retreat, stillness, simplicity
holidays, hikes, stays and sabbaticals in France in the Pyrenees mountains

2 weeks hiking stillness meditation retreat for life review.

July,6 to 20, 2019.

What is stillness meditation? What are the benefits of retreating into stillness? What is natural mindfulness? How is it linked to innate life review and awakening? Why retreat into simplicity and minimalist living to rediscover natural mindfulness, life review and awakening? How to attain inner peace? Why moral development a condition for spiritual awakening? What is spiritual awakening? 2 weeks hiking stillness meditation and silent retreat. Wandering and living as an hermit into the high Pyrenees mountains. Rediscovering and deepening natural meditation and life review. Life coaching retreat.

What is stillness life review meditation?
What are the benefits of stillness meditation?
What is natural mindfulness and how is it interwoven with bodily felt experience and innate life review?
Why retreat into simplicity and minimalist living to rediscover natural mindfulness?
How to awake and attain inner peace?
Why do you need psychological and social maturity for spiritual awakening?
How does natural stillness meditation's innate life review invites to spiritual awakening?
2 weeks stillness meditation, life review and natural fitness retreat.
Participation conditions.


meditation for beginners, hiking mountain retreat beginnersWhat is stillness meditation?

Reviewing all those proposals and literature about meditation techniques and marketing about awakening and mindfulness offered by a multitude of spiritual schools, masters, gurus and sects, for (often a lot of) money ... . One would almost forget abiding in stillness (= natural innate meditation) is, as are sleeping and dreaming, a natural innate free costless process.  

Meditation is your innate ability to mere experiencing. Bringing into your awareness your bodily felt experience of your life and way of life.
You don't need to concentrate or focus. As sleeping and dreaming you cannot make this natural innate ability to mindfulness happen nor make it deepen.
Meditation, mindfulness, do not require any special posture. It does require relaxed free breathing. Allowing your breath to become naturally deep and effortless. Then meditation sets on naturally while withdrawing into solitude and stop doing.
It is this freeing of your breathing that restores bodily felt wordless experiencing and becoming aware of how your body (=you) is experiencing your life and way of life (=you). This innate restorative process of the organism naturally invites to awakening.
To meditate is to allow yourself to free your breath, relax and start experiencing.

You don't need any breathing techniques, focusing, concentrating to become 'mindful'.  Meditation, mindfulness, is a natural innate physiological process of free relaxed breathing integrating body, mind and life.  It is natural.


What are the benefits of meditation? In 1 word: consciousnessWhat are the benefits of meditation?

The main benefit of meditation, of this innate restorative healing process triggered by free relaxed breathing, is awareness.
You become aware of yourself, your body, your life, the way you work and love as an inseparable whole. This includes bodily felt awareness of yourself as a limited time.
Rediscovering your bodily felt experience of this intertwined whole, allows you to take care of your life = the only thing you really own since that's what you are. Allowing your innate experiencing to become conscious, allows you to assume responsibility for this intertwined whole.

Meditation isn't fleeing for reality in a restricted here and now.

In stead it's becoming conscious. Aware of what you are participating in. To meditate is freeing your breath to allow your ongoing bodily felt experiencing  questioning your life, way of life, life style, work, participations, commitments and involvements. The benefits of it are manifold. But in essence bodily experiencing your life, frees. Allows you to develop character = to choose what, given your limited life time, is really important to you and live up to it.
The benefits of meditation result from this freedom to choose for the better.
For the better of that inseparable whole you are and belong to : your body, your relationships, the work you contribute to. The greatest  benefit of meditation is responsibility: it allows you to become responsible. Responsible for the lasting welfare, well-being, health, reliability, justice, love, wisdom and happiness of this as well bodily as social whole you are.


what is mindfullness?What is natural mindfulness ?

