Finding Your Zen

Posted by: Donna Smith, Contributor on Friday, December 1, 2017 at 12:00:00 am

A getaway-from-it-all-vacation doesn't always have to be long journey to a faraway land. There are plenty of ways to have a meditation vacation right here in the USA. And quite honestly, I don't think there is a soul on this planet that couldn't use a little quiet meditation time!

With work, family, and all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it’s no wonder we are stressed. Have you ever thought of a peaceful, calm and meaningful vacation to a retreat for body and soul?  Not a spa retreat but for meditation.

I personally enjoy both fun in the sun vacations as well as visiting museums, cafes and sightseeing in Europe.  However, one year a friend of mine suggested a tai chi retreat in Indiana.  I reluctantly agreed believing that was not my cup of tea but would appease her since she was into that sort of thing.

Off we went to the Monastery of the Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand, Indiana. The monastery dates to 1867 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It currently is the home to one of the largest communities of Benedictine women in the United States. 


On the premises is the Kordes Center which is operated by the Sisters of St. Benedict. Within the grounds are serene gardens, a labyrinth and outdoor Stations of the Cross. At first, I felt a bit uncomfortable since I wasn’t Catholic, but soon came to understand that the retreat was not about religion.  It was all about spirituality.

Tai chi is an ancient Chinese tradition that is practiced today as a graceful form of exercise. It involves a series of slow, focused movements and deep breathing.

The first day of tai chi class was slightly awkward for me, but I lightened up when the older nuns in their habits performed the moves.  I figured that if they could do it, then I could as well.

Turns out, it was one of the best experiences I had ever encountered. This type of vacation keeps on giving as you take it with you by continuing the tai chi movements and forms of meditation.

assisiThere are many such retreats throughout the world.  While visiting the ancient, hilltop town of Assisi in Italy last year, I learned of a retreat there called Simple Peace. Assisi is the birthplace of the beloved Saint Francis. Meditation sessions take place in nearby monasteries and outdoors in the beautiful, surrounding countryside. A unique pilgrimage to the sacred sites of Assisi are given to those attending the retreat. They honor all faiths to feel the vibrant presence of peace. Also offered is a pilgrimage walk to explore the hidden treasures, gardens, olive trees and streets of Assisi. Simple Peace is centered on meditation, self-enquiry, periods of silence, meditative movement such as tai chi and yoga.

Many meditation retreats are in the United States and around the world.  Why not take a vacation to find your inner peace?

Contact Journeys for Women


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