April 18 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Developers behind a £3million meditation retreat are hoping to begin construction in a Suffolk village by the end of the year.
The 30-bedroom Maharishi Peace Palace will be the first of its kind in the country when it opens in Rendlesham.
Plans for the 22,000sq ft development include an exhibition hall, conference rooms and health spa at the heart of Garden Square – an area populated largely by advocates of the transcendental meditation movement.
Permission was granted in April 2008 and the Maharishi Foundation hopes to secure the required £597,000 for construction to start before the end of the year.
The Peace Palace will be the centrepiece of Rendlesham’s Maharishi Garden Village, which already incorporates a number of Vastu homes, designed according to architectural principles taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Richard Johnson, spokesman for the Maharishi Foundation, said: “Fundraising is quite advanced and we hope to start building this year.
“The palace will be devoted to creating peace for the individual and for society. This is the model for what we would like in every major city.”
The palace will be mainly used for residential courses in transcendental meditation, which involves the use of a mantra and is practised twice a day for 20 minutes.
Annie Renwick, administrator at Transcendental Meditation Suffolk, said: “Meditators come from all walks of life. We find it works well for people in business who want to focus and achieve more. Students do better in their studies, and a lot of people learn because it has a positive effect on creativity.”
A number of celebrities endorse transcendental meditation, including comedian Russell Brand, film director David Lynch and US television personality Oprah Winfrey.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was also guru to The Beatles in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
A bid for a Maharishi free school in Rendlesham was turned down last year, with the Department for Education wanting to see changes to the proposed curriculum, but developers said they would re-apply in the hope of opening in September 2014.
Annie Renwick will be conducting an introductory lecture on transcendental meditation in Rendlesham at 8pm on Friday, June 21. Call 01394 421136 for more details.