A spiritual retreat is taking a break from our daily routine to analyze what am I doing with my life? In this article you will discover what is a spiritual retreat ? What are the types of withdrawal that exist? 10 reasons why we should enjoy an experience like this and much more.
What is a spiritual retreat?
A spiritual retreat is a moment of deep reflection where we seek to quiet our mind, get rid of all negative thoughts or feelings of low vibration: anger, fear, anguish or another that prevents us from having clarity to discover our life mission, how we are coping the challenges and how we can move forward from what we know and who we are.
Why should you experience a retreat?
- You will disconnect from your daily routine
- you will forget the stress
- You will be able to reflect clearly and connect with your essence
- You will meet other people with very different perspectives on life
- You will become aware of your shadows, allowing you to take responsibility and act differently
- You will rest and recover vital energy
- You will be able to know and understand yourself on a deeper level
- You will understand that the most important thing in life is in its simplicity
- You will rejuvenate and strengthen your body, mind and spirit
- new perspectives of life
There are types of withdrawal as well as a variety of tastes. Next, we will present the ones that stand out the most and what each of them can offer you.
Personal Growth or Mindfulness
Mainly focused on who am I and how can I move forward from there? Tools such as Mindfulness (living in the here and now) help us understand what motivates me and what do I need to achieve my goals? What are those blocks that prevent me from achieving my goals and materializing my dreams?
Most of the blocks do not come from outside but from within, from our own limiting beliefs and fears. Reprogramming our mind will remove those internal blocks and teach us to stay self-motivated despite the circumstances.
The world is changing and the way of traveling too. People are no longer just looking to travel but to enjoy a deeper experience that allows them to return different, more aware of themselves and their surroundings.
A practice that is gaining more popularity every day. It seeks to quiet our mind by inviting us on a journey inward, silencing all distractions or noise, both external and internal.
We can summarize it as “detoxifying” ourselves from negative thoughts to balance our emotions and adopt new healthy habits to eliminate unnecessary toxins in our body. Some of its benefits are: regulation of sleep, rest and promotion of weight loss in a natural and healthy way.
A spiritual retreat is not only traveling but finding peace of mind, examples of life and strengthening our faith. They are so practical that we can even do it from home. Do you want to learn how? Continue reading.
A Catholic spiritual retreat seeks to bring us closer to God through prayer, meditation and the practice of spiritual exercises that strengthen our faith and become a guide for our lives. A great tool for Catholics and believers of God, his work and word. Aimed at: children, young people, women or married couples.
What can we experience in Catholic spiritual retreats ? Various situations where the intention is to find God and be able to solve them by applying his teachings, always acting with wisdom, compassion and love.
The main reasons why people (believers or not) decide to attend these retreats are: The search for inner peace, the search for God or the strength of their faith, new purposes to change and improve their lives, for example, the how to avoid the temptations of the earthly world, raise loving children with biblical values, family union, among others.
A Buddhist spiritual retreat has the intention that we find our true selves and understand that everything that happens in our life is temporary.
Buddhism is a belief system based on the teachings and laws of the Buddha. Among the types of Buddhist retreats we can mention 3: physical, verbal and mental.
Physical: When a person from a very personal and pure motivation decides to isolate himself in solitude, abandoning all meaningless activities.
Verbal: When trivial conversations are stopped and a vow of silence is maintained for a certain time (as in the movie eat, pray, love” starring Julia Roberts).
Mental: When strong mental disorders such as attachment, hatred, jealousy and selfishness are avoided. It also implies disconnecting from news that generates stress, anguish or feelings that disturb our peace of mind.
The spread of Buddhism around the world has become a lifestyle and even a type of religion that has acquired new practices and traditions. We can enjoy Buddhist retreats in countries such as: Chile (KADAMPA Meditation Center), Colombia (Karma Kagyu Tabio Retreat Center), Mexico ( SHAKYAMUNI Kadampa Buddhist Center) and Spain (Sakya Tashi Ling Buddhist Monasteries).
Travel and spirituality go hand in hand! Especially when you dare to enjoy the adventure of searching for yourself, that best version of you.
Probably at some point in your life you have felt the need to do something different: share with different people and cultures, overcome some fear, but definitely, considering a spiritual retreat in India is something you cannot stop experiencing.
Our hectic pace of life distances us more and more from our essence, we live like robots thinking about working to get money and get it to be able to buy things. We can continue like this for the rest of our lives or take a break and enjoy a retreat that disconnects us from this vicious circle that seems to have no end and really begin to live in a calmer, more conscious way and without so many complications.
