By Brandi Miller
As I make my way up the narrow dirt road leading to the high desert, I am awestruck by the majestic amethyst and copper colored mountains looking over the arid mesa. The image softens as the warm desert breeze caresses the native love grass and carries the golden scent of summer to me. Here, in the heart of Patagon-ia, Arizona, nestled within this spectacular setting, is the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center . . . the home of a one-of-a-kind retreat dedicated to the transformation of mind, body and spirit.
Gabriel Cousens, M.D., Reiki Master, diplomat in Ayurveda, Senior Essene Teacher, Kabbalist yogi and spiritual healer, is the founder of The Tree of Life. After a long search for the ideal location for his healing retreat, he stumbled upon the mesa and its surrounding splendor.
Once there, he discovered a powerful vortex energy field called the Tachyon Pendant. Its unique power is palpable, inspiring sensations of peace and strength. You can feel it reaching down to you from the mountains, running through the stone meditation temple, through the belly of the labyrinth, past the sweat lodge and continuing down through the Mikvah in the Garden of Eden. Now, after years of cultivation, Cousen’s vision has given life to this extraordinary, multidimensional healing center.
The program begins with an in-depth, three-hour evaluation in order to tailor each program to the individual. With the implementation of allergy tests, dark field microscope live-blood analysis and Bio Brain Body assessments, guests are given a holistic plan of nutrition, lifestyle change and supplements in order to heal their unique conditions.
The Tree of Life is committed to the integration of all healing life forces for the rejuvenation of body, mind and spirit. The effects of this individualized, whole person approach to healing results in a state of being Dr. Cousens refers to as an, “Awakened normality: functioning in everyday life as an awakened spirit.”
This unique and innovative program weaves naturopathic medicine, Shaktipat meditation, Reiki massage, spiritual fasts, the sweat lodge tradition and teachings inspired by mystical Judaism, the Essene Way, and yoga.
There are 166 acres of beautiful grounds to explore including ponds and gardens and organized ceremonies led by Cousens, meant to collectively inspire a deepened sense of Self. Becoming whole is a spiritual undertaking . . . by healing the body inside and out, the Tree of Life humbly boasts life-altering results and powerful testimonials.
Dr. Cousen’s credits are as varied and awe inspiring as his retreat. A graduate from Columbia Medical School, he went on to explore his spirituality under Enlightened Swamis Muktananda and Prakashanada of the Siddha Yoga lineage. He was honored with an initiation into the Sioux tribe after a four-year cycle as a Sundancer. He is a visionary, world-renowned author, yogi, psychiatrist and family therapist.
Now 60, Cousens is living proof that youthfulness is not a function of age — his daily routine would prove a challenge to men and women half his age. Dr. Cousens travels around the world training peace workers, establishing holistic orphanages and gardening centers in developing nations, and has established Peace 21 Meditations at the United Nations for each equinox and solstice.
As incredibly busy as he is, Cousens is surprisingly accessible and generous with his time. Throughout the day, this marvelous man can be found leading daily meditations, walking the land and working one on one with his patients.
Guests stay in quaint, adobe- style Casistas and eat meals prepared by chefs specializing in 100% raw, kosher, organic gourmet cuisine. Gabriel Cousens has written several pieces on the subject of conscious eating and is one of the world’s foremost authorities on live food nutrition.
Everything prepared at the Tree of Life comes from the vineyard, a thriving orchard and a flourishing organic garden filled with the happiest of squashes, greens, tomatoes, berries and herbs. Eating this incredibly flavorful, nutrient rich and satisfying sun cooked food; our bodies become cleaner, more alive and better equipped to heal themselves. Breakfast is light, with a rainbow assortment of fruit, grains, coconut cream and tea. Lunch is an extraordinary salad containing the freshest, most vibrant vegetables in season and dinner is always a variation on a favorite cultural dish.
My favorites were the creamy avocado soup with cilantro, garlic, ginger and coconut, and the pizza made with dried/pressed flaxseed crackers, marinated shitake mushrooms, nut cheese, garlic, onions, black olives and tomatoes.
Nights here are dramatic, with sunsets of mandarin and violet accentuating the landscape and sky. Silhouetted mountains seem to crest as the moon rises to emanate its glow from the indigo. After four wonderful days here, I reluctantly gather up my belongings and rest them on the clay near the car. I gaze up one last time at the incredible display of astral fires speckling deep space. The Milky Way feels so close up here and seeing it inspires a feeling of oneness with the universe.
Driving now… slowly down the dusty hill, heading back to the city, I am comforted by the symphony the crickets in the warm night air. With peace in my heart, I am aware of the profound impact that the Tree of Life has had on me. In a short time my spirit was awakened and part of me still remains in that sacred space. If I listen very closely, I can hear it calling to me, “Come back . . . come back.”
For more info call (520) 394-2520, visit www.treeoflife.com or write to The Tree of Life, P.O. Box 1080, Patagonia, AZ 85624.
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