New Year, new intentions go hand in hand. For me December isn’t about Christmas, it’s about the lessons the winter offers us and chances at new beginnings. Isn’t it funny how we are able to claim this in every season? As the weather chills and encourages us to go inside, so too, spiritual practices force us to turn inward. One of my goals for 2017 is to step up my meditation and spiritual practices. Thankfully, I found an option in Charlotte proper, but somewhere that makes you forget about the city bustle.
Great Woods Zen Retreat and Meditation Center and the adjoining 28-acre RogJo-En Temple Stroll Gardens is a soon-to-be premier urban escape. The team is purposefully designing the gardens to inspire contemplative walking with spaces to sit. The goal is to not visually see the design, but to feel the peace and hum of the woods. The trails are easy to moderate for hikers and sneakers with good treads is recommended. When I last visited the gardens, I didn’t feel the paths were wheelchair friendly.
The most interface the group does is via their Meetups. Inside sessions happen on Monday evenings, and both indoor and outdoor opportunities occur Saturday during daylight hours. The space is warm and inviting; tea and meditation cushions are provided. The center is still in its early development so now is great time to get involved. You will be able to have a voice and be a part of shaping this wonderful oasis’ future.
Based on my personal experiences, the group embraces people at any level of meditation practice and is a judgement-free zone. This is a place you will leave, not only feeling refreshed, but lighter. In a rapidly growing city, where people are constantly on the go or looking at their pieces of technology, it is heart-affirming to find a place where one can fully disconnect from the materials and literally, return to the ‘roots’ of life itself.
Happy trails to you, until we meet again