Silence Retreat: Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There!

meditation

Silence Retreat

Life is a noisy and chaotic proposition. From the moment our alarm clock jars us out of bed in the morning, through the continual cycle of talking, listening and maybe most disruptive – thinking – we engage in all day, until the verbal, internal, TV, radio, iPod and other forms of chatter finally die down before bedtime, we are trapped in a world of disruptive sound.

The truth is, exposure to talking, and even the sound of one’s own voice, day-in and day-out, for weeks, months and even years at a time without a significant break, is unhealthy for the mind. To make matters worse, many of us have an addiction to talking, or have one or more individuals in our close contact who are addicted to talking, amplifying the negative effects. For some of us, we are so conditioned to hearing noise that we don’t even know what to do with ourselves when we find ourselves in complete silence, like in nature.

Embracing silence and looking inward through practices like meditation, one can embrace the internal stillness and ultimately find serenity – but it takes work. One of the problems is a lot of people with busy lives and/or a house full of kids don’t really have the time or the place where they can go to be in silence. In places like India and Thailand, the importance of silence has been known for thousands of years; both countries are well-known for the silence retreats they offer to westerners.

So what can you expect from a silence retreat in say, Thailand? Most retreats will be within the confines of a monastery or ashram, run by monks, and start at a minimum of 10 days in length and increase from there. While the majority of retreats will offer basic accommodations, there are some with luxury options. At a basic retreat, you can expect to be fed quality food – enough each meal so that you are satisfied and full. There will be guidelines that prohibit drinking, smoking or wearing of immodest clothing. Most significantly, from the moment you enter, you will not be allowed to utter a single word until your final day at the retreat. To help you embrace the often challenging “silence” portion of the retreat, there will be group meditations and calming interaction with nature.

Many people who experience a silence retreat – often after struggling at first – come away stronger, energized and with a new perspective on life. Many modern spas in the west have realized the benefits of the ancient practice of silence and now offer their clients opportunities to relieve their mind of noise and find inner peace. Turning the spa into a monastery-type setting, where silence is the golden rule, while still offering the pampering of a traditional spa, has proven to be a combination that seekers of well-being are flocking to.

This post sponsored by:

ThermaSol Steam Showers

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