space since 1998, first as a practitioner, then as an apprentice to his Vedic Meditation teacher, and finally as a teacher himself. He's currently living home-free from a carry-on bag while traveling the world and giving talks on happiness, mindfulness, inspiration, and meditation, as well as leading popular meditation trainings and retreats. 

His passion is to teach people simple tools for increasing happiness. To date, Light has taught meditation to thousands through his live courses, books, and online trainings. He's taught at Apple, Soho House, Summit, and several tech start-ups around the U.S. His first book, The Inner Gym (L&G), is a 30-day "inner workout" for strengthening happiness, and his most recent book, Bliss More: How to Succeed in Meditation Without Really Trying (Penguin), is a straight-talk how-to book that teaches busy professionals how to enjoy meditation. 

Light contributes to multiple wellness blogs and writes a popular daily email called Light's Daily Dose of Inspiration. Light's TEDx talk has garnered a half million views, and he is the founder of The Shine Movement, a global pop-up inspirational variety show on a mission to share the stories of regular people who are making a difference in the world.

Light's gradual approach of going through the lessons really helps you understand every aspect of meditation. It was absolutely a priceless gift and I would recommend Light's meditation retreat to anyone and everyone. — Caitlin

Things to consider after you book:

  • After making your deposit of $1000, your balance must be paid by August 1st.

  • Someone from my team will be in touch shortly after you make your deposit to help with any questions you might have about booking flights.

  • All rooms are single rooms, unless you’re coming as a couple.

  • There will be no cell or internet service so prepare to do a digital detox while on site.

  • There will be no alcohol and limited caffeine available on the retreat.

 

Light makes the mystical journey of meditation so simple and easy to learn. I can say with out hesitation it will change the way you look at the world. — Nick


 

Retreat Cost:

 

Couples

£2300

($2995)

Solo

£2850

($3695)

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NOTE: You only have to leave a $1000 deposit to register, and you’ll have until Aug 1st to pay your balance. Your Vedic Meditation course is NOT included in the total cost. If you have yet to complete your VM or TM training, $300 will be added to your final balance.

 
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Light explains the process in a way that makes it easy to follow and perform. If you ever wanted to learn meditation or found it too difficult in the past, I encourage you to check out his retreat. — Scott

 

 
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Q & A

How many people will attend this retreat?
We have space for around 20 participants.

What time does the retreat start and end?
We’ll have the opening ceremony at 5pm on Sunday, Sept 1st, 2019 and the closing ceremony on the morning of Saturday, Sept 7th, 2019. Plan to arrive by the early afternoon of the 1st of Sept and depart after lunchtime on the 8th. If those times aren’t possible, just do your best.

Who can attend?
Current Transcendental and Vedic Meditators of all levels and anyone who is interested in taking the Vedic Meditation training and becoming a self-sufficient, daily meditator. If you have yet to take the live VM or TM course prior to the retreat with any qualified teacher, there will be an additional $300 added onto your retreat balance.

What if I want to meditate, but my friend/spouse does not want to?
This is a Vedic meditation retreat, so while there will be free time to enjoy the location, everyone must participate in the training (if they haven’t already). It’s only two hours of course time per day and everything else is optional. 

Can I arrive a day or two early?
Yes. Email charaf@sunnysideup.travel to help you make arrangements.

How do you assign the rooms?
All of the rooms are the same size, and will be assigned on a first-come-first-serve basis based on when you make your deposit. Please understand we will do our very best to meet all of your needs, but there are no refunds or discounts if you do not like your assigned room. 

What airport do I fly into?
Rome Fiumicino or Ciampino Airport (about 2 hours), Firenze Airport (about 2 hours), or Perugia (about 1 1/2 hours)

Are transfers included?
Yes the transfers are included. Please consult with the retreat coordinator for tips on which airport to fly into.

What can I expect the daily program to look like?
Each participant will engage in their own individually-tailored program and receive instruction in Vedic meditation and the experienced meditators will learn the art of Rounding (which is an advanced meditation technique). Guests can take the retreat at their own pace. However, a day will look something like this:

  • Morning yoga

  • Breakfast

  • Instruction and practice for new meditators

  • Rounding instruction and guidance for existing Vedic Meditators

  • Free time

  • Lunch

  • Afternoon session for new meditators

  • Free time

  • Optional Rounding

  • Knowledge talks with Light Watkins

  • Dinner