Solo Retreats
Dark Retreats
Group Retreats

Solo Retreats

“My silent retreat was more than amazing. Emma, Severin and Benzra welcomed me very warmly and made me feel at home in the first five minutes I was at their place. I spent thirty three days in silence and the house was very charming and comfortable. They let me care for the little garden and even brought me more tools to enjoy this daily activity while I was in my process. I had to send my grocery list every week and they did all that they could to bring me what I was requesting and if it was not possible I was sure to get it in the next few days. When you are in this kind of process, little things can become very annoying and as Emma and Severin are so much more than retreat owners, they went through this kind of process and they understand what we are going through! They were very helpful and understood these deepest parts of the experience. I started an amazing spiritual journey one year ago and I decided to end it with a silent retreat. Now I know it was not the end, but just the beginning of something, something bigger than me happening; and this silence is the gift I gave to myself to understand all the faces of my diamond-shaped personality. Everyone has these faces in their personality and taking time to observe them will definitely open your eyes and make you realize that maybe you were blind before. After pushing myself with yoga for six months in a row and then going into the thirty three days of silence, I realized that I did not change at all, I just saw all the pieces of myself falling into place and finally felt at peace with myself. My shadows are still there, but now these shadows are a complete part of me and help me to shine my light. As we already know, lightness cannot exist without darkness! Namaste to Emma and Severin for this awesome retreat, and if one day I feel the need to go into silence again, it will be at their place, just next to those two awesome human beings.”
Sonia
“After ten days in the Dark Retreat I came into the light to continue with a fourteen day silent retreat I stayed in the beautiful cabin right on the lake…. flower gardens, trees abundant with fruit, dock stretching out into the lake, solar shower, wooden canoe, sunrise, sunset, wind, waves, volcanoes, the sweet song of birds, the sweet silence and harmony of the lake itself, it is overwhelming beauty and so many moments of awe and gratitude, so many moments of wonderment, how did I end up here? What I found here is a space which is created and held in which naturalness and stillness and solitude flow together in a way that has brought me to the real essence of why I practice. I kept an ongoing gratitude list which seemed to reach out in all directions from the smell of burning wood, to the soft sweet release of rainfall, seeing the lava and wisps of smoke of a volcano against a pink sunrise, and early morning meditations before the world wakes up. Thank you Emma and Severin, I am full of gratitude and love for you guys, your family, this space and this opportunity I have had; I am deeply inspired by what you are creating here.”
David
“Some reflections on five days in silence… I tried to find a balance between movement, rest, meditation, nature observation and self reflection. I do not normally take time to observe a flower opening and closing. In this time of silent retreat I could experience the fluidity of birth and death in the being of a flower. I leave here today with a deeper understanding for how much we are all truly loved. I have a deeper appreciation for the need to accept imperfection in myself, in others, and in my surroundings. As a mother of three I also have a renewed respect for the practical aspects of life. I feel inspired to ground myself in my daily life with a sense of gratitude and devotion.”
Courtney

Dark Retreats

“Thank you for creating the space for many people to have this intense, beautiful experience of truly going inwards and feeling the Self. There´s nowhere to run, no place to hide or distract yourself from what is truly inside. It is a very healing and empowering experience. I leave with more love for myself, peace in my heart and gratitude for all that I have experienced. Thank you for this journey of deep transformation on all levels.”
Jennifer, Five Days in Darkness
“Forty days in darkness was a very oxymoric journey. Long and fast, difficult and easy, cold and burning heat, ugly and beautiful. I was faced with so many challenges, strange and beautiful visions, deep emotions, limitations and patterns… I feel I have come out as a new person, with a deep and total confidence in myself, knowing that with love and grace I can do anything.”
Victoria, Forty Days in Darkness
“Thank you, deeply thank you for providing and holding a space of such beauty and sacredness, there is such deep gratitude in my heart. The darkness was incredibly revealing and this sense of a background of stillness stood out so clearly, as did the personality, thought streams and patterns. What I found so beautiful was how this stillness, this darkness was constantly there as a blanket of truth to connect to and rest in. There was such a sense of utter nakedness and freedom, to be completely open, vulnerable, exposed, which was at once longing, sadness peacefulness and also a deep aliveness in the heart. I feel such gratitude and openness, and there is a wide smile inside with the idea that I can come back many times to learn from the wisdom of this space, the wisdom of darkness.”
David, Ten Days in Darkness
Six days in the light followed by fifteen days in the dark, then three and a half months of solo retreat and a further seven weeks in darkness, now I face the prospect of returning home. Am I really ready?

