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Crete Retreat - Summer 2024
FAQ

How much is it?

 

FEES

2024 Course Fees:
1 class = $1200

2 classes = $2250 (save $150)

3 classes = $3150 (save $450)

4 classes = $3900 (save $900)

Facilities Fees

To help pay for the classroom space, break room, snacks, etc).

All students pay an additional €5 per class-day facilities fee.

Campers pay €10/all-days per person facilities fee. See more about camping here.

Meals Pricing

This year we will be including lunches for every student, during every class-day, for an additional €15/lunch per class-day.

All other meals are on your own. See the below for more food info.

Upon registration we will let you know how much your total is, including course, facilities and class-day lunches.

Lodging will be factored in separately.

Additional food, and lodging, are extra:

UPDATE Feb 1, 2024: Rooms at Akrimios are pretty much full. See Lodging section below for more info. Email David for lodging recommendations. Pricing varies.


Lunch: €15/day only on class days. This will be incorporated into everyone's flat rate fee for courses/lunches/facilites.
 

Breakfast: Available at Akrimios (around €10?). Students arrange and pay for breakfasts directly with Akrimios.

Non-class day lunches, and all dinners are also extra, depends on where (and what!) you eat.

Payable in euros cash to Akrimios, or wherever directly (cash/card)

Apartments at Akrimios, Aptera Hotel and most airbnbs have kitchenettes for use. There are some grocery shops nearby.

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.

We will collect cash tips for the Akrimios staff before you leave.

 

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-July 2024

June 18-19: Arrivals*

June 20-24: TaoTouch Chi Kung Incubation Practices
June 25-26: Break

June 27-July 1: Fundamentals of Chi Nei Tsang

July 2-3: Break
July 4-8: Global Body CNT

July 9-10: Break

July 11-15: Advanced CNT

July 16: 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?


8:15am: Breakfast (optional)

9:00am: Chi Kung/Buddha Palms warmup

9:45am-1:00pm: Morning class session
1:00-4:00pm: Lunch and siesta

4:00-4:30: Sleeping/Dreaming Chi Kung

4:30-7:00pm: Afternoon class session

Daily schedule subject to change.

 

How do I get there?

Fly in to and out from the Chania airport (CHQ).

We recommend this great taxi company: Taxi24Chania - They are friendly and dependable. Reserve on their website and they communicate via whatsapp. Last year it was €35-40 each way.

How many people will be in the class?

 

Around 15-25 students each class.

COURSE/RETREAT INFO

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 20th. If you have not taken classes with Gilles before, this is mandatory before taking Fundamentals or any hands-on class.

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 20th.

Can I satisfy the non-touch course prerequisites at home?

Yes you can take the online classes and do the reading and practices at home.

Prereq for Fundamentals: TaoTouch Chi Kung

Prereq for Global Body: Fusion Meditation

You can watch and review these recent online classes. Upon registration of these courses you will get the link to the recordings pages which also have downloadable detailed class notes and other resources.

There is also a Fundamentals course packet, books and other materials to review before class.

Prep Study Info and Materials HERE.

FACILITY FEE

All students are required to pay €5 per class-day for facilities. (Campers pay €10/day for facilities- to help offset Ingrid's office space that is for your use.) This will be incorporated into your total balance due.

LODGING

 

UPDATE 2/15/24: Rooms at Akrimios are pretty much full. The very nice Aptera Hotel has a few apartments temporarily reserved for our group. Email David at administration@chineitsang.com to get contact info for Nectarios at the Aptera Hotel, and other lodging recommendations. Pricing varies.

Can I stay in the classroom space or camp?

Yes you can. The cost is €25/night total per person: €15 for camping/floor space, plus €10 facilities fee. You'll have access to amenities including a bathroom and a very small kitchen. You can sleep in the classroom space, Ingrid's office break room, or you can set your tent up in the yard beside the center.

What should I bring, lodging-wise?

Earplugs (road noise and cicadas can be loud in the rooms), eye mask, flashlight, extra towel for beach, notebook and pen for dream journaling.

 

FOOD

 

Is food included in the price?

No, yes and no. Huh?


Breakfast can be available if requested with Ingrid in advance, and paid directly to them.


Lunch (€15) for all class-days will be included in the registration fee for all students. It's great to enjoy lunch together! There are 5 class-days per course (20 total for the full retreat).


Lunches on non-class-days are on your own.

