Updated: Mar 10
This week, one of the suggested meditative practices is to take a full day of silence, a mini retreat of sorts, but at home. My first experience of a silent retreat was 12 years ago;as part of my first yoga teacher training we went on a three-day silent retreat in the Menla resort in The Catskills, up state NY. The place is magical, I'm so grateful I got to go there. The entire experience was just beautiful, and the best part was the silent time.
I love silence. I'm the type of person who is quite comfortable being with someone and not say anything at all for hours. I think I listen and observe much more than I talk. I love getting lost in long conversations with friends, but they are people with whom I have an easeful rapport and a strong connection. I'm definitely not the type of gal who can just have a great chat with anyone. I'm really not great (nor do I want to be) at chit-chatting. Therefore, a silent retreat is nor exactly a challenge. It's not really meant to be, at least for me. Just like fasting with food, I see a silent retreat as an opportunity to appreciate the value of speech and to pay attention to what I say and how I express myself in my daily life. I feel like so many of us speak to fill the silence we often find uncomfortable or with little awareness to what we say or how we say it.
For this mini retreat I let the people physically close to me that I was going to be silent for a day. I then decided that I was also going to fast. I am approaching the end of the day. It has been so peaceful.
When I woke up this morning, I laid in bed for a bit listening to a guided body scan meditation. I got up and practised some pranayama, which I followed with my daily meditation. I wrote in my journal, and decided to take a long walk. Where I am staying right now is in the countryside, so I am surrounded by valleys and mountains. I can hear and see birds, rabbits, deer and other animals all day long. It's quite the treat. The walk was so serene, it was a sunny and a little windy. Extremely invigorating. When I came home I read for a while and felt like doing some yoga. I originally thought I wouldn't because I was not eating, but my body wanted it apparently. I practised a Friday Rocket III with some modifications. I feel very refreshed.
I am really enjoying this mindfulness course, it is giving me so much to contemplate. I can't think of a better way to start 2021, and transition into this new adventure in my life.