Finding Quiet

Finding Quiet

7 places to experience silence

Solage in Calistoga, CA | Photo by Briana Marie Photography

1. In Wine Country

Osmosis is an eco-friendly, six-acre sanctuary in Sonoma County, California, offering a wide menu of healing and alternative spa treatments, including its famous cedar enzyme baths. Sign up for the Meditation Day Retreat and enjoy sitting and walking meditations throughout the serene Zen gardens, as well as silent spa time, lunch, and more quiet reflection.

2. Near the Grand Ole Opry

If you’re looking for a silent retreat in America’s country music capital, mark your calendar for March 27 to 30, when Nashville’s Scarritt Bennett Center will offer its Silence Speaks Retreat. The nonprofit educational center is situated on 10 lush acres and has a history of social activism and community engagement.

3. In the Shawangunk Mountains

Just 90 minutes from New York City, Mohonk Mountain House is a National Historic Landmark that has been committed to environmental stewardship since 1869. Popular with families, but also ideal for solo travelers, Mohonk is a place to set your own pace. Guests may sign up for a number of Mindfulness in Minutes programs offered throughout the year, as well as private mindfulness training sessions.

4. On Long Island Sound

Spend a blissful, solo night by the ocean, or book one of the spiritual growth and renewal programs at Mercy by the Sea on the Long Island Sound in Connecticut. Run by the Sisters of Mercy, the center “values stillness, silence, and solitude” and offers programs such as “A Weekend of Mindfulness.” Themed retreats are also offered throughout the year.

5. In Calistoga

Float in a warm geothermal mineral pool beneath a starry sky while guided through a peaceful sequence of breath work and visualization at Solage in Calistoga, California. As spa director Helen Brown explains, “We thought that combining a meditation/guided visualization practice together with the soothing waters of our naturally heated geothermal mineral water could be a transformative experience.” And it is!

6. Amid the Red Rocks

This independent eco-retreat community began as a solitary cabin on a forest hilltop east of Sedona, Arizona, shares founder and resident host Bodhi Heart. A personal spiritual getaway, Awakening Spirit offers three private log cabins for extended retreats. “This can be a life-changing journey into silence and self-awareness,” says Bodhi Heart.

7. At the Mandarin Oriental

“A lot of the benefits of a spa experience come from taking time for yourself in silence, away from technology, and in the hands of a nurturing and compassionate healer,” says Jeremy McCarthy, group director of spa and wellness at Mandarin Oriental Hotels. He recently created a number of silent spa experiences, including Silent Night, in which the spa invites people to come in and experience their treatments in silence.

Mary Bemis is the editor in chief of Journey to Renewal and the founder of

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