Are Retreats Worth It?
February 8, 2014
You can see on the web right now hundreds, if not thousands of “retreats” from yoga and ayurveda (like mine:) to writing, sufi dancing, cooking, raw food, weight loss, meditation, surfing, tribal ceremonies, indigenous immersions, to sacred temples, archeological sites and scuba diving. There is nearly no end to what you can explore nowadays. The question is, why go on retreat? Is it worth it and what is our cost benefit? We take time off from work, family and friends and spend a small fortune to go away, immerse ourselves into a world away from our routine and after a week or so, return home and then what? Are we back where we started? Was it worth it?
Retreat is to withdraw, give ground, pull back, fall back, from “enemy forces, or their superior power or from something hazardous, formidable or unpleasant.” That is the KEY here, the master key in fact. These enemy forces, their superior power and the hazards of daily life are taking a toll on our nervous systems to such a degree, that returning to a sense of harmony and balance is becoming extremely difficult. I see this every day in my yoga classes and in counseling clients through Ayurveda. We live in a delicious society rich with opportunities yet fraught with demands and media blitzing convincing us that no matter what we do, it is not “enough”. We are exposed to intense levels of toxins, even with our best intentions to eat organically, practice pranayama and spend time in nature. We wrap our minds around content from our work, the web, TV, radio and general socializing, riding the subway, being in airports, public places and more, and yet when do you cleanse this? And we may end up putting our Spiritual Self aside because it seems that when everything else is pulling at us, how can we possibly squeeze out time to sit down and meditate? Demands on people today are intense and the constant drain on the adrenals, nervous system and entire body/mind/heart complex are overwhelming.
My experience, not my “belief”, but my experience is that yes, Retreats DO work. Yes, they do give a solid return that is palpable and sustainable. If, you choose mindfully. You must be clear with your intention of what you need, which may not be what you want, ever had that come up? If you are able to look heartfully at what you need, you will know what Retreat is right for you, and you will be led to that. Then, you must love and value yourself enough to take the time, money and effort to know that you will be served exactly as you need. Sustaining the deep relaxation from a retreat will happen, when you consciously decide that you will put your Self, your Sadhana, your daily practice above all else and revolve your life around that. Your commitment to that practice, whether it be 3 or 30 minutes a day, will empower, strengthen and uplift you to a place you have simply never been to before.
On Retreat, I am a guide to help lay out a plan, open doors for you to experience something very deep, quiet, profound and luscious inside of YOU. When you touch that truly magical place within, only you have the key to return to it, anytime you want. No one can EVER take that key away, unless YOU give it to them. Remember that, come learn that, and get that key back into your hands and take it home with you, forever.
I am hosting a retreat in March, and you will know if it resonates in your heart to come, and if not, you will find one that does. Go there, take the time, spend the money and invest in your Self, because no one else will and this is YOUR journey.