Serenity in New York State

By Mya Annan


At first, you don’t notice the subtle change in scenery; your senses are dulled by the whizzing of oncoming cars, stalled traffic, the fading in and out of radio stations and mental conversations about “what, if anything, will change while I’m here.”  

It takes you a moment to notice the deep caverns of green foliage hovering above cascading waters. Yet deftly, your attention is turned and you begin your welcome to Peace Village Retreat. A sharp bend in the road rounds into a magnificent waterfall carved into the side of the mountain. The sound of rushing water is both deafening and friendly at the same time on this narrow stretch of highway. Your spirit gets a momentary glimpse of the vibe awaiting you in this beautiful peace of nature.

A half mile further just around the bend, up the road from a real general store, with an unassuming sign at the end of a cobble stone walkway is Peace Village. 300 acres nestled in the Catskill Mountains of New York. The Brahma Kumaris Center  – Peace Village, is a spiritual learning and retreat facility that runs on love offerings, a surprisingly good and abundant vegetarian diet, long silent walks, hourly traffic control meditations and positive energy.

An eclectic range of visitors of varied nationalities, faiths and geographical backgrounds all converge in this one place. They attend 3 or 2 day retreats designed to reconnect with our higher selves in the main buildings meeting rooms, dining hall and common area. Four two-story lodges house have spacious rooms, though some of the buildings are straight out of the Brady Brunch era, offering up to 3 single beds, most rooms offer a small love seat and expansive desk, but no television and the walls are thin. Visitors are encouraged to maintain low volume conversations with roommates in order to be well rested for a 7am workshop call.

Peace Village offers a selection of retreat opportunities; I attended The Inner Peace, Inner Power. It included a sunrise Tai Chi session, silent nature trail walks, an in-depth understanding of the Eight Powers of Raja Yoga and various mediation circles. 

But it’s not all “work”, there are a number of spaces which make you grateful for the moments alone. 

A rock garden and waterfall, a nature trail, a pond with its own foot bridge and my personal favorite; a large grassy opening with an unobstructed mountain view to get lost in hours of cloud watching. 

Cell phone bars are not included for maximum mental relaxation.

The Village retreat is free but donations are requested; $250 is suggested for a full retreat, $40 for the day yet what your heart and pockets can afford is accepted without condition. There are 25 retreat centers around the world. You can look them up at PeaceVillageRetreat.org.

All and all the retreat is well worth the ride and offers visitors a moment to just let go and breathe easy.

Travel Noire

Mya Annan

Want more?

Get exclusive, unpublished tips from Travel Noire's CEO to help you get off the beaten path, into the hearts of locals and onto a better, more cultured life.

I Fell In Love At Trinidad Carnival

I Fell In Love At Trinidad Carnival

Carnival in Trinidad is like no other. Everyone swarms the streets in various eccentric costumes and body paint. It’s a never-ending party until you’re downright exhausted. It’s just one of those places you have to see. Canadian born, Trinidadian raised Esha Herbert-Davis has enjoyed the celebration every year for the fun festivities and parties. But […]

Rachel George

New York City And Los Angeles Hit Record-Breaking Tourism Numbers In 2018

New York City And Los Angeles Hit Record-Breaking Tourism Numbers In 2018

Tourists still enjoy the bright lights of New York City. They also like to climb the hills and walk among the stars in Los Angeles. These reasons are just a few that led to both cities breaking records in tourism last year. The Big Apple welcomed 65.2 million visitors in 2018, a 2.4 million visitor increase […]

Sharelle Burt

This 22-Year Old Founded An Affordable Vegan Restaurant In Brooklyn

This 22-Year Old Founded An Affordable Vegan Restaurant In Brooklyn

Francesca Chaney was born in Hollis, a neighborhood in New York City’s Queens. The 22-year old lives in Brooklyn where she runs her vegan restaurant, Sol Sips. We spoke with her via email about her business and why it was important to establish a vegan spot in Brooklyn. Travel Noire: How did the idea of […]

DeAnna Taylor