Sadness, love, joy, anger, even difficult situations are temporary, therefore, it is important to learn to control and balance our emotions and reactions to any situation that comes our way.
Living with a high level of stress and anxiety are our daily bread but we must bear in mind that it is not normal or healthy to live this way and at this point I think it is important to ask ourselves: can we really call this “living”?
The western world takes us one step ahead, but if you intend to learn and enjoy a more conscious, leisurely and harmonious lifestyle, a retreat in India is what you need.
Some of the places you can visit in India: Meditation Resort (Puna), Om Shanti Retreat Center (Delhi), International Sivananada Yoga Vedanta Center, International Vipassana Academy (Mumbai) and O&O Academy, Andhra Pradesh.
Jesuit spiritual retreat : It involves the practice of Spiritual Exercises whose origin dates back to the experience of meditation and contemplation lived by Saint Ignatius of Loyola in Manresa. He compiled his experience in a text of 200 pages, with the purpose of helping others to experience a closer encounter with the will of God.
Currently these Jesuit exercises are an instrument for anyone who wishes to seek and find God in everything and follow his example of life through the practice of prayer. These practices strengthen faith and promote free dialogue with God.
A Christian spiritual retreat promotes the approach to God, allowing us to meet him in a deeper and more direct way. Just as we carry out our preventive check-ups, we must also do spiritual check-ups. How is our faith? Has it been strengthened? Are we going through a difficult circumstance and that makes us doubt?
It is important to take a break to reflect on our life and the events that have marked us, to realize that we have much to thank God for all that we have received from his divine grace.
Sometimes we think that going to mass, knowing the prayers by heart or praying at night is enough, but no, it is also important to glorify and listen to what is God’s message for us?
The retreat is the place where we can regain strength to continue (faith) and witness that God never abandons us and always takes care of us at all times and places. It is entering into an attitude and spirit of prayer to commune and communicate with God. It is here that we will understand how important it is to lead a life of prayer.
In the video at the end of these paragraphs we can discover part of the experience lived by some of the priests in this wonderful retreat.
A spiritual retreat for Priests , Religious and Consecrated Laity is a space for them to regain strength with the Lord and fulfill the great task of guiding us on this spiritual path. They have a great responsibility and are the voice of God on earth.
A quote from the recent pontifical magisterium:
“There are also the meetings of priestly spirituality, such as the Spiritual Exercises, the days of retreat or spirituality. They are an occasion for spiritual and pastoral growth; for a longer and quieter prayer; for a return to the roots of priestly identity; to find new motivations for fidelity and pastoral action.” (John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Pastores dabo vobis , March 25, 1992, no. 80)
The main objective of the children’s retreat is to communicate the Gospel and at the same time favor the children’s role, listening to them and motivating them to explore their inner person. Also, emphasize the importance of having God in our lives and how we can follow his path.
In this type of retreat we can find activities or tools such as yoga and rest, both of which promote relaxation and greater physical and emotional balance. Did you know that there are special yoga and relaxation retreats?
“Yoga therapy” involves inhaling fresh air while practicing Yoga. Whether in a garden, on the beach, in the mountains or wherever you like, you can enjoy this wonderful gift that offers us an improvement in our physical fitness, relieves tension or improves our flexibility, it also gives us body-mind-soul balance.
Yoga gives us a greater awareness of our body, considerably increases our energy levels and gives us an inexplicable inner peace.
A Yoga retreat is not necessarily exclusive for regular practitioners, there are also for beginners. It is important to always ask if the level of difficulty suits our needs, although in most retreats different levels coexist without any problem.
It is the ideal option for those people who definitely need a break from work demands, physical or mental exhaustion, considerably high stress levels, among others. They are a pause to all this accelerated and monotonous lifestyle and allow us to relax, recharge batteries and recover the body-mind balance that we so much require.
Withdrawals by geographical area
Have you gone through or are you going through a difficult stage in your life? Do you require an urgent break? Can’t find peace or rest? Then a retreat is what you need right now. You choose the place, however, we want to offer you a guide to places that allow you to connect with your essence, rest and recover your body-mind-spirit balance that you require.
Destinations that will change your life
There are almost as many types of travelers as there are backpack models, so we want to guide you through this process and make your life easier. If you are looking for a more spiritual journey, then let us offer you 5 places that will ultimately change your life:
If we talk about spiritual journeys there is no better place than India. In the north of the country at the foot of the Himalayas is the Disneyland of Yoga. Rishikesh, a holy city, where Hindus go on pilgrimage. There are dozens of Ashrams to choose from and loads of courses in all varieties of Yoga. This spiritual journey to India can mark a before and after in your life on a physical, mental and emotional level.
