Alas, my retreat was not to be. A quick visit to its website informed me in boldfaced capital letters that the “BATHHOUSE IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED. No sauna, no bathtubs and no massages are available.”
Given the times we live in, the closure wasn’t a surprise. But the word “permanent” floored me. It turns out that the property, like so many other businesses, has changed direction. Overburdened by debt, the mineral springs property has partnered with Pneuma Institute to launch Pneuma Breathwork, “a new and beautiful activity.” And that brings me to my first prediction for the future of retreats.
1 THE BATHS WILL BE BACK
I have little doubt that Pneuma Breathing is a beautiful activity, but I know for sure that breathing goes in and out—and you can take it with you, anywhere. Meanwhile, those super hot, slippery mineral springs have been flowing—and drawing people to this remote place—since the beginning of time. The baths will be back! More generally: Every retreat must have some sort of a people magnet. Desperate times may require desperate measures, but changing the markings on your compass does not change the magnet. It gets pilgrims lost.
2 RETREATS, LIKE NATURE, WILL GROW MORE EXTREME
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Self-Care Tips from Slow Animals and Helpful Droids
Meditate with (rev) Sarah Bowen and her favorite creatures at sacredsendoffs.com/ meditations.
“Read. Just Read,” advises Billy Collins. “The best teachers are not lecturing behind some seminar table, but are instead sitting quietly on the bookshelves of your home.”
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Victor Parachin dives into the Buddha’s advice for being a better friend.
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AN INTERVIEW WITH FARIHA RÓISÍN
READING AS A SPIRITUAL EXERCISE
GRACE JI-SUN KIM encourages us to see reading in a new light.
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The Summer 2002 issue of S&H included this still-timely article
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LEARNING CAN IMPROVE OUR QUALITY OF LIFE—AND THE EFFECT IS TWOFOLD FOR COURSES ON WELLNESS AND SELF-BETTERMENT.
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JENNIE MCLAURIN, MD, MPH, gives instructions to guide a rediscovery of this age-old tradition.
Seeing Is Empathy
Mixed-media artist Morgan Harper Nichols explores how art can lead to empathy.
5 Care Tips: Pineal Gland
The pineal gland, which is about the size of a grain of rice, is located in the center of the brain (although technically it is not part of the brain). Its main function is to receive signals from the environment about the amount and quality of light so that it knows how much melatonin to produce to help us wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night. Melatonin is involved in much more than sleep, however. It plays a role in sexual development and is a strong antioxidant, among other functions.
Chasing Joan Didion
I visited the writer's California homes, from Berkeley to Malibu. What was looking for?
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A pot purchase at a legal dispensary may show up as an ATM withdrawal (wink, wink)
SureFire's Barry Dueck on Passion, Commitment, and Making Your Own Luck