Bonnevaux is set on 65 hectares (160 acres) in a small valley which comprises woods, meadows, grazing lands and fields. Much of the property is wooded and consists of many ancient oaks trees. The grounds are home to wild boar, small game, deer and a great diversity of bird life. The goal of the retreat centre is to bring in harmony with nature in its rural setting.
Come and spend a week in nature with us on the beautiful grounds of Bonnevaux.
We hope to be a team of about 20 people who enjoy being outside and meditating together (or learning to meditate). We will be planting hundreds of bare-root trees and shrubs that will increase bio-diversity, help with sound insulation, protect areas from wind, support wildlife and provide edible fruits. Between meditations as we go outside each day to plant, you will experience the wonder of working in the land — and the hope is that you will discover a deepening of your embodied perception of the wholeness and holiness of nature.
At Bonnevaux our daily rhythm of meditation nourishes and informs our work and relationships. Our mission is to share this with you when you come and stay in the hope that you will take the graceful insights you receive as tools towards a more contemplative lifestyle that strengthens your roots and foundations in a troubled, polarised world – and so to be peace for others.
Your stay at Bonnevaux will be free of charge though we would be delighted if you felt you could make a donation.
The field work will be adapted to each person’s strength and abilities, so don’t be shy to join us whatever your physical condition might be. Different tasks will be shared between the participants: bringing trees to their position, planting, adding straw and protection against the deer. The ground will be prepared in advance so there will be no heavy digging; and there will be some indoor tasks.
Plants are offered free by “Prom’ Haies en Nouvelle-Aquitaine.” The community at Bonnevaux, Thomas Litzler our organic farmer, and Jean-Christoph who has looked after the land for many decades, will work together to make this an agreeable, fun, and productive time for everyone.
You are welcome to come for a day if you live nearby. We will offer you lunch and coffee breaks.
Important: if you sign up for this project, please make every effort to commit to come and help us complete this important work. It is vital we have accurate numbers when calculating accommodation and meal quantities (free for participants) as well as the hours and hands required for the planting work itself.
We will be planting:
Oaks, cherry, white poplar, willow, walnut, service or sorb tree, elm, linden
Common hawthorn, wild pear, crab apple, elder, field maple.
Alder buckthorn, common dogwood, dog rose, privet, viburnum
What clothing to bring:
- change of layers and woollens
- change of boots
- house shoes
- rain gear
- gardening gloves if you have them
This event takes place at Bonnevaux and offers an opportunity to discover the rich cultural and historical French and European heritage of the 12th-century Abbaye de Bonnevaux, as well as to explore the varied and natural beauty of the land which we cultivate as a model of ecological responsibility.
Deepen your roots - plant trees and meditate at Bonnevaux
|Arrival||Thursday 16 February 2023, check-in: 14:00 – 17:00|
|Departure||Saturday 25 February 2023, after lunch (15:00)|
You are welcome to come for a day if you live nearby. Best times to arrive are: 7:45, 9:00, or 12:00.
You will be most helpful if you are with us from the morning to the afternoon planting times. Please consider being with us for meditation.
Lunch and coffee breaks are offered.
|7:45 – 8:45||Morning prayer and meditation (optional)|
|9:30 – 12:00||Planting|
with Coffee/ Tea Break included
|12:15 – 13:00||Midday prayer and meditation (optional)|
|14:00 – 17:30||Planting|
with Coffee/ Tea Break included
|18:00||Evening prayer & Meditation (optional)|
— If you need to cancel your registration, please inform us immediately as we will be counting on you to finish our work.
Membership is offered
Membership is valid from Jan – Dec.
** by French law you must be a ‘member‘ of the charity (association ABP) Abbaye de Bonnevaux – Centre Pour la Paix in order to participate at an on-the-ground event at Bonnevaux – 86370 Marçay, France.
Membership is non-binding. It simply means that you are invited to attend the annual general meeting if you wish and that you may receive information about our events during the year.
The Abbey of Bonnevaux is the spiritual home of the World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM) which includes a Conference and Retreat Centre dedicated to peace. The on-the-ground activities of the Abbey are organized under the responsibility of l’Association Abbaye de Bonnevaux – Centre pour le Paix (ABP). The Association, which is governed by the French law of 1st July 1901, is registered in Poitiers under the reference RNA: W863007299.
Address : Bonnevaux, 86370 Marçay, France.
Phone number : 06 33 43 71 71 / 06 61 96 57 74.
José Pype (President of the Association); Giovanni Felicioni (Associate Director and Programme Manager)
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