It is in the silence that we can truly begin to reset and rejuvenate. Choosing from many types of meditations - from recorded guided visualizations to mindful breathing - we attain to the ultimate task of singular focus. It is in meditation that the nervous system can finally let go. Let go of tensions, habits, fears, trauma. The focused state of meditation allows the nervous system to literally flush the stories that we accumulate from the day, from our past. A daily practice is our emotional, mental and energetic hygiene, cleaning out the old, facilitating healing. These are the moments when we can switch from the left brain's task of problem solving, rationalizing, calculating, assessing, organizing, to the right brain's task of intuition, creativity, healing.
In our constantly moving, humming, buzzing existence in the West, we have cut ourselves off from our own wisdom. A few minutes a day can begin to restore our connectivity, to self, to others, to the gifts of silence. There are as many ways of meditating as there are people. Guided meditations, silent meditations, moving meditations, multiple flavours and tones that best suit each individual and where we are at in our journey.
A meditation retreat can provide many gifts. In sustained silence we can get behind the stories and agendas of the fearful mind, providing insight, choice and even release. We live in such a constant state of motion we are often unable to see the narratives that run automatically in our mental and emotional bodies. We follow them blindly believing that they are the truth, or the only choice we have. When we leave the hum of routine life, and the state of mental auto-pilot, these narratives begin to reveal themselves. By existing mindfully, we open ourselves up to awareness, insight, and sometimes release.
In a meditation retreat, adding yoga to the silence facilitates a deeper connection to the body and opportunities to see and feel where we are holding pain and traumas. Meditation and meditation in movement - yoga - working together create a synergy of healing processes, working together to let go in mind, let go in tissues.
Retreats, however, can serve many purposes. Time to just experience the soothing effects of silence, time to gather our energies, time to catch up on sleep. Time to process emotionally challenging events. All of these happen more fully and easily when we connect to the healing potentials of nature.
The retreat we are offering in May is conveniently located an hour and a half outside of Toronto, North of Barrie, and provides the healing surroundings of the forest, bathing participants in silence and the newness of spring. We are providing a silent retreat, which creates the space to go inward, as well as the encouragement of a community of like minds.