Our Mission: Cultivating peace, healing and renewal in a contemplative, interspiritual environment.
Our Purpose: Spreading peace, healing and renewal to all corners of the Earth.
For 30 years, the Forest of Peace has welcomed guests from all across the U.S. and other countries, offering a tranquil refuge for those seeking to go deeper into spirit, healing, and peace of mind and heart. Since 2010, the Forest has been governed by an interfaith board of directors to meet a compelling need for people to experience oneness, acceptance, and understanding. Marginalized people let go of trauma related to illness, religion or gender and find new ways of being through centering prayer and silent meditation. People who are content in their own faith traditions find depth, assurance, and peace within a diversity of beliefs. As visitors experience their own peace and healing, they take that back into the world as a model of how to live in sacred space amidst life’s turmoil.
The Forest of Peace has a long history, beginning in 1977, when a Benedictine nun from Oklahoma was inspired to search for the basic truths at the core of all religions. This quest took her to India, where she lived at an ashram, established by an English monk and known as a center of Hindu-Christian dialogue. In 1979 the Benedictine Sisters purchased 40 wooded acres in Sand Springs, Oklahoma, and created a sacred place of prayer and meditation, which they named the Osage+Monastery Forest of Peace, reflecting deep respect for the Osage Indians of Oklahoma. Our small resident community continues to embody our founder’s original vision of hospitality and a simple lifestyle for all those who seek to deepen, renew and nurture their spiritual practice.
Five program areas include:
1. mindfulness education and contemplative practice
2. mental health and addiction
3. interfaith connection and dialogue
4. caretaker (therapists, clergy, nurses) support
5. veteran and family member support
Feedback over the years has reinforced how powerful even a two-day weekend can be in transforming lives. A participant in a 2013 Veterans’ Families Retreat writes:
“This was an awesome experience. The introduction to self-care techniques was very helpful. I had heard of many of the techniques but had not truly experienced them. I loved the guided imagery, meditation and yoga. The healing touch made me feel better than I have in years - centered, calm and in control. We also learned that we are not alone, through telling our personal stories about the signs, symptoms and behaviors of PTSD--the reality of the disease. The kindness and sharing from these phenomenal people in itself was very beneficial. The Osage Forest of Peace is an ideal location, providing a sense of serenity, calmness and beauty many of us have forgotten. Walking the forest trails allowed me to be part of the God's portrait and enjoy the beauty of the world we live in. Thank you for being there and sharing such a beneficial healing journey.”
Others write: “One of my most valued gifts during my chemotherapy was from a friend who suggested I visit the Forest of Peace. I spent two bright crisp fall days there; it was exactly what I needed. I walked for hours on the trails, sat in the Zen garden, attended a meditation session in the chapel and meandered through the outdoor labyrinth. I was invited to a wonderful lunch, perused the spiritual library, wrote in my journal and rocked in silence. The staff gave me the space I yearned for while simultaneously helping me feel welcome and safe. This was a place I could just "be" without the demands and interruptions of my everyday life. After hours of this peacefulness, I began to let go of the some of the stresses that I had been carrying. I literally felt a healing energy running through me. With a clearer head, I could deal with the realities of my situation with a new perspective.”
“Peace has always been an illusion to many, including myself. I have found, through my pain and suffering, an opportunity to engage in my journey in a deeper and more meaningful way, and discover that this peace we all desire is within us. The Forest of Peace, and her loving brothers and sisters, have been a part of that journey to healing and peace. I pray that you may experience the beauty, peace, meditation and love that the Forest offers as you travel on your journey of spiritual, physical, mental and emotional peace.”
Learn more: http://www.forestofpeace.org/