10–26 April 2020 (cancelled)

Date 10 – 26 April 2020
Teacher Katarína & Václav
Venue Chata pod Hrbom (Central Slovakia)
Cost 24€/night
(sponsored price available)

This retreat had to be cancelled due to coronavirus outbreak and public regulations. All deposits are refunded in their full amount. Thanks also to Chata pod Hrbom for their understanding. We are looking forward to meet you on another course.

Katarína BírešováThis course will be taught jointly by Katarína Bírešová & Václav Šmilauer − see about us.

May I come?

On this retreat of the Vipassana meditation, we welcome both beginners and those with prior meditation experience, irrespective of religion, gender or age (16+). Vipassana is a Buddhist contemplation method; however, one does not need to be Buddhist (or have knowledge of Buddhism) to fully benefit from the meditation; in fact most course participants are not.

We recommend to go through the whole course to gain the full benefit. It is nevertheless possible to come for a shorter time (at least 4 nights) as the course proceeds on individual basis.

The number of participants is limited to 15, due to the individual approach of the course and capacity of the facilities.


All participants are given detailed introduction into meditation at the beginning of the course.

The course is organized around directing attention inwards as much as possible. Participants sleep 6 hours a day, breakfast is served usually 6:30, lunch at 11:30. The rest of the time is dedicated to the practice with short breaks between “rounds” (walking+sitting meditation). The course is conducted in silence (and off-line). Whatever happens during the day can be discussed with the teacher at daily individual meetings; however, teachers are available 24/7 if needed. The teachers might adjust the regime individually if necessary (e.g.due to medical conditions).

Participants follow traditional 8 precepts which support meditation by eliminating distractions and make it easier to share space with others: no killing, stealing, sexual activities, lying, intoxicants, eating after lunch, entertainment (reading, writing, singing, music, yoga, phone, internet, …) & cosmetics, luxury.

Food is vegetarian; snacks are served in the evening (youghurt, fruit juice, piece of cheese). Water, teas and coffee is available all day round.

The accommodation is individual by default. In the (rather infrequent) case of capacity exhaustion, we will try to find solution which works for everyone.

Participants can be contacted by their families in case of emergency through organizers.

The whole course will officially start on Friday, April 10 at 3 p.m. and finish Sunday, 26 April after breakfast.


Chata pod Hrbom (Chalet under the Hrb peak, 1087m a.s.l.) is a secluded accommodation facility with long tradition of hosting meditation and yoga retreats.

The closest city, and larger train/bus station, is Banská Bystrica (airports around: Bratislava, Wien, Budapest) , the closest local bus stop is Ľubietová,,Podlipa rázc. (about 30 minutes from Banská Bystrica)the closest train stop in Lučatín (about 15 minutes from Banská Bystrica). We will pick you up at these stops as needed, just let us know in advance.

It is possible to reach the place via forest road with a regular car (no 4×4 needed).

Access to the chalet

If you travel by car, do not put the chalet itself into your navigation, you will most likely get stuck. The only road passes through Ľubietová (not through Osrblie), then continue on the main road (direction Strelníky); turn left about 1km past Ľubietová at the Podlipa crossing; there is an small sign saying Čelienec (a ranch) at that crossing — follow that one (the name is Včelinec / Čelinec / Včelienec / Čeljenec depending on the map used). Continue about 5km on the paved road to the ranch; immediately after the ranch, take the left turn uphill to the forest. After about 100m, the road comes to the edge of the forest (there is a small sign Chata pod hrbom in the bush there) and there is no more paving. This is the last point on this map:

Take the left turn into the forest; after about 100m, there is a red barrier which should be open when the course starts. Continue on the forst road without navigation for about 15 minutes uphill to the chalet.


Accommodation and food cost 24€/night (20€ goes to the guesthouse, 4€ helps us cover other expenses). A deposit of 120€ (less if you come for a shorter time) is payable in advance by bank transfer, the rest at the start of the course (transfer/cash).

If the accommodation price is prohibitive for you, you are welcome to contact us and we will try to offer you something you can afford, and have the rest paid by sponsors.  If you can pay more, thus becoming  sponsor of others, you are the most welcome to do so.

Teaching itself is on a donation basis (dāna), following the tradition that meditation should be accessible to anyone. Donations can be given in cash at the place, or by transfer.

The price is not yet confirmed and might change sligtly.

What to bring

  • loose comfortable white/light clothes (by tradition) or neutral colors, covering shoulders and knees;
  • warm socks for inside; also take warm clothes (like jumpers, long sleeve shirts, …);
  • slippers;
  • toiletries (toothpaste, shower gel);
  • (alarm clock/timer we will have enough to borrow; note that using phones is not possible);
  • optionally your favourite tea/coffee, cushion, blanket;
  • flask (thermos) for hot water (for colder weather);
  • course fee (minus deposit) in cash, or send it in advance by bank transfer;
  • cash for donation for teachers after the course; bank transfer will be also possible;
  • any medication you take or might need.

  • your own towel (not provided!)

Keep in mind that the body might be cold in meditation. Even though there are blankets at our disposal to cover the shoulders during sitting, you will definitely make good use of warm clothes you bring.

How to register

Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions before you make decision. The registration procedure is easy:

  1. Inform us about your intention to come.
  2. We confirm space availability.
  3. You transfer the deposit and fill registration form.
  4. We confirm the reservation.