We visit new places this year! If you have been with us on the tour in 2014 or 2016 you’ll see new places this time. Some photos on this page are depicting sites that we will visit and some other photos illustrate the atmosphere of the communal journey from last year (ones with the IEC2016 logo).

The Magical Mystery Tour of the Integral Community is a 3-day, 4-quadrant event filled with unexpected and delightful twists and turns through the beautiful landscape of Hungary. You will experience a “stages of consciousness” tour as you journey through magenta, red, amber, orange, green, and teal layers of European and Hungarian culture, and local integralists will share with you their individual and collective interiors, their stories and sagas. Bence Gánti, master tour guide, will introduce you to places and people you most certainly would not have found any other way, and a Győző Simay our professional tour guide will fill in the historical details of the cultural and spiritual sites you visit. Tour also includes an encounter with local spirituality curated by local integralists.

Bence and Győző the left quadrant (interior realities) and right quadrant (exterior facts) tour guides team up to lead the integral tour. 

Traveling with you on the bus will be 65 conference participants, including 10 keynote speakers, and there will be many opportunities for building community with your fellow journeyers—sharing traditional mealsrelaxing in the spa, chatting on the bus—as well as opportunities to sink into a peaceful, pleasant space of your own while looking out the window or slipping away with your camera to catch a gold-rose Hungarian sunset.

Participants of the 2016 tour enjoying leisurely conversations and cheerful times on the bus. The often rotate seats to get to know each other. What a fun way to socialize! 

Day1 Monday, the 28th of May

  9:00 Leave Hotel Azur, the IEC venue

10:45-12:00 Geological Site “Hegyestű” with Nature Meditation

“Take breaths of fraish air in nature after the conference and get a spectacular view of Lake Balaton from the National Park!”

Having breaths of fresh air, contemplating on on sweeping vistas and hiking under the open skies. It is greatly relaxing after the concentrated days of the conference spent mostly indoors. 

The most characteristic part of the Balaton Uplands is the famous and hip-to-go-to Káli Basin. In this serene and peaceful atmosphere, you get a spectacular view of the Lake and can take in your first welcome breaths of nature after the packed days of the conference. Enjoy the silence, fresh air, and warm sun, and marvel at Hegyestű, a cone-shaped, basalt volcano, known to locals as the “gatekeeper” of the area. Five million years ago, the cooling lava formed pentagonal and hexagonal shaped basalt pillars—a sight unique in Hungary and a rare spectacle in all of Europe. Looking out over Káli Basin, we can see Lake Balaton and Fonyód Hill in the south, Badacsony Hill, Gulács Hill, the Keszthely Hills, Csobánc Hill, Fekete Hill, and the Tihany Peninsula to the east.There is also a small exhibition at the old basalt quarry, providing you with information about the National Park and local traditions.

Paddy Pampallis, integral coach from South Africa, colleague of Susanne Cook Greuter meditating in nature during the 2016 Tour. 

12:00 Leave the National Park by bus to have lunch in Csopak

13:00-14:00 Lunch in Csopak

14:00-15:30 Scenic Drive to Pannonhalma Abbey

15:30-18:30 Explore the Medieval Pannonhalma Abbey and its Herb Garden

May Fair at the foot of the Pannonhalma Abbey Hill. 

Visit the Basilica, the Crypt and the monumental medieval Library of the second largest territorial abbey in the world!

The Benedictine Pannonhalma Archabbey is a medieval building near Pannonhalma village, one of the oldest and most famous historical monuments in Hungary. It is actually the same age as Hungary! It was built 1,022 years ago, in 996, right when Hungary was founded. The founder, a Géza chieftain, was the father of the first Hungarian king, Stephan I.

Pannonhalma is the second largest territorial abbey in the world, after Monte Cassino in Italy. Its features include the Basilica with the Crypt (built in the 13th century), the Cloisters, a monumental Library with 360,000 volumes, the Baroque Refectory (with several examples of trompe l’oeil) and the Archabbey Collection (the second biggest in the country). Today there are around 50 monks living in the monastery.

