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Vision Walk retreat ~ 18 to 21th of July 2024

18 July @ 15:00 - 21 July @ 16:00

During this retreat, you will hike with a group over a weekend in the magical forests of the Ardennes. We spend these 2 days overnight in our forests. The invitation of this step retreat is to sink deeper into your own nature. Your intention for the trip is your starting point. We will work with that through meditations, breathing, walking in silence, conversations with fellow walkers and sharing circles. And of course by simply being in nature.

Every day we walk from one place to another and discover beautiful locations in the Belgian Ardennes. We spend the night in the forest and cook on wood fire. We regularly hike in silence, talking to nature or to our fellow hikers.  The group or community is very important in this retreat, as we constantly support each other during the journey. The step retreat is ideal if you are in an important transition in your life. Your transition then walks with you and so this also gets a conscious place in your life.

The walking retreat takes place in the valleys, forests and mountains near La Roche en Ardenne. We leave from the Chamai retreat centre and stay each night in the Chamai forests. We pass beautiful and powerful places in the area. We connect with the forests as they are today in all their forms and colours.

Highlights

  • Walking in group from beautiful natural place to place every day
  • Quiet moments with the group in the woods
  • Deep and respectful connection with the forest and daily nature teachings (from druidic/shamanic tradition)
  • Nature rituals
  • Sharing circles
  • Overnight stays with the group in the forest and cooking around the campfire
  • Learning nature skills such as fire making, shelter building, cooking on the fire, edible wild plants
  • Morning meditation and yoga in the forest
  • Time to relax along the way (swimming in a river, making a campfire, lazing in the forest)
  • All meals (vegetarian) provided (extra snacks best to bring your own)
  • Digital detox


Level of difficulty

Assume an average walking level: you will walk about 10 km a day on paths through the forest and fields and country roads. We’ll have plenty of time to cover the distance each day, so we’ll take all the breaks we need. Along the way, we have ceremonies and meditations. The terrain is quite rough and steep at times though (the Ardennes), so basic fitness is welcome for this walking retreat!

Accommodation during the retreat

During the walking retreat, you stay overnight each day in a patch of Chamai forest near the Ourthe Valley. You will sleep in your own hammock or tent. While hiking, you only carry your day gear in a backpack, your sleeping equipment and communal equipment (shelter, cooking utensils, food and water) will always be brought to the next location by our team. As a result, we only need to carry our lunch and water for the day. During the trip, there are a few moments when we can dip ourselves in the water of the Ourthe. For the rest of washing ourselves, we rely on the water we have at the sites or from springs or streams along the way. Return to the essence of life!

Programme of the days

We start the day in silence with meditation and reflection on your intention at the camp site. Afterwards, we have breakfast together. Each of the participants and guides will take on a different task in camp each day in the morning or evening: gathering wood, fetching water, making fire, cooking, etc. After breakfast, we hold a sharing circle, after which we break up camp and leave for the day’s trek. Sometimes you leave with a question or reflection in silence, sometimes you engage in conversation with a travel companion. In between, we stop occasionally for a break in a beautiful spot and to get something to snack on. Towards noon, we have a longer stop for lunch, followed by a session of nature teachings with exercises while walking. By the later afternoon, we set up camp again, after which we enjoy cooking and eating together by the campfire. The evenings are mostly free, but occasionally we also hold a ceremony together by the fire. As facilitators, we use a programme, but we also follow the energy of what is needed in the moment.

Day 1 – Arrival and landing

13.30 Arrival at Chamai retreat centre
14.30 Introduction and introduction
15.30 Departure to the forest
17.30 Arrival and setting up camp
19.00 Dinner
20.00 First round of sharing and formulating your own intention for the journey

Day 2 – Connecting with yourself and togetherness

07.30 Silent meditation and round of sharing
08.30 Breakfast and packing
10.00 Departure walking tour – ceremony
12.30 Lunch with nature teachings
13.30 Hiking
17.00 Arrival and setting up camp
19.00 Dinner
20:00 Around the campfire with sharing circle, songs, music, stories

Day 3 – Closure and return

07.30 Silent meditation and greeting for the day
08.30 Breakfast
09.30 Integration and final sharing circle
10.30 Breaking up and packing up
11.00 Return trip to Chamai
17.00 Arrival Chamai and farewell

Registration and prices

Social price: on demand via email, 290 euro (max. 2 persons)
Standard price
: 490 euro
Supporter & business price (also if you would like an invoice or to support another person who can’t make it financially): 590 euro

Deadline to register is at the latest 10 days before the start of the retreat and subject to payment of registration. Later is not possible due to organisational reasons.

Are you registering at least 2 months before the retreat? Then you will get an early booking discount of 70 euro, if you transfer the full participation fee in one go (not valid for social prices).

Your registration is complete as soon as you have sent an email to chamaicentre@gmail.com and transferred the full registration fee to the following account: BE12 7340 4886 7292 – Sophie Vandenkerchove, mentioning your name + Vision walk retreat and date.

If you cancel your participation, a part of your enrollment fee will be withheld to cover the administrative costs of your cancellation. Two months in advance 25% of your contribution will be retained, one month in advance 50% and 2 weeks in advance: 75% of your contribution. If the retreat has to be cancelled due to external organisational reasons, your registration will be fully refunded.

Facilitation team

Sophie Vandenkerchove

Sophie is a lover of the Wild – within and without. Sophie grew up in the forests of the Belgian Ardennes, where she nurtured a strong connection to the land of her ancestors as a child. After roaming wild places in the cities, she moved back to her village with a dedication to offer her life to the well-being and healing of her ancestral land. Out of this, Chamai came into existence: a nature-based learning centre, where she offers residential workshops and experiential journeys in and with Nature and collaborates with others. In her own work, she interweaves the power of ceremony and presenceness with her soulful love for her place, nature and people. She is passionate about pilgrimages, solo time in nature, silent retreats and all those experiences that bring together a good balance of adventure, presence and gentleness. Feeling and bringing each other home, is her life’s longing and service.

www.chamai.be

Details

Start:
18 July @ 15:00
End:
21 July @ 16:00
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