March 24 – 30, 2019
Pieter O, Charlotte Rotterdam, and Gretchen Donovan
Munay Sonqo Retreat Center, Sacred Valley, Peru
Join us for a luminous 6-day retreat in Peru’s Sacred Valley. Held at beautiful Munay Sonqo Retreat Center, our days include yoga and meditation; inspiring non-dual teachings and practices rooted in the most profound view of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition; and two excursions, including to Machu Picchu, one of the world’s most sacred sites. Our retreat integrates sensory awareness, contemplation, and immersion in a natural power place to expand body and mind, and magnify our heart connection to all beings. Your retreat leaders draw on decades of teaching and practice to weave a dynamic inner and outer journey that will enrich the core of your being and ignite the healing power of our inherent compassion. We invite you to the trip of a lifetime!
Our time together includes:
- Daily meditation, with instruction and guidance
- Buddhist teachings, drawing in particular from the 11th century Tibetan yogini Machig Labdrön. An introduction to the non-dual view and the skillful means to apply these profoundly esoteric teachings in everyday life.
- Daily yoga, tailored to meet you at any level
- Personal transformation practices (such as Feeding your Demons and Chöd)
- One full-day trip to Machu Picchu
- One or two half-day visit to a local site
- Time for reflection, integration and rest
The retreat is open to all. No previous meditation or yoga experience is necessary.
* Optional trip add-ons such as a traditional plant medicine ceremony may be available.
$2,650 (triple) – $3,300 (deluxe double)
These are Early Bird prices available only until October 15, 2018.
(See more pricing details below)
More Program Details
Buddhist teachings and meditation: Pieter and Charlotte will introduce and guide open awareness meditation to support and awaken a connection to our truest nature – bodhicitta, the awakened heart-mind. Drawing on lyrical and inspiring teachings from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition – and specifically from Machig Labdrön, the great 11th century Tibetan yogini – we will explore the nature of awareness, the radiant ground of being, and gently tend to that which holds us back from our fullest, compassionate expression. These ancient teachings are complemented by simple practices that allow us to draw on the power of the land and natural elements surrounding us and the primordial wisdom within us.
The Yoga practices taught by Gretchen during this retreat will clarify and foster a deeper view into Buddhist teachings. Every student, whether a seasoned practitioner or new to yoga will feel supported. This is not a “how to do yoga” retreat but rather an opportunity to weave somatic movement and classical asana (poses) into meditation practice in order to cultivate more awareness, contentment and quietude.
After traveling and periods of seated meditation, yoga and movement provide a refuge to relax and access stillness so that both body and mind can receive teachings without resistance or discomfort.
The practices will be helpful in minimizing stiffness and joint pain that sometimes arise during periods of seated meditation, hiking, altitude, or simply being out of one’s typical routine.
About the Teachers
Pieter O and Charlotte Rotterdam are long-time students of Tibetan Buddhism and teaches meditation, Feeding your Demons, Chöd and other Buddhist practices in the US and abroad. As teaching and life partners, they elicit a playful and inspiring dynamic which brings traditional wisdom to life. They have studied and worked closely with Lama Tsultrim Allione for 15 years, and served as Executive Co-Directors of Tara Mandala Buddhist Retreat Center.
Pieter received his Law degree in his native South Africa. He is an entrepreneur and the President of the Tara Mandala Board of Directors. Charlotte received her Masters from Harvard Divinity School and is an Instructor and Director of the Center for the Advancement of Contemplative Education at Naropa University. Her essays have been published in Mandala, Lion’s Roar Online and in an anthology, Fearless Nest. In 2016 she received the title of Magyu Lopön, lead teacher of Magyu: The Mother Lineage at Tara Mandala by Lama Tsultrim.
Their blog on the intersection of Buddhist teachings and everyday life is at: www.skymind.us.
Gretchen Donovan is a Yoga Alliance certified teacher with over two decades of experience and a long time meditator. She weaves the subtle energies and precision of her years of experimentation in Ashtanga, Iyengar and Prajna Yoga into her unique style. Her enthusiasm and commitment to teaching is infectious. She is committed to helping students find more freedom and awareness in their bodies and heart-mind. www.gretchenyoga.net
We will all meet in Cusco on the morning of 24 March for departure to Munay Sonqo Retreat Center in the Sacred Valley near Calca. Beautiful and peaceful Munay Sonqo will serve as our retreat base for the remainder of our time together. From there we will do our two excursions to a local sacred site, and to Machu Picchu. Participants may then choose to stay for an optional add-on plant medicine experience.
Given Peru’s exceptional beauty and rich cultural offerings, we strongly recommend spending some time in Cusco prior or after the retreat, or visiting other local attractions. Strolling Cusco’s narrow alleys surrounded by Inca and more recent Spanish Colonial architecture, sitting at one of its many hip bars or restaurants, or visiting the remains of Coricancha, a temple dedicated to the Incan Sun God Inti – remains a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Most flights will also connect through Lima, a vibrant and fascinating ocean-side city with what is considered one of the top food scenes in the world (see Bloomberg’s Why Lima Is the World’s Best Food City, by the Numbers). And don’t forget to take in the nightlife and contemporary galleries of the Barranco district. Please contact us for further suggestions!
Accommodation and Pricing Details
All prices are quoted Per Person.
*Early Bird discounts expire on October 15, 2018.
Triple: $2,750 ($2,650 Early bird)
Double: $3,150 ($2,950 Early bird)
Single: $3,400 ($3,200 Early bird) – Limited availability.
Deluxe Double: $3,500 ($3,300 Early bird) – Very limited availability.
(The Deluxe Double is a two-story, two bathroom apartment. It can be configured either with one queen bed upstairs or a single bed upstairs and a single bed downstairs – each floor has a full bathroom).
A non-refundable deposit of $1,000 is required at the time of booking, with the balance due on or before December 15, 2018.
Payment by credit card or check is accepted. If payment by check is preferred, please select that option under the ‘Payment Method’ drop-down during checkout, and mail a check to the address that will be provided in your confirmation email. Please mail the check right away to secure your registration and accommodation preference.
- All teachings and Yoga instruction
- 6 nights of accommodation at Munay Sonqo
- 3 meals/day
- Full-day excursion to Machu Picchu
- ½ day Sacred Valley excursion
- Ground transportation to and from Cusco to Munay Sonqo.
Price does not include:
- airfare to and from Cusco
- any accommodation in Cusco
- personal expenses
- optional post-retreat add-ons
Health and Safety
You must be in good physical and mental health to participate in this retreat.
Cusco lies at a high elevation of 11,150 feet, so be prepared to stay well hydrated and take time to acclimatize. Most hotels in Cusco will have oxygen available on request which can be very helpful in this regard. The good news is that Munay Sonqo, where we will be staying for the duration of our retreat, lies at the considerably lower elevation of 9,500 feet, and Machu Picchu is even lower at 7,900 feet.
- On or before December 15, 2018: refund of total paid minus $600.
- After December 15, 2018 and before January 24, 2019: refund of 35% of total paid.
- No refunds after January 24, 2019.
Should the retreat be cancelled by us due to low enrollment (or other unforeseen reasons), full refunds will be issued. We unfortunately cannot be responsible for airline and other fees incurred with third party vendors, so we strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance with your airline tickets.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us at: