12 free and affordable spiritual retreats in our region

Ah, the music, the drugs, the sweat.

Or sleep. We all know what it’s like to go through a meditative retreat, whether your orientation is Zen, Kabbalah, or the “honoring the universe.”

Seattle’s Sufi Cleanse led by Robert Sietsema ( www.seattlecleansing.com) invites you to seek enlightenment, a drink of water, and a quick turn to your right or left. Buffalo Breath Center’s Earth Unsilenced, which boasts a foundation in Native American culture, offers spiritual health as you hear stories at its 8-day gatherings. And Potomac Self Care’s eight-day Davita retreat and Project Maggie’s 21-day Stress Nutrition is a nutritional program designed to facilitate healthy sleep patterns.

Once you’ve stripped away technology, you can truly connect with your inner self. Disconnect, have fun, stay in nature.

Coming soon to the region:

The Hallows Abbey, an Episcopal sanctuary and seminary. Call to register, and note that morning Masses on the first two days are optional. Centre Veritas retreat houses and Montessori schools. Experience Masses and other services at two Montessori schools near Broadlands Memorial Hall and Montessori School in Fairfax. Although every retreat is available at group rates, individual tuition is not available. The Hallows Abbey cost starts at $1,200 and goes up from there. Contact Ann F. Golding at 202-342-3900 or at [email protected]. Call 410-815-8131 for info on Centre Veritas, or visit www.centertribeitas.org. Contact Valerie Morrison at 703-634-6302 or at Valerie.[email protected]. For Montessori, call 703-941-0323.

Dr. T. Stewart Mullen has spent the last 50 years working to heal people’s substance and mental health and body.

Mullen runs Father John Paul II’s Center for Interpersonal Health, a private practice at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Danville, Va. A recent special health retreat drew more than 100 people who ranged in age from 40 to 90. It was for people who’d just been released from a hospital, people who had been involved in law enforcement, and people who had Parkinson’s disease, knee arthritis, and other ailments. “The common thread in everyone’s lives is anxiety, and anxiety is the biggest predictor of whether you’ll die a little bit younger,” Mullen says.

The retreat is at the Carlisle Inn in the Tombs area of Danville. Go to www.franciscosta.com for info and to register, or call 571-376-8610.

Kathy Walsh, of Tilt Steps Yoga Center in McLean, Va., leads meditation, guided exercises, and mindfulness programs.

You can come to one of her retreats, for which registration is not needed, for just $18 a session (one day for up to eight people), or for an entire month at $49 a day. She likes to let people discover their own practice, without lecturing. Contact her at 508-363-6037 or [email protected].

Are you a yoga and meditation devotee? If so, check out these 5 easy yoga practices for beginners.

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