See inside the Rendlesham Peace Palace – a one-of-kind architectural feat for Britain
PUBLISHED: 10:15 15 October 2016 | UPDATED: 12:47 15 October 2016
Students of meditation from around the world will be coming to a Suffolk village to seek spiritual enlightenment, following the official opening of Britain’s first Peace Palace.
Local devotees yesterday celebrated the culmination of an eight year journey since permission was granted for the Maharishi Foundation to build the 30-bedroom retreat in Rendlesham – dedicated to the teaching of a late yoga guru’s meditation technique.
The Peace Palace is Britain’s biggest building constructed using a set of principles taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi – and sits at the centre of similarly designed, east-facing homes in Rendlesham’s Garden Village – one of the largest Vedic architecture settlements of its kind in the world.
Richard Johnson, Rendlesham resident and national director of the Transcendental Meditation Programme in England, said: “The orientation of the building is very important. We are influenced every day by the rising sun – in terms of growth and consciousness. It helps expand our awareness.
“The building is about creating peace for the individual and society. The Maharishi wanted buildings to be dedicated to that cause – to enhance the process of connecting with oneself. It’s not a difficult or long process. We just have to learn how to do it, and unlearn certain other things.
“Rooms are placed in the building for specific reasons. The ‘brahmasthan’ is the main meeting room – the geographic centre of things.”
As well as 30 bedrooms, inside the Peace Palace are meditation rooms, a dining area, library, media room, offices and a gift shop.
The £3.5million retreat, built by local firm RG Carter, will be dedicated not only to teaching transcendental meditation, but also consciousness-based education and natural healthcare known as AyurVeda.
Ayurvedic medical practitioner, Sausan Lincoln said: “We are open to anyone who wants to come and address a health problem or keep their body in balance. AyurVeda can have a deep and profound balancing effect on physiology. I have treated people who are well, and those with chronic diseases, with astonishing results.”
Transcendental meditation was introduced by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the 1950s. Claims about its benefits range from promoting a state of relaxed awareness, to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and cutting reconviction rates among prisoners.
Famous advocates include film director David Lynch, fashion designer Stella McCartney, actor Hugh Jackman and media mogul Oprah Winfrey.
This Sunday, from 2.30pm-4.30pm, there will be an open day at the Peace Palace, with an opportunity to meet directors and the building’s designer.
The following evening, psychiatrist Dr Norman Rosenthal, who first diagnosed seasonal affective disorder, will visit the palace on his tour of lectures presenting research into the use of meditation for illnesses like post-traumatic stress disorder.
Visit peacepalace.org.uk for full details.