£265 – £315

Learn Mindfulness in Morocco

Event Information

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Date and Time



Riad Zanbaq




Refund Policy

Refund Policy

No Refunds

Event description



6-13 October 2018

£655 or £605 earlybird (before 6 April 2018)



  • gentle introduction to the internationally recognised Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction programme
  • retreat format
  • relaxed pace: practice time interspersed with social and personal time

Traditional Riad accommodation…

  • quiet location south of Agadir
  • free pickups from Agadir airport
  • local trips included

Learn to practice with experienced teachers…

  • experienced teacher-trainer registered with the UK Network for Mindfulness Based Teachers & Teacher Training Organisations and dual qualified yoga therapist & Mindfulness teacher
  • teaching and training experience with the Centre for Mindfulness Research & Practice (Bangor University), The Mindfulness Association, and The Minded Institute

Everything but flights included…

  • transfers to and from Agadir airport
  • accommodation and meals at our riad base
  • tuition and learning materials
  • local trips


Join us and learn about Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction programme in this retreat-based course to be held at Riad Zanbaq, just south of Agadir. Our teachers are Barbara Reid and Elizabeth Bourdon, who have been teaching mindfulness-based programmes and yoga therapy programmes separately for over 10 years, as well as having taught together. The course is suitable for anyone who would like to establish a regular personal Mindfulness practice, achieve better emotional balance, and develop lasting skills in managing stress. It is supported with a comprehensive course workbook and audio materials.

About Mindfulness

Mindfulness can be defined as knowing what is happening, while it is happening, without preference or judgement. By being mindful we develop self-acceptance and compassion both towards ourselves and to others. Learning to practice Mindfulness can help to bring us back to our direct experience and to the present moment. It prompts us to re-examine the relationship we have with our experience of day-to-day life and its problems, dramatically improving the quality of our lives and expanding our resources for coping with stress.

Mindfulness is generally taught in courses which are commonly referred to as ‘8-week courses’. In this retreat-based introduction to the course, we follow the classic curriculum during our week together.

Mindfulness based trainings such as this one are structured training programmes that are delivered by trained teachers with their own personal Mindfulness practice. These courses – the best known include Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy - have been heavily researched and we know that they are effective. The NHS and the Mental Health Foundation are both enthusiastic about how they can help people.

Our course follows the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) curriculum and provides a firm foundation in mindfulness based practices and skills. MBSR was originally developed and taught by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. We also include some elements from the Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) programme, as taught by Mark Williams and his team at the Centre for Mindfulness at Oxford University, and we incorporate kindness, self-compassion and acceptance practices.

The programme

The programme enables participants to bring Mindfulness practice and qualities into their own lives, to become familiar with the range of core practices, and to devise their own personal practice to support their own developing mindfulness. The time we spend learning and in practice will be experiential and practical. The key practices will be introduced, and there will be opportunities to reflect on and inquire into what we notice as we practice together, and alone. As the programme unfolds, we learn more about how we recognise and respond to problems and difficulties, and how we can bring Mindfulness skills into daily life.

Participants are provided with full learning support, in the form of a programme handbook and practice CDs or audio downloads. Please note that to gain the maximum benefit from the retreat, participants are encouraged be prepared to commit to home practice afterwards of around 40 minutes a day for a couple of months, using the handbook and audios for guidance.

Our daily programme will be flexible in terms of the details, but an indicative outline is as follows:

- Saturday: arrival and settling in at the riad. Brief late afternoon or evening introduction to the week.

- Sunday – Tuesday: 2½ hours of teaching in the morning and 2½ hours of teaching in the afternoon. Plenty of breaks and relaxing/social time during the day. Optional early morning and evening practices.

- Wednesday: Silent day of practice (with guidance)

- Thursday & Friday: 2½ hour session. Opportunity for local trips (no additional charge) or activities (eg massage, surf lesson, cooking lesson – note that a charge will be made locally for activities). Optional early morning and evening practices, and social/relaxing time.

- Friday: 2½ hour session. Another opportunity for local trips (no additional charge) or activities (eg massage, surf lesson, cooking lesson – note that a charge will be made locally for activities). Optional early morning and evening practices, and social/relaxing time.

