Welcome Letter

“The best place in Heaven is on Earth”
Thich Nhat Hanh
Dear friend!

Thank you for choosing Zen Rocks for your uplifting retreat! We would like to full heartedly support you to have the most enjoyable, restorative experience here. As you are preparing to join us, we will also Be making preparations to receive you. Zen Rocks is a great place for deepening our mindfulness and wellness practice.
Let us support each other to delve into the journey of finding
“Peace with Every Step.”
Allow us take a moment to introduce our retreat center.
Our Mission at Zen Rocks

“Each human is an island of excellence” says Panditji Tigunait, one of our favorite teachers. Building this retreat is a dream born out of the wish to see us as people regain our potential to be happy and whole, and rediscover our own excellence. Also, to see humanity rediscover the way to live in harmony with nature and other beings, without using and abusing animals, resources, and other beings on the way. Planetary happiness starts by reconnecting with our own personal well-being, our natural joie-de-vivre!

Our feeling is that you are coming here to this special place, because your life purpose and needs at this moment accord with what our land has to offer: relaxation, healing energy, a chance to reconnect with our vital powers, with nature, and each other— all beings near and far.

Breathing in, I calm body and mind
Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment
I know it is a wonderful moment”

Mindfulness verse by Thich Nhat Hahn

Your Mission at Zen Rocks

Before coming to Zen Rocks, take a minute to write down your goal for this retreat.
How can we help you realize your intention?

Ingredients necessary for Transformation

Nature: The earth is especially healing here. Otherworldly beauty, quietness, stillness.

Connection: Inner connection with our own self. Inter-connection with other supportive human beings.

Exercise: Daily body conditioning. Open, stretch, expand. Strengthen. Feel Alive.Resting: Let the nervous system relax and unwind. Decompress.

Nourishment: Vegan & Vegetarian meals cooked with love and care & delicious local seasonal ingredients.

Meditation: Daily relaxation and meditation restores health & energy levels.

Massage: An excellent means to relief to the body and open the channels of energy.

Elements: Connect with fresh air, solid earth/trees, sea & water, heating sun, spacious ether and refresh all our body elements.

Community: A friendly supportive community is vital to help each of us blossom!

Aim High: Reaching our highest potential on all levels of our existence and supporting each other on this goal could be our joint target. Realizing our inter-being and inter-connectedness, is our deepest and highest aim in our practice at Zen Rocks. Daily Meditation helps us to stop and watch and discover the way!

Daily Schedule

The centerpiece of our practice is daily early morning meditation, usually Zen Sitting in Silence.
Also silent, slow, walking meditation. Feel free to join us after you look at the schedule.After meditation, we usually start the day with morning tea, continuing with a moving body practice like yoga or Pilates, and then a brunch consisting of fresh, local, and yummy foods.For the rest of the day, enjoy a good rest, walks and swims in nature, meditative and restorative practices, and a positive, uplifting way of thinking and feeling. Above all, you are encouraged to honor your needs and truly nurture yourself with a good measure of rest and activity. Let us know if you need to miss parts of the retreat schedule.

Water Usage

Please be mindful of your water usage. Water is extremely limited during the summer months. Thank you for keeping this in mind as you prepare to travel to Mani, an area known as rocky and arid. The sea is blue and magical, so the water element in our bodies can be fully satiated with a good swim. Showers can be brief and pleasant. It may be a good idea to bring a drinking bottle, if possible. Drinking water comes to Zen Rocks from Taygetos Mountain through the town system; we also filter it.

Energy Usage

Please be mindful of your Energy usage. Turn lights and fans, heaters, and air conditioners off when you are not in the room. Please do not leave doors and windows open when the Cooling/Healing system is on in your room.

Connectivity at Zen Rocks

Our motto here at Zen Rocks is: DISCONNECT TO CONNECT

We ask that you please get ready to unplug phones and internet communication as much as possible. There is very limited access to WI-FI while at Zen Rocks. No telephone landline. The rooms do not have a TV. Your mobile phone should work here, but there is not always access from all the rooms. There is little outside noise; only the sounds of nature, crickets, cicadas, and other animals. We connect with what is present in this moment, and with our deeper need for inner connection and restoration.

