About Meretes Garden
To notice the moments in life, it is important that we are not carrying more sorrows, worries or pain than we have to.
We all have something that we feel restrain us. It can be the feeling of never sufficing. It being in relation to family, work or friends. In crisis, or in illness, or in regard to our inner feelings and needs. Whatever it is, it is also possible to free yourself from this feeling of insufficiency.
Yoga and meditation, the close conversation, and contact with our inner feelings are important tools to handle challenges in our daily life. It can help reduce worries and increase the feeling of being present. To seek inwards and work with yourself in this way to find your own resources, happiness and energy, do give results.
And this has motivated me to develop Meretes Garden. An oasis for personal growth. A place where you can totally be yourself, a place with a big heart and tolerance for differences. A place where you can feel the confidence you need to feel good about yourself and others.
Through therapy and guidance, mindfulness, yoga and meditation, I can give you the tools you need for your personal process and development.
I am born in 1966 and come from Valldal in Sunnmøre, the middle of Fjord Norway. After having worked as a nutritional technician for 10 years, I decided to take a four year degree in psychotherapy at the ID-Academy in Denmark to work with people. I also have an additional year of group coaching.
Parallell with my studies I took classes in meditation and consciousness development with Margit Madhurima Rigtrup at The Consciousheart Center in Copenhagen. I still practice meditation and consciousness training with her. It helps me tune into my heart, where I believe we find what is true for us. I believe that everything in life exists to make awareness. And your attitude to what happens is often crucial to your wellbeing.
Live, love, laugh
These are the guidelines for my life. If I can feel my heart beat, and laugh a few moments every day, then I am happy. When I do yoga, dig in my garden or I am sitting quietly by a lake, I also feel alive. In contact with other people or animals I feel presence of love.
To enjoy life is often about capturing the moments and be present in yourself. To make a few ”micro” breaks during a long day can give you that little extra energy you miss. And there are endless ways to capture the moments.
In all this, it is clear to me how important it is to use and appreciate nature. Without it we cannot excist. We are part of it, and it is part of us. A free source of energy, happiness and liveliness.
Yoga and mindfulness
After having moved back to Valldal, I continued my studies and practice of mindfulness and yoga, and am now a qualified yoga teacher from Norges Yogalærarskole.
To use our bodies, be aware our breathing, have focus on presence, first came to my knowledge through many years practicing karate, and being a karate instructor in my twenties. Karate is one of the Zen sports, originating from Japanese munks. The change from karate to meditation therefore was not so profound.
I have many years of experience with therapy within psychiatry, and am also working as a therapist with my own practice in Valldal. Tensions in our body or mind can act as inhibitors, strengthen worries, anxiety or physical pain. By training our consciousness and use physical therapeutic methods, we can strenghten both our mental and physical health.
What you seed, grows
That is an expression I often find true. You may focus on your sorrows, your dissatisfactions with life. But you can also practice to see what is lifegiving and healthy for your body and mind, and leave more space for it in your life.
Therapy and meditation are methods to help you in this process.
The retreat Meretes Garden has a unique situation in what is called the strawberry village of Valldal, known for its majestic mountains, a mighty river with its powerful waterfalls, and the deep blue Fjord of Norddal. In the middle of the UNESCO World Heritage area of Geirangerfjord.
The beautiful nature is the heart and the puls of the retreat. Here you will find a Japanese zengarden for meditation, and a herb, and vegetable garden. A little path from the garden leads you down to the peaceful surroundings of the beautiful river Valldøla.
The place is as created for interesting courses, workshops and retreats. All closely connected to the beautiful nature and the surrounding garden. The feeling of being close to earth, and the connection between man and nature has made this a good place to be and develop both for people and plants.
Here you can stay at the retreat, and use the activities and facilities the place has to offer whenever it suits you, or participate in our scheduled courses and workshops.
We aim to be an oasis for senses, body and soul. A place for meditation, community and personal growth.
A place you can find new energy, reach your inner self and feel peace and quiet. Develop your creativity, resources and talents, and strengthen your senses. Everything in harmony with the surrounding nature.
