Crete Retreat - Summer 2023
How much is it?
1 class = $1100
2 classes = $2100 (save $100)
3 classes = $3000 (save $300)
4 classes = $3800 (save $600)
Register by submitting a deposit and the registration form here.
Lodging and food are extra:
Lodging at Akrimios: €55-€95/night per apartment/bed.
Payable in euros cash to CNTI upon arrival
If/when Akrimios fills up, we will refer you to other accommodations close by. Pricing varies.
Breakfast & Lunch: €20-29/day. Dinners are extra, depends on where (and what!) you eat.
Payable in euros cash to Akrimios directly.
Rooms at Akrimios have kitchenettes for use.
More info on lodging and food below.
Please note to expect additional costs for car rides, taxis, tips, local excursions, and that sort of stuff.
Where is it?
Orizon Center for Life & Creation is a beautiful, peaceful location near the town of Megala Chorafia (Aptera) on the island of Crete in Greece. It is reached by a 30-minute drive on the main highway from Chania International Airport, and two-hours drive from Heraklion. map
When is it?
June 15: Arrival*
June 16-20: TaoTouch Chi Kung Incubation Practices
June 21: Break
June 22-26: Fundamentals of Chi Nei Tsang
June 27-28: Break
June 29 - July 3: Global Body CNT
July 4: Break
July 5-9: Advanced CNT
July 10: Departure
*Arrival/departure listed is for the whole retreat. You are welcome to join for just a portion thereof.
*If you'd like to arrive earlier to acclimate to the new time zone, climate, etc - let us know and we'll help you book lodging directly with Akrimios.
What time is it?
7:30am: Buddha Palms/Chi Kung warmup
9:00am-12:30pm: Morning class session
12:30-2:30pm: Lunch and siesta
2:30-6:00pm: Afternoon class session
Daily schedule subject to change.
How do I get there?
Fly in to and out from the Chania airport. We can arrange rides for you (extra charge - petrol is expensive in Crete!)
How many people will be in the class?
Around 15-20 or so students each class.
What can I expect from my experience?
The Crete Retreat is not simply a training retreat. It is equally, if not moreso, a personal experience where the conditions and practices set the environment for an inner healing journey. The retreat begins with 5 days of TaoTouch Chi Kung Incubation Practices, a combination of classical Taoist and ancient Greek internal philosophy and functional practices. From here, we then dive into the hands-on Chi Nei Tsang training, with internal Chi Kung woven in throughout the month as well.
Are there prerequistes?
We encourage all participants to start with the first class on June 16th. If you have not taken classes with Gilles before, this is mandatory before taking Fundamentals or any hands-on class. We also expect you to be familiar with Gilles' books and the Healing Buddha Palms practice.
You must take Fundamentals before Global Body, and Global Body before Advanced CNT. Even beginners are welcome to stay for all classes- the whole retreat- but they must start at the beginning on June 16th.
Which nights can we sleep at the retreat center?
The nights of June 15-July 9. Contact Ingrid to arrive earlier or stay longer.
You can stay on-site in a sea-view apartment at Akrimos.
If that fills up, there are other nice accommodations nearby.
Who gets priority for the rooms?
Those who are staying for the whole retreat get priority to rooms at Akrimios, for simplicity sake. Also teh earlier to register, the higher up on the list you are for rooms.
What if the apartments at Akrimios fill up?
There are other local lodging options for you, including Nectarios' hotel in nearby Aptera. We are working on holding some units for us there. Ingrid will also be helping find additional options in the area.
What's the room situation?
There are multiple apartments that are mostly shared, with your own private room. You can share a bedroom with family/friend and split the cost.
Each apartment has its own entrance and a large, private balcony with view of Souda Bay and its beautiful sunrises. All mini kitchens are equipped with a fridge, coffee machine, kettle, and all the dishes and utensils you need for a quick and easy meal.
Do prices vary depending on room/bed?
Yes, there are varying room options, priced out accordingly. We will offer you the options, if available, upon your registration. Lodging pricing ranges from €60-€95/night (less for shared rooms if available).
Is there air conditioning in the apartments?
