My friends in the Portland meditation community always seem to be talking about meditation retreats. It seems like every few months one of them is headed off to the mountains, to the San Juans, to the beach, a spot in the country, spending the better part of 24 hours to 7 days with others in silence.
I haven’t done this myself, but it always raises questions for me. How would I fit something like this into my schedule? What special things does a long period of stillness offer? Should this be part of my path?
If you are asking yourself these questions, check out How to Create a Mini-Retreat at Home (Trike Daily, 19 Mar 2019) by Chris McKenna. This article was originally published under the title, Getting Real About Exhaustion (Inquiring Mind, Fall 2013), and the emphasis on mini-retreat-as-restoration-of-body-&-spirit comes across very strongly.
Summer is the perfect time for that special activity you’ve been putting off all year. Vacation, trip home, the early morning climb to the top of Mt. Hood, or that meditation retreat to finally get your “head straight.”
Maybe. Or maybe not. Because it seems like nothing in life, least of all our heads, can ever be put completely and permanently straight.
On the topic of head-straightening meditation retreats, Brent Oliver writing in Trike Daily (31 May 2018) says retreats are “not all calm and cosmic-flavored bubble gum.” I wouldn’t know. I’ve never been. But if you’re considering your first retreat this summer you might appreciate some of Brent’s observations. Or, you might just go with no preconceptions and an open mind.
See 5 Things That Might Surprise You about Meditation Retreats, Brent Oliver (Trike Daily, 31 May 2018)
“Most of us have imagined what it would be like to live in a completely different way.” This is the vision that underlies the article, “Urban Hermit: A Different Way of Being in the World” by Mu Soeng (Insight Journal, 2016). Continue reading
The Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education (ACMHE) provides resources covering a range of topics related to contemplative practices in higher ed. I’ve listed some of these resources at the bottom of this post.
You might also be interested in an upcoming weekend workshop, “Contemplative Practice in Higher Education,” to be held Sept 18-20 at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY. Here’s the blurb that appeared in my inbox a few days ago:
I have not gone on a meditation journey. 30 minutes of silent sitting (or walking) each day feels about right.
Some days, though, I do a bit more, and these days can make me wonder what a full day, or several days, of meditation might be like. I have never done anything like that, but I’ve talked with those who have and they insist that there’s something to be said for longer practice periods. Hallie Bateman, cartoonist, decided to take a 10-day plunge into silence and she recently wrote (and drew) some things about her experiences on BuzzFeed, “What Happens When You Try to Stay Silent for 10 Days.”
Everyone knows that things we do habitually can carry themselves along with almost no effort. The things that require special scheduling, on the other hand, often get left in the dust: you would like to sit, maybe every day even (just a couple of minutes is plenty), but how to get that going? Tricycle magazine is here to help with their daily sitting program. Find out more at “March is Meditation Month.” (Note: some parts of their program are available only to magazine subscribers, but other parts, e.g., their blog, are free.)