Author Topic: Do you think meditation retreats are worth it?  (Read 234 times)

HarnowXX

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Do you think meditation retreats are worth it?
« on: February 05, 2019, 03:01:17 AM »
I'm relatively new to the practice of meditation, but honestly, I love it and it has already started to improve my life.

I've also developed an interest in Yoga, and I would like to start practicing it.

To summarize, I'd like to join a meditation retreat, and going abroad is not a problem for me. I would like a retreat located in a beautiful island, something like that, where I can really learn more about yoga, mindfulness and meditation, while having a great time.

In short, I would like to spend a season learning more about this beautiful and comforting world of meditation.

However, do you think meditation retreats are worth it? If so, could you recommend one?

Thanks!!!

emptyhand

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Re: Do you think meditation retreats are worth it?
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2019, 12:22:01 AM »
Welcome aboard the train :)

Having done two meditation retreats myself, I highly recommend them. It provides you with proper guidance and certain discipline when your mind is weak and undergoing immense fight against itself. Basically, before your mind is strong enough to isolate itself from the external and filter things out, your body needs to be isolated first. That is so you can build up that inner strength and fortitude to keep on practising when outside of the retreat.

Now the idea of learning meditation, yoga and mindfulness "while having a great time" makes me shake my head a bit. It can be achieved whilst doing the above recreationally, but attending a retreat is serious business and should be treated as such. It forces you to work really hard, more than you can imagine, so you better be prepared for it. Whilst I recommend it, the meditation retreat I attended was one of the toughest ordeals I had to go through. Roughly 10hours of meditation a day for ten days straight. For a newbie like myself, at the time, I both commended myself and wondered what the hell I have signed up for.

I still pulled through and persevered, and in doing so acquired a tool that keeps on giving, but one does not go to a retreat looking for a great time. It's a great time well spent looking back on it NOW, but when you're there you'll find out soon enough what meditation / mindfulness / yoga means to you :)

Having said all that, at the time, I still felt the pull to do it and don't regret it. Whether meditation / yoga / mindfulness is for you or not, a retreat is somewhat of a transformative experience. I certainly didn't feel like I changed 180 degrees, but there was a better understanding of things that are happening around me / with me, new-found appreciation, gratitude and compassion that wasn't there to the same extent.

Also, I personally wouldn't mix the disciplines. There are retreats for yoga and there are retreats for meditation. Whilst I can see the benefit of mixing them up, there are certain drawbacks too, but I'll leave it up to you to decide. Good luck! May you find what you seek ;)
May you find what you seek ;)

Goofaholix

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Re: Do you think meditation retreats are worth it?
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2019, 01:37:28 AM »
Meditation retreats are invaluable, they are the backbone of my practice.

However what you've described sounds more like a spa and not really what to expect on a vipassana / insight meditation retreat.  These are pressure cooker situations that force you out of your comfort zone and establish a momentum that kickstarts your meditation practice.

There retreat cebtres like what you've described and I'm sure you would benefit from attending one but without intensive retreats your meditation can end up being long term playing in the shallows without realising it.

stillpointdancer

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Re: Do you think meditation retreats are worth it?
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2019, 12:01:59 PM »
I'm relatively new to the practice of meditation, but honestly, I love it and it has already started to improve my life.

I've also developed an interest in Yoga, and I would like to start practicing it.

To summarize, I'd like to join a meditation retreat, and going abroad is not a problem for me. I would like a retreat located in a beautiful island, something like that, where I can really learn more about yoga, mindfulness and meditation, while having a great time.
In short, I would like to spend a season learning more about this beautiful and comforting world of meditation.
However, do you think meditation retreats are worth it? If so, could you recommend one?
If you want the sort of retreat you describe, I wouldn't go for the kind of Buddhist retreats I've been on. Perhaps a more light-hearted non-Buddhist New Age type retreat might be best for you. I've seen them advertised, but never tried one. Goofaholix gives good advice here.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

dharma bum

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Re: Do you think meditation retreats are worth it?
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2019, 10:38:03 PM »
Sri Lanka is a beautiful island, but possible Bali might be the place you are looking for.
Mostly ignorant

Apkallu

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Re: Do you think meditation retreats are worth it?
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2019, 11:51:24 AM »
Retreats should be dedicated to the inside world.
But I've never done one !  :D
Yet.

3rdeyeopen

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Re: Do you think meditation retreats are worth it?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2019, 01:24:44 PM »
I've never done one but I would love to.

I visited Bali last year and practised yoga which was great. We went to the yogabarn who had meditation classes too, these were incredible and life changing. The calibre of teachers there was insane.

I have been intrigued by silent meditation retreats and would really consider doing one of these too.