Taiji Tao Tuscany Retreat 2024

ONE MONTH + 10 DAYS

26 August to 23 Sept
& 24 Sept to 3 Oct

A month of living and practicing together followed by 10 days of supported transition into daily life

Join us for a 40 days journey: one month of daily training and communal living in our usual mill in Tuscany, and 10 days of integration of the practice into our lives outside the retreat setting, together from a distance.

This retreat is for people who have already done a Taiji Tao retreat/intensive before.

The temperature this time will be warmer, so there will be lots more practice and meals done outside!

As always, we’ll be living in community, sharing household tasks, and we’ll be practicing Taiji (Taichi), Qigong and sitting about 5-6 hours per day (less in the weekends). Plus studying teachings, following videos from Master Waysun Liao, having moments of celebration, trips to the hot springs, watching cheesy konfu movies, and all that jazz. : )

photo Credit: Cristina Crippa

THE TEAM:

This year we’ll also have a general organiser (Jacob), someone helping the groups organize for cooking and food inventory, someone to help keep the space cleaner and to do the last big clean at the end (Bruna and her friend), and another wonderful helping hand (ManuManu).

JOINING FOR LESS TIME IS POSSIBLE:

Joining for less time is also a possibility, preferably for a minimum of 2 weeks of participation, and we’ll give priority spots to people staying for the whole thing. If joining for less time arrival and departure day is: Monday.

ABOUT THE LAST 10 DAYS:

24 Sept-3 Oct
Sarah (and possibly others) will lead daily live sessions, we’ll keep in touch daily with reminders, tools, inspirations and mutual support, and have a couple sharing circles, to help us carry the practice into our lives outside the retreat setting.

We’ll all be asked to organise our lives in advance to make space for daily self-practice and group practice for those 10 days that follow the retreat. Anyone who has done a retreat before can join the last 10 days online, you know where to find us :). The travel days from the mill to the next destination will also will be a “Carrying the practice into travelling”.
Sessions will be recorded, so if you miss some you will be able to access them. You’ll also all have access to our community forum.

sunset in tuscany

Price Breakdown

Cost:

These prices cover the led sessions, the organisation/organisers, the support team, the kitchen and cleaning help, the rent of the practice space, generator, gas, etc, the shared room, and the 10 days of follow up (whether you participate in all or part of the 10 days). If you are staying in a tent or camper, it’s 50 less per week. It doesn’t include food.

1 week (+10 days) = 450€ 
2 weeks (+10 days) = 350 € per week
3 weeks (+10 days)= 320€ per week
4 weeks (+10 days)= 280€ per week (less than 40 euro per day)

Also, Bruna this year is asking for:
€5 per towel cleaned (bring your own if you’d like to save some money)
€5 for each time she changes the bedding
€5 for each laundry load (which can be shared)

Food Cost:

Food is €95 per week

(about €13.50 per day)

Most of vegetables, legumes, and whatever else we can, are bought from local farmers, organic, supporting permaculture efforts, etc.

 

Economic equity and supporting eachother:

We tried to keep the prices as low as possible to make it as accessible as we can so that more kinds of pockets can participate. Please don’t let money stop you from coming, feel free to write in!

If you want to pay in instalments that’s fine.  If you are from less fortunate economic backgrounds, or have valid reasons for not being able to make an income, and can’t afford joining, write to: taijitaosessions @ gmail.com 

If you can contribute more, and wish to support someone who can contribute less, also write to the above email, or fill it in in the sign up google form!

Schedule

ARRIVAL DAY: 26th August, DEPARTURE DAY: 23 Sept

Then 24 Sept to 3 Oct will be Online.

 

8:30-9:30        Sitting Meditation

9:45-11:00      Breakfast

11:00-13:00    Taiji&Qigong

13:00-13:30    Self practice (cooks here go to cook)

14:30 – 15:30  Lunch (Silence ends, except for Wednesday – silent all day)

16:30-18:30    Taiji&Qigong

20:00-21:00    Dinner

23:00                Silence

With a 10 minute sitting before sleeping, and straight when waking up.

 

 

Photo Credits: Eli Gordon and Ingrid Otepka. Of the pictures above as well. Last picture photo Credit: Cristina Crippa

Taiji Tao System, or "Temple Style Taiji"

We will be training in what is sometimes called the "Taichi Tao System", passed on by Master Waysun Liao, also nicknamed "Temple Style Taichi". But as Master Liao always says, it's just Taiji.

Master Liao studied from an old wandering Taoist monk in a Tao Temple and monastery in his native Taiwan, since he was a child. So the method is highly focused on meditation.

Less is more

Sessions are for all levels, and we will be focusing mostly on foundations. I have found that working with foundations is actually a very advanced practice.

Foundations are what hold up everything, it's where we can work with the core causes of our current condition.

Learning how to listen

We'll be consistently coming back to the quality of one's attention. While applying that work on the forms, body openings, etc.

Through the practice, we will accompany ourselves into a quieter more aware space, learning how to pay attention, how to feel ourselves, and gradually learning how to stay open and present in and with what arises. To ourselves, our hearts, the other, and life around us.

