All about Retreats

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Retreat Accomodation

Introduction to Retreats

At the centre on our lovely organic farm in West Wales, we have created a beautiful environment with lush bell tents, carpeted with rag rugs, furnished with gorgeous recycled silk and velvet cushions, Japanese futon mattresses and tea-light chandeliers. We are offering a mouth-watering array of delicious, nutritious and earth friendly meals to tempt your taste buds and nourish your body. The site is decorated with handmade bunting, prayer flags, and boasts a fabulous medicine wheel built from the stone from the valley itself – and which we think is the biggest in Europe. We have gathered together a group of wonderful facilitators, experienced in holistic, spiritual, artistic and healing skills, who are offering a choice of powerful and beautiful ways to connect more deeply to our inner worlds, to each other, to spirit and to the earth and to enable the expression of that connection in empowering and healing ways; - Retreats to feed to body, mind and soul!

The summer programme is designed to create a really special experience that delights you, nurtures and nourishes you, makes you feel really comfortable, relaxed and wrapped up in the deep and abiding abundance and love of the universe. If there is a particular type of retreat experience you would like to participate in, please contact us and we’ll see what we can do, as we are always willing to accommodate everyone’s needs.

The Mandala garden camp is divided into two main areas, firstly a wild part with long, untamed grasses, a fire pit, medicine wheel and rock throne and secondly the take-your-shoes-off-and-sink-your-toes-into-the-soft-turf grassy areas, called the Sun lawn and the Moon lawn.

We alternate the use of each of the grassy areas for pitching the tents and for an exercise area, in order to maximise the light and air and health of the grass, which is rich and soft and luxurious. So you may find yourself at one retreat sleeping on the Moon lawn and doing yoga, tai chi, chi gong and chanting on the Sun lawn or vice versa, depending on which retreats you come to.

The Accommodation itself is provided in the form of beautiful bell tents from www.belltent.co.uk. The main events are held in the Emperor Bell Tent or the Tentipi and then there are two 5 metre bell tents for sleeping, and an extra 4 metre available if necessary. The idea behind this is that we share accommodation and enjoy a connection and intimacy that creates a community feeling in the group, fostering trust and co-operation. There is also space and time for being alone included within the schedule of each retreat, as this is also an important part of inner work. The tents are a few hundred yards from the farmhouse and the camp is designed to enhance the natural atmosphere of peace and tranquillity.

The tents are furnished with beautiful and comfortable futon mattresses, with cotton sheeting covers, hand made by Hara. The floors are softened and warmed by fair trade rag rugs and the space is enhanced velvet and recycled sari-silk cushions and lit by solar lanterns. For many retreats each tent has a sacred altar space in the middle, which is created on tables, hand made by Si and decorated by a group of our friends on the first ever Amazing Lyfe retreat. These are graced with candles, incense, fresh flowers, leaves and objects relating to the nature of the retreat.

You can, of course, bring your own tent if you prefer and we will provide you with a futon too! HOWEVER, the experience of shared living under canvas, close to the ground offers the perfect antidote to our hectic lives,in which we can tend to shut ourselves off from each other to survive. We encourage you to make the most of this experience, but there are many B&Bs and hotels within a few minute¹s travel if you prefer. The whole Mandala Garden is decorated with hand made recycled bunting, prayer flags and pots of flowers. The slope between the two lawns is slowly being planted up with medicinal herbs and plants that will encourage butterflies into the area.

We provide all the delicious food and refreshments that you should need during your stay; including meals made from as much locally sourced, organic produce as possible - with spring water to drink, as well as herbal teas, builders' tea and fruit juice at breakfast.'

'There are non-polluting toilet facilities, washing facilities that use a very low amount of solar heated water and earth friendly soaps.

So all you need is a sleeping bag (or duvet) and blankets, pillows and a towel! And don't forget your toothbrush!

If you really don't like camping or simply cannot sleep unless in a bed inside let us know and we can arrange for you to stay at a B&B or local hotel. There are lots to choose from and we can reccommend somewhere for you!

