Former Laurelmor site gets new meditative life

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Visitors explored the International Center for Meditation and Well-Being on Saturday after a program celebrating its opening in Boone. (Credit: LAUREN CARROLL/JOURNAL)

BOONE, N.C. — An international pursuit of inner peace has breathed new life into a large mountaintop retreat here.

The Art of Living Foundation, based in Bangalore, India, held what it called a “grand inauguration” Saturday for its International Center for Meditation and Well-Being.

More than 2,500 people were in attendance, ranging from local and state dignitaries to pilgrims, many from India, who were there to take breathing, meditation and yoga courses.

There also were those from the community curious about their new neighbor.

Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who founded the foundation in 1981, helped dedicate the center. The foundation operates as a not-for-profit educational and humanitarian nongovernmental organization in 152 countries.

The property is the group’s second international center in North America. It boasts 26 buildings, including apartments named after the world’s largest rivers, a temple-like congregational hall and a cafeteria that offers long-range views from floor-to-ceiling windows.

This article was written by Richard Craver and originally published by The Winston-Salem Journal. Click here to read the full story.