Art Paintings & Room Objects

The beautiful paintings in your rooms, made by an inspiring local artist, D Mani, and other objects you may like may be available for sale. Ask us if anything strikes your fancy.

Some Rules for Harmonious Living at Zen Rocks

– Enjoy music softly and privately (use your earphones if possible)

– Speak softly, but laugh from your heart ☺

– Encourage positive habits through kind speech, positive thinking, healthy food and drink consumption

– We can take this great opportunity to enjoy ourselves in nature and ease on habits & substances that curb our healthy state of being: Alcohol consumption, Meat consumption, Smoking & Drugs.

– Please do not bring any meat products, hard alcohol, or drugs of any kind on the land. Thank you for respecting these Zen Rocks parameters.

– We try not to limit or judge habits, but to offer alternatives for all of us to discover a truly natural and wonderful state of being.

– Smoking is NOT permitted in any INDOOR AREAS. Please ask about designated areas for Smoking.

– No chemicals; please abstain from throwing chemicals & papers of any kind down the drain due to the sensitive sewage system.

– Use only biodegradable products. Zen Rocks provides natural biodegradable shampoo & soap.

– Please be conscious of the use of linens; we do not use chlorine in our Organic Natural linens & towels. Help us treat them with care.

– Please kindly try to not use heavy creams or oils during your stay as much as possible. For example, Ayurvedic oils tent to leave permanent stains on the sheets. You are welcome to use your products and take a warm shower before going to bed.

– Clean Feet… we recommend you use different slippers indoors and outdoors. If you like to walk barefoot outside, please wash feet when you come in and certainly before you jump to bed.

– Super clean, is our Zen mentality at Zen Rocks. Being mindful of everything we use and cleaning up after ourselves is the best way to follow the tradition of “Leaving no Trace.”

– Karma Yoga is the tasks we do together as a community to take care of the space we jointly inhabit; i.e. cleaning our dishes, our practice space, etc.

– We have 3 dogs and 3 cats on the land. They are super-friendly and sweet; please try not to feed them. Please let us know if you would rather not have them around. We will keep them away.

– Recycle and Save Resources.

– Lastly: After the recent outbreak of COVID-19, we are taking all the precautions, and following all precautions and hygienic guidelines at Zen Rocks for your comfort, safety, and ease of mind.

Note: In accordance with regulations we also ask that you present a negative Self Test taken within 24hours from your arrival at Zen Rocks, and/or upon arriving on the spot.

Thank you for trust and for making yourself at home at Zen Rocks!

Meals

While at Zen Rocks you can enjoy fresh seasonal vegetarian, and as often as possible Vegan meals, with local products and delectable extra virgin organic olive oil, lovingly harvested from the olive trees of our land.

Adhering to a vegan diet is a good way to offer healthy and light sustenance to our bodies; it is also a great way to nourish our compassion, take care of all beings, and protect our planet and ecosystem.

We regret that we cannot cater to individual dietary or medical needs. Please bring your own supplements as necessary.

Use of Alcohol

Most of our practice retreats, i.e. meditation and yoga programs, are alcohol free. In some retreats, a glass of wine may be offered with dinner, a decision that is up to your retreat teacher/leader.

Please keep alcohol consumption to a pleasant and healthy level. There will be a charge for your second glass of wine. Please inquire about cost.

Specialty Coffee & Extra Costs

Your morning tea and/or first cup of specialty Organic coffee is provided free of charge. Additional shots of espresso or cappuccino type of coffee are charged at 3€ each.

Pets

Although we love animals, we regret the fact that we cannot under any circumstances accommodate any additional pets at Zen Rocks. For the sake of peace and safety of your pets, please leave them at home.

