Nourishing Body, Mind, & Spirit

Drawing on influences from the local harvest in Boone to Bombay and even the Caribbean, you’ll enjoy deeply satisfying vegetarian meals. Ayurvedic principles tell us to eat nature—real food grown by sun, soil, wind, and water that is full of nature’s prana, or life force. The chefs at the Art of Living Retreat Center know this, and they know that food prepared with love of the planet and of the person being fed is the best food. ⁠

Our Food Philosophy

We are committed to serving nourishing food which creates balance and harmony for the mind, body, spirit, and planet. We seek to promote a sense of well-being with the choices we make. 

The principles of our food philosophy guide our menu creation and kitchen ethos, our community’s enrichment, and our guests’ satisfaction. Our intention behind everything we serve is to support our guests and staff in having a peaceful and joyful retreat experience. 

These are the five foundational principles of our food philosophy: 

We believe that removing most animal products and processed foods from the diet promotes health and well-being and leaves a smaller ecological footprint. Therefore, our menus emphasize vibrant fruits and vegetables, whole grains, plant-based proteins, healthy oils, and unrefined sugars. 

We are committed to creating balance and harmony through food—a central idea in Ayurveda. Per Ayurvedic guidance, we avoid onion (including leeks, shallots, chives, scallion, etc.), garlic, mushrooms, eggplant, and eggs as they are considered to have negative prana. 

We understand that people come to us from all walks of life and with varied dietary needs and preferences. For these reasons, we seek to satiate their palettes through delicious dishes, familiar flavors, and an aesthetic presentation. At the same time, we aim to inspire our guests to expand their minds and embrace vegetarian cuisine if it is new to them. We also provide varied options for vegan guests and those with food allergens and sensitivities, such as nuts, dairy, and gluten. 

For these reasons, we aim to source organic, seasonal, and local products whenever we can. In addition, we keep sustainability at the forefront of our decision-making process when sourcing ingredients, planning menus, preparing meals, and handling food waste.

Because the emotions and energetics of the person preparing the food influence the food, we lovingly feed our guests with an attitude of service. We want them to leave with happiness on their faces and love in their hearts.

Purna Dining Hall

The views from our Dining Hall and deck, combined with the food we serve, are feasts for both the eyes and the belly. Some of the most raved about guest experiences take place right here.

Meal Times

Breakfast 7:30–9:30 am
Lunch 12:00–1:30 pm
Dinner 6:00–7:30

Live locally?

You’re invited to experience the beautiful Purna Dining Hall. Seatings are available from Wednesday dinner through Sunday lunch; reservations are not required.

Our Garden

We grow a variety of fresh and delicious fruits, vegetables, and flowers right here at The Art of Living Retreat Center. Our garden is as much a place for nourishment of the body as it is a place of nourishment for the soul. Walk the paths as many staff, volunteers, and journeyers have before.

garden sign
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Yoga and meditation classes were really great. They really energized me and I’m looking forward to returning. The vegetarian menu was quite a treat. A great experience.