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, baptism or christening at Akrimios, which you will be welcomed at and have an unforgettable dinner there!

Or go to Aptera, the nearby village a 10 minute walk up the hill, which has a few wonderful tavernas, especially Cretan Corner. There are also fantastic restaurants all over within a 15 minute drive, especially in the cute beach town of Kalyves.

 

Also, if staying at Akrimios and most airbnbs in the area, you'll have your own kitchen, so you can always cook for yourself. There are small grocery stores nearby. There is kitchen for use for those camping too.

 

What's on the menu at Akrimios?

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.

What's on the menu at restaurants in general in Crete?

Almost all purveyors of restaurants and cafes in Crete have their own family farm. Therefore much of the food is local, pasture-raised and organic. While you can find familiar Greek dishes, Crete has a lot of its own unique dishes, both vegetarian and meat. It is quite a treat. Plus, they often give you free dessert! :)

Can I cook for myself?

Yes! If you are staying at Akrimios, there are simple kitchen facilities in each suite. There are small grocery stores in nearby Aptera and Kalyves.

How is the drinking water?

Another special thing about Crete is the abundance of fresh spring water coming out of the ground, pre-filtered by Earth. It is safe to drink, and is amazing. For those staying at Akrimios and for class, we go to one of the springs to fill up all our water jugs every few days.

WHO DO I PAY?

Euros cash is required or preferred by many restaurants and shops. You can get euros from ATMs on Crete. That said, withdrawals may be limited to a certain amount per transaction or per day, plus ATM fees on both ends. So if you can bring euros cash with you, that will be helpful. Most restaurants, cafes and shops also take credit cards, so no worries.

Course Fee and Facilites Fees:

Payable to us, CNTI, online before the class retreat. David will confirm your total and balance due.

 

Lodging at Akrimios:

Payable to us. Please pay David in Euros cash upon arrival. He will let you know your total beforehand. We have to pay the retreat center in cash.

Class-day Lunches:

Payable to us. Please pay David in Euros cash upon arrival. It is €15/meal. There are 5 class-day lunches per each course (20 total for the full retreat).

Breakfasts/Dinners/Lunches on non-class days: Pay Akrimios/Ingrid directly for meals, in euros cash only.


When eating and staying elsewhere, pay your host of course.

 

TRANSPORT


We will have a small rental car for our time there.

Trips to town: We will have a dedicated rental car for retreat purposes, which will be driven by CNTI staff. 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.

 

Airport rides: We recommend this great taxi company: Taxi24Chania. You can reserve a ride beforehand on their easy to use website. They are very responsive and dependable. The ride should be around €35-40.

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). Local rental cars are fairly well priced, somewhere around €30/day with insurance.

OTHER STUFF

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 is hot, but not unbearably hot. Temperature ranges from lows around 20°C/65°F and highs 30°C/85°F. 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 jugs for drinking in each kitchen in the Akrimios apartments, and in the break room space, filled throughout the week. We take trips every few days nearby towns that have natural spring water fountains. The water is so fresh and refreshing! We will ask for a volunteer to assist with this task of refilling our water bottles.

Is there wifi and cell phone service there?

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! There is pretty dependable wifi at Akrimios/Orizon, best in the restaurant area. Throughout Crete, many cafes, hotels and airbnbs have wifi available.

You may want to get a temporary international cell plan. Check your cell phone provider for international plans.

Please get the whatsapp app on your phone, as that is how many locals and our community communicate during (and after) the retreat.

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?

- Layers
- 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, up to town and the ruins, excursions, etc. The 10-minute trail from Akrimios down to the little beach is scenic but a bit steep and treacherous.

- Bring swimsuits for the pool and sea!

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: Owner/manager of the Akrimos/Orizon Center. She is also a co-student and certified instructor.

 

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 and Shizuka: Teacher Assistants and general retreat helpers.

What should I not forget to pack?


Device chargers
Plug adapters for Europe
Closed toed shoes for hikes
Slip on/off footwear for around the retreat center
Swimsuits

Sun hat (or buy one there!)
Headlamp/flashlight

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.

Will this be recorded? 

 

We will be video recording Gilles' demonstrations in class, and audio recording guided meditations and some Q&A sessions. This material will be available to students of this retreat only.

Please note: Some photos and non-personal video/audio will be shared with our larger community via newsletter, email and social media.

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.

Efcharistó!

Crete chruch sea.jpg
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