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Awakening to Life

Dyad Meditation Retreat

A 7-Day Intensive Experiential Retreat

Deepen your connection to yourself and life.


Come and experience a meditation practice that supports staying fully present with your inner world.


Learn how you can stay focused like never before by developing your capacity for mindfulness through Dyad meditation.

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Dyad demo

We, Nic & Sarah, are so excited to share the Dyad Process with you!


Dyad meditation has been a precious tool in our personal evolution.

We both started to use this process in 2013 and have been practicing and offering Dyads in South Africa and in Europe  ever since.

Dyad meditation? What are Dyads?

Dyads are a powerful meditation technique in pairs. In contrast to silent meditation methods practiced alone, this one is practiced face-to-face.

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So why Dyad?

  • The Dyad format brings a powerful focus to the here and now.

  • The clear structure means that you will have space to connect to what is going on for you without being influenced by other people.

  • You will learn to live in a way that is true to yourself, while in community and connecting with others.

  • Develop the capacity to embrace all sensations and welcome all experiences so that you meet life with greater equanimity and compassion.

  • You will feel more alive and openhearted.

About the retreat

Learn a meditation technique in a beautiful chateau in the south of Belgium. 

We invite you on a journey of...

  • Direct experiencing, sensing, and being

  • Embodying your deepest authenticity

  • Venturing beyond head-centered thinking to reclaim wholeness

  • Witnessing the mystery of existence unfold.

The schedule is quite intensive and has been carefully fine-tuned over the years to balance time in community, silent integration time outside in nature, body movement, and deep inner inquiry.

Chateau Frandeux and lake


Image by Benjamin Jopen


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The Domain of Château Frandeux is quietly located, on the edge of the Belgian Ardennes. The area is also known as the Land of the Valleys. A land of castles with a rich and varied heritage.

The Château is located directly on a lake and surrounded by beautiful nature. Bring some walking shoes for a forest walk!

As you enter there is a spacious lounge with a majestic fireplace and a piano. From here you have a fantastic view over the grand lake.

You will be served daily freshly prepared meals, snacks, tea, and coffee included in the price.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner  are prepared by our skilled chef and are vegetarian and organic and served in the Chateau dining hall.

Note, We can cater for other diets, but please let us know timeously.

All rooms in the chateau are simple but stylish, with views of the beautiful surroundings.


Each room is comfortably furnished and all have a washing stand.


Seven rooms have access to their own sanitary facilities (shower and toilet). The remaining rooms share nine toilets and 10 showers.


All beds are made on arrival and equipped with a set of towels.

Image by Lukasz Szmigiel

The Dyad process has supported us both to

  • develop an intimate connection with our own needs while in relationship with others.

  • explore consciousness at an even greater level of depth than through other contemplative practices.

  • stay focused, even when the mind is a raging river of thoughts and images.

  • transform social anxiety by offering a safe container to explore our fear of contact with others.

  • experience the safety to explore Life while in connection with others.

Past Participant Reflections




Fully experiential retreat

The main focus of the retreat will be on direct experiencing primarily through dyad work but also through individual and group processes, including body movement and integration time in nature. Facilitators will be there not to teach, but to offer guidance and support.

Art materials will be provided for those wishing to explore their inner world creatively.

Intensity and dedication

This retreat will be held as a sacred time for your deepest self. By “intensive retreat”, it means that you will be working from around 7:00 a.m. in the morning to around 10:00 p.m. in the evening. Compassionate Self asks you to refrain from using the internet (including email and phone), unless absolutely urgent, for the duration of the entire retreat. They will be inviting you, during breaks and free time, to keep your intention and focus on conscious inquiry into your deepest authenticity (rather than engaging in casual socializing).

Embracing what is

This is not a self-improvement workshop, in which certain aspects of ourselves would be perceived as needing change, fixing, or healing. You will be continuously encouraged to experience and embrace the Whole, rather than move from an “imperfect” state to a “better” one.

Candle and flowers

Typical Daily Schedule

* Lighting the candle, bell, 10 minute silence
* Opening circle & logistical announcements
* Dyad meditation
* Breakfast
* Dyad meditation
* Silent integration time in nature
* Tea break
* Dyad meditation
* Extended Lunch
* Afternoon circle
* Dyad meditation
* Movement exploration
* Silent Integration time in nature
* Tea break
* Dyad meditation
* Movement Dyad
* Dinner
* Dyad
* Check-out homegroups
* Silence & Evening call
* Putting out candle ritual
* Free time by the fireplace / sauna

Make yourself at home...

There will be freshly prepared nourishing meals throughout the day. Meal breaks offer time to relax by the fireplace in the lounge.


The sauna will be made available in the evening for those who are interested.

Chateau Frandeux Lounge


“The realisation: I am allowed to be there, I am allowed to show myself with a smile and a tear. Thank you for the guidance! This retreat was palpable proof for me “my path is mine to walk, AND I don’t have to walk it alone”. 

Nele Mestdagh

“I experienced Nic and Sarah’s guidance as clear, soft & comfortable in a strong and solid way. Which gave me the opportunity to go deep, relax, let go, feel openness, love and most of all great joy.”

Petra van Hauwaert

“The Dyad retreat with Sarah and Nic brought me to a surprisingly deep silence. After the retreat, I felt more space to remain calm in situations and to react from a more relaxed place.”

Stijn van Hulle

“I want to thank you both for the retreat. For your expertise and professionalism, and the clarity with which you provided the information and instructions. That brought incredible peace and clarity to me and allowed me to surrender in confidence and flow of the day and all the dyads brought. For safety too, thanks in part to your loving and open presence. And then I haven’t even mentioned the beautiful surroundings in autumn colours, and the pure food, both so welcome and supportive of the process of slowing down and getting closer to myself.”

Liesbeth Fivez

“This retreat reminded me of what is essential to me. Nic and Sarah created the opportunity to remind us of who we really are. I encountered myself and the other participants in many ways and I am very grateful for that. I feel deeply nourished.”

Hilde van Gool

Home group check-ins


for a slice of heaven

The Awakening to Life Intensive Retreat was developed by fellow CNVC trainers Robert Gonzales and Robert Krzisnik out of their shared history of facilitating Enlightenment Intensives and interest in the embodiment and spirituality of Nonviolent Communication.

We, Nic and Sarah, are both very excited and passionate about facilitating this intensive retreat, in which we, as a community, witness and support the embodiment of our deepest authenticity.

Dyad meditation

Robert Krzisnik, co-founder of the Awakening to Life Intensive Retreats speaks of their continuation after the death of Robert Gonzales

Including 7 nights accommodation, all meals, and facilitation fees

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