Silence

Except during weekends, we will be in silence till lunch each day.

Wednesdays will be silent all day. Sometimes we may have 2 and a half days of silence.

Weekends

 During the weekends we only do 2 hours or so of guided practice. But some people still meet for self-practice in the morning, and we have some wonderful session leaders that offer weekend sessions too!

Saturday we can sleep in a bit more, and enjoy some togetherness and celebration the Friday evening if we feel : ).

We usually go to the hot springs about once a week. We can also go for trips to the sea, mountains, or Siena, etc, for who feels and if we have enough cars. So please bring your car if you can!
Monday is arrival and departure day.

Sharing

We will have times for talking in a circle together about twice a week.
We found these very helpful.

Can be about our processes, learnings, passages from the Tao Te Ching, welcoming the new arrivals, saying goodbye… whatever comes : )

FAQ

Can I participate for less days?

If you cannot attend the full retreat it is also possible to join for less. A minimum of 2 weeks is strongly encouraged. — The last 2 years people all felt that a week was too short.

Please do your very very best to arrive on a Monday, especially if you are not coming by car. 

Someone, most likely Bruna, can pick you up from the station in Siena, she will ask for 15 euro for the pick up (per car not per person).

Looking forward to living together!

Can I come sooner?

Yes you can! Just book through Bruna’s Airbnb.

If coming sooner, keep into account that you’d likely have to take care of your own food, so if you don’t have a car, bring stuff with you to cook with.

Also, share her airbnb with friends coming to Tuscany!

How can I reserve my place?

Send in 100 euro as deposit, and you can give the rest there in cash. We will send you the bank details via email once you fill in the google form. Deposits are non-refundable.

 

Will we share rooms?

Most rooms are shared, 2-3 people per room.

It is also possible for people to stay in their camper or tent next to the house and river, for 50euro less per week. 

What if I have a close one that wants to join who hasn't done a retreat before?

Just write in, and maybe we could arrange something, they could follow certain videos of the foundations before joining.

What if the retreat is canceled?

If the retreat has to be canceled, all payments and deposits will be refunded.

Is there internet?
Good news, phones generally have no network in the house and close surroundings. : ) But legend says that there are some random spots on the land where certain phone providers can work. You can also walk up the hill 5-10 minutes for reception.
Digital Detox is encouraged!
How do I get there?

The mill is called Mulino Pier Maggiore. (we will share the locaion in our Telegram group too)

The closest city is Siena. There is the Bus 127 A, (direction: Gaiole, get off at BV. Monti) going from Siena to near the house, it’s a 10 minute walk from where the bus drops you off. We can also organise for someone to pick you up, Bruna asks for 15€ per car (so if you synchronise with others you can share that cost) for the pick up at Siena train Station.

Buses don’t run on Sundays from Siena to the mill.

The nearest airport to Siena is Florence (FLR), and Pisa. But you can also check Bologna as there are some cheap buses from Bologna to Siena.

We use www.kiwi.com to search various airports, and dates, simultaneously. When you find the flight that works for you you could then book it from the airline’s site.
And we use www.thetrainline.com for buses and trains.

You can also check Rome airport, it’s a bit further, but connected to Siena via train and bus.

What shall I bring?
• Toiletries (shampoo, soap, toothpaste etc. all with natural natural/bio ingredients)
• Cash in Euro for stay, for possible extra pizza night out, for shared gas when going to the hot springs, and for laundry/towels/sheet changes with Bruna, 15€ per pick up car (which can be shared). 
• Loose, comfortable clothes, slippers/thick socks for inside
• There are plenty of pillows there, and some yoga mats, if it’s easy for you to bring it would be good to bring a few extra mats
• Foods for those with special dietary needs
• Books by Master Liao, or Tao Te Ching, if you have them
• Flashlight
• Thick socks or slippers for the house is nice to have
• Easy to slip in shoes like Crocks can be handy to have, when going from the house to practice, or from the house to the outdoor eating spot, etc.
• USB cables to charge what you need to charge on the solar-powered hubs. (To charge the computer and things that don’t charge on USB, we would need to turn on the generator)
• Notebook and pen
• Instruments : )

Aug 26- Sep 23 at the mill & Sep 24 till Oct 3 online

QUESTIONS? taijitaosessions @ gmail.com

(please include in the email’s title the location of the retreat and subject, thank you!)

Mulino Pier Maggiore, Siena, Tuscany, Italy

Retreat with:

Photo Credit: Yassin Msallakh

Sarah Tulivu

Sarah Tulivu / Fong Yi (ordained name), has trained daily in sitting meditation for the past 13 years, and Taiji & Qigong for the past 11 years – within the tradition of Taiwanese Master, Waysun Liao.

During that time, about 6 years were passed training in a Taoist Temple and monastery, with about 6 hours of practice per day.

Before the Tao Temple, she trained in the Buddhist tradition for two years in Nepal, then India and Thailand, and is now, while still in training herself, sharing the practice with friends along the way, mostly in retreats.