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Retreat Location

The Amazing Lyfe Retreat is based at Sychnant, meaning "dry stream", in a peaceful valley in the heart of West Wales. We are situated around 45 minutes south of Aberystwyth and 45 minutes north of Carmarthen on the border of Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion. The site is secluded and quiet, but not isolated, as it is only 3 1/2 miles from the university town of Lampeter.The views down and across the valley can really take your breath away, especially when enhanced by the silent flight of one of the local barn owls,who are often seen gliding over the golden fields at dusk. We are also visited regularly by buzzards, whose cry stirs the soul, and by the stunning red kites that only 20 years ago were so rare there were only 20 breeding pairs left in Wales.

The valley is peaceful and unspoilt and we aim to keep it that way. Therefore we will ensure that retreat groups remain small and exclusive and we will run them for no more than a few days a month, so that wildlife and human neighbours alike are not unduly stressed!

About Ceredigion
Visiting the Area

You will notice as you travel to Ceredigion that we are blessed with stunning scenery. We have a gorgeous coastal landscape, peaceful hills and valleys, dramatic panoramas, lovely rivers and beautiful villages. Ceredigion also offers a wealth of activities that could keep you here for weeks at a time. You might enjoy horse riding, hiking, bird watching, or canoeing down the Teifi. You can go gorge walking, white water rafting, paragliding, paintballing or abseiling. If you want something a little less strenuous why not have a go at archery or enjoy shopping at the farmers markets or eating in one of the fabulous local restaurants.

There are many places to visit in the area of historical interest too. One beautiful place to visit is Strata Florida Abbey, “a historic abbey and the last resting place of the Welsh Princes”. Another is the bustling seaside town of Cardigan, with its medieval bridge and castle. Aberystwyth also boasts a ruined Norman castle, and a Victorian Camera Obscura at the summit of Constitution hill, from where you can on a clear day see to the Preseli hills and the whole of Cardigan Bay. You can walk up to the summit or reach it via the cliff Railway.

If you fancy some sea air and water sports there are the joys of being near the Cardiganshire Bay coast. You can choose between surfing, paddle surfing, kayaking, angling and cycling. 

You could take a wildlife boat trip to see seals, dolphins and the stunning coastline, or enjoy the gorgeous beaches and the best fish and chips anywhere. If you feel a little tired after all that you can spend your time floating about in our lovely clean water with a snorkel and you might even be lucky enough to meet a dolphin! 

If you prefer to take it easy you can wander down the prom at Aberystwyth and enjoy the entertainment, or chill out in Aberaeron eating local honey ice cream, sunbathe on one of the many sandy beaches or just sit and watch the world go by. All in all it means that once your retreat is over you won’t want to go home for a while. So whatever you do, make the most of your time here and enjoy some of the best that Wales has to offer.

Ceredigion and Organic Food
Lampeter is famous for organic food. So you will understand how it came about that we have such a passion for it. Here is a clip from an article by local lady Hazel Thomas, on the BBC Wales website, which explains how that came to be…

"Nestling in the cradle of the Cardiganshire Bay Coastline, Ceredigion has long been renowned for a diverse and mouth-watering array of fine food production that draws from both the sea and the land.The irresistible combination of stunning landscape and an abundance of fertile farming land drew from the cities an army of people who looked upon Ceredigion with an eye to the future. These people brought with them a philosophy for farming that had long been forgotten, and they set about planting and harvesting the land naturally, without the use of chemicals. Crop rotation was vigilantly monitored, as was the use of natural animal husbandry.

Founded by Patrick Holden, Nick Rebbeck and Peter Segger, this pioneering movement began in the mid seventies and Lampeter quickly became the centre of the Organic Farming Movement. With the birth of this new 'food consciousness' people began to take an interest in the food they were eating. They wanted to know where it had come from, how it was grown and the processes involved.

Consequently, farmers' markets sprouted everywhere, giving consumers the rare opportunity to actually meet the producers. It was from this movement that the Lampeter Food Festival first came into being, which, in turn, inspired and led to the numerous celebrations of food that now take place in Ceredigion annually. Ceredigion is a must for all discerning gourmet tourists, and a warm open-armed welcome awaits all who care to visit any of the numerous working farms. Visitors are invited to see for themselves how the produce is made using age-old traditional methods, and how each farm is contributing towards a food chain that has become synonymous with exceptional taste.

