Metsolantie 39, Rasivaara Rääkkylä


Villa Ruusula
This retreat can be your pilgrimage into your own Heart and Sensuous Being.
The beauty and silence of Nature of Finland gives us the perfect environment to deepen our sense of Self and return to the wisdom of Heart. 

”All the wonders of life are already here. They’re calling you. If you can listen to them, you will be able to stop running. What you need, what we all need, is silence. Stop the noise in your mind in order for the wondrous sounds of life to be heard. Then you can begin to live your life authentically and deeply.”

- Thích Nhất Hạnh -

Sometimes we can find support in returning to the beauty of silence. The winter nature in Finland is one of such things. It is incredibly peaceful and beautiful. The silence is complete in the Northern nature. Everything turns completely white, frozen, and still. In nature, in the vastness of the frozen lake, it feels possible to touch something eternal. 

Another support can be a retreat. Sitting and walking together in silence can be the most powerful experience of awakening to the essence of your mind and sensuous being. Retreat gives you an escape from your daily routines and everyday environment, so that you can discover yourself. The quietude of nature will support our Inner Silence, as we retreat into our own spiritual heart. This retreat opens a possibility to leave the noises and sounds of external world, its expectations, and sources of possible stress. Trust and find again the peace, tranquility, balance, and ease within yourself. 
On Friday, you will receive instructions for the retreat meditations, after which we will spend the whole weekend in silence until Sunday. A silent retreat can act as a kind of pilgrimage into your inner self. We can free ourselves from the thoughts and definitions that limit our identity. We allow the mind to return to the heart and senses. You can experience the transformative power that comes from opening your senses and quieting your mind. The purpose of the silent retreat is to relax the senses and to get to know and feel more deeply who you are. Silence can open a compassionate heart – to yourself and to the world. Our mind can rest from constant processing, analysis, evaluation, or determination - or, for example, from listening to other opinions. 
For the duration of the retreat, I also recommend a digital detox, where we turn off electronic devices for the weekend, and give ourselves a break from electronic devices and media addictions.
During the retreat, you will receive written poems or aphorisms, which you can optionally use as a support in meditation. On Saturday, we will also do drum relaxation at the end of the day, before going to the sauna. You have also a possibility to try winter swimming from the sauna, if you wish to do so. 
The retreat takes place in the incredibly comfortable and beautiful surroundings of Villa Ruusula, next to very quiet nature in Rasivaara, Rääkkylä. Finnish folk musician Sari Kaasinen's home is a loving and safe cradle, where our whole being can just rest. We meditate in silence by the frozen lake panorama. Yet enjoying the comfort, warmth, and excellent vegetarian food by Villa Ruusula. 

The retreat guide is a local Helena Karhu, who draws from her Tibetan Buddhist experience in guiding and coordinating the retreat. The content of the retreat will be very simple silence meditation, which we will do both sitting and walking, inside and outside depending on the weather. If the snow conditions permit, we will also walk on the ice of the lake.

Guide, Helena Karhu:

I am a wellness and nature entrepreneur from North Karelia, a mother of twins and a cultural researcher. I work at Karhu Talo (, which I founded, which aims to produce services based on connection with nature, cultural empowerment and inspiration, as well as holistic well-being in my birthplace in North Karelia. At Karhun Talo retreats, we use ancient and reliable methods to increase comprehensive and natural well-being. I have taken a huge number of different courses in the fields of holistic well-being, from shiatsu to herbal courses, traditional blood cupping, shamanism, reiki therapy, and practiced Tibetan Buddhist mind exercises for about 15 years.

Retreat destination in North Karelia:
Villa Ruusula, Metsolantie 39, Rasivaara, Rääkkylä. About 45 minutes from Joensuu. Villa Ruusula is cultural home of one of the most famous folk musicians of Finland, Sari Kaasinen. Villa Ruusula's incredibly bright cozyness, motherly care, the freshness of the local nature, and the beauty of the entire courtyard create an unforgettable weekend experience. A wonderful beach sauna allows you to take a dip in the waters of Pyhäselkä Lake. Our retreat circle meets in a wonderful and high-ceilinged retreat space.

More about the retreat place:
If you come to the course location from further away by public transport, you can arrive, for example, by train or bus to Joensuu, from where we can arrange carpools to Rääkkylä.
Is the retreat right for me?
The retreat is suitable for everyone who is able to participate for the entire duration of the retreat. Our retreat time together is alcohol-free and drug-free. Meals during the retreat are vegetarian.

Price: from 600€/person
Incl.: Retreat, accommodation with full board (breakfasts, lunches and dinners according to the program)

Preliminary program of the retreat:

16.00- Arrival of the participants and getting to know the retreat's surroundings
17.00 Start of the retreat: Getting to know circle. Instructions for meditation exercises.
19.00 Dinner
20:00 Evening meditation: We begin silence together. Poem.

07.30 Morning yoga and stretching session (optional)
08.00 Breakfast
09:00 Retreat program:
09.00 Sitting meditation. Poem.
09.30 Walking meditation outside
10.00 Break
10.15 Sitting meditation
11.00 Walking meditation outside
12:00 Lunch
13:00-15:00 Break
15:00 Retreat program:
15.00 Sitting meditation. Poem.
15.30 Walking meditation outside
14.00 Break
14.15 Sitting meditation
15.00 Walking meditation outside
16.00 Drum relaxation by laying down.
17.00 Dinner
18.00 Sauna and possibility for winter swimming at the lake

07.30 Morning yoga and stretching session (optional)
08.00 Breakfast
09:00 Retreat program:
09.00 Sitting meditation. Poem.
09.30 Walking meditation outside
10.00 Break
10.15 Sitting meditation
11.00 Guided meditation standing outside (Helena opens the talk) – The silence ends
12:00 Lunch
13:00-14:00 End of the retreat: Talking circle and closing of the retreat
14.00 Return home