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Cultivating Contentment




“Practice sharing the fullness of your being, your best self, your enthusiasm, your vitality, your spirit, your trust, your openness, above all, your presence. Share it with yourself, with your family, with the world.”  ― Jon Kabat-Zinn


The sights, sounds, smells and vistas Italy offers makes it the perfect place to fine-tune your awareness, cultivating and deepening your mindfulness practice. Whether you are new to mindfulness or not, we invite you to join us in breathing the pristine Alpine air as you nourish your mind, body and soul in the stunning Italian mountains.  During this time, you will have space to 'touch the depths of your own wisdom,' maximizing your creativity, clarity and compassion.  This supportive environment offers both solitude and companionship and is perfect for those beginning a meditation practice and for experienced practitioners.  


In order to cultivate contentment, we must learn to still the mind and body so we can become more aware of our habits and patterns and understand how those impact our values and intentions. This retreat will support you in doing just that.  The week will include time for guided and non-guided meditation practice, yoga, personal reflection and group discussion.  The retreat also includes two half-day guided excursions so that we can take in the beauty of the location and invite that to be a part of our practice.


During the week, our meals will be made by a local chef -- everything we enjoy will have been grown on the property. There will also be time for free time for hiking, sampling local flavors of food and wines roaming, exploring the nearby medieval village of Bienno. 


Located an hour and a half outside of Milan, you will have the option to stay in a restored private villa, set against the iconic backdrop of the Alps.  Home to an international artist's residency, we will have full use of the villa's grounds which span over twenty acres across working vineyards, orchards and vegetable gardens. 

Meals will be prepared and served at the villa daily, sourced with local ingredients and fresh vegetables from the villa's gardens. Locally-made wine will be included with dinner.


Both shared and private accommodation options are available at the villa, both with shared bathrooms.

A limited number of non-residency options are also available. 

Some of what you'll experience:

  • Connecting with self and others

  • Nurturing guidance 

  • Greater sense of self-awareness

  • Awakening of all five senses

  • Mindful communication

  • Learning the practice of mindful eating


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Dr. Yvonne Stedham, PhD

Hi, I'm Yvonne. My life’s passion is exploring and learning about life, about people, about myself, about things and to support others to do the same. Life is the “full catastrophe” (Jon Kabat-Zinn) – joys and sorrows. Living this full catastrophe fully, every moment of it is what it means to be human - experiencing and being with all that life presents you with. Mindfulness supports us in that journey. Mindfulness has supported me through deeply tragic and difficult life experiences and continues to give me the strength to embrace and love life as it is. 

Having practiced mindfulness since 2010 and knowing the peace and equanimity that mindfulness can bring, I decided to become a mindfulness instructor and completed my training at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts in 2017. I have been teaching mindfulness to many diverse groups and in many different formats throughout my training and since its completion. 


This is my 30th year as a professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. I am professor in the College of Business at the University of Nevada, Reno and study and teach international management and business. I grew up in Germany and received my graduate degrees in the U.S. from the University of Kansas. I have travelled extensively and have taught and conducted research in many countries. For the past six years, I have also taught I mindful leadership course for our MBA students and modified versions of this course to professionals in businesses and other organizations across the U.S. In particular, I have worked for the past thirteen years with judges in the U.S. judiciary. 

Any opportunity to share my knowledge and love for what mindfulness can offer us in our journey through life, I welcome with open arms. 

Mindfulness allows us to live life with “courageous presence” and "to stand firm in that which we are.” (Rumi).

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Colleen Camenisch

Colleen Camenisch is the founder of Reno, Nevada's Equilibrium-mbsr and has been teaching Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programs along with other meditation courses for over a decade, including teaching one year at the UMASS Center for Mindfulness, and is a Certified Teacher through the UMASS Center for Mindfulness.  She is adjunct faculty at the UMASS Center for Mindfulness and at Brown University's Mindfulness Center.  Colleen’s other professional experience includes a Master’s Degree in Business and a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from UNR.  Additionally, she completed a post-graduate course in International Business and Trade Law at the United Nations International Labor Organization.  She also works part-time for University of Nevada Medical School.


Residency Options 

Shared accommodation: €2250 per person

Single accommodation: €2650 per person

(both options have shared bathrooms)

Non-Residency Option

€1500 per person 

Both residency and non-residency options include group airport transfer to and from Milan's Malpensa Airport, lunch and dinner, wine at dinner, all mindfulness sessions and two half-day excursions.  Airfare not included.  


The residency options also include breakfast and five days, four nights accommodation at the villa.


The non-residency option does not include breakfast or accommodation.


If this retreat resonates with you and you'd like to secure your place, a €1000 non-refundable* deposit is required.  Limited spaces available.  


*Please note that if for any reason the retreat does not run, your deposit will be refunded in full.

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