The Way Out is In

Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) Core Skills and Nature Connection

A time to befriend yourself and deepen your connection to Mother  Earth and to others

SEPTEMBER 4th-9th, 2023


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Join Mirjam Luthe at Monviso Institute, Piedmonte/ Italy, for an immersion into Self-Compassion Practices in connection with Nature and regenerative practices


September 4-9, 2023 (5 days, Monday afternoon to Saturday noon) with the possibility of earlier arrival.

What to come for:

  • Reconnect with your inner resources and grow your emotional resilience 
  • Replenish in a wild and beautiful alpine setting on and around the campus of MonViso Institute in Ostana, a revived Occitan village 
  • Combine body awareness and movement in nature with mental inspiration and emotional exploration of self and our common humanity
  • Be inspired by hands-on examples of regeneration in this real-world laboratory MVI and explore how the local community responds to change 
  • Feel motivated and nourished by connecting to like-minded explorers 
  • Explore your relation to the Inner Development Goals (IDGs) and discover new ways of taking action

About Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC)

MSC is an empirically-supported training based on the pioneering research of Prof. Dr. Kristin Neff and the clinical perspective of Dr. Chris Germer. It combines the skills of mindfulness and self-compassion to enhance our capacity for emotional wellbeing. Mindfulness is the first step – turning with loving awareness toward difficult experiences (emotions, sensations, thoughts). Self-compassion comes next – bringing loving awareness to ourselves. Together, mindfulness and self-compassion and the notion of common humanity comprise a state of warm, connected presence during difficult moments in our lives, which is particularly relevant during these challenging times. The curriculum has been steadily refined since 2010 and taught to over 100.000 people worldwide. 

We will nourish our innate human competences of mindfulness, common humanity and kindness as a practice form of self-care. You will gently explore how you typically respond when difficult emotions arise. You will practice tools for becoming a warm and supportive companion to yourself, strengthening emotional resources and personal capacities through exercises, meditations, group sharing, dyads and informal practices. You will find a safe and supportive environment for relaxing, grounding and reconnecting with yourself and from there, hopefully feel supported and motivated to engage in new ways.

This course covers the official MSC Core Skills contents. 

Our workshop will include 4 x 3-hour MSC sessions, complemented by a similar amount of hours of Nature Meditation and Outdoor Activities and a half-day silent self-compassion meditation retreat. 

It is an easy way to get to know the MSC practice. For those who have already taken a MSC program, it is an excellent way to deepen it in community. It is an introduction to the full MSC program. It does not qualify for teacher training.

Full 8-week program, qualifying for teacher training, starting March 14th, 2023 in German language: clic here


English with a bilingual option of German for the MSC course. Italian, Spanish and French are spoken, too.


Please bring a certain level of fitness to be at ease at an altitude of 1.500m asl and to cover medium-seized walking distances. We are happy to accommodate special needs. A personal dialog will be a pre-requisite to participation. 

All meditation levels are welcome.

Going beyond MSC – Deepening our connection to Mother Earth

From a safe space of gentle self-care and befriending ourselves and our experiences, we will  intentionally plant seeds for listening deeper into our and others’ worldviews and how we relate to our precious planet Earth. We will immerse in nature on a daily basis  and sense and savour the great outdoors of Ostana in guided short hikes. We will explore what reciprocity means to – nature in us and we as nature. We will offer one hour of daily working meditation practice on campus to dive into the idea and practice of regenerative design. Being inspired by the pioneering projects in this location, we will explore our personal practices of inner growth to the aspirations of Inner Development Goals (IDGs – about “Being, Thinking, Relating, Collaborating and Acting”, which aim to support the quicker implementation of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. Mindful dialog formats like dyads and council will support us in terms of interpersonal mindfulness practice. 

Course location: 

Ostana, Piemont, Italy (1500m asl altitude)

We are especially privileged to offer part of this pilot workshop on the campus of the real-world laboratory of MonViso Institute, a project at the cutting edge of research and education on sustainability transitions and regenerative design with its amphitheater, fire place, pizza oven and camping/glamping area.

For the MSC Core Skills Course, we will be guests in the safe, cozy space of the Centro Culturale di Ostana with its “Viso a Viso” cooperative, including a coffee and bar space with lovingly prepared healthy, local food. Both places, outdoor and indoor, are at a walking distance of 10 minutes. Bikes can be rented.

Location and seminar spaces

MonViso Institute (MVI) Campus,  a real-world laboratory at the cutting edge of research and education on sustainability transitions and regenerative design in breath-taking nature, overlooking the Valley of the river Po, still young at its source. This will be “home base” for some of our nature practices, for our work meditation (1 hour per day) to better understand the concept of regeneration and for the meals we will share around the fire place and pizza oven, independent if you decide to camp or glamp on Campus, or choose a lodging option in the village. Our MSC course will – depending on the weather conditions – for most days take place at a 10-minute walking distance from the MVI Campus at Lou Portoun, Viso A Viso.

MonViso Institute

Centro civico e culturale Lou Pourtoun

Course times and agenda

Monday, September 4th, 2023

Start with open air dinner at MVI Campus 

Saturday, September 9th, 2023 

End at noon after a silent half-day retreat 

Depending on weather conditions, we will spend the mornings with outdoor practices on and around the Monviso Institute Campus. In the afternoons we will be in the cozy indoor space at Centro Culturale Lou Portoun for the MSC Core Skills with an attached café and snack place. We will provide locally produced, healthy meals and tend to special needs, making use of the pizza oven and fireplace at MVI and visiting local slow food restaurants in the village to support the local economy. We will get to know the inhabitants and some local projects, being respectful guests in the Occitan culture in times of climate change. 

