top of page

Katrin Piepenbreier

5-Day Silent Meditation Retreat
over Christmas with Vigil

December 21 - 25, 2022
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Inspired by the ”Enlightenment-Intensive Program” by Charles Berner, this awareness intensive retreat seeks to nurture a direct experience with the Truth of one’s being. We all yearn to arrive somewhere, to find our home, our sense of belonging. The simple exercise and practices introduced in this retreat support a gradual and organic opening of the heart and immediately reconnects us with our innate compassion, good heart, loving kindness and with our infinite, unconditional love. Allowing us to recognize that whatever we have been seeking is right here, in front of us and within. Feeling our heart and our compassion is the gateway to lasting freedom and connection and has an intoxicating effect - we feel lifted, safe and whole.


During these 5 days, identification with the false personality, rigid beliefs, and preconceived ideas will be gradually exposed. Old layers will be shed and we also gradually recognise that we have been conditioned to worship success and are often paralyzed or terrified by fear and therefore create separation. However, human nature is one of closeness, deep & empathic listening, caring and being together. And this is what we want to return back to during this retreat.

Through guided embodiment practices such as breathwork, voice activation, hatha yoga, conscious movement, emotional discharge, ritual and guided relational exercises, somatic and sitting meditations, participants seek a direct experience of the core of their being. 


This is a time of coming together as ever changing and evolving, raw human beings and aiming to foster love and connection with each other and all. We will conclude with a vigil (night long ceremony) on Christmas Eve which will be open for everyone in the community to join.

What is included


  • Guided Meditation

  • Guided somatic meditation

  • Sound bath

  • Guided relational communication exercises (dyads)

  • Lectures on topics around Metta (loving-kindness) and Karuna (compassion) and the power of the Heart

  • Relaxing and revitalizing yoga

  • Breathwork

  • Embodiment Practices

  • Time for walks in the beautiful nature of the surroundings of lake Atitlán

  • Christmas Eve vigil (night long ceremony)

  • Optional temazcal sessions

  • Three delicious vegetarian meals per day (Dinner at arrival on December 21, breakfast at checkout on December 25)

  • Accommodation in either the dormitory, private room or private cabin

  • Access to beautiful permaculture gardens, private beach and dock for practice

  • Small, intimate container of max. 16 participants

This retreat is crafted with the intention for you to step out of the thinking mind and return back to your feeling, sensing core. Developing gradual trust in your intuition and capacity to co-create with life, rooted in love.

Severin Geser


I left Switzerland in 2008 where I worked as an Accountant and ever since have dedicated myself to the exploration of the Self.

In 2009 I was living and studying for one year Ashtanga Yoga with my teacher Carlos Holguin in Colombia. Shortly after I spent over a year as Buddhist Monk in a controversial Monastery in Thailand. I traveled further and dedicated myself to intensive studies of the Kabbalah at Las Piramides in Guatemala. That's also where my fascination for Astrology arose. I did numerous silent retreats with Hridaya in Mexico and have been working at their center for several years. Through the teachings of Sahajanada I got introduced to the Dark Retreat. 

In 2014 me and my partner bought land in Guatemala and started to build our first Dark Retreat which was the beginning of the Hermitage. Ever since we have been guiding and hosting, Silent-, Dark- and Group Retreats here at Lake Atitlan.

Severin Geser The Hermitage Guatemala Katrin Piepenbreier.webp


The Hermitage Guatemala Katrin Piepenbreier.png

the location


The location of this journey into the heart is at a beautiful retreat center situated on the edge of the incredible Lake Atitlan in Guatamala. Beautiful Lake Atitlan is a sacred lake in the Guatemalan Highlands, a little hidden away world where an indigenous Mayan way of life is still preserved and a stunning, quiet natural beauty abounds.​


The Hermitage is set on the shores of the lake surrounded by towering volcanoes, native trees and wildlife.

WhatsApp Image 2022-10-06 at 17.27.38.jpeg


There are dorms, private rooms, one treehouse and other private huts available at their respective prices which you can find below. 



6.00 - 8.30 Morning Practice
8.30 - 9.30 Dyad*

9.30 - 10.30 Breakfast

10.30 - 11.30 Dyad
11.30 - 12:00 Soundbath

12.00 - 13.00 Dyad

13.00 - 16.00 Lunch & Break

16.00 - 17.00 Breathwork & Emotional Discharge

17.00 - 18.00 Dyad


19.00 - 20.00 Dinner

20.00 -21.00 Evening Dyad/ Mediation

In the night of December 24th, we will come together for a Christmas Eve Vigil which is open for the entire community. So people outside of the retreat might join this ceremony. On the 25th of December we share time connecting and reflecting on the experiences. Integration is a key aspect to the entire journey.

Please arrive at The Hermitage on the 21th of December for an introduction meeting.

*Dyads are enquiry sessions that are held with two people. One listening in stillness the other communicating their direct experience of this moment in response to the question provided by the retreat leader. After five minutes the roles change.  This is repeated for 30 or 40 minutes and is followed by a break. The effect is stunning… each Dyad clears the mind of the day-to-day chitchat and gives space to authentic self to be. ‘To know the answer directly’ in the traditional practice of Zen this is known as a Satori… A glimpse of enlightenment or more simply: to realize your Self.




The cost for the retreat, including all meals, accommodation, teachings and vigil is as follows:

DORM (Four private beds, shared bathroom) – $565 USD

PRIVATE ROOM, 4 Available (One bed, shared bathroom) – $675 USD

TREE HOUSE & COTTAGE (Private house for one person, private bathroom) – $775 USD

FOREST CABIN & CASA BLANCA (Private house for one person, private bathroom) – $875 USD

Send an email to book your spot
you will be redirected to the website of The Hermitage

It is Truth that sets you free, not your effort to be free…

- Krishnamurti

bottom of page