It is easier to describe the Mind-Body-Spirit spirituality movement than to define it for it is a collection of many ideas and practices aimed at personal growth, self development, and healing of the whole person.
The majority of these ideas, techniques and methods spring from well-established traditions of healing and self-discovery, some thousands of years old, while others are a combination of different methods brought into a single practice originated by the person who is running the retreat. The movement has no established dogma or leaders and is very much a phenomenon of our time.
What is on offer
The retreats, courses and workshops offered by Mind-Body-Spirit centers offer an approach to self-growth that is helpful to many people who do not want to enter an established way as offered, for example, by Buddhist or Christian spiritualities. The aspect that appeals to most people is the great emphasis placed on a holistic approach in treating mind, body and spirit as inseparable. This approach is hardly new, as it is part of all the major faiths. But this awareness has been a rediscovery for many Christians.
It is fair to say that the Mind-Body-Spirit movement draws on some of the most ancient healing traditions in the our human history and that it is mainly through the growth of this movement that our general awareness of this great spiritual and healing inheritance has been achieved. The alternative approaches to health, healing and self-discovery that the Mind-Body-Spirit movement has to offer are increasingly part of our everyday living. They influence much of our thinking and culture. There is now hardly anyone who has not heard about such practices, for example, as Aromatherapy, Reflexology, and Acupuncture.
What is included
What is included in this kind of broad and wide-sweeping spirituality ranges from spiritualism, past-life therapy, environmental concern, telepathy, healing, astrology, rebirthing, work with crystals, Paganism and Shamanism, Reflexology, and Reiki to the incorporation of elements from Eastern religions and spiritual practices. Psychological systems and methods and personal counseling also play a part in the development of this kind of spirituality. It also embraces a wide range of philosophical, social, and ecological thinking and includes the work of prominent scientists whose discoveries – particularly in such disciplines as sub-atomic physics, psychology, parapsychology and geology – bring a new validity to ancient teachings.
There are literally hundreds of Mind-Body-Spirit places. The criterion for including such places in this guide has been that their approach is holistic, that there is a genuine interest in helping people, and that the spirituality offered is of substance, perhaps based on an established spiritual tradition or is a new development which has become of interest to a large number of people. Mind-Body-Spirit centers do not share a common central basis of belief like established religious places, so you will find each place different from the other. Most places have very extensive programs and will be happy to provide details. You may also find there is much personal sharing and discussion. If you want silence then ask if that is a feature of the retreat or workshop before you book.
Are Mind-Body-Spirit Retreats for Christians too ?
Although certain number of Mind-Body-Spirit methods or approaches are increasingly incorporated by Christian retreat centers into their programs, many Christians may wish to make certain before attending a Mind-Body-Spirit retreat that the course content or ideas put forward are not in conflict with their religious beliefs and doctrines. For Roman Catholics the Vatican has recently issued a document on the subject.