043 – 12 Tips for Spiritual Retreats

Mindfulness Online Training

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Interested in going on a spiritual retreat? Retreats are a great way of deepening our practice. Here are a few helpful pointers I’d like to share based on my experience and that of friends who have attended retreats. You can read more about this in my book Being Present.

  1. Ask yourself what you’re looking to achieve by attending the retreat. Check that the retreat will meet your needs before booking.
  2. Consider the duration of the retreat. A shorter retreat may be better for you if it’s your first time.
  3. Seek clarity on any religious content beforehand e.g. rituals, puja, chanting etc. Ensure you’re OK with this before booking. Be aware that on some retreats, you might be encouraged to join religious movements.
  4. Check the daily retreat schedule will suit your needs.
  5. Consider attending with a friend.
  6. Consider speaking to your spiritual teacher or friends about the retreat before booking.
  7. Understand any expectations around silence and relinquishing mobile devices like phones.
  8. Research the retreat centre and retreat to give you a deeper insight into what you may experience there.
  9. Look into the teacher/s there and check that their style will be compatible with you.
  10. Keep in that you’re dealing with human beings! They can make mistakes and may be knowingly unskilful.
  11. Manage your conditions carefully, giving yourself time and space leading up to and after the retreat.
  12. Get your life organised and in good order before a retreat if you can. This will make it easier for you to let go of your usual activities and thoughts, and to immerse yourself in the retreat experience.

Copyright © 2019 Darren Cockburn. All Rights Reserved


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