Thursday, May 17, 2012

A creative, spiritual escape in central Wisconsin: The Christine Center

Living in Chicago and in the 21st century, I sometimes think it's impossible to get away from it all in the traditional sense. At The Christine Center in central Wisconsin, I found out it is 100 percent possible. Close to a state forest, this spiritual retreat center is buffeted by birch woodlands, clean air and quiet.

Over the course of an inspiring "creativity week," I tried the Intuitive Painting process, walked, meditated, wrote poetry, took time for my journal, chanted, ate vegetarian meals, perused the eclectic spiritual library, watched DVDs with others on ecology and the artistic process, tried a wood-fired sauna for the first time and logged some quality group yoga hours.

Founded in the mystical, Essene, Catholic tradition, the Christine Center welcomes guests from any belief system, with silent meditation morning and afternoon sessions in which participants can worship or visualize according to their leanings. Where else can you find a Catholic chapel with stained glass windows marking the colors of the seven chakras? Singing bowls, finger labyrinths and mandalas grace the walls and meditation hall.

I opted to stay in a modern hermitage with full kitchen and shower, cooked my own breakfasts and lunches and joined others for delicious homemade soup and salad suppers at the center. Rustic hermitages have no kitchens or showers, but all buffets meals can be purchased, with solar-powered showers available steps from one's quarters.

Campers have a choice of two locations on safe, clean acreage close to the center and also have access to meal purchases and showers. A return trip to The Christine Center is surely part of my plan. ◦

No comments: