Since ancient times, retreats have been a way of renewing inner strength and reconnecting with a higher source of wisdom. In times of personal crises or major life changes, we instinctively feel the pull to retreat deeper within ourselves to find the clarity to make the right life choices. As such, meditation has been used as one of the most natural and effective ways to restore a positive and relaxed state of mind for thousands of years. As our lives become more complicated, with less time for inner reflection, retreats have become increasingly popular.
One image that springs to mind of a ‘retreat’ is of a place lacking in worldly comforts with a skimpy diet of boiled rice to endure. However, visitors to the Global Retreat Centre in Nuneham Courtenay, near Oxford, are usually more than a little surprised to find themselves in a beautifully renovated, comfortably furnished mansion, serving lovingly-prepared, vegetarian cuisine. The atmosphere of peace and lightness is almost tangible, leaving a deep impression. After just a half or one day course, the peacefulness of the place helps restore an inner state of calm – in this kind of atmosphere it is very easy to learn life enhancing skills such as positive thinking, meditation and stress management. All these self-development courses are a unique blend of ancient wisdom and contemporary self-management techniques.
One of the Centre’s most popular events is the ‘One Day Retreat.’ Held twice a month, it is a great way to find out about the basics of meditation. The technique taught at the Retreat Centre is a simple and enjoyable method of guided reflections on positive qualities such as peace, love, compassion and contentment. With regular practice it becomes possible to experience a reservoir of tranquility and wisdom within the mind, restoring a greater sense of self-understanding, calm, clarity and well-being: essential life skills for surviving in our chaotic, speeded-up world!
There are also weekend seminars for ‘Positive Thinking’, ‘Stress Free Living’ and ‘Self-Esteem’ plus a continuous programme of evening courses in meditation. Evening lectures on personal growth and spiritual wisdom include such subjects as ‘Simplify Your life’, ‘the Power of Self Belief’, and ‘Leading a Balanced Life’.
‘Peace in the Park’ is a summer festival which attracts over 10,000 people a year to the Global Retreat Centre. It is an opportunity for people to enjoy the 55 acres of grounds within which a variety of different activities and creative ideas of a spiritual and meditative content are provided.
Most people find it very hard to believe that all this can be provided free of charge. Yet the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, who run the Retreat Centre, have been providing free educational courses in values and personal growth for over 70 years. The Global Retreat Centre hosts many of these events, attracting 20,000 visitors annually from around the world.
If you would like to find out more about events held at the Global Retreat Centre or to book on to any of its courses, the enquiry line is open seven days a week 8am to 9pm on 01865 343 551 or check out the website: globalretreatcentre.org