Five Reasons Why a Daylong Retreat is a Great Investment


spacer-25I am just back home after leading a daylong retreat "The Questions That Can Heal and Set You Free".   I feel refreshed, inspired and touched by a day with such kind and thoughtful folks.   If you have thought about taking time out of your busy life for a daylong retreat, here are five reasons I think it’s one of the best investments you can make:   1. You make a clean break from your routines and habits.   Sometimes spiritual practice is not so much about what you do but what you don’t do.   Imagine a day without email, voicemail, reading, writing, web, movies, Facebook and twitter. Add to that the possibility of not speaking for a day. Just the practice of consciously stepping back from these activities for a day can be transformational.   When you get lost in routine, it’s easy to forget what’s most important.   Stepping away helps you remember.     2. You hang out in non-ordinary experiences and non-ordinary states.   Having put aside external stimulation for the day, a retreat allows you to immerse into new experiences and practices.   Have you ever meditated for hours in one day? The way a daylong retreat is designed and paced allows you to experience what happens when you intensify your attention.   Ever spend a day in silence? The supportive structure makes it possible.   A retreat helps you to sustain a level of attention that is simply not possible in a busy, distracted day.   The results can be quite extraordinary.     3. You meet and hang out with like-minded people.   When you join in a day of intensive practice, you’re joining in with some extraordinary people.   You’re in the mix with those who value these practices and are actively exploring how they can apply the principles of mindfulness in their relationships and work.   The Buddha described engaging into spiritual practice as “swimming upstream.” You are swimming against your own conditioning but also swimming against the conditioning of the culture. Our culture is not really interested in slowing down and exploring what it means to be truly free.   A retreat provides the optimal space for not just your own internal dive, but a sense of real intimacy with those you may find inspiring.   small-group-sharing spacer-25 4. You return to your daily life with new tools.   After a hours of practice you come away with new techniques and refined skills you bring back into your daily life.   Many report a residual effect of feeling less reactive, more kind and more creative in the following days and weeks.     5. You will inspire and inform your daily practice.   Most of us struggle with maintaining a daily practice. Intensive immersion helps to solidify your commitment, providing insight and often inspiration that will carry you forward. You’ll probably hear from others who are lit up about their practice and and will inspire you as well as from others who also struggle - often with the same issues you have.   Inevitably you’ll find both the inspiration and the realization that you are not alone in your endeavors to be helpful as you craft your daily meditation.     There is a saying: “The more you have going on in your life, the more you need to be on retreat.”     I find that absolutely true. When you can step away from your routines, immerse into intensive practice, be with like-minded practitioners, you’ll find inner resources available to you that were not there before.   The next retreat I’ll be leading is called “A Meditative Journey” on November 15th. This is a practice retreat. Only a few short talks to orient you to the practices and then you’ll dive into mindful movement flows, deep relaxing (lying down) body scans and sitting meditation.   For more information and to register.


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