Silence is Golden

Silent retreats around the Commonwealth.

In our 2018 Health & Wellness issue, we explored the benefits of silence and the organizations that invite community members to participate in the practice. Virginia is home to many secular and religious retreats. Here are just a few:

Benedictine Pastoral Center, Bristow

All are welcome for day visits or individual stays in the retreat house, located 30 minutes from D.C. A ministry of the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia, the center’s 130 acres include a chapel, two prayer silos, a labyrinth and gardens. Suggested voluntary offering of $60 for one-hour spiritual direction meeting, $50 per night for overnight stays. Retreat house reservations: 703-393-2485. BenedictinePastoralCenter.org

Holy Cross Abbey’s Retreat House, Berryville

Individual stays are available at this scenic monastery located on 1,200 acres; a monk is available for spiritual direction and counseling is provided for registered retreat house guests. Suggested voluntary offering of $200-$350 for a weekend stay, or $350-$600 for a weeklong stay Monday – Friday. VirginiaTrappists.org/retreat-house

Richmond Hill, Richmond

An Ecumenical Christian urban oasis set in a historic monastery offers “Listening for the Silence” classes, led by Rita Ricks the second Tuesday of each month, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Suggested donation of $20 includes lunch. Individual 24 hour stays are also available. RichmondHillVa.org

Serenity Ridge Retreat Center, Nelson County

Insight Meditation Community of Charlottesville offers two silent retreats annually. The first, “Exploring the Alchemy of Movement and Mindfulness,” will be taught by Patrick Coffey and Ruth King. “Noble Silence,” which focuses on body movement to music and sound, will be held March 22-25. Prices range from $390-$815, depending upon accommodations. IMeditation.org

Seven Oaks Retreat, Madison

This Blue Ridge retreat held on 120 acres of wooded terrain, “Opening the Heart in the Divine Abodes” with Patrick Coffey and Shell Fischer, is offered July 19-23. $510-$610, including accommodations. SevenOaksRetreat.org

Unitarian Universalist Church of the Shenandoah Valley, Stephens City

“Cooling the Flames of Anger” is a daylong silent retreat led by Shell Fischer April 21. $65. MindfulValley.com

Yogaville, Buckingham

“Spring Silent Retreat: A Time for Fresh Potential,” with Rev. Prakasha Shakti Capen, will be held April 5-8. Tuition $265. Accommodations $170-425. Yogaville.org

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