By Tiare Bourget
I was fortunate to have found the Copper Beech Institute during a desperate time in my life. I had hit rock bottom during my struggle with depression, as a result of having fibromyalgia. At the time, I did not have a definite diagnosis, which was worse because I felt even crazier. I wanted to "check myself in" somewhere, but I did not know where to go.
I looked online and happened to find a weekend Mindfulness Retreat nearby in West Hartford, themed "Resilience." Little did I know that it was Copper Beech's maiden voyage: its very first weekend retreat ever, in June 2014! I felt quite honored to be a part of this wonderful organization's beginnings!
Even though I personally was not in a good place, I enjoyed the retreat, the professional presenter Maria Sirois, the accommodations and hospitality of the friendly staff, the lovely like-minded guests that attended the retreat, the delicious gourmet meals, and the grounds which were just heavenly. It’s Connecticut's best-kept secret that shouldn't really be a secret!
My trials and tribulations with fibromyalgia continued, so I didn't get the chance to return to Copper Beech until 2017 when I attended another weekend Mindfulness Retreat for Educators. It was such a blessing to return, this time in a much better state of mind, and to enjoy the weekend from a completely different perspective. Copper Beech truly felt like a home away from home.
Wanting to contribute and be a part of this family of loving, kind, and like-minded people, I signed on as a volunteer. I find that being a volunteer is just as enriching of an experience as being a guest, perhaps even more so.
Under the vision and direction of Brandon Nappi, the Copper Beech Institute is definitely a "must visit" retreat center for anybody seeking self or spiritual growth, healing, guidance, professional development, self-reflection, or just a simple getaway for well-deserved self-care.
It is worth a day visit as well to take a meditation class, a one-day workshop, or just enjoy fresh air and nature. I could stroll the trails and hallways forever, enjoying the monastery's sculptures, artwork, stained glass, and magnificent mosaics...and one can’t forget to experience the Labyrinth and the art gallery!
The Copper Beech Institute offers an experience that will awaken all of the senses as a reminder of what it truly means to be alive.