Monday

Good morning and welcome to another beautiful day in paradise!

At 9h00, you can choose to join us for our usual morning walk. Or if you prefer, you can have a lie-in and breakfast in bed. Breakfast will be set out buffet-style downstairs from 9h00 onwards.

We meet for this morning’s mindfulness training session at 10h00. We will be visiting a local village fresh food market. The village is called Aignan and their weekly market is about as quintessentially French as it is possible to be. Aignan is an 800-year old market village, located in the heart of the Cotes de Saint Mont and Armagnac vineyards. Today you will be able to train your visual, auditory and maybe even gustatory senses in mindfulness. We have included this field trip for its Visual and Auditory Mindfulness Training potential. So have a good look around. The village itself is gorgeous and the vibrant little market is a feast of colour and contrasts for the eyes. Listen carefully to the language. If you speak a little French, you may discern the authentic Gascon accent. Even if you do not speak French, you will be charmed by the enthusiasm of the vendors, who will explain the virtues of their products to you in detail. Many have a smattering of English, so do not hesitate to approach them! If you want to buy anything you need, you can to so at the market or at the small Carrefour village shop. There s also a very browsable antique shop on the village square, called Brocanthé, where our friend Nancy Kuyvers sells treasures, tidbits, coffee and tea. Her English is fluent. The St Saturnin church dates from the 12th century and is definitely also worth a visit, especially if you need a moment of peace and quiet after all the hustle and bustle of the village square.

Find out more about Aignan here.

It is easy to be overwhelmed by all the sights and sounds, so take a seat on one of the benches and concentrate on taking everything in as mindfully as possible. You can, of course, take as many pictures as you want, but be careful not to be distracted from the purpose of this visit: visual and auditory mindfulness practice.

We will leave the market around 12h30 and head home where your picnic baskets will be waiting. Bon appetit and bonne sieste afterwards!

Later this afternoon, we will be introducing you to Walking Meditation. To get the most from this session, please read the chapter about walking meditation in your e-book Mindfulness and Meditation in the south of France. Remember to put on some suntan lotion and your walking boots and bring your hat, sunglasses and water bottle.

working meditation

The session consists of two parts: during the first part, we walk, accompanied by one or more of the horses, though the neighbouring countryside. During the second part, we invite you to practice walking meditation on your own, at the farm. You can walk the meditation labyrinth, the meditation stations on the island in the lake, around the medicinal herb pond or the path around the lake: the choice is yours. Full instructions on how to do a walking meditation are accessible on the Scripts page. You may want to download the instructions onto your phone and take it with you for reference.

Walking is magic. Can’t recommend it highly enough. I read that Plato and Aristotle did much of their brilliant thinking together while ambulating. The movement, the meditation, the health of the blood pumping, and the rhythm of footsteps… this is a primal way to connect with one’s deeper self. – Paula Cole

Dinner will once again be ready from 19h30 onwards and afterwards, you have some free time to prepare for tomorrow’s activities. At some point, you may want to stroll up to the church (Eglise de Laleugue) facing the farm. It dates from the 16th century. Laleugue comes from the Latin word ‘lucus’ meaning ‘sacred wood’ and indeed, the huge, medieval Foret(forest) de Laleugue, is located just north-east of the church. A roman bridge, dating from the 3rd century, is can be admired at the entrance to the forest. Because of the proximity of the forest,  deer often come to our lake for a drink, as well as the odd family of boar, at night. Might be interesting to go for a walk in the forest on Wednesday, your day off?

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We wish you a very ‘Bonne Nuit. ‘Tomorrow morning, our mindfulness training focuses on gustatory (taste) and olfactory (smell) mindfulness. We will be visiting the Saint mont wine cellars, as well as the village of Saint Mont. If you want to read a bit more about the wines of your region, you can do so here. If you have never attended a wine tasting before or if you want to refresh your memory about how to do it, you can do so here.

Also, there is a sort but very good e-book about Mindful Eating, that you can download from our Resources Page, in preparation for tomorrow. CLICK HERE to access our Resources Page. I also discussed Mindful Eating in detail in this issue of the Mpower Me e-Magazine. Enjoy!

Guided Personal and Professional Growth – Reformed MD, assisted by six talented Horses, hosts Stress Management Mindfulness Meditation Workshops in the south of France