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Our Story

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Opening a retreat centre in Europe.. a new experience for each of us, has unfolded with a combination of good intent, guidance and the work of many.
Every day seems to be an offering of possibilities to co-create with fresh spirit.

We are a core team of four. Two female Wisdom Teachers, steeped in life times of knowledge and love.. and two wise men, equally capable of supporting the love and knowledge, with the experience and commitment that is needed for Mandali to function well, from the beginning and into the future.

It has become 'a little city of light'.

Cali Ornelas and Velusia Van Horssen have allowed their life course, and flow of work to join at Mandali, to share and to guide the process of growth and 'let go’ we sense is needed for Mandali to be the open and supportive retreat centre that we would like it to be for our fellow teachers, and our beloved students.

Wouter Tavecchio and Wildrik Timmerman were close friends and business partners that felt called to find a way to deepen their contact with their inner work, by supporting Mandali both financially and with their time and leadership qualities.

Wouter and Wildrik had met Cali in india..
Cali had been their teacher, and original partner, who then introduced them to the teaching of Velusia. Velusia has been teaching in open formats since the early 80’s, and It was clear to each of us, as our connection deepened, that with the Combination of four.. we had found our balanced team.

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The location was the result of an extended search. The view from the mountain top accelerated our hearts, and we realised we had found the perfect place. Yet although we all knew the preciousness of what we had discovered, the estimate to renovate the old hotel that sat on the property, or rebuild, exceeded the available funds and we had no choice but to stop considering it.

As life unfolded, Wouter and Wildrik received an offer for their company and felt, after much consideration, that selling was the best course of action. This in turn generated the funds for Mandali, and we went back to Italy to purchase the land. There was much happiness and a strong sense of moving in the right direction. We next needed to find an architect and builder to construct a place reflecting all our intentions and, once again, the process was not straight forward. Spending 9 months working with a team, what was proposed fell far short of what we had envisioned. Following another stop period, we were blessed to meet two brothers, Gian Carlo and Matteo, who sat with us through uncountable hours to arrive at the proposal for which we all had a big "Yes!".

The creation of Mandali has been one of following inner and outer guidance, commitment to serve, and resilience through obstacles. Many have helped us as we proceed.

The evolution of Mandali is a journey of continuous growth, humbling us and requiring the best of what is needed to give. This is our dream and heartfelt intention - to create a place of quiet beauty, to learn and to relax in. We believe that to spend time in retreat is a necessity for anyone interested in a balanced way of living. We look forward to welcoming you at Mandali.

In gratitude,
The Mandali family

Our core team

Cali profile picture


Cali’s life long passion is to support people in returning to their unique self-expression. Her dedication to understanding and sharing ways of expanding human manifestation is unending and ever developing.

This passion for understanding human nature has guided her through many diverse fields of study. She has been practicing yoga and engaged in therapeutic processes since the early age of 15. She has studied Sociology and Anthropology at the Goias Federal University in Brazil. Later she built a prominent company in the São Paulo fashion industry. However, she found that neither academia nor material luxuries of economic success satisfied her.

For 14 years, Cáli embarked on a journey of self-discovery. She studied yoga and psychotherapy in Australia. Meditation and a broad range of therapeutic approaches with Osho in Pune, India. For seven years, she practiced long periods of silence in retreats under the guidance of her teacher Swami Prem Samdarshi in the Himalayas. And later on received the teachings from the Advaita sage, Ramesh Balsekar, in Mumbai.

Upon her return to Europe, she spent years refining her therapeutic skills by completing trainings in Trauma Healing / Somatic Experiencing (Peter A. Levine), Healing Attachment Wounds with Diane Poole Heller, Enneagram with Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson, and Internal Family System Model (IFS) with Richard Schwartz. For many years Cali was mentored by Velusia van Horssen in the domains of Essential unfoldment, bringing further depth and richness to the therapeutic work.

For the past 17 years, Cali has delivered residential retreats all over the world. Her teaching is a synthesis of her extensive life experience and focuses on providing students the opportunity to experience a deep-rooted sense of harmony in relating to one-self and others.

Currently Cáli is focused on expanding the vision of the Mandali retreat center in Italy, which is now the base of her teaching activity.

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I have been fortunate to work with masters of heart and soul, and teachers of the intricacies of psycho-spiritiual awakening
since the mid 70’s. For this, and so much more, I am grateful.

Velusia’s 35 years of sharing in trainings and teachings,, have flowered into deeply connected and well guided teachings that are now a source of inspiration and essential shifts for all level of students.

Resonating in the non-dual, and enjoying an ever alive level of Divine connectedness, her work is a kind of midwifery of what is true in us.
Being with each person in their uniqueness, seems to be her home ground, and she gently yet clearly stands with us there... from the sensitivity of initial meetings through to the recognition and integration of our full range of essential life qualities. (‘The Kingdom is at hand’)

Velusia has now chosen to work from Mandali to broaden the scope of what can be shared, from within a holding environment that supports
the shifts to concsiousness that her work brings. So many are awakening at this time, and the shift deserves inner and outer care and respect. Consciousness is fine… it doesn’t want anything in itself.. but the body/mind needs care to catch up, integrate and contain, until it stops pulling us back to habits, and begins to simply enjoy the ride.

Many teachers have worked with Velusia, and call her a Teachers Teacher. They feel seen, valued and inspired. You can’t work with Velusia without knowing you return with fuller access to yourself and others.

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“ A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled,
they will say: we did it ourselves. "

- Lao Tzu -

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“ You will come closer and closer to perfection, but you will never be perfect.
For perfection is not the way of existence, growth is the way."

- Osho -

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We believe it is essential to take time for
yourself in a Sacred place