Meditation Retreats In Guatapé
Woods & Nature
La Casa de Loto is a Meditation and Yoga Retreat Center in the magical mountains of Colombia, founded and run by Karma Pema and his wife Maria. Here we offer you daily meditation and yoga classes, cozy accommodations, freshly cooked ayurvedic food, 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 reconnect to the essence of life, where lasting happiness can be found. You will find us only five minutes away from the town center of Guatapé, and one hour away from Medellin´s international airport. We can help you with transportation from and to the airport.
At the heart of all our retreat programs are the buddhist practices of samatha and vipassana meditation (calm abiding & insight), and a daily 2h hatha yoga class, to relax and strengthen the mind and the body. As a support to cultivate more self-awareness and mindfulness, we also employ the practice of noble silence during the retreat, and work with no more than 8 guests at a time, to help you to fully immerse yourself into the meditation and yoga practice and clarify your practical doubts. For those who have participated in our guided retreats before and experienced meditators, we also offer full silent retreat options.
If you wish to tame your mind, to deepen your meditation and yoga practice, and enjoy a calming and spiritual atmosphere, you are happily welcome here. All our retreats start on Fridays and end on Thursdays. You can stay for one or two weeks.
“Bondage is simply the mind being bound - and if it is freed, without a doubt that is liberation.” — Saraha
TEACHERS & PRACTICES
Pema is a Meditation and Yoga practitioner and teacher. He mainly follows the Dzogchen teachings of the Dudjom Tersar and Longchen Nyingthig lineages of Tibetan Buddhism .
Very early in his childhood he 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. By and by he developed an unsustainable lifestyle and major depressive problems, and started questioning if life has any inherent meaning at all.
One night, moments before attempting to jump out of a seventh floor window into a dingy, grey, Berlin backyard, Pema had a profound experience with the nature-of-being and saw that all good and evil thoughts and feelings are merely essence-less projections of the mind. This moment encouraged him to step away from the ledge, and go on a full introspective journey. Soon after he gave away all of his belongings and went to study and practice with many of the great buddhist masters and yogis around the world, until he understood how to fully liberate the mind and be able to teach others.
For the rest of this life Pema wants to stay in retreat, and share his space and practices with others who are looking for liberation and freedom.
SAMATHA & VIPASSANA
Buddhism addresses two major types of meditation, different mental skills, or qualities of consciousness. They are called Samatha and Vipassana.
Samatha can be translated as “concentration” or “peaceful 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 abide calmly, and allow our mind to look at itself.
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 has lived, studied and practiced 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 guides meditation and yoga retreats in Colombia since over 20 years.