Have you ever considered going on a retreat? What was your reason?
This article will share with you some of the benefits of going on a retreat, and how to choose the right retreat for you.
Most of us stay in our comfort zone when we're going through our daily routine. We pretty much know what’s going on around us, and are familiar with the overall daily impressions.
When we live in the same place for a long time, we become somewhat automatic in our responses, thereby not always aware of how we speak, behave and relate to the environment around us.
At some point, when we feel stressed, confused or stuck in life, we start to think about making a change. However, we don’t know how.
The benefit of going on a retreat is to take the mind and body away from their comfort zone.
When we step away from our comfort zone everything feels different in the beginning.
Suddenly we notice things that we couldn’t see before. We experience different feelings, thoughts, and movement.
When we go on a retreat that focuses on awakening, on conscious living, and on transformation, we will surely experience something that we weren’t conditioned to, like waking up early in the morning, do different physical exercises, eat differently, hear different concepts, rest, etc.
Most of us experience some form of a reaction while in the retreat. Sometimes it is positive, and sometimes negative.
It is important to notice and acknowledge that.
Retreat means to withdraw yourself from your habitual patterns, so you could see things that you weren’t able to see at home, such as noticing how the mind creates stress and anxiety, conflict and doubt when it experiences an unpleasant sensation.
Many times people have asked me in the retreat,
“why am I in reaction to what you say?”
“Why am I in reaction to the structure here?”
Because that is the purpose.
The purpose is to change the perception of ourselves and the environment around us.
We are not going on retreat to be happy or feel better. This is the by-product.
Maybe it will happen in the retreat. Most of the time, I see it's not the case.
It takes time for the body to adjust to the new exercise, to the new routine, and to the new food. But this is why we go on retreat - to meet the unpleasant sensation within ourselves.
I found that the biggest obstacle I had in life and in the lives of the people around me, was our inability to deal with the pain.
When we realize that we are not happy and we don’t know how to change it, the condition is to get into reaction and create more stories and negativity concerning our situation.
If we only knew that to overcome the challenge, we need to use the challenge itself.
We have to find a way to stretch the challenge within ourselves, to experience that there is no challenge.
Sometimes we can do it by ourselves, and sometimes we need someone to support us.
Support, by showing us a way to deal with any challenging situation consciously. A way to stretch our pain threshold to get stronger.
If we don’t develop the ability to cope with life, the first thing that we would want to do is to run away and shift the attention to pleasure whenever we experience discomfort or pain.
If it resonates, you can see that I am pointing towards something for you to experience. Ask yourself, it is true for me? Can I cope with the pain?
How come I am so much focused on pleasure and comfort?
When we step out of our comfort zone, we become much more aware of the attachment we have and the focus we put on comfort in our daily lives.
When I used to go on retreats and was guided to follow different practices, my mind started to react, because it wasn’t my way, at my pace. “It is not good for me” and “why do they do this?” were thoughts that kept crossing through my mind. I couldn't understand that if I just take the time and keep an open mind, take it moment by moment and try, without hurting myself, I will see after a few days if there is any change.
Can you see the benefit of dealing with the unpleasant sensation?
With the unknown? With the sense of losing control?
These are essential questions. What is the benefit of stepping away from our comfort zone?
How can we grow from it?
We always find a solution, but not always go through the challenge, the way to get to our solution.
When you choose the right retreat for you, you have to check if you are going to challenge yourself.
If you are going to open yourself to a new perception, and new physical, mental and emotional challenges.
Otherwise, you will go back home to your old habits right away.
That’s the condition.
Sometimes we need to go through a longer retreat until we can set up the new routine or habit.
We can’t get rid of the old habit by saying that we don’t like it.
We have to find a new habit that will support us even more than the old habit. Then, naturally, we will drop the old habit.
In the beginning, We are not familiar with the new habit and it is not as pleasant as the old habit, but something within us knows to give it a try, to practice, to do it over and over until it becomes our nature.
Be aware and sensitive that you are not hurting yourselves in the present moment. Many times you might project that it will hurt you in the future, but what is happening right now? Is it hurting you right now?
The benefit of challenging yourself is to get stronger. Being in a place where you can see things differently.
Then, practice and share this knowledge with others.
Retreat is a meeting place of what we were trying to avoid in our daily life.
Each of us has his own unique journey. a different journey. No one will walk on this journey beside us.
We want to awaken the intellect within ourselves through questioning.
This is how I found a very useful tool to awaken the intellect within. To question what I want and if I resist something, to ask - what is the cause of my resistance to this exercise and these concepts?
I tell the ones who choose to come to OmMaYaOm center to be themselves, but because they forgot what it means to be themselves, I guide them to explore different possibilities, open their minds, to try and find for themselves.
True knowledge is through experience, through trying.
We don’t have to believe anyone. People can share their opinions, their experiences, their knowledge, but this is all theory. Once we have the direct experience, the theory and the experience become one, and then we no longer have doubts.
If you want to make a shift in your life, any shift, start with questioning yourself - “am I happy? Is the life that I live in the life I deserve to live in 100%?”
We look for the small things to change first, and the real change will happen on the conscious level.
In the retreat, we become aware of the way our body is moving, of the emotions and the sensations that arise in the body, and the nature of thought. Then, gradually our awareness increases until change starts to take place.
We all deserve to be always happy. If we are not content and live in anxiety or stress, it is a great moment to stop and ask - how come I do what I do if I’m not happy?
Reflect, and check what arises within.
See what are the small tiny things that you can change TODAY.
If you can’t do it by yourself, find a good retreat on the planet.