This is a very common story that we often hear prospective or current retreatants telling themselves. How can you know until you try? To experience the benefits of silent retreat, you must allow your body and mind some time to adjust to a new way of being, just like the body would a new workout routine.
The purpose of meditation is not to silence thinking. With continued practice and the support of community and a teacher, you will likely find that while your thoughts don’t stop, how you relate to these thoughts and your life can shift, possibly becoming softer, more spacious or less reactive.
We are teaching a way of being. Many of these practices are considered a philosophy or psychology. Some of our students have shared that these practices have helped deepen their faith. Others have commented on the positive benefits regardless of their faith tradition or no faith tradition.
While here, you will be asked to relinquish your phone and other portable devices. This allows you to drop into the retreat and place practice as your primary focus. Before coming, we recommend you give your friends and family members the Center’s number so they may contact us and leave a message for you. Our number is: 828-622-7112.
People come to retreat with a variety of experience levels. If you remain open, there is always something to learn—even if you’re a beginner accidently at an advanced retreat, or an experienced meditator at a beginner’s retreat! Read retreat descriptions carefully. A number of our retreats have prerequisites.
If you are new to meditation, we recommend you have some practice before coming on retreat. Ideally, you sit a few times a week for 15-30 minutes. It may also be helpful to go to a sitting group a few times a month, to gain the support of community, guidance from a teacher, and experience 30-45 minute sitting periods with others. If you don’t have any groups in your area, consider exploring some online options, free apps, or tele-sanghas.
If you have recently undergone a significant loss, trauma, or life change (death of a loved one, mental health concerns, etc), please check with your healthcare provider, grief counselor, or therapist before signing up for retreat.
No, we do not. Retreat has come to mean many things in our society. Spiritual tourism has become a thing. Through the teachings, the natural setting and simple accommodations, many leave Southern Dharma feeling a greater sense of inner peace or new insight into their lives. We are following processes, practices and teachings that have been handed down through cultures and across continents for 2500 years.