Things Provided

(in Small Retreat groups only—for larger groups, please bring your own personal practice items)

  • Yoga Mats

  • Yoga Belts and Blocks

  • Meditation Cushions

  • Hairdryer

  • Free Biodegradable toiletries

  • Room Towels/Sheets/Linen

Things to Bring
  • Personal yoga mat and cushion; it is a good idea & health precaution to have your own

  • Sturdy Shoes or boots, if you plan to hike.

  • Indoor slippers, outdoor sandals or shoes

  • Your Water Jugg

  • Rain-coat and warm clothes in the winter

  • Please bring your own Towels for the beach, suntan lotion, sunglasses

  • Hat

  • Note pad for writing information

  • Flashlight or headlamp if you like to walk in nature in the dark

  • Personal toiletries (biodegradable products please)

  • Prescription medicine, if required

  • International converter kit for rechargeable items, or bring extra batteries

  • Specialty Nutrition Items that you may need in your personal diet

Things to Leave at Home
  • Non-essential electronics

  • Excess Clothing

  • Excess anything

  • Loud Music or Noisy games

  • Alcohol, Chemical Substances, and Meat products

  • Extra Oily creams and Oily products

Your Trust in Coming to Zen Rocks

Thank you for joining us at Zen Rocks. We hope you will your intention for spending this valuable time with us will be fulfilled. Excellent experienced teachers and our wholehearted staff will support you with love and care.

Let us Know

Please always be sure to communicate with us about how your needs are being met while at Zen Rocks.

Gratuities

Gratuities are not included in the retreat prices. If you feel inclined to leave a gratuity for the kitchen, room service and reception team, your generosity will be kindly received.
Retreat Organizers often ask: “What is customary for tipping?”
An offer of 3-10% of your retreat package price, or cost of stay is considered generous.

Flying, Directions & Transportation Options

The retreat is located about 30 minutes south of the city of Kalamata, in a quiet olive grove amidst the sea and blue skies. The closest village to us is Kallianeika. There is airport access both from Athens Airport (3 hours from ZR) and from Kalamata Airport (30-40min from ZR).

Flights to Athens International Airport (ATH) and transportation to Zen Rocks

All major airlines fly to Athens international airport, called Eleftherios Venizelos. Zen Rocks is about a 2.5-3 hours’ drive from Athens. We can arrange a private transport for you and/ or your group or you can rent a car to drive yourself to Zen Rocks. The ride is beautiful, and you can enjoy a direct ride along the new Athens-Kalamata highway, or you can make stops in places like the sites of Ancient Mycenae, Ancient Nemea, the city of Nafplion, and the town of Kalamata.

Flights to/from Kalamata (KLX)

In the summer, there are direct and charter flights to the small airport of Kalamata from several European cities. Also, you can fly to Kalamata from the northern Greek town of Thessaloniki.

Notes:

The closest Airport to fly is Kalamata, about 35-40minutes from Zen Rocks.

During summer season there are direct flights to Kalamata from most large European cities.

Click here for the Google Maps Pin

FROM KALAMATA

  1. The retreat is located about 30 minutes South of the city of Kalamata, in a quiet olive grove amidst the sea and blue skies. The closest village to us is Kallianeika. Drive on the new freeway from Athens to Kalamata, and be prepared to stop frequently for tolls. Expect to pay around 15€ each way. It may take you 2-2.5 hours to reach Kalamata.

  2. Stay on the freeway and exit Kalamata heading towards Areopolis and Kitries. After the freeway ends, you will pass LIDL, and a café called Cosi on the right. At one about one kilometer after Cosi you will see that the road forks and there is a sign for several Mani villages up ahead.

  3. At this point you have the option of heading up towards the mountain towards Areopolis and Kardamyli, or taking a right towards the sea and Kitries. You can reach us either way. We are giving you directions through the coastal road , as it may be easier to find our location this way.

  4. Take a right towards Kitries and drive down the coast for about 10-15 minutes. Right as you approach Kitries, the road goes uphill. There is a big retaining wall right in front of you, causing you to almost come to a full stop. You see our Zen Rocks sign on the wall as well as a road sign for Doloi.

