A friend used to refer to Meditation Retreats as “Meditation Treats.” We had a full house (sorry for those on the wait list) taking a deep dive into “A Meditative Journey,” including movement, deep relaxations and meditation techniques. I was both touched and inspired by the shared sparkle by the end of the day. Transformative traditions speak of three elements that support an alive and vibrant life: Practicing a technique called “Meditation OutLoud" Cultivate a daily practice. Do you have a practice or some ritual that helps you slow down? It’s important to be realistic about what you can commit to. Even a few minutes can make a difference. Personally, I think it’s better to take five minutes per day to pause than it is to meditate on Sunday morning for half an hour. Find like-minded people. This is difficult to create if you don’t have it, but quite important. Attend a weekly class, join a “spiritual friends” group or start one if you don’t have one local. Fine someone you know is interested in this and share your journey and insights. Take time out for intensive practice. You may find that an intensive retreat may inform or inspire your daily practice. Having another retreat on the schedule can be enormously helpful. It’s like knowing you’ve got a life raft out there waiting for you.  : A theme of our retreat was ‘restraint with awareness.” Our suggested restraints: * Refrain from speaking. Watch the conversation inside. * Refrain from eye contact. How intimately can you be with yourself? * Refrain from electronic media. Is it possible to pull your attention to the moment-to-moment experience of here and now? An intensive retreat not only helps pull you away from habitual activity, but it allows you to acquaint yourself intimately with what is present and cultivate your capacity to recognize what is actually happening in your life and perhaps find new ways to be with what is unfolding.