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When we went to India on our first silent retreat in 2009, we had no clue of how profoundly this experience would change our lives. We were thirty years old and we finally remembered who we really were, for the first time since childhood maybe.
Leading up to that time, we booked many successes organizing large-scale dance festivals. And although we had achieved everything we ever dreamed of, we felt rushed, unsatisfied, and we're always looking for more. We were the perfect examples of people chasing external happiness, only to attain it briefly before it left us longing for something new.
During our first experience with the power of silence in India, it took us a couple of days to slow down. But then… we felt a deep inner silence and contentment emerging in us. We were in the middle of nowhere, with nothing to do, nobody to speak to, and yet we felt happier than ever. We know that you already may have heard such a story. Perhaps many times.
But we all recognize its truth. The truth is that the things we are looking for are already within us. We are born with love and joy in our hearts. Power, energy, and stillness in our bodies. Clarity and peace in our minds.
This is why we have created Mandali; to rediscover the essential qualities we all carry within us. Taking time for yourself is food for your soul. It helps you to shift the perspective from your person to your being and reminds you of who you truly are.
Mandali wishes to be a point of light; a spiritual sanctuary of peace that supports you in reconnecting with yourself and others. Our beloved team of teachers and every other member of the Mandali family is looking forward to hosting you during this important time of your life.
May you leave behind what you no longer need and may you receive what will help you to return to your heart.
Much love and appreciation,
Wouter and Wildrik
Mandali was conceived according to Feng Shui’s cornerstones of harmony and balance. Each space is designed to make you feel comfortable and at home - whether you’re sipping a cup of ginger tea on the terrace or savouring a lovingly prepared vegetarian meal in the dining room. You can always find your own space, or socialise with other guests.
Mandali is composed of several dwellings which can accommodate up to 57 guests. We offer a wide range of accommodations to suit your budget and needs - from shared, dormitory-style rooms to premium single rooms overlooking the gardens or stunning Lago d’Orta and a number of cozy yet comfortable hermitages.
Located an hour’s drive from Milan, the centre sits high on a hilltop overlooking Lake Orta with views across to the Swiss Alps, an idyllic setting to help find calm and clarity in the mind.
Mandali was architecturally inspired by the typical Italian medieval towns that surround it. Most of the construction was completed repurposing a large amount of locally reclaimed materials.
In order to create the atmosphere of a quiet, alpine village, Mandali’s structures are sprinkled along a meandering cobblestone path that follows the curves of the peaceful valley it oversees.
Mandali welcomes guests who are interested in developing a conscious, healthy, and sustainable lifestyle and a deeper connection to themselves.
Since opening in 2017, Mandali has become a spiritual sanctuary, run by a non-profit organisation, designed to help guests disconnect from the pressures of daily life, switch off from technology, and take time to reflect and reset through meditation, yoga, and dynamic retreat programmes.
We are currently growing a food forest that soon will come to bloom as an ecosystem of edible plants, shrubs, fruit, and nut trees. You are welcome to enjoy our fragrant and flavourful perennial garden where you can smell, taste, and pick all kinds of herbs, any time while you’re here.
Our pond, orchard, and herb garden all work together in balanced symbiosis. This is how an abundant, resilient and diverse permaculture system has come to life in our gardens, which improves the quality of the soil, filters carbon from the atmosphere, and produces nutrient-dense ingredients for our kitchen.
We hope our garden inspires you to live in harmony with nature, giving you ample examples of the many wonders nature has to offer us. You will find yourself in the graceful presence of flowers and bees and chestnut trees, embraced by an equilibrium of Earth and Sky energy.
Scattered across the garden you will discover many peaceful places for you to sit and ponder – or meditate, as you please. Slightly hidden under a tree, overlooking the lush lawn where you’ll make contact with the ground during your morning Qi-Gong sessions, you can enjoy the sounds of a babbling brook, lovingly guarded by Ganesha.
Near the edge of the terrain, you’ll find a carefully crafted Zen labyrinth out of stone, a cozy fire pit beset by boulders to sit on, and on the outskirts, you’ll discover a centuries-old water well, flanking the back gate. Beyond that, you’ll also see an ancient statue of Maria pointing her finger in the direction of Mandali’s centerpiece; our Temple. It was this gesture that confirmed to our founders that Mandali was indeed the perfect place to create the retreat centre they had envisioned. Although you can find icons and symbols from various religions, we do not adhere to nor reject any philosophy of life in particular.
Our team consists of spiritual seekers from various backgrounds, dedicated to creating a warm and loving atmosphere. Mandali welcomes teachers from all traditions and lineages who are original in their approach.
We cover a broad spectrum of retreats by experienced teachers who aim to help you reach higher plains by sharing their wisdom traditions. At Mandali, we strive to cultivate long-term relationships with our teachers. We encourage them to use our space and see it as a familiar base to return to, likewise for our guests.
If you are interested in sharing your teachings at Mandali we would love to hear from you so please get in touch via our contact page.
Mandali started as a passion project on paper in 2013. Our founders, Wouter and Wildrik, had reaped the benefits of yoga and meditation during various retreats around the globe and wished that their experiences and learnings could be accessible to a broader group of people. They decided to create the Mandali Foundation.
Almost five years were spent in search of the right place with the right energy. When Wouter and Wildrik, visited the hills on which Mandali later was created, they intuitively knew that this was what they had been looking for all along. This was the place. This was the time. They were meant to be here, on this hilltop, with this magnificent view, with its clean air, water, and soil.
Wouter and Wildrik envisioned a small village where people could experience inner peace, well-being, and transformation. A place for everyone to enjoy the benefits of meditation and yoga in a serene atmosphere. A sustainably managed village of peace and joy - in harmony with its environment.
This is why ecological sustainability is one of Mandali’s core values. Eco-friendly materials were used for its construction, wood chips fire our heating system, and solar energy powers our kitchen and swimming pool. Any surplus power is shared with the main local grid, so it can be used by the local community. Sustainability also applies to our daily fresh vegetarian menu, which is sourced locally and organically.