  5. Make a sharp left up the mountain.

  6. Drive for 5 minutes until you reach the village of Kallianeika. Keep driving through the village and up the road.

  7. Drive for one kilometer up from the village and you will see the signs for Zen Rocks.

  8. Follow the Zen Rocks signs and …

Welcome to Zen Rocks.

FROM KARDAMYLI

  1. When you get to Stavropigio , immediately after the first sign you see, and before you actually enter the village, you turn left on the sign to DOLOI.

  2. You go through the village of DOLOI, and keep going for another 3-4 kilometers…

  3. To your right you pass the church named AGIOS CHARALAMBOS, and keep going till you see a nice tiny Byzantine church called AGIOS NIKOLAOS…

  4. Immediately after that, at about 50 meters, you leave the asphalt road to enter a tiny farm road, where you will see our small Zen Rocks sign.  

  5. Essentially you are going straight into it, as the main road makes a U turn here…

  6. Drive 300 meters on cement, and then another 300 meters of dirt road. At this point you will see the electrical posts and a cement road up on your left.  This is our private drive way to Zen Rocks.  You will see our other small Zen ROCKS sign here. (Attention: our drive way is the SECOND paved road you see on your left. Do not take the first one, right where the cement ends on this farm road… wait till you drive the extra 300 meters of dirt road and you come across the electrical wires and big posts… at this point you will also notice that dirt road is covered with the cement of our paved drive way.

  7. Go left on our cement road.  It is a sharp ascent. Come up on first gear stepping steadily & strongly on your gas petal. Small cars will do fine if you know how to drive fearlessly.

  8. Welcome to Zen Rocks.

Σύνδεσμος με την τοποθεσία στο Google Maps

Το Zen Rocks Mani βρίσκεται σε απόσταση περίπου 30 λεπτών Νότια από τη πόλη της Καλαμάτας, ανάμεσα σε ήσυχους ελαιώνες, τον ουρανό και τη θάλασσα! Το κοντινότερο χωριό είναι τα Καλλιανέικα.

  1. Πάρτε τη νέα εθνική οδό από την Αθήνα προς τη Καλαμάτα οπού θα χρειαστεί να σταματήσετε συχνά σε σταθμούς διοδίων. Υπολογίστε ότι το συνολικό κόστος των διοδίων θα είναι 15€ η διαδρομή. Η απόσταση είναι περίπου 2-2.5 ώρες από την Αθήνα μέχρι να φτάσετε στη Καλαμάτα.

  2. Μείνετε στην εθνική οδό και βγείτε στην έξοδο της Καλαμάτας με κατεύθυνσή προς Αρεόπολη και Κιτριές. Όταν τελειώσει η εθνική οδός, θα συναντήσετε ένα σούπερ μάρκετ Lidl περνάτε και το beach bar Cozi στα δεξιά σας και σε περίπου 2 χιλιόμετρα θα συναντήσετε το ξενοδοχείο messinian bay . Σε εκείνο το σημείο ο δρόμος χωρίζεται και θα δείτε μια πινακίδα. Σε αυτό ακριβώς το σημείο, έχετε την επιλογή είτε να συνεχίσετε προς το βουνό με κατεύθυνση προς Αρεόπολη και Καρδαμύλη είτε να πάρετε το δρόμο που είναι στα δεξιά σας που πάει μέσω του παραλιακού δρόμου στις Κιτριές. Όποιο δρόμο και να πάρετε μπορείτε να έρθετε στο Zen Rocks Mani. Εμείς παρακάτω σας δίνουμε οδηγίες από το παραλιακό δρόμο μιας και θεωρούμε ότι είναι ο πιο εύκολος δρόμος για να έρθετε.

