Note: please see the home page of this site for a summary of essential information about the retreats. The following blog entries will include more details on points of interest or areas that deserve more detailed explanation.
So Why Melaque?
There is a lot to learn from the people of Melaque, particularly about community living and living in the moment.
Ironically, a well known Mexican expression is “mañana”, which translates as tomorrow. People will often say, “mañana” about a challenge they are not prepared to engage at that precise moment. Things still get done. While some interpret “mañana” as a sign of procrastination or laziness, in my experience is it a sign of wisdom. “Everything has its season, everything has its time”. If I am not directly dealing with something, what is helpful in worrying about it? It is said without rush and with acceptance of the reality of the moment. Mexican culture understands and embodies the importance of living in today.
Regarding community, Melaque is a friendly place where all types of people are welcomed and find a place. Children and the elderly are welcome at every party. Strong family ties allow people to help each other.
A beautiful tradition I learned when my daughter celebrated her 9th birthday the year we were living in Melaque involves the giving of gifts. We hosted a party for the children of the neighbourhood and many gifts were laid on a table. After the party, we realized that none of the gifts had a card or named who they were from in any way. It was explained that this allowed all to feel comfortable to come to the party – that it was not necessary to bring a gift, and that those who had the means offered gifts on behalf of the community.What a beautiful tradition and profound lesson.
Qigong is a Chinese term that can be translated as “work with Energy”. It can include sitting meditation, martial arts training, and gentle movements to improve energy circulation in the body and connection with one’s surroundings.
On this retreat, we will practice various qigong forms drawing from tai chi (a set pattern of slow, gentle movements that have martial applications), 4 element qigong, and 5 animal qigong.
Participants will develop mindfulness of movement, breath, and the circulation of energy (Qi) in their bodies and environment.
Qigong classes can be performed at any fitness level. Gentle stretching and deep breathing exercises help us to be fully present to enjoy the beauty of our surroundings and each other.
Mexico offers spectacular fresh local produce. All meals will be prepared fresh and with love. Two meals will be prepared for participants each day. Participants will be free to choose where to have dinner. The town offers dozens of restaurant options.
Fruit, tea and coffee and milk will be available around the clock. Anyone who wants other snacks will be shown where they can purchase whatever they need.
Menus will reflect the healthy living focus of the retreat. Since everyone’s needs and preferences are a little different, Dawn will discuss food plans with each person individually to ensure that each person has exactly what they need and feel comfortable with. We can accommodate meat eaters, vegetarians, vegans, food addicts, celiacs, etc.
Dawn will continually check in with people to ensure that everyone is happy with the food. Things just taste better in Mexico!
There is a lot of English spoken in Melaque. Melaque is a popular destination for West Coast Canadians – some of whom live there all winter. Various classes and activities are offered in English.
Many local people have learned some English since tourism is the primary industry of the town. There are no large scale hotels – one of the things that make the bay so lovely; however, there are many hotels and restaurants.
Even those who do not speak a lot of English are able to communicate quite easily. The people are exceptionally welcoming and patient.
Being in Melaque gives you an opportunity to learn some Spanish, but it is not necessary.