Summer Retreat

Summer Retreat

Summer Retreat 2012
Mindfulness, Meditation & Contemplation + Restorative vegetarian food program + optional healing and body-work
2nd August 2012 – 6th August 2012

This is a retreat with some workshop elements that is based in the beautiful grounds of the Bobbio retreat centre in Maheramore Co. Wicklow right beside the sea.
It starts on 2nd of August 2012 from 4pm and ends on 6th of August 2012 after lunch.
All the food is vegetarian and cooked to work on and energise the major organs in the body. (scroll down for a sneak peak at the menu)
The day will be a mixture of mindfulness, meditation, silence in the mornings, walks, rest, some spiritual films, healthy food, ritual, and movement.
Healing and bodywork will be available at a reduced cost during the retreat with Maria Jesus Lopez from
All the sessions are optional

The retreat is limited to the first 12-14 participants so book early to avoid disappointment.

Call or text NiamhAnne on 086 0887277 for more information or visit for more information on the school for spiritual development

The Retreat Team

F.A.Q (Frequently asked questions)

Q: I’ve never done meditation before can I still go?\
A: Yes, all levels of experience are catered for

Q: Is this a religious retreat?
A: No, its a spiritual one and is open to people of all beliefs

Q: Is there a facility for people with disabilities?
A: Yes, we have a full wheelchair access and a bedroom and toiled designed for such.

Q: I’m not sure I can drive or need a lift is this possible?
A: Yes, we’ll organise car pooling and pick-ups where possible and there is full public transport to Wicklow town 10 minutes from the venue.

As I am the cook I can give a sneak peak as to what I will be cooking and what we will be eating for the retreat – feel free to mail me any questions about the menu or the retreat.

Thursday Supper

  • Spring Green Soup. The vivid green of this soup is to tonify the liver – dark green vegetables encourage the production of bile and the breakdown of fats in the liver, further aided by the slight lemon flavour and the sprouts in the salad.
  • Sprouted bean, Broccoli, Tomato and Feta Salad
  • Selection of breads (see below)

Friday Breakfast

  • Yogurt
  • Porridge served with optional seeds and raisins. Oats are a warming tonic for the Qi. They strengthen the Spleen and benefit the nervous system and the bones
  • Fresh fruit
  • Selection of Breads all of which are baked fresh daily by the Hunky Chunk including Spelt and pumpkin seed, Wholewheat sprouted berry soda, Apricot soda, Wheat/gluten free with sunflower seed, Banana Bread, No Yeast cheese and herb
  • Apple Juice and Fair Trade Orange Juice
  • Condiments of Butter, Soya Margarine, Marmalade, Jam, Honey, Marmite

Friday Main Meal

  • Roasted Vegetable Lasagna with broccoli and orange vinaigrette. Roasting is a very warming method which benefits the Yang. Most root vegetables tend to be warm in nature and strengthening to the Qi
  • Red Berry and Mascarpone Tart

Friday Supper

  • Carrot and coriander soup. The sweet nature of this soup is nurturing whilst the spices aid movement of any stagnant energy
  • Hummus
  • Selection of breads (see above)

Saturday Main Meal

  • African Cari Coco Curry (Cannelini Bean, Butternut squash, Sweet potato and coconut curry), served with Basmati rice and apple salad. This curry is very grounding and supportive in its sweet flavour whilst the coconut nourishes the heart
  • Fruit and Seed Crumble served with vanilla ice cream

Saturday Supper

  • Turkish Lentil Soup
  • 5 Green Pesto
  • Selection of breads

Sunday Main Meal

  • Aduki Bean Stew served with brown rice and seaweed and cucumber salad. Aduki beans strengthen the Kidney Chi and have a mild diuretic action. Butternut squash and sweet potato supports the stomach and spleen which comforts and nourishes the overworked thinking mind. The Gomasio and seaweed are great at supporting the kidney and bladder function, allowing the body to receive and relax at a very deep level.
  • Chocolate Brownies served with Raspberry Couliss and vanilla ice cream

Sunday Supper

  • French onion and Miso Soup. The onions primary action is warming for the lungs and large intestine whilst the Miso supports the kidney. Onion soup is excellent for all conditions of Dampness and Cold affecting the body.
  • Tapanade
  • Selection of breads (see above)

Monday Main Meal

  • A selection of Oven Roasted Vegetables served with Goats Cheese Mousse and Tabouleh Salad. The Parsely in the salad is great for strengthening and detoxing the blood. Slow roasted vegetables will support any sugar cravings with slow release energy.
  • Baked Peaches with Coconut and Maple Syrup Macaroons

A selection of Teas and fresh fruit will be available throughout the day. Fresh Coffee and orange chai is available at breakfast and tea breaks.