  3. Κάνετε δεξιά προς Κιτριές και οδηγείτε στο παραλιακό δρόμο για περίπου 10-15 λεπτά. Στο σημείο που έχετε φτάσει σχεδόν στις Κιτριές, ο δρόμος έχει μια ανηφόρα. Στο σημείο αυτό υπάρχει ένας μεγάλος τοίχος μπροστά σας που σας αναγκάζει σχεδόν να σταματήσετε. Εκεί βλέπετε μια πινακίδα προς Δολούς.

  4. Εκεί αριστερά προς το βουνό με κατεύθυνση προς Δολούς.

  5. Οδηγείστε προς τα επάνω αυτόν τον δρόμο με τις στροφές, για 5 λεπτά μέχρι να βρείτε το χωριό Καλιανέϊκα.

  6. Όταν φτάσετε στα Καλιανέϊκα, σταματήστε μπροστά από την εκκλησία και ρυθμίστε το μετρητή χιλιομέτρων σας στο 0.

  7. Οδηγείστε για 1 χιλιόμετρο και θα δείτε μια στροφή φουρκέτα, η οποία σας φέρνει προς τα δεξιά. Εκεί θα δείτε ένα φράχτη με μεγάλους κάκτους και ένα τεράστιο βράχο. Πλησιάζετε!

  8. Αμέσως μετά βλέπετε μια ακόμα στροφή φουρκέτα που στρίβει τον δρόμο προς τα αριστερά.  Θα δείτε δύο μικρές πινακίδες για το Zen Rocks.  Σε αυτό το σημείο αφήνετε το ασφαλτοστρωμένο δρόμο και μπαίνετε προς τα δεξιά σε έναν μικρό αγροτικό δρόμο από τσιμέντο. Οδηγείστε για 200 μέτρα στο τσιμεντένιο επαρχιακό δρόμο και άλλα 400 μέτρα σε χωματόδρομο.  Ακολουθήστε τις πινακίδες για να μην μπείτε στον ελαιώνα που είναι πριν από εμάς.  Περιμένετε να δείτε το σημείο με την πινακίδα του Zen Rocks να δείχνει τον ανηφορικό ιδιωτικό τσιμεντένιο δρόμο στα αριστερά σας.  Είναι που θα σας φέρει στο κατάλυμα. Σε αυτό το σημείο και μόνο θα δείτε και τους στύλους της ΔΕΗ να ανεβαίνουν προς τα πάνω.

  9. Κάντε αριστερά σε αυτόν τον τσιμεντένιο δρόμο. Έχει έντονη ανηφορική κλίση, οπότε βάλτε πρώτη ταχύτητα για να ανεβείτε.  Ακόμα και μικρά αυτοκίνητα ανεβαίνουν άνετα.  Είναι λίγο σα να ανεβαίνετε ίσια πάνω στον ουρανό, στα σύννεφα… Απογειώνεστε λοιπόν.  

  10. 5 Δευτερόλεπτα  μετά:  Καλώς ορίσατε στο Zen Rocks Mani. Χαλαρώστε και απολαύστε τη διαμονή σας!

Transportation & Van Options to Zen Rocks

Our Zen Rocks team will be happy to help you with your transportation arrangements to & from Zen Rocks, provided we know your preferences ahead of time. You can also rent a car directly or through a shared taxi service. We cannot always guarantee your taxi transportation; please check with us.

Our Zen Rocks Luxury Van is also available for groups of 8 people.

1) Airport Transfer Rates (Athens Airport, Athens City Center &  Kalamata/Zen Rocks)  

Athens Airport or City of Athens to Zen Rocks (2.5-3 Hours Duration)

  • Shared Taxi Ride*: 115€/per person subject to availability & depending on number of people.

  • 8 people Van*: 100€/per person with Zen Rocks Luxury Van, total cost 800€ each way

  • Private taxi ride*: 500€ + depending on availability.  

Kalamata Airport to Zen Rocks (30-40 minutes Duration)

  • Private taxi ride*: 55-70€ +  depending on season and availability.  

  • 8 people Van*: 40€/per person with Zen Rocks Van, depending on availability and number of people. Minimum 160€ each way.

