Mindfulness Meditation Retreat: Art of Silence


 Flyer EN.002



Mindfulness Meditation Retreat


12 - 17 May  2017


Soutelo, Vila Verde, Braga, Portugal


This retreat is co-sponsored by Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society of University of Massachusetts Medical School

and meets the pre-requisites to complete the MBSR teacher training program at Oasis Professional Education and Training at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health and Society of the University of Massachusetts.




A silent retreat is a powerful way to address the stress, worry, exhaustion and unhappiness that can make life so hard to cope with. It is a profound opportunity to get in touch with ourselves and our inner life as we cultivate presence and inner silence.


By drawing on the ancient roots of the mindfulness tradition we can start to reclaim our power to become centred, present and awake in our lives. As we deepen in awareness and learn to work with our tendency for distraction, we discover the profoundly supportive inner resources of calm and happiness. We also develop our ability to recognize and change old patterns which keep us stuck in unhelpful ways of seeing ourselves and the world.


The retreat is offered in a secular, non-religious context. It is an opportunity to immerse yourself in a period of intensive mindfulness as it is currently presented in the western world, where it is seen as a path to deep wellbeing.

This retreat includes:

  • Theoretical teachings.
  • Comprehensive instruction on mindfulness meditation practices.
  • Opportunities to meet individually with the teacher.
  • One hour of Mindful Yoga oriented by a qualified teacher – Ana Paula Martins


The retreat is in silence with instructions in English and with no simultaneous translation. All participants are invited to contribute to an environment of respect and kindness to one another.


During this retreat the usage of telephone/mobile phone or computers is not allowed in order to support the context of silence that we will cultivate throughout the retreat.


This retreat is open to all levels of practice of meditation: beginners and advanced practitioners of meditation. It is not advised the participation of people with no practice. If you want to participate, but you have no experience, please consider attending a course that will allow you to establish a daily practice of mindfulness meditation for at least 15 - 20 minutes.



NOTE: Individuals with clinical diagnosis of depression, anxiety or any other psychological disorder are not advised to participate. If this is your case, but you feel that you want to participate please get in touch with us and we will evaluate individually your suitability of being present in the retreat.



This retreat meets the pre-requisites to complete the MBSR teacher training program at Oasis Professional Education and Training at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health and Society of the University of Massachusetts. 



Retreat Center:

Casa da Torre, Soutelo, Vila Verde, Braga, Portugal (info here)




The accommodation at Casa da Torre is in individual and double rooms with private bathroom. The rooms are not luxurious, but rather very simple with all the comfort for you to have a pleasant and peaceful stay during the retreat. The Center has several gardens in the exterior that you can use during the entire duration of the retreat. It also has a beautiful terrace with an amazing view over an extensive natural area.



                                                 Jardim Entrada Casa da Torre    IMG 04623 

                    IMG 04566   IMG 04586  IMG 04633

                    Terraco Casa da Torre    Jardim Casa da Torre  Floresta Casa da Torre

                                                     Quartos Individuais Casa da Torre 004   Quarto Duplo Casa da Torre 007   Quartos Casa de Banho Casa da Torre 008 



* Casa da Torre is a Jesuit Monastery and the choice of this type of retreat center is not because of the religious thematic of the place, which is not essential for a mindfulness retreat but rather because it meets several criteria that we find important for a retreat: silence, simplicity, high number of single rooms with private bathrooms available and great quality of the meals (variables that are requested for many of the people that are interested in our services)




Meals are vegetarian and they will include: breakfast, lunch and dinner. 


If you need any special adaptation in terms of meals please let us know.




Paul Burrows - is a student in the Insight Meditation tradition. He trained as a teacher with Christina Feldman, co-founder of Gaia House retreat center and he now leads courses internationally. His exploring has led him through the monasteries and retreat centers of the Kathmandu Valley, India and the UK and through periods of intensive retreat practice in the Theravada and Tibetan Buddhist traditions. He is now making a home in North London. 

For more information please visit www.awakeningcity.com. He currently collaborates with Ser Integral: Centro Português de Mindfulness in the organization of mindfulness retreats in Portugal.


Based in the UK, Gaia House is one of the most renowned Meditation Centres in the world. Their teachers are highly trained in the field of meditation and mindfulness and have a reputation as skilled group facilitators.


To know more about Paul Burrows work, you can watch the video below with a Guided Meditation and you can read the article: "Getting Started with Mindfulness Meditation"

 For Paul's talks on Dharma Seed please visit: http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/367/





Meditação Mindfulness: Chegar ao Momento Presente | Paul Burrows from Centro Português de Mindfulness on Vimeo.





 Ana Paula Martins – founder and director of the Yoga and Pilates Studio – Moksha since 2010. Pilates Teacher since 2007 trained at Polestar Pilates Education, Newport Beach, California. Since 2000, practices Iyengar Yoga and completed several training in Europe and U.S.A. with Senior and Junior Iyengar Yoga Teachers. She has also completed the training proefssional course of Taoist Yoga (Yin/Yang Yoga) with Paulie Zink in Santa Monica, Calinfornia and Vinyasa Flow with Shiva Rea at Venice Beach, California. More information here





 - 12 May -

4.30pm - 5.30pm: Arrival

6pm – 7.15pm: Orientation Session and Welcome

7.30pm - 8.30pm: Dinner

8.30pm: Rest



- 13, 14, 15, 16 May -

7am: Wake up

7.30am - 8.30am: Mindfulness Meditation

8.30am - 9.30am: Breakfast

9.30am - 12.30pm: Mindfulness Meditation: Sitting and Walking

12.30pm - 2.30pm: Lunch & Rest

2.30pm - 3.30pm: Talk

3.30pm - 6.30pm: Mindfulness Meditation: Sitting and Walking

6.30pm – 7.30pm: Mindful Yoga

7.30pm - 8.30pm: Dinner

8.30pm: Group Meetings and Individual Interviews


- 17 May -

7am: Wake up

7.30am - 8.30am: Mindfulness Meditation

8.30am - 9.30am: Breakfast

9.30am - 11.30am: Mindfulness Meditation: Sitting and Walking

11.30am – 12.30am: Mindful Yoga

12.30am - 2.30pm: Lunch & Rest

2.30pm - 3.30/4pm: Closing Session



  * During the walking practices individual interviews with Paul Burrows will be scheduled. This interviews are optional and for those who need them.

