June 1, 2024 | 3:00 pm June 6, 2024 | 4:00 pm
Cardós Valley, Pyrenees, Catalonia, Spain.

Language: English/ Spanish - GUIDANCE OFFERED ON DONATION BASIS -

Pilgrimage

THE PATH OF BEAUTY

1 – 6 June, 2024

Natural Park of the High Pyrenees

 

 

 

A 6-day pilgrimage retreat


through the beautiful Cardós valley and Certascan lakes

Guided by Gemma Polo

 

group limited to 10 participants

GUIDANCE OFFERED ON DONATION BASIS

www.gemmapolopujol.com

 

In this transformative walk, we will go through landscapes of great natural beauty, astonishing views and cultural value. The route is a circular route that goes up one side of the Cardós river valley crossing ancestral villages, forests and high meadows, climbs towards the Certascan area full of dreamy lakes and descends along paths full of streams and aliveness.

 

 

Through walking in simplicity and silence, listening to the deep longing of our heart and putting a true intention in each step, we will open ourselves to embrace the different textures of beauty both form within and around us. And little by little we will rediscover our own spirituality and genuine way of connecting with the sacred, becoming one with the elements and knowing that we are part of a much wider reality.

 

 

 

At the beginning of the pilgrimage we will plant our intention in a small Romanesque little church. On the last day, when we get back, we will have the opportunity to give thanks and symbolically close our path of initiation.

 

Crestascan lake

 

A pilgrimage or path of initiation is a beautiful way to enter the realm of the heart simply by taking one step after another. The majesty and immense beauty of the surroundings are a great help along the way, continually whispering to us “keep going, keep going…”

 

 

We walk along healing and transformative paths for ourselves, for the earth, and for all beings.

 

resting on the way

Landscape:

During this 6-day walking retreat, we will go through lush forests, high meadows and lakes of sublime beauty. The landscape will change from green valleys with ancestral villages, streams and paths, to the immensity of the high mountain landscape with rocks and lichens, ponds and waterfalls that flow from the stones.

Certascan river

 

 

 

A taste of what we will do:

The essence of this pilgrimage is the practice of walking in itself, as a spiritual and transformative journey. These are some additional elements:

– Wake up with the sunrise.

– Combine walking in silence and resting all day and in direct contact with nature.

– Sharing in circle, meditative singing, guided connected movement.

– Moments of solitude and integration.

– Sleep in simple and beautiful shelters, hostels and wooden cabins in the middle of nature.

– Share, support each other, laugh and enjoy.

meditative singing at sunset Photo: Jaume Alsina

connected movement at sunrise

    

shaing circle

Some practical notes:

-We will walk from 4 to 7 hours every day (7-15 km per day).

-The elevation drop will vary between -1300 and +1300 meters per day (1 day +700, 1 day +1300, 1 day -1300, 1 day +400)

-This pilgrimage includes 2 days of high mountain. Even though you do not need technical knowledge of mountaineering, it is crucial that you have a good physical condition, are used to walk both uphill and downhill and have the confidence to do it.

We will walk carrying all our luggage in a measured way plus the daily picnic (about 7-10 Kg in total). We will not need to carry sleeping bags or sleeping mats since all the accommodations on the route will provide us with beds, sheets and blankets. Once you formalize the reservation, you will receive a very specific list of things to bring with the aim of walking as light as possible.

-The group will be limited to a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 10 participants.

Accommodations

We will sleep 2 nights in wooden cabins or bungalows, 1 night in a mountain refuge and 2 nights in a well-conditioned hostel. In all accommodations the rooms will be shared.

Food

The food will be varied and will include meat and fish. If you let us know in advance, we can also offer you vegetarian food.

If you have any allergies or intolerances, please indicate this on the registration form and we will take it into account. In order to facilitate and honor the work of the cooks, if it is only about food preferences, we ask that you please do without these during the pilgrimage. Thanks!.

 

some accommodations of the path

 

Where and when?

This pilgrimage will take place in the north-west of Catalonia.

We will meet on Saturday 1st June at 3pm in the town of Llavorsí.

We will finish on Thursday 6 June around 4pm in the town of Llavorsí 

There is a bus from the ALSA bus company that goes from Barcelona to Llavorsí and takes about 5 hours to reach.