The history of the Myklebust Farm is told through three generations. Meretes grandfather bought this farm where Merete grew up. Back then he grew vegetables and kept livestock on the farm.
Grandfather was an adventurer and had seven children. He went to Alaska as a golddigger like many others from the villages around the fjord. He came back with enough money to start his own factory to produce jam from local berries and fruit together with his brother. Nils, Meretes father, studied to become a gardener and started horticulture on the farm in 1953. This is what today is the centre of the retreat, Meretes Garden.
In the greenhouses they grew tomatoes and cucumber. The smell of warm tomatoes are memories that have inspired Merete to grow her own products as well. They also used to grow cabbage, carrots and strawberries for own household, and for commerce. In 1988, the new greenhouse was constructed.
Merete took over the farm in 2009, after they finished production. But she wanted to bring on the memories of a beautiful, lush and fertile place, and make it into an oasis for personal growth. In the same way as both her father and her grandfather followed their dreams, and their passion for what comes from earth, this need has also followed Merete, though in a slightly different way.
And you notice, the moment you enter the retreat. The feeling of peace and quiet, of being close to nature, grounded to earth. You are present, in an oasis where you can lower your shoulders and open up your mind.
The communal room
Here you find a kitchen and a dining table seating 16 people. A sitting group with panoramic windows. This room can be used all year round and is designed in a retro style. We like to describe it as homely and relaxed. It is perfect as an assembly room, and here we also make meals.
The Meditation Room
Earlier this was a flower shop where they sold beautiful flowers. Now it is furbished with a wooden floor and bright walls, and has a light and easy atmosphere. The room is situated beside The Communal Room, is suitable for all seasons, and perfect for yoga and meditation for up to 7 people.
The Glass Greenhouse
Has a very special light, and gives the feeling of being close to nature. It is a perfect place for creative workshops, and works as a studio for yoga during the summer months from May to the middle of September.
The Old Packing House
This room is about 40 square meters and has a quiet and calm atmosphere. The linoleum flooring is new and the rustic walls are painted white. The room is sparcely furnished, but gives a pleasant and warm feeling, and is used for courses and workshops durng the summer months from May to October.
The Japanese Zengarden
This garden is established in what remains of the old greenhouse walls. 200 square meters are made into an oasis that is lush and green all year round. A place that invites you to sit in peace and quiet. The garden is balanced with the elements of earth, fire, air and water. The fish pond with running water is the pearl of the garden. Here you can relax in the hammock or a comfortable, old wicker chair, while enjoying the sight of the fish swimmming in the pond, the birds flying in the sky and the water quietly drizzling.
Stillerommet har komfortable kvilestolar og sofa der du kan slappe av, lese ei bok eller berre la tankane fare. Her er det utsikt mot urtehagen i midten av senteret. Rommet er estetisk innreia med eikegolv og peisild for å fremje både livskraft og ro. Visste du at eik er symbolet for livskraft og styrke?
The Zen Garden
It is well known that gardens have a calming and terapeutic effect on us. Researchers have found that there is a link between good health and being in, or look at a garden. Green plants stimulate our senses in many ways, by smell, sound and vision. To work with soil and be near earth gives energy at the same time as making us feel calm. A Japanese zen garden is constructed to support peace and harmony and stimulate to contact with your inner beauty. Therefore I have created a little Japanese oasis in the middle of nature surrounding the retreat.
The green buildings
The old greenhouses are as made for strengthening the boundary with nature, the peace and calm of the retreat. The glas greenhouse is a warm and pleasent place to be, close to nature, the sound of the river and the singing of the birds outside. The old packing house was used to pack tomatoes, mix soil and plant seedlings, and is now housing courses and workshops.
Both outside and inside in Meretes Garden there is plenty of space for inspiration and creativity. Just imagine calming down for a couple of days in one of our stylish and natural tents made of cottton. Placed just in the centre of the garden. Walk in the nearby lushious area or mountains, pick your own berries or swim in the fjord or the river. Peace and quiet give you the opportunity to listen to your body and your heart.