Summer Retreat

Building the Yin

So in my last entry posted just before the “Building a Home for your Heart” weekend workshop I typed about the heart being represented by the eternal flame within us. That this flame is our unique, divine consciousness, our “shen” in Chinese medicine, and needs to be nurtured and protected, not allowed to rage out of control, fuelled by the externals of thoughts, judgements and emotions. Finding an activity such as meditation, swimming, walking in the park, singing, jogging or watching the waves on the beach as I am doing now allows us a healthy distance from our thoughts and emotions and reduces the power they can have over us so we don’t literally take them to heart. In this post I will list points and foods that can further support this Yin in the body and enhance peace within us. The first two recipes are for my favourite loaves of bread. Don’t be put off by baking your own bread – I promise it’s really easy and these loaves don’t need kneading, a big wooden spoon and you are away. Being able to bake your own bread gives me a connection to my kitchen and a real sense of accomplishment.

The first loaf may be a little controversial as it is wheat with extra added wheat and abit more wheat. Many people have developed an intolerance to wheat, it can bring on bloating and/or IBS. It’s unfortunate as wheat in its unrefined state has a positive effect on the heart, its underlying bitter flavour and fibre content can bring health benefits and a sense of grounding to the body. It is one of the few foods that can calm the mind and build the yin. I believe that we have over used and over-refined wheat and that is what has lead to many problems. It is so good at building up the body that if you hold onto weight or are prone to developing growths or tumours move on to the spelt loaf. If you are convalescing, need building up, calming down or are recovering from a broken heart, here’s the loaf for you.

Wheat Soda

  • 175g wholewheat flour
  • 75g cream flour
  • 50g wheat germ
  • 50g wheat bran
  • 50g porridge oats
  • 50g soft brown sugar
  • 2 tsp bicarb of soda
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • 450ml buttermilk

Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl ensuring the bicarb is well sieved through. In a jug mix the buttermilk and egg. I often use soya milk or goats milk for this recipe. By adding the juice of a lemon the milk or soya will sour and work as buttermilk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix, when combined pour into a buttered loaf tin. As this loaf is quite wet, bake for at least 75 mins at 170 which is a fairly long cooking time but I once heard a man say “if you don’t have time to bake bread, you don’t have time to live”. When I heard that I thought, with a strong dose of internal sarcasm “yeah …. right” but now when I cut the bread for my kids school sandwiches I get it and he was right.

Spelt Bread

Spelt is a very ancient grain that hasn’t changed much in over 4000 years. It can be tolerated by those who cannot normally eat wheat because its especially thick husk, which protects it from pollutants and insects also keeps it fresher and prevents it from becoming rancid. It is very high in protein and water soluble fibre which also allows for easy digestion and assimilation. This is the bread I started with and I still make it at least twice a week. The honey in the mixture gives the crust a real chewy sweetness. Try adding a couple of handfuls of pumpkin seeds for a very professional artisan bread.

  • 500g Organic Wholewheat Spelt Flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fast action yeast
  • 14 fl oz warm water from recently boiled kettle
  • 1 tbls honey
  • 1 tbls olive oil

Mix together dry ingredients in a bowl. Dissolve the honey in the warm water and pour into the dry ingredients. Stir together well, adding the oil at the end to loosen the mixture. Grease a bread tin and pop the mixture in, cover it with a cloth and leave it to rise for about half an hour depending on the warmth of your kitchen or until it reaches the top of your bread tin then put into a preheated oven for 45-55 mins at 180°C

Building the Love

A good point to build yin and help the mind to settle into the healthy heart would be Heart 7. If you place your thumb at the top of your little finger and draw your thumb in a fairly straight line down to the crease on your wrist, you will find an indentation there, that is Heart 7. Hold your thumb there until you feel the energy come and meet your thumb or if it feels very solid or strong wait until the energy subsides and softens. Sometimes I hold this point for at least a minute or so.

And my favourite point which works for all occasions CV17. This point is really for balancing energy (Ki) within the body but I also find it calms and focuses the mind knowing that all is well….. all is well ……. So how to find it, draw an imaginary line from nipple to nipple, where that crosses the sternum/breastbone is CV17. Often there is a small dint there, just the right size for the middle finger to sit into. Again don’t press too hard just meet the energy with your finger and allow, feel the expansion as your rib cage softens and the energy settles.