Regarding the library, Saint Benedict valued reading so highly that the friars were inspired to preserve not only the Christian literature of the first centuries but also the works of Greek and Roman cultures. This laid the foundation for the culture of Europe.

Some integral luminaries from the previous IEC Tours

In olden times, in the Pannonhalma Monastic Hill the friars also carefully cultivated and collected plants necessary for healing—not only is there an herb garden around the abbey but also hundreds of trees and shrubs in the botanical garden, where a rich population of songbirds can be heard.

Special treats in store for us during our visit are:

  • Live Organ Music – listen to soul-touching temple music

  • The Lavender Garden – take in the beauty of sweeping purple lavender fields

  • The Herb Garden – get intoxicated with the healing odors of the herbs

  • A Distillery – taste local spirits prepared by the monks

  • Benedictine Chocolates Tasting – enjoy some yummy moments that even the monks can’t resist

Lavender fields are often to find in Hungary during the spring time. 

18:30-19:00 The bus will take us to the Pannon Restaurant for dinner

19:00-20:30 Dinner

21:00 Hotel Garzon Plaza in Győr

Rest, relax in the spa, and socialize with your fellow integralists! Enjoy reminiscing about the unusual sights you have seen this day.

Yvonne Cueno a leader in the Findhorn Foundation spiritual community (UK, Scottland) on the tour with Spiral Dynamics and constellations expert Anne Marie Verhoove (Netherlands) and other participants. 

Tuesday – May 29th

8:00 Leave the hotel by bus

9:30 Visiting the Tengri Shaman Ranch at Tokod village

Get an insider’s view of 2000 years old Hun Tribal spirituality with local ceremony leader “The Son of Falcon”

9:30-11:30 Receive teachings on the ancient ways of the local Hungarian and the greater Hun Tribal spirituality (encompassing the regions between Hungary and China). Prepare for a sweat lodge ceremony.

White Crow in his shamanic farm and yurt hosting and teaching the IEC tour group with Bence Gánti translating.  

11:30-13:30 Dual Sweat Lodge Ceremony – Male and Female Lodges

Surprised to find a sweat lodge in Hungary? Did you think it is a Native American ceremony only? It has been scientifically proven that sweat lodges were found also in Europe, not only in North America. Ancient Hungarians like Attila the Hun and his predecessors liked to use this purifying and praying ritual—the “spiritual sauna.” The owner of the Tengri Shaman Ranch and our lodge leader is Zoltán Sólyomfi, who studied the ancient Hungarian ways and integrates them into the postmodern spirituality of today’s Hungary. His name “Sólyom” means falcon— fi means “the son of,” so “Sólyomfi” means “the son of the falcon.” Falcon is an ancient Hungarian totem animal often appearing in ancient tales and legends.

Since the 1990s, Sólyomfi has devoted his life to studying ancient Hungarian spirituality. He is the organizer of one of Europe’s biggest global shaman gatherings, the Sun Deer Fesitval, a gathering of the “ones with the knowledge.” Shamans from Europe, Russia, Asia, North America, Central and South America, and Australia all come to Hungary each year for this festival, where they lead ceremonies and exchange wisdom.

This year’s spiritual teacher and ceremony leader on the 2nd day of the tour: Zoltán Sólyomfi “The Son of Falcon”. Also the organizers of Sundder Festival one of Europe’s biggest international shaman gathering, organized every summer in Hungary. 

During our tour, we will have the privilege of visiting Solyomfi’s farm and participating in a ceremony with him. Thus we will get an insider’s view of the original spirituality of Hungarians before Christianity took over 1,022 years ago. For us, this will be a journey back in time but also a journey within ourselves in the here and now. We will experience an aspect of postmodern spirituality where pre-modern, modern, and postmodern merge. Solyomfi’s female partner will offer a sweat lodge for the women to take place simultaneously with the men’s.

