Join us for this signature Art of Being program in Sicily in April 2021!

Until then, enjoy the experience from home with the brand new Sicily Home Retreat – 3 days of meditation and art experiences filmed on location at San Giovanni Sgadari, the home of our Sicily retreat.

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Our journey will take us through the Masseria’s 17th century labyrinth gardens and surrounding countryside, to the Valley of Temples in the ruins of the ancient Greek city of Akragas, and the picturesque seaside town of Cefalù. Experience the many layers of Sicily’s history as you explore your own unfolding story and unique place in the world.


Each day you will be guided through mindfulness meditation practices you can take back into your daily life. These practices will be woven together with contemplative arts experiences intended to cultivate your innate capacity for artistic expression. No experience in meditation or art required.


  • DAY 1: LANDING | Welcome to San Giovanni Sgadari! Settle in at 5pm for an introduction to mindfulness and an overview of the week ahead as you get to know your co-participants over a welcome dinner.
  • DAY 2: FINDING YOUR LINE | Let go of fear and hesitation as we bring our whole selves to the line on the page in an exploration of mindfulness, line drawing, and mark-making.
  • DAY 3: HARNESSING THE ELEMENTS | The elements of earth, water, air, and fire surround us and flow through us. A variety of meditation and art practices will allow us to tap into each of these elements and give visual expression to our experience of them.
  • DAY 4: A LARGER TAPESTRY | Explore how our lives are woven into a larger tapestry. Our exploration will take us on a day-trip to the Valley of the Temples at Agrigento.
  • DAY 5: PICTURES & WORDS | The beautiful seaside town of Cefalù, with its towering Norman cathedral housing some of the world’s finest Byzantine mosaics, will be the setting for an exploration of contemplative photography and poetry.
  • DAY 6: BEING IN THE WORLD | Everything in nature has a way of being. We will see what nature has to tell us about our own way of being in the world. We will explore our path forward, integrating what we have harvested this week and celebrate with a festive meal.
  • DAY 7: DEPARTURE |Enjoy a full breakfast before departing at 10am.


My connection to Sicily begins on a ship, the S.S. Patria, which left the port of Palermo in October 1914.


As a young child, I used to listen to the stories of my great uncle who told me about crossing the ocean on that ship as a boy. He told me of watching a moving picture on the ship, a flickering film of a horse running. He told me about the village of Vallelunga, where our family worked the land for hundreds of years. Vallelunga stayed in my imagination until the day in 2012, when I stepped off a train there and brought that journey of the S.S. Patria full circle.

Our world is in a state of rapid change, flux, and uncertainty. People are on the move today in search of basic needs, just as the family of my grandparents was swept up in a wave of migration in 1914.

It is important that we find a still point in this turbulent world, that we come to know ourselves and tell our story as only we can tell it. It is important that we come to see our individual lives as an integral piece of a much larger human cloth. To do so is to become more fully human, more fully our true selves.  – Michael Anderson


Sicily Portrait 2

Michael Anderson (Program Leader) has been teaching art for twenty years, and is a certified MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) instructor. He is a longtime student and practitioner of Buddhist meditation. He lives in Vienna.


Enjoy the warmth of your Sicilian hosts, delight in the authentic atmosphere of the period architecture and furnishings that surround you, be nurtured by the simple, healthy meals provided by our local chef. Many of the natural ingredients come from the farm itself and the surrounding region. Meals are vegetarian with vegan and gluten-free options available. Please let us know of any other dietary restrictions you may have. Rest assured, we will accommodate your needs to ensure your comfort, health, and well-being throughout your stay in Sicily!



Choose from a range of accommodation packages. Rooms in the main Masseria house and adjoining cottages feature beautiful Sicilian furnishings with private or shared bath. All rates include six nights lodging, meals, and excursions.

Shared Room
Shared Bath
1 Person
Private Room
Shared Bath
1 Person
Private Room
Private Bath
1 Person

Private Room
Shared Bath
2 People
Private Room
Private Bath
2 People

Included in Package Rate:

  • 6 nights accommodation, towel, sheets, and 1 room cleaning per week
  • 3 fresh Sicilian meals each day, vegetarian / vegan/ gluten-free options
  • Non-alcoholic beverages (juice, tea, coffee) & snacks each day
  • Excursions to Agrigento and Cefalù
  • Guided meditation and arts experiences each day
  • Use of meditation cushions and mats
  • Basic art materials, including dry and wet media, paper, and brushes (please bring any specific materials you wish to work with, as well as a journal or sketchbook)

Not Included:

  • Airfare
  • Airport transfer (Transfers may be booked for additional $60 USD each way)

Flexible Cancellation Policy

Book with peace of mind. A full refund will be given for cancellations made before February 15, 2021. A program credit will be issued for cancellations occurring on or after February 15, 2021. A DEPOSIT of $500 USD (per person) is required at time of reservation. BALANCE payment is due March 1, 2021. Minimum participants: 6, Maximum: 12. In the event of program cancellation due to circumstances beyond our control, a full refund will be issued.


The Masseria / Sicilian Spirit is located approximately two hours from both Palermo (PMO) and Catania (CTA) airports. Catania is recommended, as flights are often cheaper and more direct, and ground access to the Masseria is more direct. Airport transfers from Cantania (CTA) or Palermo (PMO) can be arranged for an additional $60 USD on arrival/departure days for flights arriving no later than 13:00 on April 18, and departing no earlier than 13:00 on April 24. Please indicate on your registration form.


Space is limited to 12 participants. Please complete form below to book your space. Upon receipt of booking, you will receive an e-mail confirmation and payment instructions within 24 hours. Receipt of deposit payment will secure your place. Please use the comment field to let us know of any special needs you may have so that we can ensure your comfort, health, and well-being.

We are excited to have you join us and look forward to seeing you in Sicily!