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Learn in 7 days what you would typically learn in 3 months



Initiate a positive change! Learn new mindfulness techniques and how to deal with problem points


Suitable if you are new to mindfulness or already an advanced practitioner



Escape from your hectic life and come to rest in a secluded retreat center

Essential MRP

Welcome! We’re delighted by your interest in our Mind Retreat in Portugal. Join us for 7 enriching and transformative days, where you’ll gain valuable insights. Expect intensive training and exceptional care. Read on for more details about this retreat.

A life-changing retreat in the beautiful surroundings of the Algarve, Portugal
This upcoming edition of the Essential MRP promises to be a beautiful experience. For the first time, we will travel to a secluded retreat center in the Algarve in the southern part of Portugal. At this location, our group will perceive the most profound teachings of mindfulness. It will be an experience that will change your life for the better. An experience you will never forget.

What can I expect?

During this retreat, you can expect an immersive experience focused on intensive mindfulness practice for an extended duration. It’s an opportunity to delve into profound self-discovery, particularly when you find yourself at a crossroads in life, seeking answers to existential questions, and craving a boost of energy for your endeavors.

The retreat fosters a strong sense of connection with fellow participants while granting you the freedom to retreat into silence and introspection. It offers ample space for relaxation, complemented by delectable meals to nourish both body and soul.

Throughout the retreat, you’ll encounter a multitude of potent mindfulness techniques, each leaving a lasting impact on your overall well-being. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned practitioner, this retreat serves as a solid starting point or a continuation of your mindfulness journey.

Upon its conclusion, you’ll not only have a clearer understanding of your next steps, but you’ll also possess a roadmap for ensuring this experience serves as a pivotal stepping stone on your spiritual path, rather than a singular event.

A departure from our usual retreat in Thailand
In recent years, the Inner Mind Institute traveled to northern Thailand to host a retreat in a secluded Buddhist temple. Due to a large fire, the temple will be closed for visitors for the following years. That’s why we have decided to host our 7-days Essential Mind Retreat at a beautiful and secluded retreat center in the Algarve, in southern Portugal.

When will it happen?

27 January – 3 February 2024 – Essential Mind Retreat Program
The retreat takes occur from Saturday, 27 January until Saturday, 3 February 2024. We will gather in Faro, Portugal on 27 January and travel to the retreat center together. It is not necessary to travel together to Portugal, so feel free to arrive a few days earlier to enjoy the country.

Information meeting (free of charge)
An information meeting about this retreat is scheduled for October / November 2023 (exact date to be announced). To join the information meeting, please fill in the form at the bottom of the page and select that you want to register for the Information Meeting.

Guidance by Master Niels

Guidance by Master Niels
Founder of the Inner Mind Institute, Master Niels, will guide you during your stay in Portugal. Master Niels has been personally trained since 2010 by Thai Buddhist monks in northern Thailand, and even practice as a monk himself on several occasions, with the entire year of 2020 being the latest. He will teach you authentic mindfulness techniques as practiced in Thailand. During your stay in Portugal you will also be accompanied by several of Master Niels’ apprentices who are taking on the Inner Mind Institute’s Teacher Training program.

Read more about Master Niels

The retreat center

The upcoming edition of our 7-day Essential Mind Retreat Program promises to be a wonderful experience. For the first time, instead of traveling to Thailand, we travel to the beautifully situated and isolated retreat center Bodhi Bhavan in the Algarve in the south of Portugal. The retreat center is located an hour’s drive from Faro international airport and close to the famous cities of Portimão and Lagos.

Bodhi Bhavan is located on a hill and is surrounded by beautiful nature. The isolated character gives you the feeling of really being able to escape from your daily life and focus on the retreat without distraction. The ground has a strong energy supporting any practice of self exploration and peacefulness. It is a great place for deep rest, healing as well as centering yourself in clarity and finding your inner strength. When the weather allows, there is definitely an opportunity to meditate and recreate in nature.

On the grounds of the retreat center, our group has access to accommodation that is equipped with all amenities. During the retreat, participants stay in a shared house with bedrooms spread over three floors. In another higher building we have a studio with a view over a hill at our disposal for our meditations. During rest periods, participants can even use an outdoor swimming pool.


The food during the retreat is provided daily by a chef. To get the most out of your mindfulness practice, we recommend eating no more than twice a day. That’s why you are offered two vegetarian meals per day: breakfast and an early, more complete lunch. You can experience the effect of this yourself during the retreat. If desired, you can also stick to one meal a day.

Living habits

During our retreats in the temple in Thailand we are used to certain rules. These rules are intended to show respect to the monks and nuns and to keep us focused on our mindfulness practice.

Although this year’s retreat is being organized at a different location, we believe it is important to also observe some of the Buddhist precepts during our stay in the retreat center Bodhi Bhavan.

Five general Buddhist rules of life
  • Do not kill (humans nor animals)
  • Do not steal
  • Do not lie
  • Do not commit adultery
  • Do not take intoxicants such as alcohol and drugs
Clothing and supplies
  • 3 to 4 sets of white, light clothing (covering, long pants, dress, etc. T-shirts are allowed) to wear during our meditation sessions;
  • Shawl or a thick sweater against the cold in the evenings;
  • Toiletries
  • Slippers and normal shoes
  • Notepad to take notes
The climate

The climate in the Algarve is still pleasant in January/February. The temperature generally fluctuates somewhere between 9 and 16 degrees, depending on the wind direction. Since it is winter, there is always a chance of rain. However, it can also be dry, so you can also wear a T-shirt during the day. We recommend that you bring suitable clothes. It is good to know that both the accommodation and the practice room are heated.