“Transforming shadow to liberation” forest ceremony from last year’s tour with “Crow”. 

Sweating releases toxins from the body; prayers, chants, and singing cleanse the soul; and by revealing your worries and joys and putting them into words, they also help participants along their spiritual paths. First we will hear teachings, stories, and legends from Sólyomfi and prepare for the lodge. Then we will finish with lunch.

13:30-14:30 Open-fire, cauldron-cooked lunch. Rest. Integration.

The cost of the ceremony and lunch is included in the price, and the Center also accepts donations to support its functioning.

14:30 Bus leaves for Budapest


16:00-19:00 Budapest: The Buda Castle Experience – the Vár

Have a walking tour in Buda Castle Hungary’s main UNESCO World Heritage Site  in Budapest!

The Buda Castle in Budapest shines like a golden jewel in front of the night skyline of Budapest. It has been a seat of kings for a 800 years and was built in the time of Rumi. 

Budapest, Hungary’s capital, is full of exciting sites to see! The number one must-see is the UNESCO World Heritage Site in the middle of the city: Buda Castle. Picture an apple cut in half with a line in the middle. That middle line is the Danube River, which divides Budapest into two equal parts: Buda on the left and Pest on the right. Buda is hilly and green; Pest is flat and urban. Buda Castle  sits on Castle Hill, towering over the Danube on the Buda side. Buda Castle is the historial castle and palace complex of Hungarian kings.

In 1265, at the same time Mewlana Rumi was writing poems, meditating in Turkey, and establishing the Order of the Whirling Dervishes in Konya, Buda Castle was built in Hungary. Besides the kings of Hungary, the Ottomans, the Habsburgs, Maria Theresa, Franz Joseph, and Sissy (Queen Elisabeth) were all linked to this castle at different points in time.

Dennis Wittrock (Germany) and Örs Horváth (Hungary) having their friendship moment during the 2016 tour in Budapest. 

At the Buda Castle walking tour we will enjoy:

  • A Cultural Walking Tour

  • Exploring the medieval and baroque castle and living districts

  • Visiting the ancient catacombs

  • Listening to stories and legends from guides and local integral friends

During our short trip, we will walk among the buildings of the palace, descend into the underground catacombs, and ascend to the castle terrace to delight in a terrific view of the Danube and the whole city.

19:00 Bus leaves for the hotel

19:30 Rest and have dinner at Hotel Petneházy

After our packed day, we will retreat into the quiet Buda Hill greenery at the Hotel Petneházy equestrian resort. After dining, we can rest deeply, integrate, and enjoy a soft evening.

David Nádasi (France) and Sziliva Tóth (Hungary) are enjoying a pleasent dinner with the community. 

Day 3, Wednesday the 30th of May

8:00 Leave hotel

8:30-11:00 Authentic Turkish thermal bath experience at Király Fürdő (The King’s Bath)

Have a plunge in the healing warm thermal waters of a 500 years old Turkish bath in Budapest!

Hungary is also called “the home of 1,000 hot springs,” and no visit to Budapest is complete without immersing oneself in the thermal waters that spring up from deep within the Earth under the city. Buda is full of caves, many of which have water in them. A whole international cave-diving tour industry operates under the Buda Hills part of the city! Many of these hot thermal waters are rich in minerals with healing effects, and locals and tourists alike enjoy the baths in both Buda and Pest.

Fresh hot theramal waters wait for us at the 500-year old original Turkish Bath in Budapest. 

What makes it even more interesting is that some of these (renovated) baths are 500 years old! In the 16th and 17th centuries, Hungary was occupied by the Turks (Ottoman Empire) for about 150 years; the Turkish rulers discovered the healing effects of these thermal waters and built a number of spas all over Hungary. Some of the best Turkish baths are in Budapest, and one of these is The King’s Bath. That is where we will go.

