I used to primarily view retreats as getaways, whether I was traveling to a far-off destination center or just across town. As the retreats I chose increasingly integrated contemplative practices, something shifted for me. Rather than getting away, they began to distinctly feel like go-withins.
Most days we’re responsible for making countless decisions. What to eat, how and when. How much we want or can spend. What we need to accomplish. What others are expecting from us, whether that be our family, coworkers or neighbors. Anyone in a caregiver role is also often responsible for making countless decisions for others.
Retreats offers an opportunity release many of these decision responsibilities, allowing us to drop into a subtler presence with ourselves. With someone else holding space and providing a schedule to rest into, we free up energy. We create space to listen more intently to our hearts and bodies. In spending more time in practice, we can become reacquainted with aspects of ourselves often sublimated by general life responsibilities. Practicing in larger blocks of time can also lend to a refining of attention and resourcefulness, as well as an opportunity to replenish reserves.
Multi-day residential retreats allow us to drop in quite deeply. Daylong retreats create an opportunity to immediately bring expression to insights gained. They each can be quite beneficial to our nervous system and overall well-being. Below is a list of some of my favorite residential retreat centers. For upcoming retreats visit the classes page.
Cloud Mountain (Southern WA)
Spirit Rock Meditation Center (Bay Area, regularly have streaming options)
Vallecitos Mountain Retreat Center (Northern New Mexico)
Upaya Institute and Zen Center (Santa Fe, New Mexico)