The outpouring of news and information. Non-stopping social interaction. Multitasking. Go-get-it-now culture.
Modern life challenges us to pause and be present.
Take a few days of being alone in silence to listen to your heart's whisper and observe your inner landscape.
I guide personal retreats at our sanctuary in the Texas Hill Country
(45 minutes from Austin international airport) and via Zoom.
I have been incorporating silent retreats into my mindful practice for 25 years.
What is a silent retreat?
A silent retreat is a valuable opportunity to refrain from talking and listening to others and slow down physical and mental activities. During a silent retreat, you will shut off all communication and entertainment devices (phone, computer, TV, gaming console, etc.) and stay alone except for the time with your retreat guide (if you choose to work with the one). You will shift from your usual doing mode to being and spend a lot of time resting, meditating, practicing mindfulness, doing slow, inner-focused physical exercises (gentle yoga, walking, stretching, etc.), journaling, or just relaxing.
Rest and Relax: Without noise and stimuli from the internet, cell phone, TV, and other communication and entertainment devices, many retreatants rest deeply and sleep for long hours. They often take naps and enjoy relaxing without rushing to work or an appointment. A silent retreat is a much-needed opportunity to restore and nourish the body and mind.
Physical and Mental Reset: Several days of silence and stillness could release unhealthy habits such as emotional eating, binge-watching, staying up late, and excessive social media use*. As the mind relaxes, urges and cravings begin to lose their grip. Natural appetite, tastebud, and ability to turn away from harmful habits return. The body and mind are reset to the state of balance and harmony.
*Silent retreat is not a substitute for treatment for substance abuse, eating disorders, and other mental health disorders.
Mental Clarity: Once we block off external communication and get out of our usual doing mode, we can turn to the inner world without distraction. Being free from others’ advice and opinions, we realize what we really want. We gain more clarity about our life, and our inner wisdom shows us the right direction to take.
Rich Emotional Experience: As the mind relaxes, the emotions we have not been in touch with could surface. Emotions, including negative ones, need to be fully experienced. Any emotion that is ignored or suppressed could eventually harm the mind and body. A silent retreat invites us to connect with a variety of emotions. If you are attacked by a painful emotion such as sadness, anger, regret, and fear during your retreat, try to perceive it as a physical sensation. How does it feel in your body; tight, heavy, hot, cold, or anything else? When you start thinking about the situation or person associated with the emotion, bring your attention back to the physical sensation. You will notice the painful emotion is soon gone if you keep your awareness on your body, not your mind.
Peace and Love: In silence and stillness, we reach inner peace and feel greater love and gratitude for our family, friends, and life.
Thank you so much for a lovely stay and (drum roll, please) my new beginning! The start of the quest to find the magic that will make my soul soar. Together we made significant strides, and I had many Aha moments. I look forward to one day not being so tired and feeling like I’m in the midst of a shit storm. I also look forward to a life that holds peace and joy. Thank you again for this beautiful space, your amazing self, and the safety for exploration.“