Spas were (and still are) not only for bathing—here you can socialize, meet business partners, exchange information, relax, and refresh. Here people converse and even play chess while sitting in the bath, enjoying the beneficent effect of the thermal waters.

11:30-12:30 Top of the City View and Hike Point at Hármashatárhegy

Enjoy a full view of Budapest from the top of the Buda Hills while having a great walk!

Enjoy the beautiful panoramic view of Budapest and the River Danube from the Hármashatárhegy (Three Border Mountain) lookout tower. This is one of the two most popular recreational sites in the Buda hills for hiking, biking, and paragliding.

12:45-13:45 Eat lunch at a favorite locals’ hangout: Fenyőgyöngye (Pearl of Pines) Restaurant

14:30-15:30 Visiting the Holocaust Museum – Learn what really happened during the holocaust here

Another bit of history that nobody is proud of (but everyone should remember not to let happen again) is the Holocaust of World War II. Hungary, along with Poland, was the epicenter of the Holocaust in Europe. Budapest’s Great Synagogue is the biggest synagogue in Europe and the second biggest in the world (after the one in New York City), and served one of the biggest Jewish communities in Europe. The father of Israel, Herzl Tivadar (or Theodore Hertzl in English), was a Hungarian born and raised in downtown Pest, right next to the synagogue. Herzl formed the Zionist Organization and promoted Jewish immigration to Palestine in an effort to form a Jewish state. Though he died in 1904 before its establishment, he is known as the father of the State of Israel.

The thriving Jewish community in Pest was restricted by anti-Semite laws passed in the 1930s, and finally decimated by the Holocaust: within a few months in 1945, the last year of the war, 600,000 Hungarian Jews were sent to Auschwitz and other concentration camps to die. Hitler’s “final solution” hit mercilessly in Hungary. In the darkest hours, perpetrators didn’t even bother with putting the Jews on trains; 16,000 Jews of Budapest were simply shot dead like animals in the streets of downtown Pest or shot right into the Danube.

The holocaust museum in Budapest is one of the world’s biggest. It leads us back in time and shows what happened. 

This horror is difficult to heal from. No wonder that after the war many modernist orange families lived in complete denial and never told their children of their Jewish origin and past. Their children, the baby boomers, and their grandchildren often find themselves today in family constellations and psychotherapy, integrating and healing from the traumas of their parents and grandparents, and correcting family lies stemming from denial.

This explains why The Holocaust Memorial Center in Budapest, established by the state, is one of the few institutions in the world to focus entirely on Holocaust research and education. Here we also find countless stories of brave Hungarians who hid Jews or saved their lives. If you want to see what happened in Budapest during these times, watch the movie Walking With the Enemy (2013), also available on Netflix. (Surprisingly this has never been screened in Hungary.) Another one is the concentration camp depicting, Oscar-winning, Hungarian movie Son of Saul (2015).


16:00-17:00 Integral Tour Closing Circle and Farewell at the Philosopher’s Statue Garden on Gellért Hill

Meditate with Lao-Tzu,Buddha, Jesus, and Ghandi in the garden of Philosophers and say goodbye to your integral friends.

After emerging from our hour in the museum, we will lighten it up by going to the last stop on our tour, Gellért Hill, another beautiful green hill on the Buda side of the city, from which you can see both the hills of Buda and the plains of Pest. There we will find the postmodern Garden of Philosophers, a statue complex with some of the greatest spiritual people of all history—Lao-Tzu, Akhenaten, Abraham, Buddha, Bodhidharma, St. Francis of Assisi, Jesus, and Mahatma Ghandi—all standing in a cricle of contemplation and fraternity.

The Garden of Philosophers in Budapest is an open-air post-modern statue complex of great saints from different spiritual traditions. A good place for integralist to finish their IEC journey and do a closing circle. 

Vast open spaces, singing birds, and the gentle scent of spring can make the end of our tour unforgettable, as we join in our short closing circle and farewell hugs, ending our crazy and beautiful journey of IEC 2018.

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