Affected by the heat, work or any of the other stresses of modern life? Then head to Répica Station in Glen Robertson, a newly-opened retreat where you can recharge and rediscover yourself in a historical setting amid lush botanical gardens.

Répica Station is the dream project of René-Pierre Gagnon, who is combining the skills he has learned in two different areas to forge a place where you can spend a day, overnight or a week. A former landscaper and social worker, he has created a peaceful environment where people can relax, rest, meditate or learn mindfulness.

Wikipedia defines mindfulness as “the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment, which one can develop through the practice of meditation and through other training.”

“I’ve created a sanctuary of sorts for anyone who needs help in becoming themselves again,” says Gagnon. “I want people to discover themselves through body, mind and spirit.”

He bought the one-acre property 12 years ago and restored the original 163-year-old log cabin, adding on to it and turning one of the out-buildings into a meditation centre. There is now a loft space including kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and balcony which people can rent for $95 a day or $125 a weekend. Everywhere on the property are beautiful arrangements of plants and pathways.

Confidential help and concern

“It starts with a conversation where I assess your needs and provide an introduction to mindfulness,” Gagnon explains. “Whoever you are, whatever the difficulties or setbacks you may have had, here you can talk in complete confidentiality and reconnect with the sources of life.”

Someone who can attest to the effectiveness of Gagnon’s approach is Joe Belanger, who is spending the summer at Répica Station, doing design and media work and recovering from serious heart disease. “I’m living the process,” he says.

Gagnon has future plans to organize workshops with other specialists from the different fields of mindfulness, spirituality and meditation.

To learn more about Répica Station or to book, email [email protected] or call (613) 861-0165.