My first six days were spent building my meditation practice to ready myself for my time in darkness. I have been exposed to a few different meditation techniques and did whatever felt right at the time. I continued this approach when I entered the dark for the first time.

I entered the dark excited at the prospect of having a DMT experience and seeing the light in the dark. Yes I had read the literature. My first three days went much I would have expected, my practice developing into longer sessions and more frequent throughout the days. Then something happened towards the end of day three. My mind (a horse with me the jockey) realised finally that it was continuous darkness. “Playtime” it said with me helplessly riding with no control for most of the remaining twelve days. It was only towards the end I started getting some control back and achieved some measure of focused meditation. I experienced the light in the dark but did not recognise it for what it was until much later. No DMT experience. What did I learn?

First I learnt that I needed to choose a single type of meditation with a single point of focus. Because the darkness draws on the pinal gland and the hormones produced there I chose a chakra meditation focusing on ajna chakra. Second, I needed to do a lot of work developing my concentration on my point of focus if my seven weeks in the dark were to bear any fruit. Armed with this knowledge I settled down for the next three and a half months, spending many hours on the meditation mat, developing my discipline and concentration in preparation for my long return to the dark.

I entered the dark retreat again filled with a determination to maintain a disciplined concentration for the entire 49 days. I was successful for a lot longer this second time. I had many long and deep sessions during the first five weeks, the best and deepest were late at night and very early in the morning before the fishermen started work and the birds awoke for the day. There were many long blissful silent hours while the world slept. I achieved a lot in this time.

The final two weeks were more of a struggle as I fought to maintain my concentration. What was the conclusion of my experience? I saw the light in the dark vividly. It is quite strange trying to navigate your way around the room when your eyes and mind see one thing whilst your touch tells you something completely different. For me the light was usually behind me, casting shadows on the cave wall, and always the same shadow no matter if my eyes were open or closed, or even if I turned my head left or right. It was usually a “ruddy” glow like a fire with banked coals behind me casting its glow on cave wall that looked earthen, yet I was in a rock and mortar room. I would also often find myself turning to look over my shoulder to see where the light was coming from before I realised what I was doing. A very interesting experience.

I did not have a DMT experience, no vision or hallucinations. My fort-nine days were enough for me this time, but I would definitely repeat the experience at The Hermitage in the future if opportunity presented me with the chance – and even longer if possible – but first I need many hours on the mat practicing my concentration and increasing my discipline. Thank you Emma and Severin for everything and I look forward to seeing you again in the future.

Best wishes, Darryl.

Darryl, Forty Nine Days In Darkness

Group Retreats

“The 10 day silent retreat at the Hermitage was pure Magic: the lake, the land, the practice, and the teachings. Emma and Severin hold such a beautiful space for deep work and transformation. What an incredible opportunity to cultivate the connection to the Heart and to Stillness!”
Lindsay
“Being at the Hermitage was a tuning in back to nature. Waking up by the rays of the sunrise mirrored in the lake every morning was simply mystical. Sharing the beauty of the Heart in silence at this amazing place is such a blessing. Thank you so much for creating and sharing such beauty dear Emma & Severin. Benzra’s smile just made my day!“
Uma
“The 10 day retreat at the Hermitage was a beautiful and intimate way of getting out of the busyness of my head and get to know the fullness of my heart. Waking up to the magical vista of the lake, the loving care and inspiring teachings left me very fulfilled and with a rich sense gratitude for life and a longing to go deeper. Thanks a lot for this wonderful experience!“
Mathijs