La Casa de Loto is a Meditation and Yoga Retreat Center in the magical mountains of Colombia, founded and run by Karma Pema Tsering and his wife Maria. Here we offer you daily meditation and yoga classes, freshly cooked ayurvedic 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 just five minutes away from the town center of Guatapé, and 75 minutes away from Medellin international airport MDE/JMC. We can arrange transportation from and to the airport for you.
At the heart of all our programs are the buddhist and vedic practices of samatha (calm abiding) and vipassana meditation (gaining insight into our nature), pranayamas (breathing exercises), and yoga asanas - to relax and strengthen the mind and the body. To support your stay and cultivate more self-awareness, we also imply the practice of noble silence from 6pm to 8am every day. To be able to clarify your doubts, we work with only eight guests each week.
Each Friday we receive visitors from all over the world to attend our retreats and enjoy the restful and spiritual atmosphere of La Casa De Loto and its surroundings. If you want to start practicing, or deepen your practice, you are happily welcome here.
“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 Dzogchen and Yoga practitioner and teacher. He mainly follows the teachings 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 to the edge of suicide.
One night, just a moment before jumping out of a seventh floor window into a grey, stinky backyard in Berlin, 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, yogis, and taitas around the world, to learn more about his experience, and how to share it with others.
For the rest of this life Pema wants to stay on retreat, and share the life-changing teachings and practices which he was granted 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 Samatha and Vipassana.
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.Vipassana can be translated as “Special Insight,” a clear awareness of exactly what is happening as it happens. This insight comes naturally, when we become able to calmly abide, and allow our mind to look at itself without judging.
Here at La Casa De Loto we teach you both techniques from a Dzogchen point of view. 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 - also referred to as 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.