Regular meditation (= daily withdrawal into stillness, allowing your breathing to relax and bodily felt experiencing) rapidly results in a more mindful, aware, conscious, sensitive, empathic, careful, alert way of being, of dealing with the life you are = mindfulness.  As a result your dreaming too gets more conscious.
Longer times of withdrawal from ordinary life for meditation (=retreats), allows this bodily experience to deepen to a bodily felt experience of your life as a whole = life review. This restores and/or deepens your conscience = your sense of responsibility for your life and the lives you're intertwined with. This innate responsibilization process is effortless.
Although moral development is necessary companion to meditation mindfulness, you don't need to submit yourself to any authoritatively imposed whether or not religious moral code. The greatest  benefit of meditation is responsibility: it allows you to become responsible. Responsible for the lasting welfare, well-being, health, reliability, justice, love, wisdom and happiness of this as well bodily as social whole you are.


Why to retreat into simple living to rediscover natural innate mindfulness?Why retreat into simplicity to rediscover natural mindfulness?

The hermit's way is an age old way of effortless rediscovering this - at first glance - mysterious 'mystic' experience. You don't need to be a monk or religious person to experience this innate life review rooted in your own bodily felt experience. Shepherds living in solitude from June to September know it too.

Meditation 'techniques' as visualization or breathing techniques, focusing, observing or trying to be mindful in any way are contra productive. Natural innate meditation is an experience of free relaxed breathing integrating body, mind and life. The only thing to do is exploring how you control you breathing and giving up this muscle tension. This restores natural deep breathing and experiencing becoming conscious.

To optimize this conscious bodily felt experience a normally good physical condition is necessary. As well as all the time needed to rediscover this innate healing process. That's what these 2 weeks of introduction to hillwalking, mild fasting, mountain survival and mountain meditation retreat offer:
In your rucksack only what you really need: a lightweight tent, sleeping bag and mat, cooking gear and simple food, spare warm clothes, what you need for washing and hygiene and to stay dry and warm whatever the weather. 
Hiking days alternate with 2 days of retreat, spreading out to camp into solitude and loneliness. Alternating the natural physical fitness training of hillwalking and days of living as an hermit experiencing stillness.


How to awake and attain inner peace?How to awake and attain inner peace?

Hiking is the natural fitness training restoring your natural optimal physical condition and stamina. Care for a normal good physical condition is the necessary, though not sufficient, condition for inner peace.

The alternating 4 periods of  2 days offer plenty of time to unwind, relax and nap, daydream and letting your mind wheel freely.
Both good stamina and being well-rested are necessary to be able to relax your breathing, start experiencing and allow your life to decant and clarify.  Stillness, meditation, awake wandering of the mind, more vivid dreams, remembering, awareness, life review and much more evolve. Integrating into a bodily felt critical review of the sense of your life, of your way of life.
This natural innate meditation will help you to become aware of what in your life and way of life, hinders your inner peace.

Those stillness retreat days allow you to keep it simple. Inner peace is achieved through simplifying your life. Times of retreat into minimalist living and simplicity allow you to experience it's benefits.
If you are recovering from some more stressful period, use this retreat to allow yourself to discover and experience - experience is bodily felt - your process of recovery. Your body needs the time it needs to recover fully. Allowing to rise into your awareness your bodily felt experience of your life and way of life, shows you how to achieve inner peace through a purposeful, self-directed life.

Inner peace needs a balanced life style, a balance between contact and withdrawal and between action and contemplation. Periods of withdrawal and contemplation (= meditation) allow bodily felt experience and life review to occur. Daily meditation before sleeping integrate this life review with dreaming and allows you to rediscover your loving inner spiritual guide


Why does moral development is necessar to spiritual awakening?Why does psychological maturity forego spiritual awakening?