At last year's True Taste Awards, organised by the Welsh Development Agency at the Celtic Manor in Cardiff, nine of the awards were presented to food producers and businesses in the Ceredigion area. Such awards not only epitomise the exacting standards of food produce in Ceredigion, but are also testament to the purity of the area's soil, water and air.

"Ceredigion is a rare jewel, attracting visitors from all corners of the world. Experience first hand the stunning and unspoilt beauty of a county steeped in food tradition, and the genuine warmth of people passionate about their land”.
Hazel Thomas, Coordinator of the Lampeter Food Festival.

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Retreat Rules

MUSIC:
This is not a camp site, it is a retreat centre. Therefore please respect that people are here to relax, de-stress, are coming to experience periods of silence, stillness and to meditate. Therefore no electronic music, Radios, CD, MP3 players or other sound systems are allowed on site at all. However, please feel free to bring acoustic instruments of any kind, bearing in mind that it would not be appropriate to play them during quiet times such as during meditation or shamanic journeying sessions. Please ensure that all noise ceases by 11pm as most retreats begin with exercise and meditation very early in the morning.

FIRES:
You use the facilities and amenities at the site at your own risk, including the communal camp fire. Candles and tea lights are not allowed in the sleeping tents AT ALL. Please use the electric torches and/or lanterns provided for your safety. In the Workshop tent the tealights must be kept within the candle holders and containers when alight (with the exception of the dining table candelabra which must remain on the dining table when lit). Only official fires in the fire pit started by our FIRE MAN are allowed. There are many trees in the area and the land is often very dry, therefore please do not make any fires outside of the FIRE PIT!

ALCOHOL:
Only allowed on Art, Goddess, Redtent or Zumba retreats please! Otherwise the space is considered, honoured and employed as a sacred space. Thank you.

SAFETY:
Please take care on the site. You are responsible for your own safety and physical wellbeing during your stay. The Sun/Moon camp is in a natural environment. In working to preserve and enhance the valley and its biodiversity we are leaving many wild areas for wildlife. Therefore BE WARNED there are natural hazards, such as ponds, tree roots, poisonous plants. Also the ground is uneven and is slippery when wet! There are also tussocks of grass and rocks all over the place. Although we have taken all reasonable care to make the area as safe as possible, please BE RESPONSIBLE and make sure you look where you are going. Especially when moving around the camp at night after dark, as we are only able to put solar lights leading to the toilets, to make sure you can find your way there and back. Please make sure you have a torch if you are going to wander around after dark. But we suggest that you DON”T DO IT!

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Retreat Terms

Your personal details and privacy
We totally respect your privacy (let’s face it we are all psychologists, therapists and mystics and as such have sworn a confidentiality oath!)

The booking process asks for your address details and phone numbers in case the internet fails (which it often does in West Wales) and in case we need to contact you whilst you are travelling to the campsite (which is unlikely but not impossible).

Please note that your financial details are NEVER seen or stored, by us. All our online financial transactions are handled by PAYPAL. Cheques and BACS payments are paid directly into the Amazing Lyfe account at Santander.

We will never pass on or sell your details to any third parties, as we are not after money. We are a Social Enterprise (being set up) with the intention of personal and planetary healing, growth and transformation. We are NOT profit based and we put people’s needs ahead of monetary gain. This is why we keep our prices so low, and make our work service based and our retreats are accessible to all income ranges.

Booking your wonderful retreat experience
BY BOOKING YOUR RETREAT YOU UNDERSTAND AND AGREE TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS AND RULES OF THE SUN/MOON CAMP

To book your place on a retreat we will need a deposit of £100 (or full payment) and bookings must be paid in full at least 6 weeks before your retreat date. If the booking is less than 6 weeks from the date of your stay the full price of the stay will be required to secure your place, as the retreats are restricted to 12 people. This is in order to allow an appropriate facilitator-guest ratio for a beneficial and enjoyable experience. Confirmation of your booking will be sent after the deposit, or full payment, has been received.

