La Casa de Loto is a Meditation and Yoga Retreat Center in the magical Colombian mountains, founded and run by Karma Pema Tsering and his wife Maria. Here we offer you daily meditation and yoga classes, freshly cooked organic food, clean and comfortable accommodations, and a variety of optional massages and treatments. Our experienced teachers and staff and the beautiful nature surroundings create the ideal conditions for you to turn inward, let go of stress, and to reconnect to the essence of life, where lasting happiness can be found. You will find us close to Guatapé, around 75 minutes away from Medellíns international airport MDE/JMC.
At the heart of all our programs are the practices of samatha meditation (calming the mind), vipassana meditation (insight into the nature of phenomena), compassion practices, and a daily 90 minute yoga asana and pranayama class, to relax and strengthen your mind and body. To support your stay and cultivate more self-awareness, we also imply a practice of noble silence for most of the week (Friday to Wednesday afternoon). All doubts can be cleared up in our daily question and answer rounds, which take place after the meditation class.
Each Friday we receive visitors from all over the world to attend our retreats and enjoy the restful and spiritual atmosphere of the place and its surroundings. Absolutely all who want to learn how to practice, or deepen their practice, are happily welcome to join us.
“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” — His Holiness The Dalai Lama
TEACHERS & PRACTICES
KARMA PEMA TSERING
Pema is a Buddhist and Yoga practitioner and teacher. He mainly follows the teachings and practices of Dudjom Lingpa, and the non-sectarian Khyentse lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.
Very early in his childhood Pema lost both of his parents. Meanwhile, all of the wealth they had left for him by will was stolen by others in his family while he was still young. As a teenager and into his mid-twenties, he struggled with this betrayal and loss while pursuing a career as a professional musician, but eventually developed addiction problems and an unsustainable lifestyle. All of this led him into a deep depression.
One night, just a moment before jumping out of a seventh floor window into a grey, stinky Berlin backyard, Pema had a flash of insight which encouraged him to step away from the ledge. This moment eventually led him to understand the nature of the mind, and the art of just being. Soon afterwards he gave away all of his belongings and went to live and study with various lamas and yogis around the world, to learn more about his experience, and how to share it with others through buddhist and yogic practices. He has learned from Japanese Zen and Tao Masters, lived in Tibetan monasteries, and took a one year mindfulness meditation and yoga teacher training in Colombia.
For the rest of this life Pema wants to stay on retreat, and share the precious teachings and practices which he had received with others.
SAMATHA & VIPASSANA
Buddhism addresses two major types of meditation, different mental skills, or qualities of consciousness. In Pali, the most complete collection of early Buddhist literature, they are called Vipassana and Samatha.
Vipassana can be translated as “Special Insight,” a clear awareness of exactly what is happening as it happens. Samatha can be translated as “concentration” or “calm abiding.” It is a state in which the mind is brought to rest, focused only on one item and not allowed to wander. When this is done, a deep calm pervades body and mind, a state of tranquility which must be experienced to be understood.
Here at La Casa De Loto we teach you both techniques and also support our guests individually on request. When we practice this way, judgements begin to fall away and we learn how to break out of our mental prison, and find relief in the nature of the mind - an uncontrived, natural, spontaneous flow of pure awareness - our innate buddha-nature.
Hatha yoga can be translated as “sun” (ha) and “moon” (tha), and "union" (yoga), the practice of finding union through balance. Hatha mostly is composed of various ancient physical exercises which combine teachings related to asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing exercises) in order to bring our mind and body into union. These practices support and prepare us for deeper spiritual practices such as meditation.
At La Casa de Loto the focus in our yoga classes is on proper alignment like it was taught by B.K.S. Iyengar, and on the breath, trying to create a flow of energy to help release mental and physical blockages and pains. All our classes are taught by Maria Mercedes Lopez. She lives, studies and practices Yoga for more than 30 years, and lived as a nun in a buddhist Temple in Thailand for over a year. A true Yogi who teaches authentic yoga.