Stress in stead of enjoying life and inner peace is mostly due to failing development of the social skills needed to cope with the problems of your current stage of life. Moral development hasn't that much to do with submitting to any moral code. It's psychological maturity developing the necessary skills to solve conflicts we're personally involved in.
In summary:
As a baby and toddler we need to develop curious, adventurous pleasure in developing our body's sensory and motor skills and exploring our environment.
From kindergarten on up to our puberty we need to complete this with learning basic social rules: becoming friendly, polite, reliable and assertive. Understanding and using social rules and negotiation to realize goals we cannot realize alone and develop our cooperation (we make a positive difference,  cooperate with others and make friends) and  leadership skills.
Growing up into adulthood we need to broaden these still ego centered companionship skills to friendship, intimacy, heterosexual love. Commitments are only lasting as we replace our childish egocentrism by friendship, love, group and value centered skills. Integrity (we are honest, trustworthy and loyal), respect (we have self-respect and respect for others), empathy and care (we understand and support others and take care of the world in which we live), belief (we explore our faiths, beliefs and attitudes).
As adults combining finding attractive work to earn a living able to found and organizing family, career and leisure demand to develop on top of our relational skills organizational competences as developing our value hierarchy fair competition, sense of justice, citizenship, ... .    

Spiritual awakening is self-delusion as long as we haven't developed those skills needed to cope with the problems of life and social reality.


meditation, moral development and critical reflection: the 3 pillars of awakening What is spiritual awakening?

Rediscovering, giving in and allowing your bodily felt experience of your life and way of life to deepen into awareness and conscience, leads you to question what kind of world you are helping to create = spiritual awakening.

Narrowing meditation to experiencing a limited here and now cannot lead to spiritual awakening. Bodily felt experience, growing awareness and critical reflection on what we are participating in - through our work, membership of the different groups are the necessary 3 pillars of awakening.

Our understanding of our experience is shaped by our education and the ways of  thinking and understanding in the groups we belong to. And, on a more unconscious level by the dominant economic, psychiatric and psychological thinking. The key to spiritual awakening is clarification of our value hierarchy. Becoming aware of how we participate in creating, maintaining and implementing inequalities. Question what we identify with and become more human.


2 weeks hiking mountain meditation class for beginners2 weeks meditation, life review and natural fitness retreat.

Natural fitness is a necessary condition to freeing our breathing and deepening our bodily felt experience of what's going on an respond do the situations of our life in the best possible way.

Retreat into solitude, into the wild. Seeking stillness, rediscovering natural innate meditation and life review. 2 weeks meditation retreat living as an hermit unjoinable: no smartphone, no mp3, no radio, no etc. In your rucksack only what you really need.

Hiking the mountains strengthens your body. Brings you back into better shape, physical condition and stamina. Withdrawing two weeks into the Pyrenees mountains, Western Europe's last wilderness. Being at the mercy of the vagaries of the weather and wild nature invites, even compels, you to develop your awareness, care, strength, self-reliance and reliability.

Hiking days alternate with 2 days retreating camping withdrawn from each other into non doing, rediscovering natural innate meditation and life review process. = the biological roots of any religion and spirituality.


Richard van Egdom spiritual teacher meditation leaderParticipation conditions.

Mountain meditation trekking leader : Richard van Egdom is a lecturer on phenomenology of moral and spiritual development and what is called 'Awakening' at School for Continuing Studies of Lille II University (France). Richard is a licensed Mountain Leader and an experienced body worker, gestalt trainer and life review centered focusing counselor. Besides hiking his hobbies include Aikido. Richard is fluent in Dutch (his mother tongue), English, French and German.

Participation conditions: This hiking mountain retreat and stillness meditation holidays need good physical and psychological health, reliability and the better physical condition necessary to carry your +/- 15kg rucksack uphill. Your BMI should be between 21 and 25 neither less nor more. Participation is at your own risks.
You should be able to commit to live up to the unpredictability of a  2 weeks retreat and it's life review. This may be a confronting wake up call.
Your need to have talked through this unjoinable absence with your loved ones.

Cost: 450€ membership fee for this 2 weeks hiking mountain retreat
Starting point
is the Pyrenees quiet house Le Castel, Arquizat, 09400 Miglos, France.

1 to maximum 7. Richard's hiking mountain meditation retreats have, since 25 years, never been canceled.
Participants get a list of the necessary minimum gear and food needed and other suggestions.
Maybe useful link: An experienced mountain leader's thoughts on the ultra light gear trend.

More information? Want to talk about it? Contact Richard call him +33 626 99 33 11.

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