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Posted on 11-18-2017

Retreats for All Faiths

Retreat centers vary from nondenominational to those aligned with a faith, but even within a tradition, styles of meditation vary. The following opportunities highlight some of the more prevalent offerings. RetreatFinder.com and RetreatsOnline.com can be helpful tools.

Omega Institute: One of the largest centers on the East Coast, the Omega Institute (eOmega.org), in Rhinebeck, New York, offers yoga, meditation and mindfulness retreats led by notable and varied spiritual teachers.

Unity: The Unity church, a Christian faith honoring all paths to God, offers an annual silent retreat facilitated by Rev. Paulette Pipe (TouchingTheStillness.org). Held at Unity Center, in Kansas City, the experience incorporates soulful music, labyrinth walks and meditation practice.

Tassajara Zen Mountain Center: A working monastery for more than 50 years, Tassajara Zen Mountain Center and Hot Springs (sfzc.org/tassajara), in the Ventana Mountains of northern California, offers lay meditation practitioners a sense of monastic life each summer. Retreats are mainly taught in the Zen Buddhist tradition, focused on observing the breath and mind.

Rolling Meadows: Located in rural Brooks, Maine, Rolling Meadows (RollingMeadowsRetreat.com) offers silent retreats combining yoga and meditation. Leaders Patricia Sunyata Brown and Surya-Chandra Das take an eclectic approach incorporating multiple traditions to stimulate self-inquiry and compassion.

Insight Meditation Society: Founded by Sharon Salzberg, Jack Kornfield and Joseph Goldstein in the 1970s, the Insight Meditation Society (Dharma.org) focuses on the Buddhist practices of metta (spreading lovingkindness) and vipassana (insight) meditation. Silent retreats at its historic center in Barre, Massachusetts, range from two days to three months. 

Jesuits: A Roman Catholic order cofounded by St. Ignatius, the Jesuit tradition incorporates prayer, meditation, self-awareness and other contemplative practices. Jesuits.org/retreat-centers lists Jesuit retreat centers across the U.S. where seekers can deepen their relationship with God through silence.

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