To book: To reserve time at Eleusis email us at firstname.lastname@example.org giving details of the dates you wish to attend.
Cost: People who visit have different means, and we want everyone to feel able to come, whatever their circumstances. For this reason we suggest a broad range of contributions and invite you to pay what you feel you can within the range. We recommend between 20 and 50 euros per day full board in July and August (£16-£40), less at other times. Generally those who stay for a short time pay a higher rate per day than those who stay for longer periods. In deciding what to pay, take into account your own income and your contribution in other ways as well as the extent to which you want to support the project work and ideal. Money covers food, other living costs, and running expenses. For longer stays, discuss a suitable contribution.
Eleusis is a magical place full of beautiful surprises. A place here you can hear nature breathe and touch the infinite in the tiny details of growing life.
What to Bring
- Casual clothes, warm in winter, light in summer
- Comfortable shoes for walking or working (wellies or boots in winter)
- Sheets, pillowcase; (blankets & towels can be provided. We have some sheets. check in advance if you would like to travel light)
- A sleeping bag is needed if you are camping or in winter
- A torch
- Tent if camping (we have one or two that can be borrowed if not in use)
- Medical or other insurance as desired; from UK: apply for a European insurance card from your post office
Depending on the activities you are going to be doing, you may also want to bring:
- Musical instruments or art materials
- Meditation cushion (we have cushions, but you may prefer your own)
- Sports or play materials including swimming things, as we have lakes nearby
We have spare work clothes and also extra t-shirts and jumpers at the centre, so we can usually find extra clothes if you need them.
If you have unwanted equipment you would like to contribute to the centre, we could make good use of any of the following: bedding, blankets, pillows or sleeping bags; cushions; tents; mats; bikes; gardening tools.
Accommodation: There are shared rooms in the house, smaller single rooms in outbuildings, and camping. We have one meditation hut for individual retreats, and hope to build more. Please let us know if you have special needs, and we will try to help you meet them.
Practice: The style and quantity of practice taking place at the centre varies depending upon the event taking place at a particular time. Our practice is meditative and devotional and centres on the invocation of love and light, wisdom and compassion.
Our shrine room itself is open to the air and allows us to experience the natural elements in a very immediate way. It can be quite magical to see martins fly in and out or watch the moon rise in front of the entrance throwing its light onto the candle lit shrine.
During our practice, we have periods of silent contemplation and other times when we share in rituals. As a visitor we hope you will feel free to join in our practice. We usually give newcomers an introduction to the practice so that you will know what is involved, but if you are unclear what we are doing, please do ask. In addition, depending upon the time when you are staying, there may be talks and discussions. Members are often interested in social engagement so you will probably hear discussion of environmental, political and social issues as well as spiritual and personal ones. We also have regular community gatherings where we can talk about your personal experience of the practice and of community life. We see these sharings as an important part of our practice. Private interviews with a teacher are also possible at most times.
As a guest at Eleusis you can create a balance between private time and community life and between expressive activities and contemplative or devotional ones. There are beautiful paths for walking meditation, and plenty of space for private contemplation. Solitary retreats are possible in the retreat hut or by camping in more distant fields. Our practice includes sharing daily tasks, and work in the gardens and on buildings. Community is an important aspect of the practice. We invite visitors to participate in the community life.
We have an ethical basis. We do not eat meat, or consume alcohol on site. Please join us in creating this atmosphere by behaving responsibly, avoiding sexual misconduct, respecting living things, sharing and co-operating with others. We hope you will have a very satisfying experience during your stay.
SAFETY: Please work and play in ways that are sensitive to the environment, matters of safety and the needs of others. We do all we can to ensure the safety of our visitors. We cannot, however, be liable for any accidents which occur on site. Please take care, especially if working with gardening, wood cutting, or building tools. Power tools and dangerous chemicals should not be used by any visitor except with the specific permission of the community leader, and then only with suitable protective clothing. Anyone using such tools does so at their own risk. Access to the sections of the large barn where tools and other equipment are stored is not permitted for under 16s unless accompanied by an adult, and should, in any case, be kept to functional purposes. We would also like to remind you that visitors stay at the centre at their own risk.
CHILDREN: Children are welcome by arrangement. There is plenty of space, and lots of local attractions for them. The countryside can also be dangerous, so, depending on their age, children will need supervision. Children remain the responsibility of their parent or guardian at all times. Some people come to Amida for quiet retreats and this needs to be respected. For this reason we ask families to camp so when there are silent times these can be kept. Parents should also be aware that they may be limited in how much they can participate in the centre activities. Although other visitors are often happy to help out with childcare, you cannot rely on this.
PHONE & INTERNET: The international phone number is +184.108.40.206.70.19. If you phone us from within France, the number is 02.48.60.70.19. You should phone us from Paris or from the train if you wish to be collected from the station at St Amand Montrond. A phone card (Carte telephonique) is obtainable at news stands. The house phone receives incoming calls, but only outgoing local calls, so you may need to go to the village to make long distance calls or use your mobile. Cheap rate calls are made after 8.00pm French time. If people want to phone you, please ask them not to ring after 9.00pm French time. Between 6.00pm and 8.00pm is a good time to catch people. We have wi-fi in the house, so if you bring your lap top you will be able to access the internet. We hope also to have a computer on line for guest use or there are local internet cafes in Ainay le Chateau.
LOCAL TRANSPORT: There are no local bus services, so if you want to explore the area, do consider bringing a car or hiring one locally. If you can offer lifts from UK or elsewhere please let us know in good time and we will try to put you in touch with people who would like to share costs. Having a car is particularly useful for families as it takes an hour to walk to the lake. We can generally offer some lifts to the swimming places or to local towns, but this will be restricted depending on numbers on site and the number of available vehicles.