Every year, my wife and I lead a group of 20-30 students to our amazing retreat center in Costa Rica.
Together, we enjoy a week filled with new friendships, million-dollar views, amazing food, and of course qigong!
Here are the most frequently asked questions about the trip:
1. What’s the experience like?
Watch this video to hear alums talk about their experiences:
2. Are beginners welcome?
Roughly half of the participants are always complete newbies, and I always teach from scratch. Take the plunge! You’ll not only learn qigong, but meet new people and have the adventure of a lifetime!
3. What’s the daily routine?
- 7:30 am – Breakfast (the sun rises early, so this isn’t as early as it sounds)
- 8:30 am – Qigong in the Temple of Learning
- 11:00 am – Snacks and tea in the Garden of Silence
- 1:00 pm – Lunch
- 2:00 pm – Free time, guided hikes, massages, acupuncture, socializing
- 5:00 pm – Snack time
- 5:30 pm – Q&A with Sifu Anthony
- 7:00 pm – Dinner
4. Where do we fly to?
Fly in to San Jose International, airport code SJO. Make sure you don’t fly into San Jose California!
5. When should we arrive/depart?
Your flight should arrive in Costa Rica on Friday, July 14th (or earlier if you want to go touring beforehand).
You flight should depart Costa Rica on Sunday, July 23rd (or later if you want to go touring afterward).
6. What about the bus ride to the retreat?
The buses to the retreat center will leave on Saturday morning, July 15th. We’ll leave from the Holiday Inn near the airport.
The buses from the retreat center (to the airport) will leave on Saturday morning, July 22nd.
We’ll stop for meals and amazing mountain views in both directions.
The bus ride is included in the price that you pay for the retreat.
7. What about exchanging money?
Honestly, you don’t need to. Everyone takes dollars at a fair rate, and they’ll give you change in the local currency (colones). You can also use credit cards almost anywhere, also at a fair rate.
8. Can someone meet me at the airport in San Jose?
Sure! If you’re nervous about arriving in Costa Rica, we’ll send someone to meet you at the airport!
9. My passport is expired. Is it too late?
There’s plenty of time to get your passport renewed. You can do it by mail. It usually takes 4-6 weeks. Or you can do the expedited renewal, which costs an extra $60 and takes 2-3 weeks. Click here for the official details.
10. I don’t have a passport.
It’s possible to get one quickly. Click here for details. I recommend that you call them.
11. Is it a beach resort?
We can help you arrange a trip to the beach before or after the retreat, but the retreat center itself is located 1400 meters (4500 feet) above sea level. It’s a tropical mountain paradise with stunning views, rare birds, a cloud forest, and temperate weather.
12. What’s the food like at the retreat?
Simply delicious. All of the food is fresh, organic, local, and prepared lovingly.
13. I’m vegan/vegetarian/paleo/gluten free.
No problem! We can accommodate virtually any dietary needs for you. Everything is already 100% gluten free. Normally, the meals contain eggs, chicken, or fish (all of it locally sourced), but there are also vegetarian and vegan options.
14. Is the water safe to drink?
The water on the mountain is as clean as you’ll ever drink. It comes directly from a nearby spring, and it is run through several filters. It is also tested regularly for microbes. In over 10 years of operation, they have never had any kind of problem with the water.
15. What are the accommodations like?
Watch this video for a tour of the buildings and gardens:
16. Can I go by myself?
Sure! Lots of people do, including women ages 22-72. It’s certainly safe enough for you to travel on your own. The only question is whether or not you’re ready for an adventure!
17. What’s the weather like?
All year round, the average temperature during the day is about 75 F, and at night it goes down to about 57 F. Because Costa Rica is close to the equator, there are roughly 12 hours of daylight each day.
18. Can I get treated by your wife?
My amazing wife will be seeing patients all week. She’s known as a miracle worker and a master diagnostician, and she specializes in Functional Medicine, Neuro-Emotional Technique, Quantum Neurology, and nutritional counseling. You can schedule one or more appointments with her, but move fast because they always fill up!
19. What will we learn?
This year, I’ll be focusing on The 12 Treasures, a wonderful qigong set from the Taoist tradition.
But I always teach the fundamentals of the 5-Phase Routine, including Flowing Breeze Swaying Willow, Flowing Stillness, and Entering Zen.
Click below to see an old video of the 12 Treasures:
20. What about Wifi?
There is no Wifi at the retreat, and this is by design. It’s one of the few places left on earth where you can detox from cell phone and Wifi radiation.
There is an internet room. For a fee, you can either plug in a laptop or use their computer to check email.
21. Is Costa Rica safe?
Yes!! Costa Rica is is a democratic republic, and it’s the one of the safest countries in all of Latin and South America. Under the 1949 constitution, all citizens are guaranteed equality before the law, the right to own property, the right of petition and assembly, freedom of speech, and the right of habeas corpus. A unique feature of Costa Rica is that it does not have an army. Costa Ricans decided there would be less chance for coups and dictators without one, and so it has become a global model of democracy. During the last 50 years, the money that would have gone into the military has been spent on education. The country has one of the highest literacy rates in the world.
22. Where does my money go?
Since it was founded in 2004, The Blue Mountain Retreat Center has stressed the importance of constructively interacting with the neighboring community in a number of ways by…
- …separating 95% of the center’s land (116 acres) into a natural sanctuary that protects water, flora, and fauna.
- …helping to complete the construction of a local elementary school, and also providing it with textbooks, library books, and offering workshops for the teachers, children, and parents.
- …supporting the construction of a music classroom in the local high school.
- …offering financial support to families experiencing hardships to help them with housing and education.
- …partnering with the Drop-to-Drop Campaign of Faith, led by Costa Rican entrepreneurs in alliance with the community, for the construction of the village church and a community center
- …maintaining the road both for the community and to boost the local economy.
- …constructing a prayer space in the cemetery of the neighboring community.
- …supporting the overall wellbeing of young girls in a local Safe Home for victims of sexual abuse and trauma.
- …offering qigong courses, held regularly for the community.
In addition to this, my wife, Dr. Akemi, gives over $2000 worth of free acupuncture treatment to the local community every time we go.
Inspired? Time is running out for our July retreat! Click here for dates, details, and registration.
If you have any questions about the retreat, please call 352-672-7613 and leave a message. We’ll call you back and we’ll be happy to answer your questions! From the heart, Sifu Anthony