2) The Who:
Because of the huge range of meditation and mindfulness retreats available, you need to be sure you align with their main philosophy. Find and read the About us pages and look for values that resonate with you. If you’re skeptical of religion and wary of spiritual talk, for example, look for retreats that portray secular values. Read the blog posts and follow them on social media to see if they speak about mindfulness in away that makes sense to you. Send them an email with any questions you may have to see the response, or ask for them to send you articles and lessons on meditation.
Once you have found retreat you vibe with. Look at the core itinerary of the retreat itself. Is there flexibility in the teaching style and balance in the retreat itself or is it more rigurious with specific expectations of you and a rigid program? Can you customise days to your needs and desires, or do you have to follow a set path? Ask yourself, do they have your best interests at heart? Can you see yourself being able to relax there and ultimately undergo the transformation that you seek.
3) Your Experience Level:
A beginner would not start with a two week silent retreat, and someone who has been meditating daily for 3 years would not choose a beginners retreat, choose something to match your level of experience. Alternatively find a retreat that is able to tailor it’s program you – this indicates the retreat is being run with your enjoyment and fulfilment as the centre of importance. Retreats that invite transformation through exploration and encourage personal growth are usually great picks, as it means, no matter what you will be guided safely with your interest, health and happiness at the forefront.
4) Your Intention:
Think about what you need and why you’re interested in a meditation and mindfulness retreat in the first place.
Write a list to find what’s inspiring you to go on a retreat, by firsting asking yourself: Why do I want to go on a retreat? What do I want/need to get out of it? Review the retreat’s program so you have a sense of what the aims are. Email the teacher to see what kind of intentions other guests have had. The most important aspect of any transformational experience is your mind set and what you want bring to it and hope to get from it. Be open and excited to embrace new ideas, healthy choices and maybe find those sparks of inspiration.
With your intentions set, you can check with the retreat teacher to see if you can expect them to be met.
Maybe you need to relax and rejuvenate on your retreat, or perhaps you want to realign your life goals and rekindle your self-love. Having a rough guide of what you would like to achieve when you start looking for a meditation and wellness retreat will set you up for success.
With that in mind, make sure you are being realistic about what can be done in the time frame provided. If you set out to master inner peace, lose 5 kilos, get surf lessons and release the unresolved feelings about your first love within a week you may be aiming too high. Check your expectations against the daily itinerary and if in doubt email the teacher.
Keep these 5 elements in mind when choosing a meditation and mindfulness retreat so you find one that suits you and your goals.
If you have any questions about meditation, practicing mindfulness or want to know more about retreats click here to send us an email.