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Winter Retreat

Being Still, Hearing Silence: Meditation, T’ai Chi and Calligraphy in the Mountains

29 January-2 February, 2020

Embrace insight sourced in the act of stillness

You need moments in your life when you can leave all the “to-dos” behind and allow yourself to be silent. To tap into the power of stillness by just observing, without the need for intervention.


This kind of stillness is sacred. It allows us to see these aspects of ourselves that go unnoticed as we engage in everyday actions and distractions.

The Stillness in Action Winter Retreat is the opportunity for deep, purposeful rest from your routine. By taking conscious time out, you open the space for listening to yourself and planting important seeds for the year to come.

What’s on the programme?

The four-day Stillness in Action Winter Retreat is designed to create space within yourself. Once you have this space, you will be able to welcome and design the changes that the coming year will bring.


By embracing the attitude of the beginner, you will learn how to be comfortable in the unknown and be totally present in the now.


It may appear that we are doing very little - and yet, it takes your active engagement in the experience of stillness for the authentic restoration to take place.


The retreat will include:

  • Meditation that channels the energy of the group to help you engage deeply in your own practice;

  • Calligraphy, or Zen Brush Work, to both lose and find yourself in the subtle art of putting ink on paper.

  • Visualisation exercises to tap into the power of your own imagination and see clearly what it is that you really want for yourself;

  • Winter walks through the fairytale mountain snowscape to heighten awareness and sharpen perception.

How Will You Benefit?


You may see the Winter Retreat as a “spa for the soul.”


The immediate benefit will be four days full of rest and active attention - things that are often difficult to offer yourself in your busy daily life.


Moreover, the impact of this retreat extends far beyond these four days. With the support and guidance from the experienced coach, Caroline Purkhardt, and the Zen master, Jos Hadfield, you will translate your experience of stillness into meaningful, long-lasting insights.


These will be the seeds for your future growth and expansion.

The collaboration and complementarity of Caroline and Jos form a perfect duo, bringing this training alive, listening and adapted to each other. I love the Zen brushwork! Enjoying the meditative black mark on white paper, preparing the ink slowly, in silence. Water, ink, brush, paper and ritual: a delight! And I loved the practices: both the Chi Kung in the early morning outdoors, and also learning the ancient section of the T’ai Chi form. I have been practicing them almost every day since with great pleasure. Definitely a much enjoyed and worthwhile retreat!"

-- Elisabeth Beaupere

For those who like to know more


Each day, we start with an early morning Moving Meditation out in the crisp mountain air. Then we continue indoors, with a 30-minute seated meditation around the fireplace.


After we have greeted the day with consciousness and intention, we indulge in a healthy, mindful breakfast. Then we immerse ourselves in Tai Chi flow, focusing on the yin energy in balance with yang, and tuning into guidance beyond the small self.


Grounded in our bodies, we smoothly move into a calligraphy session led by Jos Hadfield, Zen Brushwork teacher, followed by lunch and a time to rest.


In the afternoon, we go out to explore the great winter snowscapes of the French Alps. This naturally heightens our awareness and brings us firmly to the present moment.


In the late afternoon, we may have a less structured Tai Chi or calligraphy session or simply enjoy some free time for reflection and journaling.


Dinnertime is an invitation to celebrate together by sharing a delicious three-course meal (we’re in France, after all!), relaxing in front of the fireplace and reflecting on the day.

Note: We will spend at least one day of the Retreat in silence (excluding dinnertime). We intend this to be an opportunity to really connect to ourselves and make a transition from the hustle and bustle of daily life into the sacred space of the Stillness in Action Retreat.

What to bring?

  • Comfortable clothing for Tai-chi/meditation sessions

  • Warm clothes, such as winter socks and a comfy sweater

  • Outdoor clothing suitable for winter hiking

  • Winter jacket

  • Waterproof hiking boots

  • A pair of comfy shoes to wear indoors

  • Journal and/or a good book

  • Thermos

  • Sunglasses and sun cream

  • Rucksack


We will provide yoga mats, meditation pillows and blankets, if needed.


To check what else is available at the Lodge, please feel free to contact us directly.


Retreat Participation​


per person


Provides access to all group activities and practices.

Food & Lodging

€360 - €560

per person


Single or shared room with
private or shared bathroom. Bed linen and towels provided. Includes all meals, teas, coffees & snacks for the duration of the retreat (wine and other beverages charged separately).

See the Registration page for more information and payment options.


Our Stillness in Action Retreats take place at Lauvitel Lodge, an extraordinary place situated in the small hamlet of La Danchere in the heart of the French Alps. Peaceful and secluded, the lodge remains easily accessible and provides all the comforts of a family-run hotel.

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