Surviving Your First Meditation Retreat - EcceKo

Surviving Your First Meditation Retreat

surviving your first mediation retreat

So, you want to meditate, but you just can’t seem to close down all those active, open tabs in your racing mind. Sound familiar? Going on a meditation retreat can be a fantastic way to kick-start the process of learning to meditate.

A meditation retreat is a whole day (or longer) where meditating in silence is your one focus. You want to quiet the mind so that only one single thought exists at a time – or, even better, no thoughts. You get to be fully present in the moment and just BE.

You can take a retreat anywhere, but getting away to an organised health or yoga retreat is probably the best way to get the most out of the experience and to guarantee no interruptions. When you read the fine print on these organised retreats, though, the schedule might seem daunting. Hours of sitting still in silence isn’t just hard, it’s physically uncomfortable. How on earth can that be conducive to meditation?

The trick is to come prepared. Here are some tips:

  • Give yourself plenty of time to arrive on the day without rushing or getting stressed.
  • Leave the car radio off as you travel to the retreat. Today is not the day to be listening to loud music or mindless drivel!
  • Bring a comfortable cushion to sit on.
  • Enjoy the silence – of not needing to make small talk, or to listen to the chatter of others.
  • Take it all one step at a time. Don’t worry about the long stretches of time ahead – it will pass. Just be. 
  • Stretch when you need to.
  • Eat good, clean food, both during the retreat and for the few days before and after.
  • Drink matcha green tea. Have it any way you like it – as a cold energy drink, as an iced latte, or as a hot tea. It keeps you hydrated, refreshed, and focused, as well as calm and alert. You will be relaxed but not at all inclined to nod off.
  • Don’t force the process. Just focus on your breath, and let thoughts come and go. Trust that it will work for you and have no expectations.

Your first meditation retreat might seem like hard work – but the rewards are enormous. By the end of it, you will feel transformed – all for the better!

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