Retreat Camps: An Approach to Health

Retreat centers are found in most countries and many are added all the time. All programs at these retreat facilities are based on the core teachings of the founder and organizer of the retreats. The centers are staffed and managed by teachers or individuals experienced in creating an atmosphere of peace and spirituality.

Serene Environment

Most of these spiritual retreat houses are sanctuaries for the soul like the Camps Bay Retreat 5 Star Boutique Hotel which is set on a four acre lot of lush green natural reserve. It has a mountain meditation pool, waterfalls and streams, and many trees.  The environment is very peaceful and ideal for prayerful encounters with the Almighty, a paradise, where meditative and reflective moments are waiting to be heard and shared.

Other retreat centers are very spacious mountain areas developed by certain religious groups like the congregation of nuns, particularly the Betania Retreat Houses in the Philippines. There are many trees surrounding the retreat house. Many flowers are grown beautifully in the gardens; the lawn has a labyrinth where visitors can walk around like a maze; an exercise and an unwinding activity at the same time.

The air is fresh and clean; breathing it in is an invigorating exercise, a cleansing activity for both mind and body. As one goes around the retreat area, he begins to unravel and slowly surrender to tranquility.

Also in the retreat camps are huts, shades, or kiosks where those who prefer to be alone can have that privacy.

Camps’ Amenities

To regenerate the body is to indulge in more healthy diet normally prepared by the retreat organizers. The food is fresh and an abundance of local fruits and vegetables are served daily during the retreat period. The times for meals are well planned and incorporated in the general schedule of activities of the retreat.

In some retreat centers especially the non-religious type, spa and massage facilities are made available for the comfort of visitors. After all the body needs to be rejuvenated.  Gym exercises may be included for physical fitness as in Chiswick gyms, right in the heart of London. These activities are commonly overlooked in the race with time in the workplace or doing household chores in the case of mothers.  It is during the retreat that the self receives more attention and care.

Spiritual Retreats

For spiritual retreats, these may be on an individual, family, or group basis. As soon as guests arrive, they are guided to their rooms to unpack, relax, and prepare for the different sessions ahead of them. Different retreat masters have different styles of guiding the retreat. Some would recommend prayer in silence; others would focus more on scriptural inputs and then later sharing of ideas among the members of the group. Still others may require group report presentations for everybody to partake of and learn at the same time.

Retreats may be on a two day session or more depending on the need of the group requesting for such retreat.  What is important is that at the end of the retreat, the mind, body, and spirit are all relaxed and refreshed.

*Photo credit: Free Google Image

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