If the balance is not paid by the due date Amazing Lyfe reserves the right to re-sell your place on the retreat and retain the deposit.The person booking, where they are booking on behalf of other people is responsible for sharing all appropriate information to their friends who are accompanying them. For example, these Terms and Conditions; the nature of the campsite; Health and Safety issues; the facilities; and the appropriate clothing, bedding and footwear they will need for maximum comfort.

Payment
Monetary Payment is taken via PAYPAL, cheque or BACS and is taken in UK Pounds Sterling only. 

Changes to bookings
Please let us know as soon as possible if you need to make any change to your booking. Changes must be made in writing, by email, and by the person who made the booking. If you tell us too close to the date it may not be possible to accommodate your needs.

Our Cancellation Policy
If you are sadly put in a position where you are forced to cancel your wonderful retreat and you give 6 weeks or more notice of cancellation, the total money you paid will be refunded via a cheque, or it can be used to book a retreat at a date, subject to availability, later in the year or following year. If you wish to rebook for another date for a more expensive retreat, or the prices have gone up for the following year (which we will only do if we must) you will need to pay the difference.If cancellation is less than 6 weeks from arrival date, the deposit (£100) will not be refunded but can be used as a deposit for a retreat at a later date.If cancellation is made within 3 weeks of the arrival date we cannot generally refund any payments made, as we may not be able to fill your place at such short notice. However, if someone synchronistically does book your place at the last minute, (you may have some really good Karma!) we will tell you and refund your money. Because we believe in passing on good Karma!

Any cancellation or change must be confirmed in writing / email, by the person who made the booking.We strongly advise visitors to take out full holiday insurance to cover cancellations, public liability, personal belongings, loss etc. If WE need to cancel your retreat for any reason (such as if we are due a huge snow storm with hurricanes in August, or all the belltents have been stolen by gremlins or ripped apart by giants) we shall inform you as soon as possible and refund all money paid to us, by you, within 14 days.

Welcomes and Faretheewells.
Your retreat generally begins with lunch on Friday (between 12.00pm and 1.00pm) and ends at the evening meal on Sunday (between 6.00pm and 7.00pm). You are welcome to come any time from 10.00am. If you wish to arrive earlier, please let us know to make sure someone is available to welcome you with a cool/hot drink (weather dependent) and a hug (if you like hugs).

Visitors to the Retreat Centre
We are working very hard to ensure that biodiversity is enhanced on the farm. Wildlife is encouraged, supported and planted for and local valley wild creatures are the only visitors welcome or allowed on site during retreats. Thus, depending upon the time of year, certain creatures such as bumble bees, field mice and even the dreaded spiders may enter the tents. None of them can kill you, most won’t touch you if you leave them alone. But if you can’t stand them please don’t kill them if they are making you uncomfortable, but ask someone who is at one with the wildlife to move them for you. You will soon know who those critter-loving people are…. (This does not include SHEEP – who are reportable intruders and must be REMOVED as they will eat the beautiful gardens and perhaps your bedding! Please inform a facilitator if you see a sheep within or close to the Sun/Moon camp, as they are not wild and are not ours).

As far as human visitors are concerned, these are unfortunately not welcome either, because part of the retreat process often involves emotionally and spiritually intense experiences, and we value the privacy of those who are undertaking transformative journeys. Therefore please DO NOT invite friends or family who have not booked a retreat to come on site. Otherwise they will have to be asked to leave and we do not wish to offend.

Weather and your comfort
Obviously, this is Wales, and we can’t control the weather. It may be rainy and muddy. Bearing this in mind, we are providing facilities that should keep enable all retreats to continue even in rainy weather. However, it is still camping and you are responsible for your own wellbeing and comfort regarding appropriate clothing and footwear etc. Be aware the tents are cotton canvas and in prolonged and heavy rain the tents may leak.If you have any questions about your stay and require more information before you arrive than is published on the website, please do not hesitate to contact us by telephone on 07790 643 216 or 0151 632 3261 and/or send us an e-mail using the contact form, in case we are out of a signal area.

