Everyone should have a silent retreat at least once or twice a year.
Unfortunately, many people would not know how much they need a silent retreat until they attended one. Why is it so? We live busy lifestyles. Ever up and down trying to fatten our bank accounts. And every time we get some free time, we spend it in front of a screen. Or keeping up with social media. Before you realize it, your mental health is going down the drain.
We never really have any time for ourselves. We never have time to stay still and reflect. That is why silent retreats come in handy. You will be thrilled to discover what a silent mindfulness meditation retreat can do to your health, both mentally and physically.
We look at silent meditation retreats in detail below. Shall we dive right in?
What is a Silent Retreat?
A retreat is the best opportunity to step away from the stress and busyness of everyday life. (1) Usually, a silent retreat lasts for a day to a long weekend. However, some intense silent meditation retreats can last up to a week.
Unlike other retreats, people vow to stay silent during silent retreats.
At a silent meditation retreat, you remain quiet throughout the event. But that is not it. On top of staying quiet, you get the opportunity to:
- get rid of negative thoughts and focus on the present moment;
- channel our energy to unleash the best from our inner being;
- listen to yourself and process your thoughts constructively and calmly.
It is more like putting our daily life energy into all the right places. The energy we use in interactions, work, commuting, and much more is channeled with greater focus. This helps you discover your true self. You will be able to discover your most uncomfortable and delicate thoughts.
Working on your uncomfortable thoughts and just focusing on yourself can be life-changing.
What do People Do at Silent Retreats?
The activities at silent retreats revolve around keeping off the real world. They focus on getting you to focus on yourself. (2) The stillness and quietness at the silent retreat center sink into people’s minds as they adapt to the environment.
At a still retreat center, expect to:
- stay quiet, no talking,
- switch off all electronics, including your phone. There will be no TV;
- Keep away books. No reading and writing;
- Maintain no eye contact,
- practice mindfulness,
- focus on the present and not the future or the past;
What are The Benefits of Going to Silent Meditation Retreats?
A silent meditation retreat comes with a lot of benefits. At a glance, it will benefit your brain and mental well-being. But in the long run, your physical health and general life will improve.
We see people who went to their first silent retreats to give it a trial. And many of them have never looked back. They keep going back for more, thanks to the numerous benefits silent retreats have to offer.
Here are the top benefits of going on a silent retreat.
Focus on the Present
Overthinking about the future often results in stress. Besides, many people have past wounds they have never healed from.
In a silent retreat, you gradually create awareness of your present reality. You start to focus on the moment and even develop a sense of appreciation. Furthermore, you start to notice small things in the world. You, therefore, start becoming grateful for the good things the universe sends away your way.
Besides, being able to focus on the present guarantees your improved brain clarity. You will forget about your mind constantly wandering to the past. Or sometimes, what is yet to happen in the future. You get to deepen your awareness in the present.
Overcome Stress and Anxiety
Many of us have highly demanding lifestyles. With any of these, the chances of having to deal with stress and anxiety skyrockets:
- financial commitments and bills,
- family and romantic relationships,
- demanding and stressful jobs or businesses to manage;
- education and student loans.
Trying to keep all of the above in control increases stress and anxiety levels.
At a silent retreat, you get a break from all the stressful aspects of your life. You get a break from all your responsibilities and focus on your mental well-being. The way your mind settles and calms down during a retreat will help ease stress and anxiety.
Gain Greater Control of Your Emotions
Our thoughts trigger our emotions. Thoughts can trigger emotions either consciously or unconsciously. Therefore, if your mind is full of thoughts, it becomes flooded with emotions.
At a silent retreat, you calm your mind. A calm mind harbors fewer thoughts and emotions. This, in turn, makes your brain feel more clear.
The clarity in mind helps heal past wounds harbored in your subconscious mind.
Besides, a clear mind helps you develop more self-awareness. When your mind has peace, there will be fewer unnecessary thoughts. This, in turn, helps you monitor yourself better.
Gain Greater Control of Your Body
Silent meditation retreats are often disguised to only benefit the mind.
However, they are suitable for your physical body too. The self-awareness generated during a silent retreat extends to the body. Being more self-aware of your mind and actions helps you take care of yourself.
Therefore, you will be able to manage your physical well-being by:
- minding what you eat
- keeping up to date with medical care
- having enough rest
- interacting more with nature
- practicing more physical activities
The self-awareness that comes from the retreats helps people take self-care more seriously.
Get in Touch with Reality
Have you ever handled a situation better than you know your older self would ever? Taking the time and reflecting on how your older self would have behaved and realized that you have grown mentally is fulfilling.
The idea that you can handle your feelings better than you did a few years ago will bring you joy. And this is what happens when you decide to get in touch with reality. Many people live in the past world or the future. Living in the past does not allow you to be the person you are right now. It does not permit you to live in the growth you have worked for so long.
When you live in the present, you make decisions based on what is happening. And never on what happened or what will happen. Besides, it gives us the power to make realistic decisions based on what is truly happening.
