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Monday, 05 February 2007

Wisdom House

Written by Jenni Seicol
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wisdom house
(c)On Location Photography
If you are looking for a quiet, beautiful, and inspiring retreat, I would suggest Wisdom House in Litchfield, Connecticut. Wisdom House was once a convent for the Daughters of Wisdom. Still run by the order, it has been transformed into a peaceful retreat center where individuals or groups can come and stay. There are thematic retreats almost every weekend. Many revolve around spirituality. There are also programs on the creative arts, environmental issues, and many other topics.

 

Wisdom House is an interfaith retreat center. It welcomes all people who want to take time for spiritual nourishment. Open and non-judgmental, it is a warm, accepting, comfortable spot in the Connecticut countryside.

wisdom house
(c)Sr. Jo-Ann Iannotti

 

I have been to Wisdom House four times over the past few years with my writing group. We found it to be a perfect place to get away and write for a few days. The accommodations are spartan but very clean and functional. Rooms range from singles with a full bath to shared bedrooms and baths. At the end of your stay you are expected to remake the bed with fresh linens and remove your trash. Not too much to ask, I’d say.

 

house
(c)Sr. Jo-Ann Iannotti
It’s very quiet at Wisdom House. On my first night, I fell asleep to the sound of my own breathing and heart beat. If you are used to a raucous household as I am, the stillness may seem strange, at first. Though after a while, it is calming. Sometimes there are groups on a “Silent Retreat” but otherwise talking is just fine. However, there are no televisions or radios.

 

The food at Wisdom House is excellent and it embarrasses me to admit that we were always the first in line for meals. Sometimes the fresh baked bread is available for a donation, so you can bring a little taste of Wisdom House home. Upon arrival, there was always a tray of fruit and cookies waiting for us. It was just one of the things that made us feel so welcomed. Sisters Rosemarie and Jo-Ann are delightful. They will do whatever they can to make your stay a pleasant one.

 


 

One of the main attractions at Wisdom House is the outdoor labyrinth. If you have never walked a labyrinth before, I strongly encourage you to try it. It can be a very personal and powerful experience. The labyrinth at Wisdom House is in a breathtakingly beautiful location, with vistas of the rolling Berkshire hills in the distance.

labyrinth
(c)Sr. Jo-Ann Iannotti
It is a classical seven-circuit labyrinth, modeled after the classical seven-circuit Cretan design. Many people come to Wisdom House just to walk the labyrinth. Several times a year programs offer guided walks, but the labyrinth is always there, just steps away from the main buildings, for anyone who wants to do this meditative walk.

 

People come to Wisdom House for a myriad of reasons. Some want to quiet their minds. Some are seeking spiritual guidance of some kind. Others are yearning for inspiration. Some need healing. I walk the labyrinth for all these reasons and more. Each time I walk (usually 3 - 4 times per visit) it is a different experience.

 

Below is a piece I wrote after my second visit:

“There is a path and a plan, even if you can’t see it. You have to trust that it’s there and you can’t apply logic. It may look like you are getting closer (to the center) when you’re actually getting further away.”

 

tree
(c)Sr. Jo-Ann Iannotti
Another time I reacted this way:

“Each next step in front of you is clear. Don’t be afraid if you can’t see the path ahead”

 

And on my most recent visit:

“This is a place of peace, unity, community and connectedness. Keep it simple.”

Whether you go to Wisdom House for the programs, the labyrinth, the natural beauty or the quiet, you will have a meaningful experience. In this rush-around world, time spent at Wisdom House is like being at an oasis. It nourishes you with warmth and love and refreshes your soul.

 

For more information contact: Wisdom House Conference and Retreat Center Litchfield, Connecticut, www.wisdomhouse.org

© Jenni Seicol

Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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