Yes there is A/C available, for a fee. It is €15/hour. You will probably only need it for cooling off for nap time or right before bed at night. With windows cracked open, you shouldn't need it all that much.
Can I stay in the classroom space or camp?
Yes you can! The cost is €15 per night for camping/floor space, paid to the retreat center directly. You'll have access to amenities including a kitchen and bathroom. You can set your tent up in the yard behind the center.
To whom should I ask questions, and reserve my bed/room with?
Please email David email@example.com
What should I bring, lodging-wise?
Earplugs, eye mask, reading light, extra towel for beach, notebook and pen for dream journaling.
Is food included in the price?
No, food is extra and is to be paid to the retreat center directly. It is €10-14 for breakfast and €10-15 for lunch, depending on your preferences (additional options, meat, gluten-free, dessert).
How do we arrange for meals at Akrimios?
There will be a weekly sign-up sheet for breakfasts and lunches. You sign up the week before for however many meals you'd like the following week, and pay Ingrid in advanced for that week. This is optional, per meal. It is available even if you are not staying at the retreat center.
Please note that any meals you do not sign up for in advance may not be available.
What's up with dinner then?
Dinner, everybody is on their own, but it's no big thang: Akrimios (the name of the hotel that the Orizon Center sits in) is a proper restaurant at night. Occasionally, there might be a wedding or baptism at Akrimios, which you will be welcomed at and have an unforgettable dinner there!
Or go to Aptera, the nearby village which is an easy and delightful walk up the hill) which has a few wonderful tavernas. There are also fantastic restaurants all over within a 15 minute drive.
Also, if staying at Akrimios you'll have your own kitchen, so you can always cook for yourself. There is kitchen for use for those camping too. There are small grocery stores nearby.
There are also restaurants and stores in the area.
What's on the menu?
Akrimos has a full service restaurant with organic, local food, much which is grown on their Kokotsakis family farm! They offer pasture-raised sheep, milk and cheese, and a variety of organic vegetables served in traditional Crete dishes.
Breakfasts include: coffee, milk/alternative milk, tea, fresh OJ, bread, butter, cheese, tomato and cucumber slices, honey, marmalade, cereals, seeds, walnuts, Greek yogurt, seasonal fruits and eggs (boiled or omelette). With an extra 2€ you can add almonds, hazelnuts, dried fruits, avocado, porridge, and fresh grapefruit juice. Gluten free products are 2€ more.
Can I cook for myself?
Yes! If you are staying at Akrimios, there are simple kitchen facilities in each suite. There are grocery stores in nearby Kalyves.
WHO DO I PAY?
Euros cash is required or preferred for most everything. You can get euros from ATMs on Crete, but withdrawals may be limited to a certain amount per transaction or per day, plus ATM fees on both ends. So if you can bring cash with you, that will be helpful.
Meals: Pay Akrimios/Ingrid directly for meals, in euros cash only.
Accommodations: Pay us, CNTI, in euros cash upon arrival.
If staying elsewhere, pay your host of course.
Course fees: Payable to CNTI online before the retreat.
We will have a small rental car for our time there.
Airport rides: We may be able to pick you up/drop you off. If a few people are arriving or departing at the same time, there may not be space in the car for everyone (plus luggage) - so you can pool together and take a larger taxi. If we drive you, or have their "friend taxi driver" do it, it is 35€ per trip. If there is a large group, we can arrange a mini bus for 100€ total.
Trips to town: We will have a sign up sheet, to make sure everyone gets chances to hop a ride to Kalyves, which is the nearest big town with banks, restaurants, shops and nice sandy beaches. We ask for a couple euros per trip to town.
You can always get the retreat center's taxi friend or another taxi anytime. Again, please be prepared with cash for petrol, taxi drivers/tips.
You can rent a car on your own. Get an international drivers permit (at AAA or wherever you can in your location, maybe online).
Are there Covid restrictions?
On our end, participants do not need to show vaccination status or test results. That said, we do request that you be mindful and follow all the recommended procedures about personal hygiene: frequent hand washing, coughing/sneezing into the crook of the elbow, etc. In general we recommend boosting your immune system with good things like vitamin C, reishi mushroom tea, dark leafy greens, good sleep and practicing Buddha Palms! If you feel ill at all, especially sore throat, fever or persistent cough, please do not come to class- we will credit you accordingly.
