The below reasons have helped me to decide about when and why to embark on a Silent Retreat:
Surrender Detachment: I find it’s often best to go into a Retreat/Course – (when you have the purpose of deep personal development) – to completely surrender to the content, the format and the people involved. It’s not easy, but I have found if I have an attachment to a certain type of content, an attachment to an outcome or change in perspective, this attachment can lead me to be too narrow in focus and my mind can over-run the experience and lead to a feeling of being dissatisfied without having met my expectations. Pretty much all the things we are trying to avoid in our personal development journey!
Recognise life priorities: When we are removed from the our daily routines, expectations and pressures, clarity about what is important (and what is not) in our life can be more clearly seen.
Live more Purposefully: Once our “true” life priorities are realised, then we can live more purpose, clearing away the physical, mental and emotional clutter to live inline with what we believe to be our life work.
Realise Deep Yearnings: By omitting the distractions of technology, the roles we play and siting into he stillness, we can become more grounded, more creative (shifting of the two lower chakras).
Deepen spiritually: Have you noticed that in pursuit of greater spirituality across most traditions, there is always n element of silence to help one go deeper into their spiritual journey. The no talking allows us to drop deep into our heart space and away from the thinking mind that keeps us busy and in our daily illusion (maya).
Create space to breathe within: If we understand that the element of air exists throughout our body and not only externally then when we breathe fully (yogic breathing) and deeply we can send the fresh energy and prana (vital energy) to all that space to create further expansiveness. Silence enables us to feel more spaciousness deep within.
Improves Health: A busy modern life takes us from one activity to another without awareness of our breathe, our bodily sensations or how we are feeling, often we are on auto pilot. Sitting and meditating promotes breathing more deeply and can improve our health with the calming effect upon our nervous system and encouraging us to be in each moment.
Increased Resilience & Self Value: Taking time away from your normal life – family, work and recreational activities can be difficult enough, and requires us to see the value in developing ourselves. Once at a silent meditation retreat, although various challenges may arise, there is a feeling of accomplishment as its easier to recognise the emotions that are arising, seeing the reality of those thoughts and emotions. Simple realisation and break through in thinking can be life changing (was for me!!).
Break from Technology: Admit it, it feels good to leave the phone, your technology at home and go for a walk! Imagine having to turn your phone off, (or even hand it in to the staff at some retreats), to be free of looking for where you put it, carrying it, checking it and all the busyness that flows from doing those things! So let everyone know you will be off the grid!
**** In case of emergency your Next of Kin can contact the duty manager for the retreat.
Recognise repeating patterns: As you sift through the stuff in your head, opportunities arise to face these thoughts, emotions and actions created into the past that still surface.
*** Please note that this can often be very difficult maybe distressing to face some of these situations/emotions, ensure you are ready for deep work. CAUTION: So please be sure to complete the information sheet accurately about your mental health and life situation to ensure you are a good fit with what the retreat is offering and the level of supported that is provided on the retreat.
*** Please understand that most Meditation retreats do not offer onsite deep trauma or mental health counselling.
Drop your “Society Personality”: We all get caught up in our roles in life, the ones we have worked hard to create like Boss, Mother, Teacher, or the ones that we have fallen into: Good boy, caring friend, stress head, baby of the family, go to/gets things done person. You don’t have to be “anybody” but your self on a silent retreat.
Renew relationship with the world around You: Feeling disconnected from life? All of the Silent retreats I have attended are located in tranquil and natural settings to help us connect again with the mother earth.
Heartfelt presence and Gratitude: When we can clearly observe our role in this world, a sense of deep gratitude and unconditional love can arise. Silence can bring forth this clarity.
Drop expectations to be busy: Having a taste of living more purposefully (and perhaps more slowly) on retreat, we can see that it is not always our desire or in our best health interest to be always “busy”. Let go of social expectations to be everything to everyone and doing everything!
Get Motivated: Getting into the swing of the retreat routine can be a great motivation to want to establish and or deepen your own practice once returning home or to find a like-minded community (sangha).
Sovereignty of Self: We know we must take care of oursleves first to be able to care and love others. Developing a mindset of soverignity, respect for and of our best and most precious self, and the world around you.
Glimpse of freedom: As the self imposed fog clears, we can begin to realise that through deep awareness of each moment, we can understand that we can achieve deep and lasting freedom.
Beautiful mind: Buddha says your mind is your biggest enemy and also your greatest help. Learn to harness the power and beauty of your mind for the benefit of yourself, your loved ones and all beings, through silence on an extended retreat..
Need some help getting ready for your retreat or do you need some help with continuing a meditation practice? Consider a Wholistic Coaching session with me: email@example.com. Mobile: +61 (0) 418 576 075
Gabrielle@BeBliss Online yoga, meditation & relaxation – 24/7 support for you xx