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Sun, Oct 01


Provincia dell'Aquila


A writing and meditation retreat in Abruzzo

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Time & Location

Oct 01, 2023, 12:30 PM GMT+2 – Oct 07, 2023, 2:00 PM GMT+2

Provincia dell'Aquila, Via Santo Spirito, 67040 Ocre AQ, Italy

About the Event

Using poetry as a portal, please join us for an intimate retreat to invigorate our well-being and creativity in the stunning landscape of Abruzzo, Italy. Santo Spirito, an eight-hundred year old monastery, will be our home for the week.

Over the course of seven days, we’ll explore the seven pillars of mindfulness; receive instruction and support in mediation exercises; and discuss classic and contemporary poems that explore themes of presence and mindful attention. Through prompts and writing exercises, we’ll write our own texts in reflection on our surroundings, and in conversation with each other and the inspiring poets we’ll read together.

No previous experience is necessary, just your kind attention and openness to

explore these topics with curiosity in community.

"Listen to the presence inside poems,

Let them take you where they will." - Rumi

Nestled at the base of the Apennines in Italy, the Monastero Fortezza di Santo Spirito, will be ours for the retreat. It is located in the municipality of Ocre in the province of L’Aquila in Abruzzo, Italy. Approximately 2 hours from Rome by bus, the monastery is surrounded by forest and hiking trails that were historically used by shepherds in what is now the Sirente-Velino National Park. The monastery will be ours for the retreat. The Monastery’s 12 bedrooms, each named after a particular wind, have been modernized from the ancient dormitories on the first floor in the east and west wings. Simple and cozy, these double-rooms  overlook  the central courtyard. Each room has its own bathroom.

With the exception of arrival day, each morning will begin at 7am with a guided meditation. You will then have a chance to shower and get ready before enjoying a light continental breakfast. Around 9:15am Catherine will introduce another pillar of mindfulness, followed by meditation and a sharing circle. Allison will facilitate discussion of the readings and offer prompts for your writing. You will then enjoy some free writing time before lunch. After lunch you will have time to rest, wander around the monastery, hike the nearby trails, or ponder in the garden. Each afternoon session will begin around 2:30 or 3pm for 2-3 hours of activities followed by a shared dinner. One afternoon will be free for the group to consider an excursion to a local point of interest. Dinner will typically be served at 7 or 8pm, followed by our own blend of herbal teas. Our last evening we will enjoy a celebratory dinner at a local restaurant and the next day, we will part after a light lunch.

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