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The path of devotion
10-16 July, 2021
A 7-day pilgrimage retreat
to practice walking meditation,
discover 3 emblematic virgins
of the Catalan Pyrenees
and fill us with their gifts.
Guided by Gemma Polo
group limited to 9 participants
In this non-religious transformative pilgrimage, we will walk through landscapes of great natural beauty and we will visit places that hold immense symbolic value. The route draws a triangle that unites three virgins that represent different aspects and qualities of our heart.
triangular route with the 3 Sanctuaries that will inspire us
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 gifts and qualities represented in the virgins, rediscovering our own spirituality and genuine way of connecting with the sacred, becoming one with the elements, and experiencing ourselves as part of a much wider reality.
Devotion is an attitude of the heart; it is our ability to bow down before the mystery and open our hearts to become love.
image of the Virgin of Núria
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
During this 7-day walking retreat, we will pass through ancient forests, high hills, rivers and waterfalls, mighty cliffs, spacious green meadows, XII century little churches, large Sanctuaries and picturesque villages. On the way we will also walk around the emblematic mountain of Taga, which I like to call Mother Taga, and the majestic mountain-circle of Núria.
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 refuges and hostels.
– Share, support each other, laugh and enjoy.
meditative singing at sunset Photo: Jaume Alsina
connected movement at sunrise
Some practical aspects:
-We will walk from 4 to 7 hours every day (7-14 km per day).
-The elevation drop will vary between -300 and +1000 meters per day (the terrain will be 3 days flatter and 3 days with more elevation drop)
-Mountaineering technical knowledge is not required, but it is crucial that you are used to walking in nature for 4-5 hours and have the strength or confidence to go up and down hills.
– We will sleep 1 night in a well-equipped mountain refuge, 2 nights in hostels, 1 night in a hotel, and 1 night in a Sanctuary.
-We will walk carrying all of our luggage (about 7-10 Kg) plus the daily picnic. Once you formalize the reservation, you will receive a very specific list of things to take with the aim of walking as lightly as possible.
-The group will be limited to a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 9 participants.
some of the lodgings along the way
Where and when?
This pilgrimage will take place in the north of Catalonia.
We will meet on Saturday the 10th of July at 5:00 p.m. at El Negre rural hostel.
We will end on Friday the 16th of July in the town of Gombrèn around 4 p.m.
Both the meeting point and the end of the route are near the city of Ripoll. We can organize shared taxis to go from Ripoll to El Negre rural hostel on the first day and from Gombrèn to Ripoll on the last day.
The train ride between Barcelona and Ripoll is about 2 hours long. If you come from abroad or from other parts of the country, please make sure of booking your tickets with plenty of time to reach the airport or the station on time.
the majestic Sanctuary of the Virgin of Montgrony
About the facilitator:
Gemma Polo Pujol is a spiritual guide, co-founder of Open Dharma Europe, and a pioneering eco-retreat centre in Spain. For the last two decades, she has been offering deep rest and meditation retreats around the world, one-to-one guidance, and nature-based circles and pilgrimages.
Her first book “There is Light and only Light, teachings to illuminate your inner journey” was published in 2020 by Watkins publishing.
To know more, 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: https://youtu.be/hy2bmqJoOJQ
Price and donations:
The price for the 7-day pilgrimage retreat is 440 euros
+ conscious donation for the facilitator.
The starting price of 440 euros includes:
-Six nights accommodation.
-All meals and snacks (except lunch on days 3 and 7).
-One logistic taxi ride.
-A pass on the emblematic railway of the Valley of Núria.
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.
- If you want to join, please fill in this form:
- To reserve accommodation in advance and ensure your place on the pilgrimage, we ask you to make a deposit of 300 euros * before the 10th of June. Thank you!
Through bank transfer:
Account Name: Open Dharma association
Account number: 1491 0001 2210 0953 9220
IBAN number: ES31 1491 0001 2210 0953 9220
Swift code: TRIOESMMXXX
Bank Name: Triodos Bank
Bank Address: C/ Ferraz 52 (esq. C/ Quintana)
28008 – Madrid, Spain
(Please put your name and “Pilgrimage July 21” in the concept)
Through PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/OpenDharmaSpain
- Please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know that you have paid the deposit.
* Cancellation policy: in case of making the reservation and then having to cancel, we will refund the full amount before the 14th of May and 75% (225 euros) of the reservation after this date.
If we have to cancel the pilgrimage due to the restrictions related to the pandemic, we promise to return the entire reservation.
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:
Looking forward to walking this path of transformation together.