Retreats

Nourishing and Letting Go : A 5-day Mindfulness Retreat

Welcome to the Nourishing and Letting Go Mindfulness retreat. This intimate retreat is designed to offer space to reconnect with ourselves, train our minds, and open our hearts to our own care and needs. We have chosen a particularly lovely setting with incredible food, comfortable accommodations (each with its own bathroom), and a quiet, unplugged natural setting in order to allow participants to feel cared for and pampered. 

The retreat will focus on silent meditation practice (including sitting, walking, and eating) as well as relational mindfulness and workshops to explore our own stories, richness, and how to release what might be getting in the way of our self-compassion and freedom. We will lean heavily on restorative justice practices with lots of opportunity for personal reflection and movement  as well as connection to self, others, and nature. The chef will be preparing delicious, healthy, food so we all feel truly nourished. The maximum number of participants for the retreat is 28 so everyone feels seen and heard and has plenty of opportunity to work closely with the teachers.

Nestled within 145 rolling acres set along the picturesque Ghost River, the retreat location offers plenty of opportunity to savour this traditional territory of the Blackfoot Indigenous people.. Venture down to the riverside and try your hand at fly fishing, or relax fireside and watch those who would. Stay indoors and get lost in a novel while drinking a freshly brewed cup of tea, looking out onto the spectacular landscape. Strike off on your own and hike the peaks and valleys, or find stillness on a boulder and wait for wildlife to cross your path. This property is on the Stoney Nakoda traditional territory.

Logistics

Where: The Crossing at Ghost River, outside of Cochrane, Alberta, approx. one hour drive north of the Calgary International Airport. The Crossing is known for its unbelievable food and comfortable rooms in addition to the beautiful setting. You can get a sense of the venue here: https://youtu.be/IDjT7pIKuwc.

When: July 9-14, 2020

Your Guides for this Retreat

Vinny Ferraro

Vinny Ferraro has been a practitioner of insight meditation (Vipassanā) since the mid-90s. He is a co-Founder of the Dharma Punx and he’s been the Guiding Teacher of a sangha in San Francisco for 15 years. He is also a nationally recognized leader in designing and implementing interventions for at-risk adolescents and is a Senior Trainer for Mindful Schools. In 2001, he began teaching for Challenge Day, a nationally recognized, social & emotional learning program, eventually becoming their Director of Training and leading workshops for over 110,000 youth on four continents.

Vinny is also a board member and former Training Director of the Mind-Body Awareness Project and is the principal author of the MBA’s mindfulness-based curriculum for incarcerated youth. His focus continues to be delivering direct services to folks that have limited access.

Christine Klaassen-St. Pierre

Christine has been an educator for over 28 years and school administrator for 12 years in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada. In retirement, she now teaches at Yukon University in their Faculty of Education, where she coaches new teachers on how to create mindful classrooms and schools where people feel safe, loved and celebrated. She has a Master’s in Education from the University of Ottawa and is a Certified Instructor with Mindful Schools where she has been a Guiding Teacher and Practicum Reviewer.  She is also a Restorative Justice teacher and facilitator.

Nicole Libin

Dr. Nicole Libin is a certified mindfulness educator, adjunct professor, and author. She co-created the Mindful Schools’ Mindful Teacher Certification program and has been its Lead Teacher for the past two years, training and certifying the next generation of mindful educators. Nicole has been certified by both Mindful Schools and MBSR for teens, has trained with The Meditation Initiative, and has completed the UMass Center for Mindfulness Professional Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) training in Mind-Body Medicine with Jon Kabat-Zinn. Nicole has experience working with adults, adolescents and children; prenatal groups; sports camps; government agencies; university faculty and students, professionals, and anyone else who will let her stop and take a breath with them.

Nicole is the author of three books on mindfulness. Her children’s book Sticky Brains, a mindfulness and brain science picture book for children will be published in early 2020. Her other two books, Mindful Parenting in a Chaotic World and 5-Minute Mindfulness Meditations for Teens are both published by Rockridge Press and available on Amazon.


Registration Information

Pricing

Early bird date: March 1, 2020

Early bird price: $1980 CDN (by etransfer) or $1550 USD  (direct deposit).

Regular price:$ 2230 CDN  (by etransfer), $1750 USD (direct deposit).

Deposit of $250 CDN ($200 USD) holds your spot. Balance due by April 1st.

How to Pay

For Our Canadian Friends:  

The preferred method of payment for Canadians is Interac/e-transfer to the email address: mmeksp@gmail.com. The security question/answer required is: What month is the retreat? Answer: July

If Canadians wish to pay by Paypal, there will be a 3% service fee added to the stated cost of the retreat.

For Our American Friends: 

There are two options for payment method: Paypal and direct deposit. If paying by Paypal, there will be a 7.5% transaction fee for payments from the US, though we are currently working on eliminating this. (We would love to avoid extra fees on everyone’s behalf so we suggest using direct deposit if at all possible.) Contact Christine at mmeksp@gmail.com for more information on the direct deposit procedure.

Scholarship fund: Please contact us for scholarship possibilities. Since this is our first year running this retreat, we have very limited scholarship opportunities but we will do our best to help as much as possible. 

Once we confirm your application, we will contact you with more information on payment.

FAQ

How do I know if I’m accepted into the retreat?

You will receive an email confirmation upon receipt of your registration form and deposit. We will inform you if you have been accepted to the retreat within two weeks of your application. If the retreat is full, you will be placed on the waiting list. 

So, you’re telling me the retreat’s in Canada? I mean, technically I’m all for it but could you tell me important things I might need to know?

It’s pretty straightforward. The Calgary International Airport is a major hub with direct flights to and from most major U.S. cities. You will need a valid (not expired) passport to enter the country. All U.S. credit cards will be accepted here as will Apple Pay. Also, you will need to try Canadian chocolate because it’s better. Trust us, we know from experience.

We will be helping participants with travel to and from the airport, including a ride share list and info on how to reserve shuttle buses. The cost of transportation or transfer is not included in the price of the retreat.

Can I attend the retreat as a commuter?

Please contact us at mmeksp@gmail.  It is possible to attend this retreat as a commuter though it is about an hour’s drive from Calgary.

What can I expect?

This retreat will offer two full days of silent meditation and two full days of workshop and relational practice. Silent days will include sitting and walking meditation, instruction, teacher-led talks, Q&A, and practice discussion with the teachers. Our workshop/mindfulness relational days will focus on authenticity, self-compassion, and personal wellbeing. We will explore how to truly care for ourselves and what might be holding us back. This retreat is suitable for both beginners and experienced practitioners. 

What if I need to cancel or leave early?

Cancellations made before April 1 are subject to a cancellation fee in the amount of the full deposit. 

We regret that any cancellations after April 1 are subject to a cancellation fee in the amount of 100% of the retreat cost, unless we can fill the spot from the waiting list.

Deposits and payments can be transferred to another person who meets the retreat criteria.

No refund will be given if a retreatant leaves a retreat early or arrives late.  In considering others waiting and hoping to attend, as well as yourself, please make a commitment to attend the whole retreat.

There is no exception to the cancellation policy including weather or personal emergencies, flight cancellations or delays. We recommend purchasing Travel Protection Insurance. 

If we must cancel a retreat, there will be 100% refund on all funds received to date. Thank you for understanding and respecting the cancellation policy.

What if I have more questions?

 Please contact us! We are happy to answer any questions or address any concerns you might have. Plus, we love talking about the retreat and hope you are as excited as we are.