In the unlikely event of a complaint
If you have anything to complain about, please tell a facilitator at the time, so that we can resolve your problem quickly. We want you to have an amazing retreat. Otherwise, if we can’t ensure your happiness for any reason, please address correspondence regarding complaints to;

Hara Willow
Amazing Lyfe Retreats
30 Cable Road
Hoylake
Wirral
CH472BD

Please understand that complaints received after 14 days from the end of your stay with us can’t be reliably investigated. So it behoves you to let us know super fast!

By Booking and coming to the Amazing Lyfe Retreat you agree to be responsible for your own welfare and to take all reasonable precautions against personal injury, injury to others and damage to the environment, facilities and tents, particularly as regarding litter, fire, and noise after 11pm (see Retreat Rules). Anything you bring to the retreat and any damage or loss to your possessions is at your own risk. By agreeing to these Terms and Conditions, you are aware of the risks, hazards, and dangers of personal injury in entering the Retreat and the farm itself. If you or anyone else has any kind of accident or injury please seek Hara immediately, as she is qualified to administer Emergency First Aid

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F.A.Q.

Retreats

Q. What do i need to bring to a Retreat?

A.
1. An open heart and mind
2. Warm, waterproof and light clothing
3. Walking/hiking boots (if you walk)
4. Sun cream, wellies, light mac (weather dependent)
5. Towel, sleeping bag, pillow(s), toothbrush and paste
6. Fleece or warm jacket for evenings by the fire in case your back gets chilly
7. Insect repellent, in case of hot still evenings
8. Extra blankets and hot water bottle (hot water provided) in case of chilly pre-dawn temperatures (don't worry we have a couple if you forget!)
9. You may wish to bring a torch with you in case you need for any reason to move around at night, although there are a few soft solar lights dotted around, but not enough to interfere with your star gazing.

N.B. We humbly request that no intoxicating substances, e.g. tobacco, alcohol or recreational drugs be brought or used on site if it is a Chakra weekend, Shamanic Journey or Meditation retreat as this space is considered and treated as sacred!

Q. What is included in the price of my Residential Retreat?

A.
1. Delicious, healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner each day, plus tea, herbal teas and water
2. Beautifully decorated bell tents with futons, cushions, and soft lighting for sleeping in
3. Indian style bucket and jug wash facilities with HOT water, shower curtains for privacy and earth friendly, fairly traded liquid soap
4. Appropriate materials provided for the particular retreat you are attending, for example paint, paper, clay, feathers, beads or handouts
5. Lovely, warm, friendly and experienced facilitators
6. A small group of like minded people to share, and grow with
7. A wonderful landscape, uncertain weather conditions and earth in all her glory
8. Peace, silence, alone time, company
9. A chance to open yourself to deeper connection to self, other, the earth and the sacred/divine within and without
10. The opportunity to discover your own hidden depths

Q. What types of food are provided in my Residential Retreat?

A.
Because sharing food and feasting, as part of any celebration of life, is a really important part of traditional approaches to living communally, we are pleased to be able to offer you exceptionally high quality meals. In other words we are all foodies! As many of our ingredients as we can manage are sourced locally. They are organic, free range and fairly traded, wherever possible. And best of all Hara, Prema Lila and Si, whose skills in the kitchen are legendary, cook all the meals! We use the finest ingredients, and your delicious food is always prepared with attention to detail, love, care and mindfulness.

Example Menu – 3 or 5 day Retreat:

Breakfast: (may include any 2 of the following) Prema’s spiced porridge, Hara's marvellous muesli, Si’s glorious granola bars, fresh and stewed fruit. Plus toast, cereals and teas will be available every day.

Lunch: Soup and Salad....  Green salad, home made carrot & celeriac salads, fresh home made bread (by Si and usually spelt!), garlic mushroom soup, cow and goat’s cheeses, toasted seeds, couscous, gorgeous dressings.

Evening meal: Marinated tofu stir fry, lightly steamed green beans, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower, brown rice, spiced tomato sauce, toasted seeds, salads.

Vegan, dairy free and gluten free and other diets can be catered for. Please notify us of any allergies or dietary requirements when booking so that we can accommodate your needs.

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