History

A Summer Retreat for Spiritual Development

In the late 1950s, Pir Valayat Inayat Khan organized a summer retreat for young people to meditate and immerse in spiritual practice. Pir Vilayat guided his students in Sufi teachings, and the “Camp” became an important gathering place for a growing community. As attendance at the annual retreat increased, its offerings became more diverse, and organizers sought ever-more comfortable settings for it. Over the years, they set up Camp in various locations in the Alps before arriving at its current home at Campra, near Olivone, Switzerland. Camp’s core purpose – to be a catalyst for spiritual evolution – has been a constant throughout the decades, and continues to animate it today.

Meditation and retreat remain the central focus at this gathering, and dance, movement, and music are integral as well. There are spaces for silent retreat, for workshops, for conversation. The lifeblood of our community is collective effort: Volunteers build the Camp’s structures and meeting places before the participants arrive, and later dismantle the buildings at summer’s end.

[Camp presents our Message in many different forms and expressions, with various accents, in a multitude of languages. Yet it strives to present this Message in an open, nonsectarian way, one that is not limited to insiders.] We welcome all seekers of the one Truth in an atmosphere of tolerance, joy, awareness for each other and of nature. We welcome those who long for a deep attunement to the individual and the All.

Chamonix