Mazunte (Mexico) – Silent Retreat
Near the Pacific Ocean, in a jungle that seems magical, there is a very special spiritual place in Mexico: the little town of Mazunte. If you’re looking to get to know yourself, there are few things more effective than going 10 days without talking. You have the option of doing a Vipassana retreat, there are in many Buddhist centers and monasteries around the world, they are free and very demanding.
Another Silent retreat is offered by the Hridaya school, where in addition to meditations and Yoga you will receive teachings that will change your life based on multiple traditions such as: Sufism, Kashmir Shavinism, Yoga, Tantra, even Christianity or Judaism. All these teachings have a common message: “We are all the same and our essence is pure love”.
Pedreguer (Alicante) – Buddhist Monastery
A giant monastery located in the town of Pedreguer, between Valencia and Alicante. Buddhist meditation is one of the options that more people join in practicing every day. Its monasteries are open to all types of public and offer various meditation courses such as the Buddhist path of spirituality.
Koh Phangan (Thailand) – Tantra
One of the most visited spiritual places in the world. A tropical island with crystal clear water, jungle in every corner and a variety of courses and workshops for spiritual growth, who can resist something like this?
Yoga, Chi kung, Rebirthing, martial arts and everything you can imagine can be found on this island where everything is possible.
The AGAMA school continually offers workshops where you can learn the path of tantra and move towards enlightenment accompanied by a partner, enjoying a more conscious love.
Útila (Honduras) – Free Diving
An island where they are bilingual, however you will not understand the vast majority. Full of 20-somethings (from all over the world) diving in the morning and drinking beers in the afternoon. If you are looking for a destination where you can relax, forget about problems and save money, without a doubt, this is the tourist destination you should choose.
The Free diving school offers courses where in just 5 days you will learn to go down 30 meters with a single breath and stay there for 4 minutes, how? With a mixture of simple meditation exercises, yoga and of course relaxation.
How to choose the ideal retreat for you?
Choosing a retreat that suits you is a very personal decision that of course will depend on what you are looking for: action, extreme sports, physical and mental balance, connection with nature or with yourself, among others. You can start with a retreat in which you get to know yourself, for example, a spiritual retreat, which you can also do from the comfort of your home.
How to do a spiritual retreat at home?
Perhaps the idea of a “Retreat at home” seems a bit contradictory to you, that is, is it not supposed that we seek to disconnect precisely from it (the house, the problems and the day to day)? We will show you that this can also be a space to grow, learn and adopt new habits. So, what considerations should we take to make a retreat at home?
1. Be clear about the objective of your retreat: Let’s start with something simple, meditate and reflect on the latest events in our lives. Then, you can continue reflecting on how you perceive yourself, your achievements and failures (self-esteem and self-acceptance). Are you satisfied with the life you lead and what you do? What can you improve in yourself? Do you work every day to achieve your goals?
2. Look for a suitable space: We can’t meditate or reflect with the noise of cars, can we? Then look for a space in your home that has little noise input, with low light or that you can adapt it.
Surround yourself with soft colors that facilitate the relaxation and calm that you need. Put on relaxing music and just let yourself go. Disconnect from cell phone, computer or alarms. This should be a space for you, where distractions are out of the picture.
3. Exercise: Performing yoga or taichi practices at the beginning and end of each meditation will allow you to balance your body and mind. These exercises should be slow and controlled, inviting you to focus on this here and now.
4. Wear comfortable clothes: Avoid tight clothing, opt for cotton fabrics. Put your hair up and take off your shoes, the idea is to be as comfortable as possible so you can connect and focus. Use mats, pillows, candles, incense, relaxing music, everything you need in that sacred space, to enjoy that moment with you.
5. Eat in a healthy and conscious way: Do not eat to satisfy a biological need, do it consciously.
Food plays an extremely important role in our lives. In many cases we tell ourselves “it’s only once.” The problem does not lie in the quantity but in the quality and frequency with which we do it.
Nothing that is forced is healthy. Believe it or not, going on a diet or following a restrictive eating regimen will not lead you to shape your figure or control your weight, on the contrary, it will generate stress, uncontrolled anxiety and weight gain.
Emilly Stefan The Fear lab was an American author of young adult novels, most known for her fantasy series, Age of the Seventh Sun.