** There could be changes in the program schedule.



  • Retreat: 295 euros
  • Meals and Accommodation: 200 euros (individual or double rooms)



The limit date for registration is the 20th of April of 2017. After this date we won’t accept any further registrations.


The number of places is limited, so we advise your registration as soon as possible.


To register in the retreat:

  • Make the payment of the value of the retreat: 295 euros
  • Payment can be completed bank transference using the:

IBAN: PT50 0035 0158 00018441030 71


                    BANK: CAIXA GERAL DE DEPÓSITOS (CGD)


(for international bank transferences you may need extra information than that provided above. Please get in touch with us via email to geral@serintegral.pt to obtain this information. Thank you.)


  • Send an email to geral@serintegral.pt with the name and date of the event you want to register, with the type of accommodation of your choice (double or single) and the bank statement proof of payment


In the first day of the retreat you will have to pay your accommodation/meals fee directly to Casa da Torre in the total value of de 200 euros.


After the reception of your email we will send you a reply confirming your place in the retreat and with information relating to the retreat. If you don't receive our reply please contact us. 



  • If your retreat is canceled until the 10th of April you will receive a full reimbursement of the retreat minus an administration fee of 30 euros. After this date we won’t make any reimbursements.
  • If the event is canceled due to an unexpected reason, Ser Integral: Centro Português de Mindfulness, will provide a reimbursement of 100% of the value paid for the retreat, but we won’t be responsible for any other costs (i.e., travelling and accommodation) associated with your participation in the retreat.


- The retreat will occur with a minimum and maximum number of participants (limited places available). In the eventuality of the retreat not having the minimum registrations established Se Integral: Portuguese Center for Mindfulness will have to cancel the event.

- Please bring confortable clothing, a meditation cushion, yoga mat and blankets for your own comfort in the practice room. Also bring confortable walking shoes to use on the gardens/forest and you might also be interested in bringing a mosquito repellent.

- The program is subject to minor changes according to the needs met during the retreat.

- The room has bed sheets, towels, blankets, but you should bring all the toiletries that you usually need (e.g., shampoo, soap, etc)

- Individual rooms are limited and they will be offered on first registration basis. The cost of a private room per person is the same as a double room per person.




How to get here?

Please see the information on: http://casadatorre.org/arrive/arrive.html


The closest airport is PORTO (OPO). From here you can rent a car to drive to Vila Verde (use the GPS coordinates and address below), take a taxi to the Bus Station in Porto (http://www.renex.pt/, Address: Campo Mártires da Pátria, 37, Porto) to get a bus from Porto to Braga and from Braga please see the details below: 


By Bus: Between 7am and 8.15pm you can find several buses that leave the Bus Central Station of Braga to Vila Verde, Arcos and Monção. You need to get out at the stop – Rio Homem, make a left and you will have Casa da Torre ahead (with a big gate).


By Taxi: From the Central Bus Station or Train Station of Braga to Casa da Torre you will pay around 12 euros.


By Car: GPS coordinates:41º36’.08”N 8º26’17.05”W or the address: Casa da Torre, Avenida Viscondes da Torre, nº 80 4730-570 Soutelo – Vila Verde.

At what time should I arrive? When will we finish?
Arrival is on the 13th of May between 4.30pm and 5.30pm so that we can process your arrival and registration. You will then be assigned to your room and we will meet at the practice room at 6pm for an orientation session and at 7.30pm for dinner. In the last day of the retreat we will have lunch at the retreat center and after we will meet for a closing session. After this we will all leave the retreat center.

Is there wireless and mobile phone connection?

Yes, but usage of mobile phones and internet is not allowed during the 5 days of the retreat.

Is it possible to arrive earlier or stay after the retreat ends?

Yes, if you need more nights at the retreat center you have to contact Casa da Torre directly.

What do I need to bring?

It is advised to bring confortable clothing, a meditation cushion, a yoga mat and blankets for your comfort during the practices. The room has bed sheets, towels, blankets, but you should bring all the toiletries that you usually need (e.g., shampoo, soap, etc). Also bring confortable walking shoes to use on the gardens/forest and you might also be interested in bringing a mosquito repellent.


Is this retreat accepted as a pre-requisite for the teacher training in mindfulness?

This retreat meets the pre-requisites for the teacher training program in MBSR at the Oasis Professional Education and Training at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health and Society of the University of Massachusetts. If you want to know if this retreat is acceptable by other institutions, please contact them directly.


I’ve completed the MBSR in a retreat format or 8 week format. Should I expect the same dynamics in this silent retreat?

No, a silent retreat in mindfulness meditation does not follow the same dynamic of a MBSR program. A silent mindfulness meditation retreat has much less guided meditation practices. In this retreat the teacher will offer guided mindfulness meditation, but you will also have non-guided mindfulness meditation practices so that you cultivate the ability of practicing in silence. In the same way, during the retreat there won’t be group sharing dynamics apart from the first and last day of the retreat. You will have the opportunity to meet in small groups with the teacher throughout the retreat and for individual interviews.


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