The idea of a silent retreat is very simple: you go somewhere relatively quiet and donít talk for a specific period of time. It could be for only a few hours or could last several days. It is difficult to get quiet and the concept of 'time alone' may frighten some people. Silent retreats often involve a group of people. The important part is not that you arenít speaking but that others arenít speaking to you. Cell phones are turned off and you can feel the rhythm of nature.
What happens during this silence? You get to hear yourself think. There are different terms to describe the experience: meditation, listening to your inner or higher self, hearing the voice of God, and so on. By excluding outside sounds one is able to focus attention inwardly. Some people participate in silent retreats as a religious exercise. Some have a specific problem to solve or decision to make. For others, itís time set aside for a mental vacation, with no real goal attached. Itís not unusual for people to begin a retreat without any particular expectations and realize much later that they had a profoundly moving experience.
Is it time to be alone with yourself?
Victoria & Guy Hutchins, owners/caretakers