Heart of Winter Mindfulness Retreat December 15-17, 2017

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.”

– Albert Camus

REGISTER NOW – SPACE LIMITED TO TEN PARTICIPANTS – all guided practices, teaching, meals and lodging included. If you are engaged in volunteering or work to protect the Canadian environment, or are actively dedicated to Canadian social justice causes related to climate change, call our office about the scholarships available for a free retreat.

The Heart of Winter Mindfulness Retreat is for practitioners with some prior introduction to mindfulness practice (call our office if you have questions about this). This retreat is an opportunity for deepening your mindfulness practice in the supportive environment of silence in nature. We will be practicing in a gorgeous private log cabin in beautiful Algonquin Park in shared accommodations with delicious vegetarian catering by Voyageur Quest.


Kimberly Sogge PhD, CPsych, RYT-200 MYMT 2015 AiTW 2017 is a Spirit Rock trained meditation teacher (MYMT), graduate of Mark Coleman (Awake in the Wild founder, author, senior teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center) ‘s Awake in the Wild Facilitator Training, and a senior registered clinical health psychologist specializing in mindfulness-based interventions such as MBSR, MBCT, MSC and MiCBT.   Kim has 12 years of dedicated mindfulness meditation practice and training, as well as 25+ years of experience as a psychotherapist and psychologist.


Take refuge in silent mindfulness practice in the beautiful, natural setting of the Voyageur Qeust Algonquin Lodge in Ontario, Canada.

From Friday evening to Sunday morning (3 days) participants will cultivate mindfulness through skillful means of mindfulness meditation, mindful eating, guided and solo mindful nature practice, and dharma teaching by Dr Sogge, a psychologist, Spirit Rock trained teacher (MYMT 2015) and Awake in the Wild mindfulness in nature facilitator (AiTW 2016).

All group practices will be offered with gentle guidance from the guiding teacher. Space and time will also be offered for participants to
explore independent nature practice at Voyageur Quest on their own in silence. Cross country skiing, snowshoeing and dogsledding are all options on this weekend.

For an additional cost there may be an option for a two hour Dog Sled Adventure after the closing of the silence on Sunday. Please indicate your interest in the Dog Sled Adventure on your registration form.


Voyageur Quest Winter Log Cabin 


Google Maps directions to Voyageur Quest


This retreat is limited to TEN PARTICIPANTS ONLY. Accommodations will be a private log cabin at Voyageur Quest (see link above)

Deposit $200 to reserve your spot by September 30, 2017. This amount will be applied to your final total.

Early Bird Full Registration (includes room and meals) before October 15, 2017 – $465 + HST

Late Registration (includes room and meals) before December 12, 2017 – $565 + HST



The practice of mindfulness extends to connection with our world through the pleasure of food.

In keeping with the Five Precepts taken by retreat participants, all meals at the retreat will be vegetarian. Three meals per day will be offered starting with dinner on Friday evening and ending with lunch on Sunday.


Teachers may make adjustments to the schedule as an appropriate response to changed conditions. Generally, this is the schedule we intend to follow:

Day 1               (Friday, December 15, 2017)

4:00 pm Arrival, room check-in,

4:30 pm          Free time

5:30 pm          Dinner – First meal is NOT in silence! yay! Get to know your fellow practitioners, if you wish.

7:00 pm          Welcome and Orientation – Silence begins – Sitting Meditation

8:00 pm          Guided Relaxation

9:00 pm          Optional – Evening meditation or Moonlight walk

Retire to your own room & lights out by 10pm

Days 2 (Saturday, December 16th, 2017)

6:00 am          Morning wake-up bell

6:30 am          Sitting Meditation

7:00 am           Walking Meditation

8:30 am          Breakfast – Mindful eating

9:30 am          Sitting Meditation

10:30 am          Walking or Snowshoeing Meditation (along the trails of Voyageur Quest)

11:30 pm          Sitting Meditation

12:00 pm          Lunch – Mindful eating

1:00 pm  to

3:00 pm          Bathing Time  &  Snack Break

3:00 pm          Dharma talk

4:00 pm          Sitting meditation

5:00 pm          Walking meditation

6:00 pm          Dinner

7:30 pm          Dharma Talk & Sitting Meditation

8:30                 Optional Moonlight Walk

Retire to your own room & lights out by 10pm

Day 3               (Sunday, December 17th, 2017)

6:00 am          Morning wake-up bell

6:30 am          Sitting Meditation

7:30 am           Guided Practice (Movement, journalling or group activity)

8:30 am          Breakfast

9:30 am          Walking meditation (outdoors on the property of Voyageur Quest)

10:30 am          Bathing Time  &  Room Checkout

11:30 am          Sitting Meditation  &  Closing activity – Noble Silence concludes

12:00 pm          Lunch

1:00 – 3:00 pm      Journey home or OPTIONAL DOG SLEDDING ADVENTURE



I WANT MORE INFORMATION ABOUT TEACHERS: Great! We like curious students. Here is some more information.

