Retreat Mindfulness, Compassion and Yoga – English version

  • 06:00 PM
  • Casa da Torre, Vila Verde, Braga

“In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.” ~ Albert Camus

This five-day retreat offers a blend of guided mindfulness and compassionate awareness practices which support participants in learning to relate to their experience with more kindness and spaciousness.

Periods of silent practice and times to share reflections with others are woven into the retreat program. We will work together with intention, and kindness. We will relate to themes and practices of a new Compassionate Living Program, such as mindfulness, loving-kindness, mindful communication, compassion and self-compassion. There will be guided meditations, evening talks, meetings with teachers, and time for asking questions.

The yoga is offered as a spiritual path rather than simply an exercise system. Slow, precise movement attuned with the flow of breath enables practitioners to move safely into and out of posture. Through the practice of meditative awareness the body becomes a gateway to inner peace and understanding, enabling us to open into an intimate connection with life.

While many practices will be familiar for meditation practitioners, this retreat offers the opportunity to practise for an extended period of time, in community, and with the support of experienced teachers.

Teachings will be held in English; teachers are familiar with French, German and Portuguese languages and can provide some help.


Who is the retreat for?

Participants  may have completed an 8-week mindfulness course and/or practise mindfulness on a regular basis. Experienced practitioners and beginners are welcome. Please get in touch if you are unsure whether this retreat is right for you.

The Venue

Casa da Torre – Retreat Center | Soutelo – Vila Verde – Braga

The chosen place is a Christian retreat house, in the North of Portugal. The facilities are excellent, with single and double rooms with twin beds. Most of the vegetables and fruit are grown by the community itself and taste absolutely delicious.

There is a river, at a short walking distance away, where one can swim or just refresh oneself. There is a fluvial beach and a small terrace.

Please arrive after 5 pm on Wednesday, the retreat starts with a gathering at 7 pm, before the evening meal.

Departures are on Sunday by 4.00pm.



All the meals are included. All the food is lovingly prepared by a team of excellent chefs. Specific dietary requirements can be met. Please inquire for more information. The center offers 2 vegetarian/vegan meals a day, + breakfast + refreshments at 17:00. There is also a self-service bar where you can have a tea or a coffee anytime.

All the rooms are en suite – sheet and towels included.
Accommodation + Meals Price + Guidance and Organisation
Early bird £540 (paid in advance)

Payment after the 1st May 2019: £590

Full refund available if cancelled 1 month before retreat. 90% refund if cancelled after the 26th May.

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You will receive the payment details after confirmation of availability.

If you don’t receive a confirmation email, please check the SPAM box. If you register with a HOTMAIL address you might experience problems receiving some emails. Hotmail service has not been updated and is not compatible with the latest mailing services. Please consider creating a new email address with google, for instance.

For more information – contact centrobudistadoporto@gmail.com



The Teachers

Dr Patrizia Collard is a psychotherapist, trainer and coach, offering a unique combination of professional qualifications and personal experience. Dr Collard uses her deep understanding of the destructive impact of stress and the resultant addictive/obsessive behaviour and increased anxiety to teach the practice of mindful meditation and emotional well-being.

Dr Collard incorporates a large variety of techniques and approaches into her work, adapting her method to suit each situation, whether this involves working with individuals, groups or whole organisations. Her wide range of approaches and methodologies includes cognitive behavioural therapy, rational emotive behaviour therapy, mindful movement and meditation, relaxation, and self-hypnosis.

Patrizia Collard completed her undergraduate studies in Oxford (BA Hons.), and her PhD at Bangor University in 1992. She held her first academic post as an assistant lecturer at Bangor University. She now teaches in the Department of Psychology at the University of East London.  She is a senior lecturer for the Integrative Psychotherapy course and responsible for the areas CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy), MBCT (Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy) and MSC (Mindfulness and Self Compassion).

She is a member of many prominent psychotherapy organisations (BABCP, UKCP, Association for Coaching, Austrian Association for Behaviour Therapy and Obsessive Action) and is always in touch with current developments in her field of expertise.

She started meditating and yoga during her 9-year spell in China in the early 90s and upon her return to the UK in 2000 began to integrate her meditative experience into her therapeutic and teaching work. This culminated in completing her Mindfulness-teacher training at Bangor University and she became one of the early members of the UK Network for Mindfulness-Based Teacher Training Organizations. She trained with Jon Kabat-Zin and Saki Santorelli, and later with Rebecca Crane, John Teasdale, Mark Williams, Christina Feldman and Rick Hanson. She trained in Mindful Self Compassion with Chris Germer and Kristine Neff. She has supervised a number of MA research projects in the field of Mindfulness, such as “The Use of Mindfulness as a treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder”, “Mindfulness for the treatment of Trauma with members of the British Army” and “Mindfulness for Eating Disorders”. Patrizia Collard has developed the Mindfulness Teacher Training Program for the British Mindfulness Institute.

She has published numerous papers, articles, and interviews in her field, co-written 3 academic books and 9 books for the general public on Mindfulness and Self Compassion. She is the author of The Mindfulness Bible, MBCT for Dummies, Journey into Mindfulness, Mindfulness for Compassionate Living, The Little Book of MindfulnessTibbs the Meditation Cat, and a co-author of Mindfulness Diet and the Mindfulness Cookbook. On several occasions her books have reached bestselling levels on Amazon, Der Spiegel, in Norway, etc.




Margarida Cardoso

Margarida came across meditation when she was 14 years old and at 24 she committed to practise within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. She lived for 7 years in a Buddhist community. In 2000, as the leader of Porto delegation of Portuguese Buddhist Union, she had the opportunity to invite and learn with teachers from several Buddhist traditions. At the same time she engaged in a practice within Zen Buddhism and in 2008 received the precepts (Jukai) under the guidance of Roshi Zen Amy Hollowell. Margarida received training as Samatha-Vipasyana Meditation Instructor from  Karma Ling Institut (now Sangha Rimay).

She began teaching meditation in 2001 and is now a senior teacher and coordinator of Centro Budista do Porto (Porto Buddhist Center) and a Mindfulness Teacher, having as mentors Patrizia Collard and Helen Stephenson. She has trained in Mindfulness and Education programs from Mindful Schools and Still Quiet Place. She also has training in MBPM (Mindfulness-Based Pain Management) – Program Breathworks. She facilates the Program Mindfulness for Teachers in Porto University (Faculdade de Letras do Porto – cursos de Formação Contínua) and she co-taught with Patrizia Collard the first course for Teacher Development in MBCT ever hosted in Portugal.

With a background in Linguistics, Literature and Cultures, she worked professionally as a lexicographer for a Publishing house. She is also an experienced Vegetarian Trainer and her passions include expressive arts and creative writing.


Reaching Casa da Torre

Casa da Torre | 4730-570 Soutelo | Vila Verde | tel: +351 253 310 400

See google map

By plane:

The closest international airport is Porto (OPO). Many low-cost airlines fly to Porto from a great number of places.

You can book here tickets for the regular shuttle service from Airport to Braga (50 min. ride non stop). The bus arrives at the buses terminal and from there you can take a taxi to Casa da Torre (about 14€).


By train

The closest train station is Braga (Porto Campanhã – Braga: 1h). From there you can take a taxi to Casa da Torre. It costs about 14€ and it takes about 15 min.

Click here for the Portuguese Railway webpage

Timetable for trains Porto / Braga

By car

GPS 41º36’36.08″N 8º26’17.05″W

see google maps

Travel in Porto

The surface Subway (Metro) line is a quick connection between the airport, the city centre and the mains hotels in Porto, with services every 20 minutes. Check metrodoporto.pt