A retreat venue needs to be able to give people something special - the feeling of being able to switch off, to have a different focus, to be full of energy or to take time out to rejuvenate. To spend time on their own or to spend time with family. To be away for a day, a week or a weekend. Whilst the type and nature of any retreat can vary, there needs to be a powerful sense of spirit and tranquility in the physical elements of the environment, and a sense of timelessness in the land.
Charming Retreat Centers
For some people a retreat is as much about a holiday as it is about going somewhere for physical renewal of the spirit, and good retreat centers will operate in such a way as to give people the freedom to choose at what level they want to engage with other people, and to what extent they simply want solitude. Sugar Creek Retreat does just that. It gives people the land, the buildings, and the choice of how they want to spend their time. Set in 6000 acres of stunning Indiana country, there are three different retreat centers, all surrounded by rivers, canyons and deep silent forests. All three retreat centers have their own unique charm and character, and all offer differing levels of solitude and access to nature.
The Log Cabin – has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a modern kitchen, and can sleep 8 – 10 people. There is a snug indoors with a warm inviting fireplace, a yoga loft, a wraparound porch and a huge patio.
The Farmhouse – has two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a modern kitchen and can sleep eight people. It has a stunning wood-burning stove which gives it a real sense of intimacy. There is also a good size screened porch which provides a degree of privacy if needed.
The Maples Farm - has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a remodeled kitchen, and can sleep 11 people. The land immediately surrounding the center is especially beautiful and is literally minutes away from the entrance to Shades State Park.
The Power of Nature
Nature and the power of the land are a key element in most types of retreat, whether structured or unstructured, directed or self-directed. Not only does the land provide a backdrop for whatever the retreat is offering, there is a special energy that comes through the combination of land, river and mountains. This energy tends to reflect itself in the overall sense of calm and relaxation that form a key part of all retreats.
Many people will view a retreat in a spiritual context, although not necessarily associated with any specific type of religion or belief. The word spiritual obviously means different things to different people, but there is a sense that a retreat of any type can help people connect to their inner world in a way that is much more difficult if not impossible in normal day-to-day life. Many people believe that nature and the power of nature is an integral part of their own spirit, and for them, the way that nature interacts with the environment and with other people is a crucial element of being on retreat.
For people who want to use nature as a key part of their retreat experience, Shades State Park and Pine Hills Nature Reserve are all within easy walking distance and offer a stunning opportunity either for leisurely walks or those wanting a hike. Turkey Run State Park and Raccoon Lake are also both a short drive away.
What to Expect
Many week-long and weekend retreats do have an element of structure to them, often with a particular focus on yoga and meditation. These elements of the retreat are normally introduced very gently and provide an opportunity to try different ways of experiencing some inner peace and serenity. This type of retreat is designed for anyone with any level of experience of yoga, or none at all, and will be offered in an encouraging and supportive atmosphere. The retreat center is also able to offer a range of therapies and workshops that focus on selective areas of self-healing and development. These retreats come under the collective name of 'wellness weekends', and include practices such as nutritional and life counseling, herbal detoxs, wild plant walks and raw food workshops.
Sugar Creek Retreat can seem a million miles away from any type of corporate world or corporate people, but what it can offer to people who live or work in high stress occupations or businesses cannot be overstated. A retreat is not simply an opportunity to escape the pressures of day-to-day life, it is also about creating a space where people can focus on specific issues and resolve complex problems, in an environment that generates the peace and solitude needed to do so.
A retreat can provide a balance between relaxation, rest and renewal, and the power of the land is felt by many to be the driving force behind this sense of spending time being both comforted and challenged.