The residence

Right in the middle of the terraced land lies the main house with 8 fully renovated heated sleeping rooms with single beds.

Every room has an ensuite bathroom. The interior design is kept uncluttered with elegant simplicity. Each bed is fitted with memory foam mattresses for your sleeping comfort. The rooms are located so that they provide privacy for all participants.

Living room
The living room is very much the center and heart of the house. Everybody can eat together in a cozy atmosphere around the big table. The room has a front opening up to the patio and features a sitting area in front of the window with a fireplace.

The kitchen has the traditional Portuguese style but with latest technology oven and cooking equipment. There is also a traditional wooden stove which creates a wonderful warmth, especially in the colder season. The kitchen is also connected to the outside patio.

Swimming pool
While the lower part of the land is kept for food forests, as well as vegetable gardens and wild nature, the upper half of the land opens up the pool area. The 15-meter long pool will allow to have a real swim. Around the pool is a chill-out area with sun beds.

Practice studio

By walking a small path uphill you will arrive at a yoga shala or practice studio for our meditation. It is 50 sqm building with a breathtaking view over the hills and you can see to Portugal’s wild West coast in the distance. In front of the shala stretches an even bigger wooden platform, which can be used for all outdoor activities.

Land and gardens

The approximately six-hectare ground impresses with its natural stone terraces dating back to the traditional agricultural use of the property.

The garden has many fruit trees like fig, apple, orange & apricot, as well as palms, cork oaks, and medronheiro (strawberry) trees. Trees and terraces are interspersed with rock formations shaping and softening the structure of the land.

On the land there are lots of hidden spaces and quiet spots to inquire within, meditate, rest and simply enjoy nature while offering a vastness that permits the soul to expand. Buddha statues and a water Devi are placed around the land to protect and support us.

Natural spring water comes directly out of the mountain and is drinkable straight from the source.


Travel and cancellation insurance
We advise everyone who wants to participate in this retreat to take out good travel and cancellation insurance.

Paying with your card
As a resident of the European Union, you can simply pay or withdraw money with your debit card in most European countries. If in doubt, make sure you check with your bank before you travel to Portugal whether you can use your debit card and whether there are additional costs involved. If you live outside Europe, we recommend that you find out in advance whether you can use your debit card in Portugal. Please note that a daily limit may apply to your debit card.

What do we expect from you?

It doesn’t matter if you have just started or that you have a lot of experience with mindfulness. The retreat will be tailored to your level. During the retreat period, most people feel as if they are stepping into a warm bath. At the same time, you will also experience that your mindfulness sessions can be challenging. It therefore requires perseverance that will lead to deep insights and relaxation.

  • Patience – Try not to pay attention to the time during the retreat. This can sometimes be challenging because perhaps you are not yet used to the mindfulness sessions and discipline during a retreat.
  • Dedication – Make it clear to yourself why you have decided to go on this special journey. The more dedication you have during the retreat, the more you can reap the benefits at the end of this beautiful period.
  • Willingness – The willingness to grow and develop. Self-development is a conscious choice for a higher growth rate. This means that new insights will arise, and where new insights arise, change will follow.
  • Kindness and compassion – Be kind to yourself and others.
  • Positivity – Try to stay positive during the retreat and during the trip itself. By dealing mindfully with your feelings you give yourself a very big gift.
The journey

Direct flights from most European countries go to Faro International Airport. If you fly from outside Europe, you will most likely have to make a connection at another airport, such as Amsterdam Schiphol, Paris Charles de Gaulle, London Heathrow, or Lisbon.

January – February 2024

Duration 7 days total
Travel to Bodhi Bhavan 27 January 2024 , around 3:00 pm UTC
Start retreat 27 January 2024
End retreat 3 February 2024
Return to Faro 3 February 2024, around 11:00 am UTC
Travel time +/- 2 hours (from Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Essential MRP in Portugal

* Accommodation, food, guidance, and organization are included

** Flight tickets are booked by the participants themselves


* Cost of the airline tickets depends on the time of booking.

* The Inner Mind Institute will arrange a group transport to our accommodation from Faro. Make sure you arrive in Faro on time to use this service.

* To make sure that this retreat suits you, Master Niels can invite you for an intake interview after reviewing your registration. Your participation in this retreat is not guaranteed until you have received a confirmation from our side.

* By submitting your registration, you confirm your participation in the retreat and agree to the obligation to pay for your participation. After we have received your registration, we will send you an invoice for €1250.00 (incl. VAT). The invoice must be paid within 14 days. Your payment is the confirmation or your participation in the retreat.

Request a brochure

You can request our digital brochure about the upcoming 7-day Essential Mind Retreat Program in Portugal through the registration form below.

Request a brochure

How many places are available

There are limited places available for this retreat so make sure to register fast to secure your participation!

We wish you a very pleasant and inspiring journey!

Register now

Register for the Essential MRP

E-MRP - Feb '24 in Portugal

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Confirm your participation - Price total: €1250 (incl. VAT)

By completing your registration, you confirm your participation for the Essential MRP in Portugal (27 January - 3 February 2024) with an obligation to pay for the retreat. After we received your registration, you will receive an invoice which is due to be paid within 14 days.

Information meeting in October / November 2023

Yes, I will join the information meeting in October / November 2023 (exact date and time to be announced). Please keep an eye on your email inbox for your invitation.

Digital brochure

You will receive a digital brochure about our 7-day Essential Mind Retreat Program in Portugal in your inbox with 24 hours.