Standing In Open Space: Dialogue and Inquiry in MBSR and Other MBP Classrooms

Flyer Saki.003


Standing In Open Space: Dialogue and Inquiry in MBSR and Other MBP Classrooms

With Saki Santorelli, EdD, MA

30 April – 4 May 2021

Registrations until the 15th of January 2021





Standing In Open Space: Dialogue and Inquiry in MBSR and Other MBP Classrooms


DIALOGUE AND INQUIRY is the communal, heart-throbbingly beautiful conversation that is the hallmark of MBSR and, by extension, all authentic mindfulness-based programs (MBPs). Oriented toward the love of truth and emerging as a fluid, multifaceted exchange with program participants, this intimate dialogue is, by its very nature, self-revealing, deeply human and ennobling.

Identified as one of the central capabilities in the development of mindfulness-based teachers, inquiry is often reported to be a major source of teacher apprehension and uneasiness. This is not surprising. Untethered from the solidity and security of course content and structure, these ‘conversations’ asks us to meet each person freshly, each moment directly. A gesture of humility, love, and bravery, standing in such open space is not easy. Yet, this is the way it is when we respond to the call of teaching.


To work with and hopefully dispel this fear and learn to meet these moments more openly, this course is oriented around the practice of dialogue and inquiry. As a community of learners, we’ll devote a portion of each day to silent practice, with particular emphasis on the cultivation of the heart quality, and the remainder of the day to the spoken practice of dialogue and inquiry. Joining silence and speech, our practice will unfold through:


  • Viewing and reflecting on video recordings from Saki’s MBSR classes,
  • Practice Teaching in small and large groups as a way of learning to effectively respond to common themes that program participants speak about during weekly sessions,
  • Inquiring into the nature of inquiry itself as a way of revealing the fears associated with being in this ‘conversation’ that inhibit our capacity to be present and open,
  • Learning to weave dialogue with one person into the communal conversation and consciousness,
  • Offering and receiving peer and instructor feedback,
  • Identifying personal strengths and areas needing additional attention, and
  • Recognizing within us thesources from which dialogue and inquiry springs and flows forth.


The invitation is to practice diligently and to speak honestly about what we find difficult, delightful (and everything in between) in our teaching. The intention is to support one another as friends, students, and evolving MBP teachers. The essential aspiration is to serve others by becoming more embodied, heartfelt, and relationally wise teachers.



  • MBSR and MBCT Certified Teachers
  • MBSR Qualified Teachers
  • MBSR and MBCT Teacher Trainees
  • Other MBP program Teachers or Trainees
  • People with experience integrating mindfulness into large social institutions such as medicine, business, law, and government.



  • Highly motivated to be a learner
  • Consistent, daily mindfulness practice
  • Willingness to respect the dignity and nobility of the “other” when receiving and offering feedback.



The course will be taught in English, without consecutive translation.



 Saki Saki Santorelli, EdD, MAis an educator, meditation teacher and writer.  In 2017 he retired as executive director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society, director of the internationally acclaimed Stress Reduction Clinic, the place of origin of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), and professor of medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  His entire career in medicine and healthcare has been oriented around the integration of mindfulness into public health.  Through his vision and leadership the Center for Mindfulness transmitted the ethos, practice, teaching, and science of MBSR to individuals and organizations around the world.  Saki teaches and presents internationally and is the author of Heal Thy Self: Lessons on Mindfulness in Medicine translated into eleven languages.



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: complete breakfast, lunch and dinner. You will also have access to a coffee room for the coffee breaks (cost included).

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



- 30 April, Friday -

11.00am - 12.30pm: Arrival & Registration

12.30pm - 13.30pm: Lunch

2.00pm - 6.30pm: Afternoon Session

6.30pm - 7.30pm: Dinner

7.30pm - 9.00pm: Evening Session

9.00pm: Rest


- 1, 2 & 3 May, Saturday, Sunday & Monday -

6.30am: Wake up

7.00am - 8.00am: Early Morning Session

8.00am - 9.00am: Breakfast

9.30am – 12.30pm: Morning Session

12.30pm – 1.30pm: Lunch

1.30pm – 3.00pm: Rest/Own Time

3.00pm – 6.30pm: Afternoon Session

6.30pm - 7.30pm: Dinner

7.30pm - 9.00pm: Evening Session

9.00pm: Rest


- 4 May, Tuesday -

6.30am: Wake up

7.00am - 8.00am: Early Morning Session

8.00am - 9.00am: Breakfast

9.30am – 12.30pm: Morning Session/ Closing Session

12.30pm – 1.30pm: Lunch & Goodbyes



Course Tuition:

480 euros (participants registering in individual name)

480 euros + 23% VAT (for participants registering through companies)


Meals and Accommodation: 228 euros (individual or double rooms) includes ensuite room, meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and coffee breaks.



The limit date for registration is the 15th January of 2021. 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 course:   

  • Send an email to with the name and date of the event you want to register, with the type of accommodation of your choice (double or single) and we will send you the bank details to complete the payment.

In the first day of the course you will have to pay your accommodation/meals fee directly to Casa da Torre in the total value of de 228 euros.



  • If your retreat is canceled until the 1st of December 2020 you will receive a full reimbursement of the retreat minus an administration fee of 50 euros plus fee for the international bank transference. 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 course will take place 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. Chairs will be available. 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 course.

- 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:


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 (, 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.


By Shuttle: Ser Integral: Portuguese Center for Mindfulness will organize shuttles from the airport to the retreat center if a minimum number of participants from other countries registers in the retreat. There will be a fee for this service (to be determined).

At what time should I arrive? When will we finish?
Arrival is on the 30th of April between 11.00am and 12.15pm so that we can process your arrival and registration. You will then be assigned to your room and we will meet at 12.30pm for lunch. In the last day of the course we will have lunch at the retreat center and after this we will all leave the retreat center.

Is there wireless and mobile phone connection?



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 or asks us directly and we can arrange that for you.

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.


What do previous participants have to say about their experience on other retreats organized by Ser Integral: Portuguese Center for Mindfulness?

"Thank you so much for organizing this retreat in Braga, it was a true gift for me and I got so much out of it...words cannot even describe. The organization was excellent, I loved the monastery and Paul and Anna were wonderful teachers!" - Myrto Legaki, Greece (2017)


"I flew from Denmark and joined a 5-day silent retreat organised by Ser Integral in Porto. The retreat place was perfect and I was very impressed by the genuine care of the organisers. They were truly helpful, professional, attentive and loving throughout the whole event. We stayed in single rooms and having this privacy was very helpful for me to extend deepening the silence. And if you are wondering, the food was great as well!:) I am looking forward to coming back for more retreats." Esen, Denmark (2017)


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