Taking Time Out for a Meditation Retreat

November 4, 2012 · Print This Article

When people today say that they want to take time out from their busy schedules they usually mean taking a trip out of town, going shopping or spending a few days in a camp of sorts. Sometimes, as anyone who has gone on a group tour knows, the breaks people take are actually in themselves high-pressure activities. Some of these so-called vacations can be so demanding physically and financially that one has to unwind after.

If you feel you need to take a rest from a harried, harassed daily life, you might want to look at what a meditation retreat can offer you. Many people feel that such an activity would be colorless and boring but thousands can attest to the fact that it is not. Today, there are limitless choices as to where you want to have this type of a retreat so the setting alone can guarantee that this endeavor will be anything but boring.

Benefits of this Activity

Stress relief is the most obvious benefit of seeking refuge from a pressure-filled world. During the time that one is isolated in the haven that this activity offers, there are no cell phones, no telephones and the usual things that fall under must-do-ASAP are held at bay. This is not to say that the person going through it is escaping from the world. In fact, many go through the experience repeatedly because it offers people the chance to strengthen themselves, to regroup and to think more calmly and clearly.

Many of the people who attend these sessions are already meditating on their own so for them, this is an opportunity to learn more techniques and to refine their ability to create order in their beings amidst the daily chaos of contemporary times. Others go to seek healing and to engage the positive energies of a collective group in seeking wellness. Most people who join find that the sessions allow them to focus on themselves and channel their search inwardly. Whatever their initial reasons for joining, few are disappointed in the resulting journey to their inner beings.

What Usually Happens

The shorter version of meditation retreat usually takes from two to five days, but those that are conducted for advanced meditation practitioners can take weeks or even longer. Normally the day will start at around seven giving participants an hour for breakfast and personal routines followed by a three-hour period for meditation. After this, there is lunch followed by some free time then another three-hour meditation session. Finally, there is dinner and about two hours of free time.

A newcomer might be stymied by the large number of hours devoted to meditation in such a schedule but he or she need not be discouraged by the image of people sitting perfectly still in contorted positions hour after hour. Included in this time allotment are lectures, interactive presentations, group work and meditation done while sitting or walking.

Choices of Locations

Today there are interesting, even exotic places all over the world where meditation retreats are held. People have gone for this period of rest in the picturesque Holy Isle in Scotland, in the desert of Sedona, in a castle at the foothills of the Himalayas, in the forests of Thailand and in just about every imaginable setting. In the United States, many places offer a place for this activity for very reasonable prices. Some venues even settle for donations from participants. Indeed, the price of one such trip would be considerably less than what a conventional vacation would cost.

Best of all, you can hold your meditation retreat at home if you want to. Armed with determination, schedule your special day and cancel all appointments, making sure you will have the house to yourself. If this is important to you, make time for it. Do not just find time. Draw up a program for yourself covering the whole day. Resolutely turn off the television, your phones and your radio. No matter how hard this might seem, remember that you are not indispensable and the world will survive without you for a day. Create an environment conducive to reflection by putting up a poster, laying out your mat, lighting candles, or preparing whatever works for you.

Finally, get into the spirit and begin your special day. Do it with confidence knowing that you will come out of it relaxed, alert, in tune with your inner self and better able to meet the many challenges of life in this millennium.

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