Tips and tools for finding real healing in retreats

Pops and glitter: The movement is called “Sanctuary & Sanctuary.” The pop idea is about sending out positive vibrations through music, when it’s connected to séances or other rituals.

Poets find relief in gathering around a fire with a client, as spiritual leader Shigeru Miyamoto has been doing for more than 25 years. Artists, social workers, and food people enjoy the retreat setting where the team gathers, working on projects together and spending time with their clients.

A retreat’s physical and musical dimension is also vital. At Sanctuary’s April retreat, in the Ogden, Utah, mountains, the people improvise sounds to add to their healing music. The Oquirrh Mountains are there to sharpen the senses, a place to detox from what they call “painful longing.” And there’s the jazz musician who did not give up his sweet saxophone for meditation and helped lead a group through calisthenics before the fire.

Satori Davinci at Sanctuary Retreats

Photo: Leah Gavett

Satori Davinci is a Tibetan-born teacher of Tibetan meditative traditions, who has led talks on transcendental meditation at universities including Columbia, Oxford, and the University of Chicago. He helped start the International Lotus Center of Mount Kisco, N.Y., for Tibetan Buddhism, and he has founded retreats at Rainbow Beach, Darshana, and Sanctuary Retreats.

Ajaya Aanchote

Chef Ajaya Aanchote has traveled around the world seeking out local farmers for organic, fresh, and local foods. He was recently co-owner and chef of the Los Angeles restaurant Kuma’s Corner, which was inspired by a training he took at Tibor Köpper’s Giralda Turkish Artisans. Since then, he’s been consulting and teaching around the world. He’s recently taught a three-day ashram retreat at Lantern Hall in L.A.

Ruth Anderson

Ruth Anderson teaches yoga, meditation, and other pursuits to young students, in and out of the studio, all over the U.S. She’s led women’s meditation workshops and workshops at Rhododendron House and Gardens and participated in the emerging therapeutic mindfulness practices she sees as part of the wellness movement. She’s based in Reno, Nev.

Anna Adams

Yoga instructor Anna Adams was raised in the foyer of a Beverly Hills home to a mother who had run a production company, and a father who worked in television. She’s seen the effect that film and television can have on people. She’s now director of creative innovation and honorary curator at The Breakers resort in Palm Beach, where she conducts seminars around the role of props in myths, games, and entertainment.

Monika Allan

Playwright Monika Allan, author of the excellent play Driving Blind, was born in Prague and moved to France before settling in New York City to play parts in French-Canadian theatre. Though she eventually learned French and developed friendships and marriages in New York, one of the reasons she returned to Canada was to work in English, which had historically been the language of choice for women playing prominent parts in the world of theater.

Stanley Miller

Co-founder of the compound Ventana Organic Ranch in Northern California, Stanley Miller is an artist and potter whose work in wood and metal is exhibited in galleries around the world. He’s now concentrating on restoring and expanding the burnt sage hut, which he helped design after moving to the valley 20 years ago.

Adam Harsell

Folk historian and musician Adam Harsell was born in Derry, Northern Ireland, into a musical family. His father, who was Jewish, fled Poland during the Holocaust. When he returned to the city, there were no synagogues and he “had never met a Jew.” He recalls having “nothing to do with what was to be known as a Jewish life.” He says: “We were citizens of the world” and went to Catholic churches to attend mass because it was something “we were required to do.”

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