- Saturday: transfer day and farewells

Who the course is for

Most of us can benefit from developing Mindfulness! Whether we come to the practices out of personal curiosity, from a place of stress or having been through a tricky time in life, or because of a work interest, Mindfulness can reconnect us with the parts of our life experience that we have come to avoid or miss out on. Some people join the courses for personal reasons, others because they are interested in eventually bringing the principles into their work. Whatever your interest, the first step is to establish a firm foundation of Mindfulness practice for yourself. This course focuses on helping you to make this step, and then maintain your commitment.

Please note that if you are planning at some point in the future to apply to do teacher training, you will be expected in addition to have participated in an 8 week course that has been delivered in a weekly format.

The teachers

The retreat will be led by Barbara Reid and Elizabeth Bourdon.

Barbara is an experienced teacher of Mindfulness-Based Approaches and adheres to the standards laid down by the UK Network for Mindfulness Based Teachers and Teacher Trainers. She trained as a Mindfulness teacher at Centre for Mindfulness Research & Practice at Bangor University, Wales, gaining a Master’s with distinction. Until the end of 2017, she was part of the core teaching team there, teaching on the Master’s programme and facilitating teacher training retreats. She currently offers teacher training and supervision for Mindfulness teachers under the auspices of her training company, Growing Edges, as well as teaching 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction courses in north Cambridgeshire in public and organisational settings. Barbara taught adults in the university sector for many years, and has studied Mindfulness with western teachers including Jon Kabat-Zinn, Saki Santorelli, Mark Williams, Paul Gilbert, Chris Germer, Kristine Neff, Jan Chozen Bays and Rick Hanson, as well as with other teachers from the Vipassana meditation tradition. She has practiced meditation and Mindfulness for over 15 years.

Elizabeth is an experienced Yoga Teacher (The British Wheel of Yoga), and Yoga Therapist for Mental Health (The Minded Institute). During her Yoga Therapy training, she was introduced to Mindfulness meditation and went on to train as a Mindfulness teacher with the Centre for Mindfulness Research & Practice at Bangor University. She began teaching Mindfulness-Based Approaches in 2013. She specialises in teaching yoga and mindfulness skills to help people manage symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. Lizzie has taught in NHS hospital settings, schools, mental health charities, as well as running her own private practice, teaching the classic 8 week Mindfulness course, and running day retreats. As well as teaching, Lizzie is also a supervisor on The Minded Institute’s Yoga Therapy for Mental Health Teacher Training programme. Lizzie continues to invest in her own professional development through continued training and silent retreats.

Both Barbara and Lizzie adhere to the good practice standards laid down by the UK Network for Mindfulness Based Teacher Training Organisations.


Riad Zanbaq

Riad Zanbaq is situated in the town of Biougra, on the south coast of Morocco, just outside of Agadir. ‘Zanbaq’ is the arabic word for ‘lily’; the riad being named after the lily field that was here, prior to the house being built in the 1970’s.

The current owners, Bessaha Holidays took possession of the riad in June 2016. A riad is a traditional style of Moroccan home, built around a central courtyard. The riad has been painstakingly restoring using local craftsmen and traditional methods, with a view to prioritising sustainability and self-sufficiency. Bedrooms are shared, and include two tower rooms with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and three spacious en-suite bedrooms with doors opening directly onto the garden. The open courtyard serves as a communal area, where breakfast is served, buffet-style.

There are many ways to relax at Riad Zanbaq, whether reading a book from the collection, watching a movie, or just chilling out with other guests. The property also comprises a stunning roof terrace and a walled garden of approximately 0.8 hectares, a purpose-built yoga space, a traditional on-site hammam, and a natural swimming pool. The riad owners are proud to maintain high levels of cleanliness, and all rooms are cleaned on a daily basis and towels are provided at no additional cost.