Dr. Kimberly Sogge C.Psych. is a clinical health psychologist in private practice in Ottawa www.drsogge.com specializing in mindfulness and compassion based interventions and evidence-based treatments for depression, anxiety and eating disorders. Dr. Sogge is also a trained yoga teacher (RYT200) and mindfulness meditation teacher (registered Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction with Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare and Society, Mindful Self Compassion trained teacher with the Center for Mindful Self Compassion founded by Drs Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer) trained in the secular buddhist tradition at Spirit Rock Meditation Center (Mindfulness Yoga and Meditation Teacher Program MYMT3) and with meditation teacher Mark Coleman (Spirit Rock founding teacher, founder of Awake in the Wild) a leader in nature-based insight meditation practice and the Thai Forest meditation tradition.

WHAT IF A PROBLEM COMES UP DURING THE RETREAT? Got a practical problem?  We have a fixer. Retreat manager will be Peter Lloyd who will assist with any practical supports or comfort needs during the retreat. Peter will be a contact person for emergencies so you will not need to keep your cell phone with you.

DO I NEED TO HAVE MEDITATION EXPERIENCE? No.  This weekend is appropriate for beginner and advanced meditators alike.  There will be guidance from teachers during practices, and also space for deepening of mindfulness practice.  We will be using mindfulness practices from the insight tradition, so we invite experienced meditators from other traditions to participate with Beginner’s Mind with the temporary community or “sangha” of the Retreat.

TOTAL SILENCE? REALLY?  Yes, this retreat honours the deepening of mindfulness practice, the sacredness of the community and your inner world through an invitation to practice in complete silence both on and off the mat/meditation cushion. The exceptions are for guidance from teachers during meditation and dharma talks or when quietly bringing a concern to the retreat manager, Peter Lloyd. We are committed to providing everyone with a safe, and respectful retreat environment; noble silence will be honoured from the beginning of the first sitting practice at 7pm on Friday until the end of the last sitting practice at 12pm on Sunday.  Participants who not willing or able to honour noble silence commitments will be given up to three gentle reminders by retreat organizers or retreat manager, then will be asked to leave without refund.

DO I NEED TO BE BUDDHIST?  No.  This retreat is open to all.  Our teachers do draw from the secular Buddhist traditions in which they were trained but teachings are offered freely to all with no expectation.

WHY IS DANA AN ADDITIONAL COST?  Registration costs are ONLY for the costs of food, administration, and housing for the retreat weekend.  One of the practices in our training as teachers is the practice of generosity. This means that teachers offer gifts of teaching freely, and DANA or financial offerings of gratitude by participants are offered to cooks and teachers at the end of the retreat. Dana for cooks or teachers may be offered electronically via the link below, at the time or registration online, or in person through the retreat manager at the retreat. Dana not specifically dedicated to a particular teacher or as for cooks will be shared equally. Donate at any time here.

CAN I COME WITH MY PARTNER? Couples are welcome but we recommend taking separate rooms/beds as honouring noble silence and the Five Precepts during a mindfulness retreat can be difficult when with a partner.

WHAT ARE THE FIVE PRECEPTS?  We will invite all participants to set intentions to honour the five precepts for the duration of the retreat, as an experiment in sila and their effect on the body-mind.  For more information on the five precepts or sila (ethics) click here to see the code of ethics of your teachers.

DRUGS/ALCOHOL? No illegal drugs or alcohol are allowed on retreat. Participants unable to honour this request by our hosts may be asked to leave without refund.

CAN I CHECK MY CELL PHONE DURING THE RETREAT? We ask that all participants offer up electronic devices in a temporary renunciation of electronica experiment for the weekend. You can either leave them at home, drop them with the retreat manager at registration, or in the renunciation ritual at our orientation session. Our retreat manager will guard their safety and they will be returned on the final day. What a relief to come home to our own bodies and minds for a few days!

SAFETY/HEALTH We commit to providing a safe, respectful environment for retreat participants as best we are able. We trust your judgment and your ability to care for your own safety and health so we will allow you to have the space to experience strong moments of emotion or sensation during practices.  Any participants having safety or health concerns should speak with our retreat manager during the retreat.  If you have any specific safety or health needs we ask that you speak with teachers via email or telephone at 613-656-3331 at least 7 days before the retreat begins so that we can decide together that practice is non-harming for you.

WHY WAS MY REGISTRATION DECLINED?  Retreat organizers reserve the right to decline registration to participants who may be at risk through the practice of  meditation in community in order to practice non-harming and generosity to all who wish to practice.  Retreat organizers and the Voyageur Quest reserve the right to ask any participant who is at imminent risk, or who puts other participants at imminent risk during the retreat, to leave the Voyageur Quest without refund.

I STILL HAVE QUESTIONS. HOW DO I CONTACT ORGANIZERS?  Most registration and pre-retreat questions may be answered either online here at www.drsogge.com or if you have further questions call Sogge & Associates Practice in Psychology 613-656-3331 or contact us via email at info@drsogge.com

Check in here for registration links and more information. We look forward to some deep and wild  meditation practices with you in the beautiful Voyageur Quest the winter heart of the Canadian forest .

Be well. Be wild.

Kim Sogge & Peter Lloyd

Wild Blue Meditation


Click the link below to register for “Heart of Winter Mindfulness Retreat December 15-17, 2017”.


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