Llavorsí is about 15 minutes by car from the starting point of the route. Once together in Llavorsí we will organize cars or taxis to get there.

If you are coming from abroad or other areas of the country, when buying your plane tickets or other transport, please leave enough time before and after the pick-up to get to the airport or the station on time.

 

Guesossos lake

About the facilitator:

Gemma Polo Pujol offers Deep Rest meditation retreats, pilgrimages in nature around the world and spiritual guidance since 2002.

Theologian, pilgrim, poet and mother, lived in India for a decade, co-founded Open Dharma in Europe and created a pioneering eco-retreat centre in Spain.

With a wealth of experience of spiritual practices as diverse as contemplation, Zen, Advaita, various forms of devotion and a deep connection to the ancient, nature-based, wisdom traditions; Gemma accompanies and guides each person genuinely to listen to the whispers of their own heart.

Together with Sophia Style, Gemma has co-created and offers the Facilitator and Ritual Guide training, and the online course Medicine Woman: a journey to your center, among many other offerings.

Her first book “There is Light and only Light, teachings to illuminate your inner journey” that gathers what she has shared in dozens of retreats around the world, has been published in English by Watkins publishing and in Catalan and Spanish by IKI editorial in 2023.

For more details about her trajectory and what she offers, you can visit: www.gemmapolopujol.com

To be a pilgrim is to enter the sanctuary of myself, discover the wonder of being brought beyond my strength and my determination. It means to become humble, open to the beauty and magic of each landscape, savouring the energy and wisdom of each territory.

 

Please see the page about pilgrimages on Gemma’s website to have a better way of tuning into her understanding of what it means to be a pilgrim: https://gemmapolopujol.com/en/pilgrimages/

You can also enjoy watching this precious 3-minute video called Pilgrimage: the art of walking with the heart:

 

Price and donations:

The price for the 6 days of the retreat-pilgrimage is 395 euros + conscious donation for the facilitator.

The initial price of 395 euros includes:

-Five nights accommodation.

-All breakfasts, lunches (except on the last day), all dinners.

-Accident insurance.

 

Donations:

Gemma offers her guidance without any fixed price, as it has been done in many traditions for millennia in the spiritual realm, with the intention of giving space to everyone, and with the beauty of not limiting what is infinite. At the end of the pilgrimage you will have the opportunity to offer donations to Gemma and honor her dedication in guiding, creating the route and organizing the pilgrimage. Thanks for your generosity!

 

There is a universe of freedom when we offer without a fixed price, both for the one who gives and for the one who receives.

 

pote de barro para donaciones

 

Registration:

1. To reserve your place, please fill in this form

2. Payment and deposit: To reserve accommodation in advance and secure your place on the pilgrimage, we ask you to make a payment and deposit of €295 via bank transfer or €305 via PayPal (the 10 € extras are to cover PayPal fees).

These are the bank details to make the deposit:

Open Dharma Association,

Triodos Bank ES31 1491 0001 2210 09539220 (Please put your name and “path of beauty” in the concept)

Or via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/OpenDharmaSpain/305

3. Please send us an email to gemmapolopujol@gmail.com once the transfer has been made to inform us.

 

Cancellation policy:

If you have to cancel your place after you have paid for the reservation, we will return the entire reservation minus 10% towards administration costs until May 4th. After this date we can only refund 50% of the reservation. From May 25th onwards we will not be able to refund your reservation. Thank you for your comprehension.

 

Important note from Gemma:

I offer pilgrimages with the intention of sharing my love for practicing walking meditation and being in wild nature. It is not my intention to act as a mountain guide even though I do have many years of experience walking and climbing mountains and I know very well each valley of the Pyrenees. My task in guiding this pilgrimage focuses on a spiritual and personal accompaniment of each individual and the group, encouraging inner growth in accordance to each individual’s genuine call.

During the pilgrimage, each person will be responsible for her, his or they physical and mental health and we will walk as a group of adults moved by an intention of the heart and capable of helping each other along the way.

 

If you have any question about the pilgrimage, please write to us at:

gemmapolopujol@gmail.com

Looking forward to walking this path of transformation together.

Gemma