We run an essential oil diffuser in the classroom and keep it as ventilated as possible. The space we create is an alkaline healing environment.
As for travel into Greece, that depends on the national and local policies at the time. As of December 2022, it appears that there are no restrictions for travelers coming into Greece. However it is your responsibility to stay updated: https://travel.gov.gr/
What's the weather like?
In June-July it will be hot, but not unbearably hot. Chance of rain is unlikely.
What are the lifestyle conditions of Crete?
Please keep in mind that Crete can be quite rustic- some first world elements with some third world conditions as well. Akrimios/Orizon is not a "luxury resort" kind of place. However it does have all you need, and the beauty, culture and environment more than make up for it. Also note that, as with traveling anywhere internationally, there can be challenges with cultural and language differences. But that is part of the magic of travel, right? Your hosts, Ingrid Margarita, Petros and Maria are the most welcoming, sweet, and fun family :)
Is drinking water provided?
There will be a 5 gallon jug in each kitchen and the classroom space, filled at the beginning of each week. For drinking or cooking.There are trips to the natural spring to refill water, or you can buy bottled water at the grocery store. For any ride in the rental car, please contribute a couple euros per trip. Petrol is expensive there!
How can I lend a helping hand while there?
Thanks for asking! There are some chores necessary to help keep our space organized, tidy, clean and running smoothly. We will have a "dharma" list and will ask participants to help out with these items. Don't worry, nothing is too challenging, energy-sapping or time consuming. Just a little bit here and there: sweeping the classroom space, bringing cups back upstairs, bussing tables at the restaurant... things like that. Thanks for your understanding! It is a team effort, and not exactly a luxury vacation ;)
What clothes should I pack?
- Comfort: We will be sitting, doing not-so-physical chi kung, trading abdominal work, etc. So just be comfy and cozy.
- CNT Classes: We will be working directly on the abdominal area, so wear clothing that can reveal your belly. ie no dresses, unitards, leotards, onesies, jumpsuits, wetsuits, snowsuits or Winnie the Pooh footie jammies.
- Shoes are not allowed in the indoor spaces, so make sure to bring slip-on shoes or sandals easy to remove at the entrances.
- Closed toed shoes for the walk down to the sea. The 10-minute trail is wonderful but a bit treacherous.
- Bring a swimsuit for the pool and sea!
Is there cell phone service and wifi?
Yes, don't freak out, you can stay connected. There is wifi and all cell phone connectivity possible. Though don't expect the best of either!
Check your cell phone provider for international plans.
Are there laundry facilities there?
For those staying at Akrimios for a longer time, there are laundry facilities there at the retreat center. At least washing machines. From them: "There are 2 washing machines in Orizon Center. For sure the customers can use them after speaking with our cleaning lady! They can give their laundry to her... The charge for that is €5."
Who's in charge?
Ingrid and daughter Maria: Owners and managers of the Akrimos/Orizon Center. Ingrid will collect your payments for food, in euros cash.
David Sloves: Organizer/administrator handling registration, payments, communications and miscellaneous.
Tiffiny Fyans: Organizer and Assistant Teacher with tons of experience and wonderful approach.
Gilles Marin: Your Master Instructor Extraordinaire!
Kentaro: Assistant to the teachers, and general retreat helper.
What should I not forget to pack?
Plug adapters for Europe
Closed toed shoes for hikes
Slip on/off footwear for around the retreat center
Reusable water bottle
Class notebook and personal journal: While you may video/audio record some demos on your devices, please no audible typing, tapping or clicking for note taking.
OTHER THINGS TO NOTE:
Tread lightly: Please keep the property and all furnishings in good order.
Housekeeping: There is no daily housekeeping service. While linens and bath towels are included in the unit, daily maid service is not included.
Euros Cash: Again, just to chisel it in, rooms and food at Akrimios are payable IN EUROS CASH ONLY - as with other expenses mentioned above.