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The Beauty of Presence: learning to live more in harmony with the way things are

An in-person mindfulness retreat in France

avec Rebecca Crane and Karunavira
18th – 25th August 2024 - Dordogne (France)

This weeklong meditation retreat provides a precious opportunity to practice in a supported and sustained way within community, allowing us to deepen our understanding of the workings of our own heart-mind, and body. The retreat will be structured and held to enable a safe and conducive environment for the work of discovering “the beauty of presence”.

The teachings will be shaped around the framework of the four foundations of mindfulness, as well as drawing from the contemporary understandings informing mindfulness-based programmes. We will particularly emphasise developing an embodied understanding of the pathways (the conditions) that lead towards suffering, and, conversely, those that lead towards wellbeing and the beauty of presence. We will explore how wise understanding and moment-by-moment awareness of these can shape the choices we make. We will consider how these teachings and practices can resource us both personally and collectively, and how the contributions we each make through our work in the world can be nourished by this sustained engagement with practice.

We will practise with and build on the meditation forms within Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction/Cognitive Therapy. There will be periods of guided and unguided sitting, lying, walking and mindful movement practice, time within beautiful surroundings for informal practice, and the opportunity to participate in a small, teacher led ‘practice mentoring’ group through the week. The retreat will also include short periods of guided interpersonal mindfulness practice.

The retreat will include:

  • a container of silence to facilitate a deeper and more sustained connection with our inner experience
  • periods of both guided and self-directed practice
  • daily presentations on the practice themes
  • an emphasis on informal mindfulness practice and continuity of awareness between the scheduled sessions – including enough time to enable personal self-care such as rest or exercise
  • short periods of carefully held mindful talking and listening (drawing on elements of insight dialogue practice) in dyads and small groups
  • regular gentle mindful movement (qi gong and yoga) exploring how body, heart and mind can support one another in the cultivation of presence (no particular level of health or fitness is required for this).
  • individual meetings with the teachers can be arranged if needed
  • regular gentle mindful movement (qi gong and yoga) and to understand how body, heart and mind can support one another in the cultivation of the qualities we are exploring. No particular level of health or fitness is required for this.

Who is the retreat for?

This retreat is suitable for people who have attended an eight-week MBSR/MBCT (or similar) course. It is ideal for people who teach or training to teach Mindfulness Based Programmes, and those who are integrating mindfulness into their professional work, and for those who simply want to strengthen and deepen their personal practice.


Karunavira, MSc, is a senior teacher at the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice, Bangor University and over the past 10 years he has been leading Mindfulness retreats throughout the UK and across Europe. Karunavira left his initial career as head teacher in primary education in 1982 to pursue Buddhist studies and between 2000 and 2010 was the spiritual director of the Brighton Buddhist Centre. He gained his MSc through Bangor University in mindfulness-based approaches in 2010. As a founding director of Mindful Health he has taught mindfulness-based courses and trained mindfulness teachers specialising in working with Carers, Young People, NHS Staff and traditional Arab communities. He is also trained as a Psychotherapeutic Counsellor specialising in work with parents of children with complex needs as a Mindfulness Therapist. Publications: ‘The eye of the storm’: NHS staff well-being MBCT feasibility study (2014); co-edited ‘Essential Resources for Mindfulness Teachers’, Routledge (2021).

Rebecca Crane, PhD, is an experienced mindfulness teacher and retreat lead, and has been personally exploring meditation for over 40 years. She is the former director of the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice at Bangor University and is a trustee for The Mindfulness Network. She has written numerous peer reviewed articles, and several books including Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Distinctive Features, co-authored Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy with People at Risk of Suicide, and co-edited Essential Resources for Mindfulness Teachers. She graduated from the Bodhi College Retreat Teacher Training in 2022. She is chair of the forthcoming International Conference on Mindfulness in Bangor in August 2024.

Modalités pratiques

This retreat is open to anyone who wishes to deepen their practice of Mindfulness. It will be of particular interest to MBSR / MBCT / other MBI instructors and future instructors.

Teachings will be in English with consecutive translation into French.

It will start on August 18, 2024 in the evening and will end on August 25 after lunch.

Venue: Moulin de Chaves – 24640 Cubjac

Fee: we invite you to choose the fee that suits you best.

- Basic rate : 525€

- Reduced rate : 395€ 

- Supporting rate : 660€ 

Details on the rates:

- The reduced rate is for anyone who feels that their financial situation does not allow them to pay the normal rate.

- The supporting rate is offered to all those whose financial conditions allow them to pay a little more and who wish to support ADM in its organization of meetings and retreats.

In case of cancellation:

- 30 days before the training: 50% will be refunded,

- Between 29 and 15 days before the training: 20% will be refunded,

- less than 15 days before the training: no refund.

      Except in cases of force majeure and upon presentation of proof, the refund will be 80%.

An additional budget is required for accommodation and full board (from 400€ to 730€). Upon confirmation of your registration, you will receive the necessary information to book your accommodation.

To register, please fill out the online form.