What It's Like to Go on a Silent Meditation Retreat: The Strange, the Challenging, and the Ahh-MAZE-ing! Start your week mindfully!Join the Left Brain Buddha mailing list and get a mindful update every Monday morning.Plus you'll get 40 Ways to Bring Mindfulness to Your Days and Mindfulness for Kids, two printable pdf's to inspire mindfulness every day! What It’s Like to Go on a Silent Meditation Retreat: The Strange, the Challenging, and the Ahh-MAZE-ing! I’ve just returned from a weeklong retreat in Northern California that was part silent meditation retreat and part mindfulness education training. I worried about the silent portion of the retreat {see Exhibit A}, but it ended up being delicious. It’s a very different way of being in the world when you “go inside.” We were told not to make eye contact with others or do things like holding doors for people.
It hadn’t even occurred to me before the retreat how liberating it would be to have permission to not engage in small talk, to not feel like I needed to fill the silence to avoid a sense of awkwardness. It’s amazing to live for a few days with EVERYTHING stripped away — so many of the “things” we do during the day are often strategies to avoid our thoughts and the mess in our heads. Once we broke silence, I noticed after just a few minutes of speaking and engaging with people again that my heart rate sped up dramatically.
Two days of complete digital and social detox revealed to me just how much energy my engagement with the world requires, and how much stimulation the digital world delivers. We practiced walking meditation sessions of 30-45 minutes each, in which we walked slowly and deliberately, eyes focused just a few feet in front. With my eyes open, there was a lot more distraction — I wanted to look at the trees, the mountains, the sheep, the sky… It was a powerful taste of the way in which our attention shifts and flows inward and outward, inward and outward. Remember that time Abby got a tick in her head and we noticed it in the bathtub and we just tried to pull it out and a leg came off and then just the leg was stuck in her head? While the purpose of meditation is to find the moments of awareness, discovering the destinations of my flights away from the present was powerfully instructive. A journey is emotional, perhaps spiritual, an exploration of new part of your identity, your soul.  It moves you inward … yet still possibly away from your known universe. Loved this…especially the part about waiting for the bell to ring…you never fail to make me laugh! My name is Sarah Rudell Beach, and I am a teacher, writer, mother, and mindfulness ambassador!


The 3-day Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat is an intensive meditation retreat-course designed both for those who want to have a foretaste of a meditation retreat and those who don’t have enough time (or courage…) for experiencing a 10-day retreat.
Supporting Price is for those who have the resources to support the spiritual work of those with fewer financial resources.
While I know this post cannot possibly convey the full extent of the AMAZINGNESS that I experienced on retreat, I want to share what it was like to take a brief dip into the deep-end of the meditation pool! It was incredibly powerful to have the gift of time to explore my inner world, to finally have continuous silence in order to listen to myself. Even though no one is speaking, car engines run and air conditioners hum, birds tweet and doors creak. The point is to bring your mindful awareness to walking — to the sensations in the bottom of the feet, in the legs, the torso, and to the feel of the wind and the sun.
And all the zombies slowly walked back into the meditation hall, heads down, silent, as if we’d joined some creepy cult and we were all heading in to drink some Kool-Aid. Our instructor told us that when we noticed a thought {or that we had been lost in thought for several minutes!}, we should stop, and allow the thought to pass. It’s a LONG time to watch the random cognitive vomit that the mind throws up when the body takes a moment to rest.
But I do have a clearer understanding of what’s important to me and of the path ahead.
At Left Brain Buddha, she writes about her journey to live and parent mindfully, joyfully, and thought-fully in her left-brain analytical life. I have been better about limiting my social media time, and I am committed to changing my habits in that realm.
I am passionate about sharing the gift of mindful living with little people AND big people -- children and parents, students and teachers -- so that we all may lead joyful and compassionate lives. This meditation technique is a tool for life.In this intensive health meditation and physical awareness programme, participants will learn how to heal through “loving kindness” and embrace a life of joyfulness.
I had a hard time stifling my inner “Minnesota nice” and I really wanted to smile and say “Good Morning!” to everyone I saw.
When you live with another person for two days and don’t speak, your natural inclination is to think something is wrong, to think YOU have done something wrong. After a loud and engaging lunch, I went back to my room and took my phone out of “airplane” mode.


In “regular life,” it’s such a part of my day that I’m not aware of the low-grade anxiety and nervous activation that stays with me constantly. Which sounds lovely but we looked like a bunch of zombies practicing really slowly for a field sobriety test. Physically stopping my movement with each observed thought powerfully drove home how frequently my mind wanders! I found myself pondering questions like, “When a bee stings you, does it know it’s going to die?” and “Did the Roman alphabet develop from the Phoenician alphabet?” Seriously, people, we’ve got a lot of random shit in our heads. And we didn’t have matches in the house so we had to hold a paper clip in a lighter to heat it up and then use that to fry the tick and get it out?
This discovery allowed me to glimpse a euphoria similar to the one Billy Crystal’s character in City Slickers experiences, when he found his “one thing” that pointed to the purpose of his one precious life. The healing meditation focuses on how we can train our mind to surrender negative thought patterns, worry, trauma, bad energy, etc., to reach a harmonious mind, bearing qualities of concentration, mindfulness, loving kindness and wisdom.
It was a complete “going within,” with the gentle and kind instruction to simply “Do YOU.” {We did have opportunities to ask questions of the teachers during silence}. By spending time in silence I tuned into my nervous system, discovering what truly calms me and what overstimulates me. I discovered not that I have a bajillion thoughts racing around my head {insect meditations aside}, but that I often have the same thoughts over, and over, and over… And in two and a half days of meditating in silence, I could observe where my mind likes to land.
We find it when we sit in stillness, allow the mind to rest, and listen to our inner knowing. Meditators will share time with the master teacher, Merta Ada, and listen to enlightening dissertations. Noble Silence is practiced for several days throughout the program to help strengthen your concentration and spiritual awareness. The technique teaches you how to understand the present reality inside your mental-physical structure, through observing your breathing and the physical sensations in your body.As a person's mind and body become more focused on inner awareness, rejuvenation and healing takes place.
Some sort of weird mind control cult?” Now mindful walking is one of my favorite forms of meditation.



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  1. 28.06.2014 at 13:47:37
    Immortals writes:
    More, together with your executives who meditate and think about such an inside guide meditation.
  2. 28.06.2014 at 10:59:55
    SADE_QIZ writes:
    Mindfulness can carry improvements in both bodily.
  3. 28.06.2014 at 11:51:40
    fb writes:
    The Institute is dedicated to?educating?meditation instructors to the highest one.