“We need another vacation after we come back from a vacation”. This is the most popular phrase we hear when people return from a holiday. Is it because they have to catch up on work deadlines and finish errands. The stress, anxiety and exhaustion makes you wish for a recovery holiday after your vacation.
Nowadays, retreats have become more popular as these are short getaways, meant for a specific purpose. Interestingly, military people use the word “Retreat” for withdrawal of troops”. As a verb or a noun it means to back out or to get away from the regular daily routine.
A Meditation Retreat is a spiritual retreat where the focus is to take a deeper journey within our own self. These retreats have become very popular, as we are looking to tap into our deeper consciousness. The retreats can be designed for a “beginner” or a “hardcore” spiritual seeker. Certain spiritual organizations have a calendar year of planned retreats and activities. They practice different styles of meditation as taught by the spiritual organizations.
Nature has a calming effect on our physical presence. This is the reason most retreats are away from the city, closer to mountains, forest and in open areas. So, we are physically removing ourselves from our daily routine and distractions, to inspire the meditative essence within us.
This old proverb is used frequently when we have too many things on our mind:-“Take a walk to clear your mind”. We literally walk away to create a distance from our “Mind’s Chatter”. This stillness of the thoughts, helps us to increase our awareness, which gives us clarity and direction. People attend these retreats for healing themselves, some are looking to deal with a challenging life transition period, while others are on a journey to awaken their spirit!
The practice of observing our breath and being Silence for a few hours in a day, helps to connect us to our inner being. Retreats are a great way to reinforce our “Sadhana” or Meditation practice. The Retreat teachers help us to go deeper and strengthen our meditation techniques. When people get together in a retreat, its more engaging and inter-reactive. The collective vibration of all meditators under one roof is extremely beneficial.
It is essential to have a clear intention when we sign up for these retreats. Are we only looking to take have fun, socialize and take pictures? If yes, we need to pause for moment and think. As there are lot of outdoor activities we can sign up for, which are purely physical in nature. If our purpose is to connect with our self and feel our own presence, then we should explore Meditation Retreats. As with the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we need to take out time for ourselves which helps us become calm, peaceful and more relaxed.
Retreat time can vary from a 2-day weekend getaway to as long as 10 days. Serene and natural destinations are chosen to create an environment of peace and tranquility. These retreats are crafted to make the participants experience an immersive meditative process.
Once back from the retreat, the endeavor should be to be in a meditative mode during our normal routine also. We are performing our daily duties, but we keep reminding ourselves to stay connected with our inner core. We can set a certain time to practice meditation in a particular area of our home. Silent or quiet time can be made a daily habit to take a break from our daily chores. This helps us to observe and reflect on our thoughts. A leisure stroll in the garden or a park, gives us a chance to fabricate our own retreat, close to home!
So, we really don’t need another retreat to recover from one, if we create the same atmosphere in our home and work environment. This helps us reinforce and keep us in the present moment with clarity and a perspective!
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