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Focusing Retreat in La Maddalena, Sardinia

Learn, refresh or deepen Focusing skills

Dates: Fri 29th June — Sat 7th July 2012

About the retreat:

We’re offering a taught course for a small group of just eight participants with ample space for Focusing teaching and practice, as well as time to relax in a Sardinian summer. Perhaps just basking in the splendour of the Mediterranean, maybe swimming and rock-clambouring, maybe drawing and painting, reading and writing, maybe simply sitting and pondering in the gardens overlooking the sea. Other aspects of our practice and inner journey (such as meditation, chanting and discussion) will emerge naturally and organically from our time together.

The retreat/course is by led Locana and Viryakumara, both experienced and certified Focusing Practioners and Teachers.

Pre-retreat Focusing sessions

In order to prepare for the retreat and familiarize yourself with the practice of Focusing Viryakumara is offering a free phone/ skype Focusing session in the lead up to the retreat to every participant.

The retreat schedule:

  Morning Afternoon Evening
Friday 29th   Arriving in the afternoon Many options!

More Focusing, dream workshops, sunset walks, meditation, chanting, freetime...
Saturday Focusing workshops and practice Time off, followed by optional Focusing input or practice.
Tuesday Day off (we can hire small boats and do trips round the islands)
Wednesday Focusing workshops and practice Time off, followed by optional Focusing input or practice.
Saturday 7th Departure in the morning  

The retreat includes:

  • Experienced teachers introducing Focusing skills and concepts
  • Focusing-related areas such as dreams, sleep, myth, bodywork, creativity
  • A day off in the middle to absorb, integrate, relax, enjoy
  • Introduction to Focusing bodywork (Wholebody focusing)
  • A spiritual context for Focusing practice
  • Six days of the ten-day Basic Skills Certificate

The retreat also offers:

  • Combination of input and experiential practice, as needed
  • An unstructured day to absorb, explore, relax, practice...
  • Small group to cater for individual needs
  • Safe, intimate and beautiful environment

The venue

The venue is located on a quiet cliff-top corner of La Maddalena, a small island off the Sardinian coast with exquisite gardens overlooking the sea. It is a small converted farm, complete with rustic charm, and a certain low-tech, old-time rough and ready quality.

Although the accommodation is usually self-catering, a special relationship with the owner means that he hosts us as if we are personal guests — kindly giving us breakfast, lunch and dinner on his wide verandah overlooking the sea, with views of Corsica across the watery main. Much of the fruit and veg comes from his own extensive gardens.

The eight participants will share two cottages with bedrooms, living room, kitchen and bathroom (shower and toilet). There is one small single room, two double and one triple room.

Getting there


The easiest option is flying to Olbia airport (available from Gatwick by Easyjet), then taking an hour-long bus journey to a port of Palau, and finally a 15 min ferry ride to the island of La Maddalena. You will be picked up at the port and driven to the venue itself.


£645/£575 (concession), travel not included.

The price includes accommodation, delicious Italian/ Mediterranean food (a lot of it sourced directly from the adjacent garden) and no work rota! As this venue is normally self-catering only, we are there as guests of the owner. The price also includes Focusing teaching and coaching.


For more information and booking

viryakumara at lifeatwork dot co dot uk

locana at lifeatwork dot co dot uk

What People Say

Arthavadin (2011):

My recollections of the Sardinian focusing retreat are meditating at dusk on a deserted beach, hearing and being heard, respectfulness, connection, blue skies, good humour, sharing, trust, togetherness, painting, emergence, tenderness, laughter and tears, a very mysterious full moon, stillness, plunging into turquoise sea, eucalyptus trees casting dappled shadows, silence, writing, strong coffee, vibrant flowers, enormous butterflies, secret fertile gardens, beach-combing, spaciousness, mmmmm food, Amitabha sunsets.... Ahhhhhhhh!

Aryadhara (2011):

...I did feel very protected there — as though a magical sacred space was opened up when I could be with myself and others more deeply — doesn’t mean it was always easy, but really really helpful for me, so I am very grateful for that. I loved the lizards and the abundance of the veg garden...

Suddhaka (2011):

...thank you all for a wonderful couple of weeks in Sardinia. I feel I came back to London with precious memories that I will treasure for a long time to come. Memories of beauty and friendship, meaningfulness and fun, refinement and pleasure, sunshine and laughter.

Vajrasara (2011):

The gorgeous colourful garden — with many hidden corners and expansive sea views — was ideal for Focusing and exploring inner riches. Add to this good company, warm turquoise waters and al fresco Italian meals, and it was undoubtedly a significant week in a magical realm.

Nuggets from La Maddalena Retreats






















Poetry on the Retreat

Walt Whitman

And what I assume you shall assume;
For every atom belonging to me, as good belongs to you
I loafe and invite my Soul;
I lean and loafe at my ease, observing a spear of summer grass...

Walt Whitman

The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it,
And ceased the moment life appeared.

All goes onward and outward..... and nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.

Has any one supposed it lucky to be born?
I hasten to inform him or her it is just as lucky to die, and I know it.

I pass death with the dying, and birth with the new-washed babe
......and am not contained between my hat and boots,
And peruse manifold objects, no two alike, and every one good,
The earth good, and the stars good, and their adjuncts all good.

From Matthew Arnold’s poem, The Buried Life:

But often, in the world’s most crowded streets,
But often, in the din of strife,
There rises an unspeakable desire
After the knowledge of our buried life;
A thirst to spend our fire and restless force
In tracking out our true, original course;
A longing to inquire
Into the mystery of this heart which beats
So wild, so deep in us—to know
Whence our lives come and where they go.

Writing Poetry at Edinburgh Airport

Li Po said, ‘To read poems is to be alive twice.’
At the airport it is easier to see how everyone is equal.
There is only one human story: it ends in leaving.