Heart Pilgrim is announcing a 10 day Intensive Sadhana retreat in Fonte Avellana, Italy. The vicharana retreat which usually takes place in Uttarkashi, India, is coming for the first time to Italy. This immersion retreat focuses on deep practice of Vedantic meditation, Yoga, Pranayama and the study of Vedanta philosophy. The retreat will be held in Mauna (silence) to support inner reflection and assimilation. It is a spiritual retreat designed for sincere practitioners from all disciplines who want to boost their Sadhana (spiritual practice), and for those who want to introduce new techniques into their practice.
Vedantic meditation is a form of rigorous inquiry (Vicharana), as practiced by Himalayan Masters for millennia. It is universal in nature and appropriate for sincere practitioners of any discipline. It originates from the Vedanta philosophy which is one of the most important philosophies of India dealing with the absolute truth, the meaning of existence, and the release from suffering. By using deep inquiry free of dogma, we will dive into and unravel our True Self.
Fonte Avellana. Blessed by its beauty and has ideal features for a retreat.
Fonte Avellana is a Christian monastery located about 3 hours drive from Florence in Serra Sant'Abbondio in the MArche region of Italy. It was established as a monastery around 980 AD. Prior to that it was a hermit settlement and had been used as a spiritual refuge from the times of the barbaric invasions.
The location is blessed by its natural beauty and has features that are ideal for a retreat. Far from inhabited centres, it is nestled between mountains and has a south-facing exposure which ensures it is sunlit from dawn to dusk and sheltered from the cold northern winds. It has plenty of water (Fonte= spring), it is surrounded by forests which allowed for basic agriculture to support the small monastic community - one of the crops being hazelnuts locally called ‘Avellana’.
Tought by Swami Kashi and Francesca (Omkari) Folonari
Cost: The cost of the retreat is $1,350 for a single room, and $1,220 for a double bedroom. It is possible to pay in two instalments through PayPal or check. Visit the registration page for further details.
Transportation: Heart Pilgrim is organising a bus for an additional cost of $105 (for going and returning). The bus will leave from the railway station of Florence at 11:30am on June 5th. The return bus will leave from Fonte Avellana at 7:30am on June 16. Please note, the trip takes about 4:30 hours.
It is also possible to arrive by your own vehicle, or rent a car and drive from Florence or Rome.
Communication: During the retreat you won't be allowed to communicate with others outside the retreat via phone, Internet, or any other way. However, we'll provide you with an emergency land-line number to give to your family to use in case of emergency. Please notice that in and around the monastery there is no connectivity of cellular networks.
Accommodation: The accommodation of the retreat is in very clean, pleasant, and simple single/double bed rooms with attached bathrooms. You'll have to bring with you a towel and bed sheets. Beds, mattresses, Blankets, and pillows are provided by the monastery. You will also be required to leave your room clean when you leave.
Teachers: The retreat will be taught by Swami Kashi and by Francesca (Omkari) Folonari.
4:30am Meditation session
5:30am Pranayama session
6:30am Light Breakfast
7:00am Morning Vedanta class
8:00am Yoga Asana Class
12:00am Group Meeting
1:00pm Vedanta Class
3:00pm Midday Meditation session
4:00pm Self practice of Asanas
7:30pm Evening Meditation & study
9:00pm Lights off
- Vedantic meditation practices
- Practice of Pranayama (Anulomaviloma & Kapalabhati)
- Yoga Asana practice
- Daily classes on the Vivekachudamani of Shankaracharya
- Simple, Sattvic (pure), vegetarian diet
- Early rise, early to bed
- Practice of Mauna (silence)
- Part of the practice will be self-practice
Rules of the retreat
- No use of phone or Internet throughout the retreat (a complete digital fast)
- No intoxicants of any type (smoking, alcohol, coffee, drugs, etc.)
- Eating only the food which is served in the retreat (sattvic, vegetarian food)
- Maintain mauna (silence)
- No leaving the premises of the retreat without permission