Taiji, Qigong, & Sitting,
Long Retreat

15 Jan to 24 Feb 2023

40 days living and practicing together

Join us for 40 days of daily training and communal living, in a charming house in Tuscany surrounded by nature. (Joining for less time is also a possibility.)

The house has a cozy practice room, a dining room/kitchen, all heated with a fire stove in each room. The house is solar powered and off the grid. Since it’s generally sunny, we manage to do most morning’s practices outside in short sleeves, when the sun goes, the winter returns.

We’ll be sharing the tasks, as wood chopping, chicken feeding, cooking, and we’ll be practicing Taiji (Taichi), Qigong and sitting about 5-6 hours per day (less in the weekends). Plus studying teachings, getting to know each other, following videos from Master Waysun Liao, making bad jokes, watching cheesy konfu movies, and all that jazz. : )

Last year we had a full house throughout the 5 and a half weeks and it was a wonderful experience.

sunset in tuscany

Price Breakdown

Base Expenses:

(These prices just cover costs, they don’t cover the 5-6 hours of sessions per day, or the organizational work, or food cost, for that check below)
1 week – 200€ 
2 weeks – 300€
3 weeks – 400€
4 weeks – 500€
5 weeks – 550€

40 days – 600€

(On the second week we will be in Silence most of the week. Nice to be there for the 3rd week together with the same people if possible)

Food Cost:

7 euro each for 3 meals per day,
that’s 2,30€ per meal.

Much of the food products will be local&organic.

1 week – 49€ food
2 weeks – 98€ food
3 weeks – 147€ food
4 weeks – 196€ food
5 weeks – 245€ food
40 days – 280€ food

Base Expenses Include:

  • Base rent for the house (but I try to give more : )
  • Fire wood (the whole house is heated with fire, and the hot water for the showers too) wood for the 40 days should cost us about 700 euro. Wood price went up a lot this year.
  • Gasoline for the generator (anything from USB chargers can be charged on solar power, but for laptops/projector to follow sessions by Master Liao, we will need some electricity from the generator.)
  • Room and food for Sarah/Fong Yi (who will be facilitating and guiding the sessions.)
  • Transport of Sarah, to and from Tuscany.
  • Learning video material from Master Liao (Please bring books if you have some!) 

Suggested Contribution For Sessions and Admin work:

 For Sarah’s time leading sessions:
I suggest 10 euro each per day. That’s for 5-6 hours of guided sessions per day, between Sarah and Master Liao’s Videos – during weekdays, and 2 hours per day – during weekends.

For the organizational work:
(which is more than one generally thinks… organizing rides when coming and leaving, food orders, supermarket runs, intros at arrivals, emails, website, etc)
3 euro per day each

(Two thirds of that money will go to the person helping with organizational work, and a third to Sarah who will be arranging a great deal of stuff also)

I tried to keep the prices as transparent and low as possible to make it as accessible as possible, so that more kinds of pockets can participate. Please keep into account that it’s a lot of work, so if you can contribute more, especially if staying less time, it will make sure these kind of retreats can continue.


Please, as much as possible, arrive and leave on a Sunday if participating for less time.


8:30-9:45        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 Tuesday – 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.

Taiji Tao System, or "Temple Style Taiji"

We will be training in the Taichi Tao System, from Master Waysun Liao, also called “Temple Style Taichi”.

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

(Except for the scrolling bar below)

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

The quality of one’s attention is what we’ll be training on the most. 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 gently stay open and present in and with what arises. To ourselves, our hearts, the other, and life around us.


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

Tuesdays will be silent all day.

Second week of the 40 days we will be in silence from Monday to Friday/Saturday. 


During the weekends we only do 2 hours or so of guided practice. But some people still meet for self-practice in the morning. Like Marius.

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…
Sunday is arrival and departure day.


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 : )


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. — Last year people all felt that a week was too short.

Please do your best to arrive on a Sunday, especially if you are not coming by car. Also, we are trying to keep the same people for the 2nd and 3rd week, since the 2nd week will be in silence. Looking forward to living together!

How can I reserve my place?

Send in 50 euro as deposit, or the whole amount you wish to contribute. I will send you the bank details via email. Just fill in the form below!

If you cancel I will keep a 50 euro deposit (for admin work, and reserving your spot).

Will we share rooms?

Most rooms are shared with 3 people per room. Two rooms have 1 double bed per room, so if you want to share the bed with a friend or partner you can have one of those.
Almost every room has a fire stove.

It is also possible for people to stay in their camper or tent next to the house and river, but the nights are cold… 

Is it for all levels?

Yes! All levels. Most people coming to this residency are people who have practiced with this system before, so if it’s your first time I’d advise joining from the start if possible. If not it’s fine.

What if the retreat is canceled?

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

Is there internet?
Phones generally have no network there. : ) But legend says that there are some random spots on the land where certain phone providers can work.
Digital Detox!
What shall I bring?
• Toiletries (shampoo, soap, toothpaste etc. all with natural natural/bio ingredients)
• Cash in Euro
• Loose, comfortable clothes, slippers/thick socks for inside, hot water bottle for the night
• There are plenty of pillows there, and some yoga mats, if it’s easy for you to bring 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
• Flashlight
• USB cables to charge what you need to charge on the solar-powered hubs. (To charge the computer and things like that we would need to turn on the generator)
• Notebook and pen
• Instruments : )
How do I get there?
The closest city is Siena. There is the Bus 127 A, (direction: Gaiole, get off at BV. Monti) going from there to near the house. Not on Sundays though, so we will organise for someone to pick you up (10€ per car).

The nearest airport to Siena is Florence (FLR), and Pisa.

We use www.kiwi.com to search both airports simultaneously, they usually have good prices. And www.thetrainline.com for buses and trains.

You can also check Bologna and Rome airports, but they are a bit further.

Any Other Questions?

3 + 8 =

15 Jan - 24 Feb (actually 26)

sarah @ taijitao.net

Mulino Pier Maggiore, Siena, Tuscany, Italy

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Are you a scary freaky robot?

Retreat with:

Sarah Tulivu

Sarah Tulivu / Fong Yi has been training in Taiji & Qigong and sitting meditation on a daily basis for 11 years. During that time 5-6 years were passed in a Tao Temple and monastery, living a full-time monastic lifestyle. 

She was then advised by her main teacher, Master Waysun Laio, and Master Chang, to leave the Tao Temple and carry the practice into life in the world – as her Temple, sharing the practice with those who cross her path.

“Carrying the practice in a life in the world has been a wonderful journey, filled with lessons, beauty, challenge, friendship and heart. It’s been a joy and honor to share the practice with some of the most incredible individuals I’ve ever met, and I look forward to delving deeper together.”