Weather conditions may be a reason for changes in the agenda. Saturday afternoon and Sunday are at your disposal for hiking or other visits; detailed information and guidance can be provided.

Your Teacher: 

Certified MSC Teacher Mirjam Luthe (with MVI team support) (see below)

If the group is bigger than 8 participants, a co-facilitator will support Mirjam


September 4-9, 2023 (Monday afternoon to Saturday noon) with the possibility of earlier arrival.


Group size: 8-12

Course fee

MSC Core Skills & Nature-based Meditation”: 500 EUR Early Bird price (until May 30th).

After June 1st, 2022, cost will be 550 EUR.

Additional costs, depending on accommodation choice, range between 70-120 EUR daily including food and lodging. Nobody will be turned away for lack of funds. If your situation requires an adaptation of cost, please let us know.


Lodging prices are approximate and subject to change, given the current situation.
Please consult with MVI team for updates.

You can choose between camping or glamping at MVI or choose an AirBnb or cozy mountain-style Youth Hostel style or Agriturismo. Since Ostana is quite popular still at this later time of the year, accommodation gets booked out fast. The MVI team will do some pre-bookings and handle the final booking process for you. Let us know your wishes. We will for sure savour delicious, healthy Piemontese food. 

1. Camping on the MVI campus (glamping) in single sleeping tents: 78€/day or 390€ for 5 nights. 

You are welcome to bring your own tent and gear. The Campus offers a protected outdoor shower under the trees and a dry compost toilet.

Protected outdoor shower / dry compost toilet

2. The hostel “Foresteria”, a well- equipped hostel with bunk beds and kitchen: 78€/day or 390€ for 5 nights. 

3. Comfortable single or double rooms at Agriturismo “A Mizoun” or “Rifugio Galaberna”, 130€/110€ per day or 650€/550€ for 5 nights. 

4. Apartments in local building style in a beautifully renovated typical stone house or a tree house (most are offered through AirBnb): 120€ per day or 600€ for 5 nights.

Tree house

Since Ostana is quite popular this time of the year, accommodation gets booked out fast. The MVI team has done some pre-bookings and will handle the final booking process for you. You can book your package here.

Further information about the locations in Ostana can be found here:

The MVI team is happy to support you with up-to-date information regarding logistics and local conditions via email:

Food: Please see above for the accommodation & food package. We will enjoy  the regional Piedmontese kitchen, yet offer vegetarian food as the default. Some responsible meat options are available upon request, same as vegan. Please be aware of the traditions in mountain food, where for example cheese often is an ingredient. We will offer a mixture of open fire barbeque, catered outdoor lunches, self-made pizza at the outdoor wood fire stove, and cozy restaurant visits.

International travel: The MVI campus can be reached by train/bus to Torino and then by train to either Savigliano (preferred) or Pinerolo, followed by a shared taxi ride of one hour uphill into the Commune di Ostana. Closest airports are Torino and Milano. If you come by car, there is parking space in the village.  

Car sharing or public transport are encouraged to keep the village free from traffic

Local transport: During the course, distances between the MVI campus, the main village and accommodations can be walked or cycled on mountainous trails, or the winding road. Count in distances of about 20 minutes walking up and downhill. Bringing an E-bike is ideal; one E-bike is for free use for campus guests and more can be rented in place for additional cost. Where needed, the MVI team will provide us with car transport in the village as an included service. Extra transportation outside the village is subject to additional costs.

What to bring: You are welcome to bring your own meditation/ yoga mat and cushion or blanket (otherwise, you will find the necessary equipment in place). Any gear you may need in the mountains and outdoors to protect you from sun, rain, cold. Flashlight. Bathing (natural water pools and creeks) and hiking gear. A detailed list will be provided upon reservation.

Busy to find food. A bee in Ostana.


For information about course content:

For information about logistical support in and to Ostana:

Please submit your expression of interest with preferred lodging options latest by July 30th.

Your email


Mirjam Luthe

Mirjam, MA International Cultural & Business Studies, Development Cooperation & NGO Management, is a Certified MSC and Certified MBSR Teacher, a Yoga Teacher and a Certified “Awake in the Wild” Nature Meditation Teacher. She is trained in the Mindful Schools Curriculum, and continuously exploring Council Practice and contemplative dialog forms like Interpersonal Mindfulness and “Time to Think” as a means to invite equity and build bridges in midst of diversity. Mirjam cooperates with the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion since 2016, first in the field of teacher relations, then International Affairs and now Global Engagement. She has taught MSC in Germany, Vietnam, Spain and in California. At UC Irvine Susan Samueli Integrated Health Institute, California, she cooperates as “Mindfulness Instructor” since 2020, and for AVE Institut as a co-creator of the mindfulness-based advanced teacher training program (Germany).

Engaged since its foundation in 2012 in the core team of the European Network for Grateful Living „Dankbar leben“, founded by Brother David Steindl-Rast. Mirjam has been learning with OneEarth Sangha in the Eco Sattva Training, with EarthHolders at the Plumvillage Community, Ökosattva Group at ZPI, “White Awake” and “Cultural Healing and Restoring Kinship” course (“My Grandmother’s Hands”) and is an active member in Jeremy Lent’s “Deep Transformation Network”.

Prior to teaching a variety of mindfulness-based formats, Mirjam has been engaged for 15 years in consultancy work in development cooperation in many countries and has lived in Brazil, France, Italy, Spain, California and other countries. Integrating these experiences into teaching mindfulness, she passionately stands for a socially engaged practice, including all voices. She speaks German, English, French, Spanish, Italian and some Portuguese and is able to teach in several languages. A lover of being in the outdoors, the arts, dance, shakuhachi and handpan practice, and a mom of currently three teens.