A JOURNEY TO MINDFULNESS
“Immersed in the pure tones from singing bowl, the resonance had guided me to seek mindfulness in SANGHA Retreat.”
Immersed in the pure tones from singing bowl, the resonance had guided me to seek mindfulness in SANGHA Retreat.
This space was filled with whispers from the singing bowl; the transcendent yet obscure tones lured me into an undisturbed paradise – SANGHA Retreat. This raw gem, a 47-acre retreat,
is built with local natural boulders and renewable materials that are environmentally friendly. Hiding alongside Suzhou Yangcheng Lake, it displays a simple elegance and is conveniently located at about an hour’s drive away from Shanghai. You can easily isolate the nuisances from everyday life in here, lose the buried tension and enjoy the serenity in nature.
THOUGHT FOR FOOD
Birds singing and cicadas chirping; where humming sounds from singing bowl resonated with gurgling water, a natural euphony was composed. When the melody faded, I gently opened my eyes and only realized I was walking in the tunnel of transformation at AT ONE Healing Spa instead of an enchanted forest.
AT ONE Healing Spa is renowned as the most comprehensive spa retreat across Asia. Finally set foot in this long-awaited palace, I might get lost in this maze without a butler leading the way.
The spa provides more than 10 programs that suit your individual needs. One of the highlighted treatments is ‘Kneipp Walk’: walking barefoot on pebbles at different water temperatures; this helps to massage the soles of the feet and stimulate the body’s reflexes. To restore body balance and moisturize the skin, take a ‘Herbal Bath’; where herbal balls made of roses, bergamots, citrons, lisianthus and white peonies are steamed to diffuse herbal incense. There is also a therapeutic Himalayan pink salt room, The Salt Cave appears as a pink crystal palace from a fairytale, surrounded by clear crystal walls. Sound-Vibration Loungers are available to rejuvenate guests with music relaxation. The chairs vibrate with sound waves of music that echo with your soul.
Into the tunnel of transformation once again, I was swiftly transmitted to AT ONE Clinic to continue on my wellness journey. There is no cold registration desk or chairs lined up to make you anxious. On the other hand, the clinic is designed to convey a feeling of home with a wooden tone and living room setting. Furnished with an international team of medical doctors and healing experts, as well as cutting-edge health check-up equipments, it offers full service medical diagnosis and holistic care for the entire family, including cardiovascular medicine, gynecology, dermatology and pediatrics. After analysing the test report one- on-one with each guest, professional doctors will arrange a series of tailor-made programs customized to their individual needs, providing an integrated and holistic support for their health.
I see SANGHA Retreat as more than a traditional luxury hotel. On its website, you will notice it refuses to accept merely room reservations, but offers over 21 wellness programs, ranging from two to seven nights, including Traditional Spinal Alignment, Ayurvedic Healing Journey and Sleep Recovery. It aims to guide guests on their personal journeys of awakening to achieve mind, body and spiritual wellness.
When the harmonious chanting of Brahma mantras came again, I closed my eyes and focused on the resonance in the air and slowly returned to the present moment. A butler already awaited at the door of AT One. I was astonished to see a wall sheathed in the bark of a large cork tree behind the reception area’s wooden table. Survived through centuries of storms, the African cork bark is still standing strong. To the adjoining Tea Room, ceiling lanterns are assembled from repurposed oil-paper umbrellas both illuminate and honor a traditional Chinese craft. The gigantic glass windows of the Tea Room gently reflect a striking, slender infinity pool – An External Urban Retreat. It traces the outline of the shore, along the banks of Yangcheng Lake. Wandering in this wonderland, I focused on meditation. With my eyes to the sky I could hear how birds sing. I bathed under sunlight that streamed through branches and leaves and started living in the present to seize the day.
Located along the banks of the lake, THOUGHT FOR FOOD is run by internationally acclaimed chefs and naturo-pathic doctors. This assures a one-on-one intimate care for each guest with an explicit manipulation of calories. From farm to table, it celebrates the authentic taste of each ingredient from organic fresh produce, without excessive additives; where aroma, texture, color, sound and flavor are harmonized.
The guestroom uses natural raw wood in both the furniture and flooring, conveying a sense of nature in a delicate and sophisticated manner.
Passing through the featured architecture – The Sanctuary, a giant white cube ,
I entered the hotel. The guestroom uses natural raw wood in both the furniture and flooring, conveying a sense of nature in a delicate and sophisticated manner. Tea bags for morning, noon and night are prepared in the room’s mini bar. The bathroom is replenished with shampoo and body wash from its own brand – 8 by Octave, which is a pleasant surprise. I fell into a sweet dream on that night like never before.
In the dream, I was at the Meditation Dome, which was filled with resonance from the singing bowl. The pure tones constantly brushed through my inner self and swept away the clutter and negative energy. When the vibration ceased, the tutor chanted: “OM, shanti, shanti, shanti” (meaning “Peace to the earth, peace to the air, and peace to the heavens”). Inhaling deeply, I focused on the air flows channeling around my body and only then mindfulness was found in peace.
SANGHA Retreat By OCTAVE Institute
199 Yang Cheng Ring Road,
Suzhou Industrial Park, Jiangsu Province, China
+ 86(512)6788 1888