NEW DATES for the Zende Creative Retreat, Summer 2014!

Salaams all, greetings of peace,

We’ve been a little quiet of late, but it’s for good reason: the Zende Creative Retreat, which had to be cancelled earlier this year due to logistical problems, is finally back on for this August!

The programme is much the same, although we will be having slam poet Baraka Blue with us for the poetry workshops, as well as Makkan poetess Nimah Nawwab and me ole’ self, and the addition of an optional photography tour through Cordoba and Granada prior to the retreat with Neil Turner. The location for the retreat has also moved to the stunning Alquería de Morayma, a rustic ‘finca’ near Cádiar deep in the Alpujarra mountains, which will be our base for the Arabic calligraphy classes, poetry workshops, and traditional singing (nasheed) workshops. It’s a wonderfully peaceful place to reflect, spend time in nature, and rediscover the creative core that so often our hectic urban lives distract us from.

The new prices include pick-ups from either Malaga or Madrid and reflect the two different options: option A includes the photography tour as well as the retreat, while option B is simply the creative retreat. We’ve also added an all-out spectacular in Granada on the last day, including history talks and a concert from Ali Keeler’s heart-stirring Firdaus Ensemble of classical Arabic and Andalusi music, and a night in a hotel. The trip ends with a tour of the Alhambra together with the retreat facilitators, an absolute must for photography and poetry enthusiasts, and transfers back to Madrid and Malaga.

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OPTION A – Photography tour + Creative Retreat

24th August 2014, Pick-up in either Malaga or Madrid, transport to Cordoba to join photography group. 1 day in Cordoba, then transfer to Granada for 1 day. Transfer to the Alquería de Morayma in the Alpujarra mountains on the 26th of August for the Zende Creative Reatreat. Transport to Granada on the 30th of August for concert, one night in Granada. 31st of August, tour of Alhambra, and finally transfer to Madrid or Malaga. Min 10 participants, cost €1500.

OPTION B – Creative Retreat only

26th August 2014, pick-up in Madrid or Malaga and arrive directly at Alquería de Morayma in the Alpujarras. Four days of retreat, then transfer to Granada for concert on 30th of August, one night in Granada. 31st of August, tour of Alhambra and finally transfers back to Madrid or Malaga. Madrid pick-up: min. 5 participants, cost €725. Malaga pick-up, min. 5 participants, cost €670.

We look forward to seeing you in beautiful Andalusia!

 

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Spring Retreat POSTPONED until Autumn

Dear Zende Creative followers,

It is with immense regret that I have to announce that the first Zende Creative Retreat will have to be postponed until Autumn 2014 due to venue issues and the organiser’s health problems. Our initial experience will go a long way towards ensuring a successful retreat in the autumn, offering a moment of peace and creativity among the rush of our everyday lives through poetry, calligraphy and adventure.

We have been delighted at the response so far, with interest from as far afield as Canada, the US, the UK, France and the United Arab Emirates. All those who have paid deposits already will receive a full refund unless they expressly wish to keep it for the next Zende retreat.

We would like to thank you for all the likes, shares, comments and interest that you have all shown and will keep you all updated as we secure our venue for autumn. Stay tuned for the new dates and further articles, poems and artwork in the meantime!

Warmest regards,

Medina (aka Cavemum)

Creativity: The Breath of Life

For most of us, living in the industrialised, automated, pre-programmed world might be productive, but it is also a drain on our vital energy. We get exhausted, sick, depressed, anxious, listless.

We perpetually look elsewhere for that magic ingredient that will return us to the natural joy we remember from childhood – films, music, art, shopping, other people’s output.

By contrast, the meditative practice of calligraphy brings our focus back to the beauty and harmony around us, while diving into our poetic depths reminds us of the beauty and harmony within.

Our worried, chattering minds are stilled. Without hardly noticing it, we achieve a state of tranquility and centredness that so much of our ordinary lives combats with caffeine, to-do lists, and social whirl.

Zende Creative Retreats are a specially formulated treatment for the condition of the modern human, administered in deliciously palatable, intensive dose over the course of four days.

We will be drawing on the deeply transformative Islamic arts of calligraphy and ecstatic poetry and combining them with intellectual enrichment, performance, yoga and a spectacular natural environment to give you the ideal opportunity to find your inner calm again.

We are currently devising a schedule for our first retreat, which will take place from the 24th to the 28th of April, to be held at the Hotel Taray, set amid luscious botanical gardens, in the Alpujarran mountains.

The Alpujarras - land of plenty

The Alpujarras – land of plenty

So far the programme will include calligraphy workshops daily with Asghar Alkaei Behjat (Nastaliq style) and Abd al-Lateef Whiteman (Andalusi style), ecstatic poetry workshops with Nimah Nawwab and Medina Tenour Whiteman, talks and performances from Abd al-Hayy Moore, Nimah, Medina and others, a seminar on Andalusi thinkers and writers by historian Tahira Larmore, a qasida (Andalusi traditional poem) singing workshop, yoga at dawn and lots of opportunities to take long walks in the Alpujarran mountains, discovering rivers, waterfalls and ancient Moorish sites with Ahmed Zaruq Summers of Granada-based tour company Al-Andalus Experience.

Click ‘follow’ to receive updates as we finalise the program and complete the web shop to book your place on the retreat!