Sun, 16 December 2018

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Silence, Please!

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Dedicated oases of silent contemplation are quietly springing up around the world to attract a new breed of mindful traveller. These not-talking retreats are designed to help detox from our noisy lives and give the mind room to wander.

The 13th-century Pluscarden Abbey, six miles from Elgin, Scotland, will welcome you whether you're Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, undecided or nothing at all. Sit and listen to soothing Gregorian chants or join prayers that begin at 4am. There are 14 rooms for men and 10 for women, all with a bed, basin, desk and communal shower area.

Deep in the Dordogne, millennials and Silicon Valley types mingle over vegan meals and question the meaning of life. This Buddhist monastery is the largest of Plum Village, a global collective of Buddhism centres, the first of which was established by peace activist and Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh. It's compulsory to do 90 minutes of chores daily. Retreats last a week to ten days. There's plenty of guided sitting meditation and silent walking.

The philosophy at Wat Suan Mokkh in southern Thailand, near to Surat Thani airport, is simple - sleep on a concrete bed like a proper monk and don't even think about swatting a mosquito. Everything is sacred. Abandon everything that connects to modern life: books, Kindles, phones... Improving your memory, slowing your heart rate and instilling calm is the goal here.

Photo: Armor

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Date: 26 October 2018
Credits Publisher: Spiritual News

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