*Prices May Vary depending on current fuel prices & current economic conditions

Zen Rocks Luxury Van Reservations:
Please book now or as early as possible by sending an email to: contact@zenrocksmani.com

We would like to inform you that due to limited space in the vans you can bring one carry on luggage as well as your hand bags. In case you need to bring more luggage, there be an extra charge of Euro 50 per extra luggage.

Car rentals

Renting a Car is also a reasonable option.  An internet search will show you what is available.

In the past we have had good experiences with:

-Avance Rent a car Kalamata, tel 27210-27211

-Strada Car Rentals Kalamata, tel 694-46-10-264

Note: If you would like to opt for the Zen Rocks Van transportation, with our insured driver, to provide the comfort of easy and hassle free transportation to the beach for clients who prefer not to drive, we will need a minimum of 8 to commit in order to book.

2) Daily Beach Transportation by Zen Rocks Luxury Van or other Vehicle

To the nearby beaches or Kalamata:

Transfers during the retreat to beaches and sightseeing if available: Daily Beach Transportation by Zen Rocks Luxury Van or other similar Vehicle can be available during the days of the retreat upon request.

  • Cost for 4 Round trip tickets to/from nearby beaches of Kitries or Kardamyli: 100€/per person.

  • Per Round Trip (subject to availability):  28€/per person.

Note: If you would like to opt for the Zen Rocks Van transportation, with our insured driver, to provide the comfort of easy and hassle free transportation to the beach for clients who prefer not to drive, we will need a minimum of 8 to commit in order to book.

Zen Rocks Luxury Van Reservations:
Please book now or as early as possible by sending an email to: contact@zenrocksmani.com

3) Excursions

Interesting destinations, about 90 away: Available upon request:

  • Option 1: Southern Mani & Diros Stalactite Caves, 90 minutes each way

  • Option 2:  Ancient Messini, a newly discovered ancient Greek city replete with healing temples, Music & Letter Academy, and Olympic type stadium & palaestra, 75 minutes each way

4) Other Fun Options:

  • Sailing or kayaking trips can be arranged upon request.

  • Trekking & hiking.

  • Day excursions to: Diros Stalactite Caves, or Ancient Messini, Southern Mani, can be arranged.

Ask us for a quote:  contact@zenrocksmani.com

Thank you again for choosing Zen Rocks for your uplifting retreat destination.

We have different massage therapists available to give you a massage.

Andreas gives excellent soft and flowing Shiatsu Treatments.

Betty has a divine gift for massage and gives incredible Thai Massage Sessions.

Prices may vary a little, depending on the Therapist but in general this the price range for massage sessions:

1. 60 minutes

60-70€

2. 90 minutes

80-85€

3. 120 minutes

90-100€

General Cost for extra days before or after Retreat

  1. Room Only: 200-250€/per day

  2. Light Breakfast–7.30-9.30am 15€/per person

  3. Full Brunch–9.30-11.10am 20€/per person

Contact Information:

Zen Rocks Mailing Address
Zen Rocks
c/o Vivi Letsou
Kallianeika, West Mani, 24150 Kalamata, Greece contact@zenrocksmani.com

Telephone & Whatsapp
(connection does not always work)
For emergencies & questions please contact
Vivi at +30-6934-21-20-39
or you can also contact, our Athens Studio manager,
Sofia at +30-6943-07-30-97

Our NYSY Studios, Aiolou 43 Str, Monastiraki, Athens, Greece.
Tel. +(30) 210-32.32.004 , info@nysystudios.com , www.nysystudios.com

In case of an emergency also try:
Avocado Vegetarian Restaurant/Cafe ,
30 Nikis Street, Athens, Greece
+30-210-323-7878, ask for the manager in charge.

We look forward to welcoming you to Zen Rocks.
Thank you for trusting us with your presence.
May your stay at Zen Rocks be a totally joyous, restorative experience!
Zen Rocks Mani
Healing & Meditation Center