Where to (Really) Relax in Toronto

Past generations understood the importance quiet reflection, but even Buddha would have a hard time finding a moment’s peace in this city. Next time you feel compelled to trade your earthly possessions for a life of contemplation on a Nepalese summit, check out these spots to find serenity in the city.

Hanging with the Jesuits
For a long weekend of silent reflection, head to Manresa Jesuit Spiritual Renewal Centre in Pickering. Attend daily sermons if you’re feeling worshipful, or simply spend your days strolling 21 acres of forest and cultivated gardens. Suggested donation, $165. 2325 Liverpool Road, Pickering, 905-839-2864.

Buddha and Biscuits
Awaken your innate capacities for happiness, wisdom and compassion through Buddhist meditation at Kadampa Meditation Centre. And if the cogitation doesn’t work, perhaps the centre’s tea and cookies will do the trick. Drop-in classes, $10. Locations throughout the GTA.

Stillness and Silence
The 10-day Vipassana Meditation retreat’s regime of total silence and ten-hour marathon meditation sessions is sure to cure the most severe Blackberry addiction. Start yapping and you’ll be promptly turfed; persevere and you’ll leave with a deeper sense of self. One-day intros are also available. Suggested Donation: PWYC. Dates and locations online.

Endless Nothingness
A sensory deprivation tank may sound as relaxing as an episode of “Fear Factor,” but the experience of weightlessness can evoke a deep neurological state associated with advanced meditation. Slip into the Toronto Healing Arts Centre’s tranquility tank and emerge fresh as a newborn baby. $90 per session. 717 Bloor St. W., 416-535-8777.

Image courtesy of alicepopkorn on Flickr.

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