Life can be loud, especially if you are a focused and driven individual. Balancing work, health, and family responsibilities can leave any man feeling burnt out from time to time.
The important thing is that you have a plan for dealing with it when you do. You want to get back out there and keep moving; continue growing and living your life.
If you find yourself incapable of slowing down, or unable to remember the last time you had a mental respite, it may be time to try something new. It might be time to look for something that will ground and center you. Silent meditation can be a very effective way to drown out the noise of your busy life.
What Is a Silent Meditation Retreat?
Silent meditation is fairly self-explanatory. Participants take some time to sequester themselves away from all the tumult of their day-to-day life. They find a silent place to be still and reflect.
Silent meditation is about focusing inward. This practice provides a period where you can power off, literally and metaphorically, from the distractions of everyday life. A silent meditation retreat simply takes that concept one step further.
On a silent meditation retreat, you will be isolated from all external stressors. You will spend anywhere from a few days to a month in a state of silence and reflection. This will either be solitary or among others who seek similar benefits.
It can be profound and perspective-altering for those who are willing and able to commit. If you take the time and dedicate yourself to this task, you may just find it to be a mentally and emotionally transformative experience.
Embarking On Your Journey
Removing yourself from your normal life for an extended period may seem impossible. It’s important to first ask yourself whether or not that is actually the case. For example, is it really impossible to plan around a vacation? If you can take time off for a beach trip or a hike, why can’t you set some aside for self-care and mental relaxation?
It’s tempting to prioritize things we feel are a more stereotypically productive usage of our time. But silent meditation can be made to fit your schedule. Many prefer an immersive experience at an official retreat location.
These retreats can be found worldwide and all over the U.S., anywhere from Hawaii to Maine. These centers host guests who have all come to temporarily disconnect from their lives and reconnect with themselves. The staff cares for your needs, and you will be around like-minded individuals who share in your contemplative silence.
But taking a trip can also bring with it a number of challenges. It will require more planning and might be fairly costly. If circumstances truly prevent you from getting away, don’t give up.
Silent meditation is worth your time, and you can always make it work. There are a number of ways to retreat at home for those who are willing and committed to the exercise.
What To Bring and What To Leave Behind
If you are the type of guy that likes to pack light, you are in luck. Silent meditation doesn’t require much more than a willing attitude and a comfortable pair of clothes. Bring some blankets, brew some tea and get ready to relax in yoga poses for extended durations.
If you are at a retreat, most amenities will be provided for you, but if you do decide to practice at home, we suggest maybe finding some restorative yoga poses that will help you relax and ease into a meditative state.
Just like packing for any camping trip or marathon, a silent meditation retreat calls for certain necessities and other items that are best left at home.
Fears and Anxieties
All of us struggle with fears and anxieties, some of us more regularly than others. Therefore it is important that we healthily deal with them. In silent meditation, you want to take an honest look inside of yourself.
Meditation can be the key in identifying the aspects in your life that you would like to see change. Often that will include the many troubles that plague us.
The important distinction is that you address those issues without letting them control the ebb and flow of your thoughts. Meditation is about reflection. Through reflection, we can focus on our anxieties to notice, evaluate, and reconstruct them.
This one is less theoretically complex but not necessarily less difficult. Some of us may even find it easier to let go of our emotions than our smartphones. These days it’s true that taking our devices with us wherever we go is a regular and even necessary part of our work lives.
There is no greater enemy than the constant bombardment of text messages and email notifications when it comes to silent meditation. Whether your retreat is at home or abroad, it is absolutely crucial that you put away all digital devices that may cause a distraction.
This “digital detox” can have a long list of benefits that aren’t limited to a silent retreat. Putting our devices away has been known to decrease stress levels and symptoms of depression. 18% of Americans cite technology as one of their main stressors. Many people experience better sleep when not in the vicinity of their devices (and the accompanying blue light).
It’s much easier to enter a meditative mindset when you are entering unburdened.
If you intend to travel to a retreat center, find someone to tend your home garden, notify friends and family of your plans, and just generally take care of as much business as possible before you lock up your phone and/or laptop.
Once your affairs are in order, you will find it alleviates the stress that you may not have even known you had.
If you decide that a silent meditation retreat is for you, you should think about a schedule. If you are at a retreat center, this will be provided for you and will vary from location to location.
If you are at home, it will be even more vital to establish a time and designated area to perform your meditation. Find a good quiet space and set an hour or two aside whenever you need it. Every habit takes training, including meditation.
Silence undoubtedly comes more naturally to some of us than others. It can be a sobering experience to practice it besides those that share your dedication. However, it’s important to note that while silence can be healing and eye-opening for some, it may not be the right solution for everyone.
If silent meditation is not serving you, there are many other pathways to achieving mental clarity and peace. No matter your end goal, relying on and building a community of supportive people is essential to a healthy and balanced life.