Retreats of one kind or another have been happening for centuries. Often designed with a religious or spiritual focus, all retreats are designed to allow oneself to step away from the day to day obligations we might have so we can go deeper into ourselves and perhaps our life’s meaning.
I have attended retreats both as a participant and as a facilitator. I love both. My introduction to ayurveda came from a weekend conference with Depak Chopra back int he early 80’s. My introduction to Buddhist practices came from a retreat with Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hahn, also in the 80’s. I attended a weekend t=retreat on Friendship Island in Maine, also in the 80’s, and several retreats at Ferry Beach in Maine. All of them had great value.
As a retreat facilitator I have led both day long and weekend retreats. Each offers its unique advantages, the daily one being a lesser amount of time to be away from people and things that are accustomed to your presence, while a weekend, or longer, retreat obviously gives you a more intense experience of getting away from it all.
Single Day or More?
I only recommend retreats that are longer than one day if you can completely release yourself from your daily obligations, If the time is not right to do that you may not be able to fully immerse yourself in the experience. But if you do have the time, even one weekend will feel like a long vacation if you are at a retreat that is right for you.
A retreat exclusively for women has its own energy. Whether working, at home or retired, women share many similar experiences that often call for accommodation and flexibility, not to mention multi-tasking. Being freed up from these obligations shows up as a source of shared delight in a retreat for women. It creates space for looking at oneself as an individual, and opens thoughts about who exactly this individual really is.
To benefit from a retreat and to be considerate of everyone in attendance, everyone needs to unplug physically, mentally and emotionally so each person can be fully present. Retreats are about silence, speaking and listening. All are important elements of a successful retreat.
Additional elements may draw you to certain retreats. There are retreats associated with a hobby, with career development, with spiritual development, with weight loss, with yoga and hiking, to name a few. The facilitator will guide participants through the elements of the retreat and typically prepares participants by providing a general outline of what will be included in the experience.
Wellness and You Women’s Retreat 2015
Wellness and You will be hosting a retreat on Sunday, October 18th at the Center at Westwoods in Westwood Massachusetts. It will include the elements of silence, speaking and sharing, as well as some outdoor movement and gentle yoga. For a full description of this event press here.