On the 26th October I attended a Mindfulness silent retreat day. This retreat was a part of an 8 week Mindfulness course I was attending (part of my Mindfulness training) and while my blog is primarily about sounds and music, I wanted to share my experience of spending a day in silence (10am – 4pm) at The Minduflness Project and the profound positive impact it has had on me.
The aim of a silent mindful retreat, is to allow one to be able to focus on longer meditation practices, and light yoga as a way of noticing how these techniques can help us to cope with stress (MBSR – Mindfulness based stress reduction) and keep us fully present in the moment. This was the very first time I ever attended any kind of retreat day and I am happy to report that it was a positive experience.
The day started with a brief introduction as to what we would be doing – my teacher very kindly guided us through and did all the talking. We did our usual meditation practices which included a body scan, sitting meditation, walking meditation and light yoga in between. We were given a break for lunch and were requested to stay away from our phones so that we don’t break our focus! No doubt, this was the toughest part of the day as also was not being able to talk to each other and share our thoughts during our lunch break!
While I enjoyed the longer meditation practices, they were at times a bit intense, but what I gained the most from them was relaxation and the true feeling of the general “pace of life” being completely slowed down as we were all fully present in the moment. We were allowed to break the silence during the last 20 minutes of the day as we were asked to reflect on our thoughts about the day, and this wasn’t easy for some of us as the more you remain in silence, the more likely you are to be sensitive to sound when it returns!
An overall wonderful experience, I highly recommend everyone trying out a retreat like this. Not only will it make you appreciate silence, but it will also make you appreciate time. Thank you to The Mindfulness Project for this experience.