Getting to Riad Zanbaq

It is a surprisingly easy journey! Easyjet runs flights from London-Gatwick or Manchester to Agadir; the Gatwick flights operate on Thursdays and Saturdays; Manchester flights operate on Saturdays. Other budget operators and cheap flights (e.g. Norwegian, Ryanair) operate on other days, or flying in to the next nearest airport which is Marrakesh. Free pick-ups are available from Agadir airport; however there will be a change made by Bessaha Holidays for transfers from Marrakesh. The retreat is scheduled to start and finish in good time for the Saturday flights. You may of course be staying longer in Morocco, and/or organising your own transfer Riad Zanbaq. See https://bessahaholidays.com/faqs/ for more useful information on planning your trip.



Riad Zanbaq, Bouigra, south of Agadir.


6-13 October 2018

Number of places available

We have up to 10 places available.

Fees and accommodation

£655 or £605 earlybird (before 6th April 2018)

The total fee for retreat and accommodation is made up of two elements:

- Retreat element: £315; earlybird £265 (register before 6th April 2018). The retreat fee includes tuition, a learning manual and practice audio materials.

- Accommodation element: £340 payable to Bessaha Holidays, owners of Riad Zanbaq. The accommodation fee includes 7 nights accommodation in shared rooms with full board (vegetarian). Rooms mainly accommodate two people per room, and there is one triple room; most are en suite and two rooms have shared facilities.

If you would like to join us, you are asked to register and pay for the retreat element first. If you are reading this on an Eventbrite page, you can do this by clicking on the 'tickets' area. If you are reading this elsewhere, you can do this by going to https://mindfulnessinmoroccooct2018.eventbrite.co.uk

After you have booked the retreat element, you will receive information about booking your accommodation at Riad Zanbaq which you can do by going to https://bessahaholidays.com/booking/ and messaging Bessaha Holidays directly.

Rooms are allocated on a ‘first come – first served’ basis, though if you are coming with a friend, you are welcome to share with your friend.

Your place on the retreat is confirmed once both elements have been paid.

Further information

For more information about the content of the retreat, whether the course is right for you, or about Mindfulness in general, please contact Barbara Reid at Growing Edges (m 07970 877092 or email beereid@gmail.com ).

For more information about Riad Zanbaq, please go to https://bessahaholidays.com


Please also note the following when making your booking:

- All participants will be required to complete a personal information form before joining the retreat. This enables the teachers to take care of your needs, and will be sent to you on receipt of your registration form. Information shared with the teachers is confidential and destroyed after the retreat.

- Very occasionally, the teachers may want to confirm with an applicant that it is the right time for them to be taking a mindfulness course. Life changes (such as serious illness or bereavement) affect people differently, and we will want to speak to an applicant in person if this is their situation before we confirm the registration. Please note that this should not be seen as a barrier to participation.

- A non-returnable deposit of £150 will be charged for any cancellation received after 6th August 2018 and before 6th October 2018. Please note that we are unable to make any refunds after 6th September 2018 if you find at the last minute that you are unable to participate. Please ensure that you take out adequate travel insurance to cover eventualities such as unforeseen illness or inability to travel.

- We will confirm all joining information two months before the retreat (i.e. by 6th August). Please consider delaying making flight bookings until you receive this confirmation.

- We reserve the right – in the event of unforeseen circumstances arising on our side - to reschedule the retreat to take place at a later date. If the rescheduled dates do not suit you, we will refund fees in full. Our liability is limited to the retreat fees. We are not able to take responsibility for costs incurred on travel, which is why we recommend you wait for the summer confirmation before you book flights, etc., and that you take out cancellation and travel insurance.

- The course materials include audio learning materials that can be made available in CD format, or on a memory stick, or they may be streamed on a computer or downloaded in MP3 or WAV format for you to play on ipod, phone, or mp3 player. (CDs may also be played on a CD player or on a computer.) Please check that you have chosen the format that you prefer in your registration form, and let us know in good time before the retreat if you should change your mind.

- Certificates of attendance and participation are available on request to participants who attend all of our teaching sessions at the retreat.

- The retreat does not qualify participants to teach others. The main function of the course is to help participants establish their own personal practice.

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Riad Zanbaq




Refund Policy

No Refunds

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