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The Sedona Mago Retreat
I was starting to wonder if Clare was trying to kill me. We had already visited and managed to survive one commune-esque location during our production trip in Arizona. There we were, the day before we were scheduled to head home, driving 11 miles down a sketcherific excuse for a road to what I was convinced was a bunch of tents with a big pool of cool-aid in the middle. Maybe if I had payed more attention to this location during our planning meeting I would have realized that my fears were unfounded, but at the moment I was sure our parents would be posting our images on milk cartons in a few days time.
As we pulled in, my fears were immediately assuaged. While it was eerily quiet, everyone we passed nodded a friendly hello and gave a polite smile. As we walked the various garden paths, children ran in front of us in a wild pack and I decided the place couldn't be what I had feared. It was as Clare had said, just a retreat for people who needed to escape society for a while, and maybe find a piece of themselves in quite retrospect.
(Caption: Mago has several beautiful trails that wind around the property. From meticulously designed paths circling the natural pond at Mago's center to red dirt trails skimming the edge of the Sedona wilderness to paved pathways linking rooms to sunflower gardens and yoga facilities, this retreat is a site to behold and immediately calms the nerves. We both felt much more relaxed after spending only a couple hours walking around the area.)
The grounds at the Sedona Mago Retreat were gorgeous and no one challenged our impromptu presence (Mago welcomes un-scheduled visits on Saturdays, but asks for all other visits during the week to be registered beforehand). The atmosphere was accepting and passive. One that fit well with Mago Retreat’s billing as a center for spiritual awakening. They offer Tao meditation and yoga workshops that range from two to six days and personal retreats that can last significantly longer. Based on many of the previous retreats that have been held, focusing on AA and twelve-step programs, we gathered that many individuals had made a visit to refresh their bodies as well as their minds.
We were happy to learn that the retreat also grows its own organic produce on the property and has a variety of both edible and ornamental gardens. They also have a handful of projects in the works including improving the previously mentioned road, installing renewable energy sources on-site and creating educational programs to develop more sustainable living communities elsewhere.