The outcome of this will always be better.
You’ll Benefit From A Digital Detox
The primary tenets of silent retreats are:
- no talking,
- parting from your phone and other electronics.
Simply put, all the distractions will be eliminated for a few days. And how does this help?
- it increases your concentration during the retreat and after you level;
- it teaches to how to connect on a deeper level.
Also, a digital detox is good for reducing stress. You will have a moment where you forget about:
- constant phone notifications,
- Long work or friendly phone calls,
- bright screen light,
- long messages and thread.
You will Learn To Handle Tough Situations Well
There is no trophy for going through hardships. And suffering should not be glorified. Everyone should have it smooth flowing. But still, life can get salty and challenging when we least expect it. How you handle tough situations will determine how quickly you get yourself out of them.
At a silent retreat, you learn the art of prolonged silence and how it can help you. While handling challenging situations, prolonged silence helps you to effectively process negative thoughts. You will be set not to react to the negative sensations. These skills come in handy whenever you are facing a challenging situation.
With the skills from a silent retreat, you will be back on your feet faster whenever you fall.
Good for the Immune System
A good immune system is represented by:
- strong physical being
- healthy mental capacity
- a strong spiritual resilience
We often open ourselves to physical and mental illnesses when we:
- are dealing with chronic stress,
- spending less time in nature,
- lacking social support,
- overstimulated by media,
- are full of negative thoughts.
The activities at a silent retreat naturally support the immune system. At a silent retreat, you will treat your body with:
- balanced nutrition,
- yoga and meditation,
- digital detox,
- herbal and mineral support,
- creation of balanced mental, spiritual and emotional wellness;
All these help improve your immunity. And if you keep this practice after you leave the retreat center, you will have a better shield against illnesses.
Advantages of Going on Silent Mindfulness Meditation Retreat
A silent meditation retreat is not like all other forms of retreats. Usually, a retreat helps us escape daily life and focus on ourselves. We get to escape the noise from cars, machines, people, and city life. All this noise can slowly and unknowingly lead to health deterioration.
A silent retreat is huge on calming the head and mind.
These are the advantages that make us give more credit to silent retreats:
- Silent retreats are unstructured. They let you get in control of your feelings;
- There is no stiff program in silent retreats. They are super flexible;
- silent retreat gives a sense of being alive, and at the moment;
- the skills and tips you learn at a silent retreat will stick by you forever.
Can I Prepare a Silent Meditation Retreat at Home?
Absolutely. You do not have to go to a destination to have a silent retreat at home.
We, however, recommend that if you can, find a silent meditation retreat online and go. However, if you cannot go, for one reason or another, all is not lost. You can organize your silent retreat at home.
Disclaimer: You will have to have a high level of discipline to organize a home silent retreat. At home, you are likely to fall into temptations such as checking into your social media.
How To Organize a Silent Meditation Retreat at Home
There are a lot of online silent retreats that you can enroll in and attend.
A typical at-home or online silent retreat begins at 6:30 am. You will have sessions that may involve a yoga retreat or meditation. But most of the time used entails stillness and quietness. The instructor then helps you focus on the present moment and interacting with your thoughts.
We recommend that you:
- choose a quiet and secluded place in your houses like your home office or underground parking lot;
- switch off all devices and have on the device that you are using for the online silent retreat;
- have a friend or family that will hold you accountable, especially if you are unsure of your discipline;
- have someone that takes care of everything else such as work or babysitting.
Professionals in the art conduct the online retreat sessions. You are sure to learn some old wisdom from people who have been in practice for ages.
Silent Retreat Frequently Asked Questions
You are now well-versed with the benefits and advantages of going on a silent retreat. What next? Searching for a silent retreat near me? Probably not. Make yourself familiar with these silent retreat FAQs before you start your search.
What Are The Benefits Of Silent Retreat?
A silent retreat allows us to enjoy silence and peace. This practice helps us escape the harsh reality of a busy and noisy life full of distractions. Being able to calm our minds is good for healing mental illnesses, improving our clarity, concentration, and focus, healing our wounds, and managing our emotions and thoughts better. It also helps us grow in self-care, which is in turn good for our physical health.
How Much do Silent Retreats Cost?
The prices of a silent retreat will vary greatly. However, many of them cost anything from $100 to $240 per night. This is an all-inclusive price.
Where Can I Go on a Silent Retreat?
There are many silent retreats in the US. A simple search of where you would love to go will reveal to you so many options. For example, “silent retreat California” will show you all the available options in California.
“I have begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all on its own.”- Chaim Potok in The Chosen.
Your body and mind need a silent break from all the noise and the busy lifestyle you are in. You will not know how much you needed to calm down until you are calm and silent. It feels more like taking in a breath of fresh air. It feels more like a lifetime relief because you leave the silent retreat center with all the skills you need to control your body, mind, and soul.
Go for that silent meditation retreat. Give your emotional and mental journey the much-needed boost.