I will lift up mine eyes unto the mountains:
From where shall my help come?

סדר קידוש לבנה ☽ Kiddush Levanah: Sanctification of the Moon



What is it?

refugi is a mountain retreat, sanctuary and creative residency project in the foothills of the French Pyrenees in South West France.

The work is to bring the expansive and grounding nature of this place to others. To share in the wonder that occurs when we stop, step out of time and start listening, deeply. To show how we can change the way we live and work and play. To hold space and support for self-care. To help you recharge and find strength, clarity and joy in all that you are.

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For more information, explore The Art of Practice and the refugi codex.

For things to take away, investigate our Artefacts.

Where is it?

Fosse is in Pyrenees Orientales (Occitanie), Languedoc-Rousillon, France.

The small hamlet in the foothills of Mount Canigou is close to the Spanish border, mountain ski resorts and the Mediterranean coast between the Catalan city of Perpignan and the medieval city of Carcassonne. It is deep in the heart of ancient Cathar territory. The land is ancient, solid and grounding.

By air: Perpignan, Carcassonne, Toulouse and Barcelona International

By train: TGV to Perpignan or Carcassonne

By car: D117 off the A9 autoroute.

>> Map and Directions

>> More about the village and surrounding area

What happens?

People come here to slow down, to sleep, to take a much needed breath of fresh air and escape from the fast pace and intensity of everyday life.  Just you and the hills stretching as far as the eye can see. No distractions, no interruptions, just time and space so you can focus on exactly what matters:

  • Come to rest and to recharge.
  • Live alongside kindred spirits in the wilderness of the Pyrenees.
  • Walk the forest paths.
  • Listen to your needs.
  • Chop wood and carry water.
  • Swim in the rivers and sit around campfires.
  • Bring your projects and dreams.
  • Open your heart to creative possibility.
  • Believe in the magic of synchronicity and serendipity.
  • Find clarity and renewed commitment to your practice.

You can come as a visiting guest, stay as a resident or become a founding supporter. All are welcome.


Emma Wallace and Anne Burniston escaped the city and corporate careers to answer a deep and powerful call to the wild mountains of the French Pyrenees. To reconnect with a creative and intuitive life and explore a more meaningful existence.

For seven years we have walked this land, worked, laughed and cried with it's people and become an integral part of our local community. We have buried our dead and welcomed in brave new life. 

Rest as a Revolutionary Act.
Emma has been hosting an ongoing salon since 2010 in the spirit of Europe’s grandes dames during the Enlightenment. Many have sat at her table discussing the state of things. Friendships have been made, ideas formed and movements forged. Much can be created over good food at the right table in the right company.

In 2012 we opened The Loft for those needing to retreat to the mountains. It was a glorious exercise in love, design and craft, marking a transition from a heady intellectual world back into the body.

In 2015 Emma started Wild Women Gather, an invite-only group for women Elders committed to the daily embodiment of Sovereign Female Wisdom.

In 2016 Anne founded theslowcoaches.com based in the United Kingdom – a conscious leadership consultancy that brings the teachings from the mountain to the boardroom.

Thanks to generous patronage and the creation of the refugi fund, we established #thisisrefugi. The project acquired Number 13 in October 2016, a sacred space in the heart of the village. It is our church, convent, monastery and Valhalla, all set in Freya's field. See the plans for Number 13.

In 2018 we opened the Main House to residents and started the refugi residency programme which is lead and hosted by Emma in France.

We are creating a legacy. Be part of it.

Want to Become a Founding Supporter?

If you're considering making a substantial financial contribution, please drop us a line and we will be glad to brief you on the project.

Other ways you can help

Get Involved

Sponsor a Residency

Offer Financial Support

We've got ways for everyone to join and support the refugi project. From volunteering and skill exchange to partnership. Be part of building something sacred.
Take a look at what we need and what we are offering through our Journeyman Project for visiting artists, craftspeople and architects of the divine.

If you run a project, business or movement and would like to sponsor a place at refugi for you to gift to an employee, customer or supporter we would love to talk to you and see how we can help offer sanctuary to those you care about. 

Your financial support helps bring our projects to life more quickly. Any donations big or small make a huge difference to our ability to get things done. We believe in gifts from the Gods and Goddesses, an empty chalice waits to be filled.

"Although mountains belong to the nation, mountains belong to the people who love them. When mountains love their master, such a virtuous sage or wise person enters the mountains. Since mountains belong to the sages and wise people living there, trees and rocks become abundant and birds and animals are inspired. This is so because the sages and wise people extend their virtue. You should know it as a fact that mountains are fond of wise people and sages. Many rulers have visited mountains to pay homage to wise people or to ask for instruction from great sages. These have been important events in the past and present. At such times these rulers treat the sages as teachers, disregarding the protocol of the usual world. The imperial power has no authority over the wise people in the mountains. Mountains are apart from the human world."

Mountains and Waters Discourse (1) (Sansui Kyo) By Zen Master Dogen Translated by Kazuaki Tanahashi