The power of silence

As some of you know, I’ve been lucky enough to spend a few days of this new year away on a meditation retreat, at the Dru centre in Snowdonia. It was a wonderful opportunity and I came away feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, ready for the year ahead.

Blowing out the cobwebs of my mind!

The wild weather on my retreat

I’ve had a lot of questions asking me about what I do on retreat and what is the point – all fair questions! Here are some of my answers. In a nutshell, on retreat I spend a lot of time sitting in meditation, walking out in nature, being silent, learning about myself and rejuvenating.

Although I have a daily meditation practice, spending an extended length of time being still gives me a chance to go deeper, to really tap into what is I am feeling, thinking, needing. I have the time and space to focus on what is important for me and what I can let go of. On a physical level sitting cross legged also allows me to feel into muscles I didn’t know I had….but I certainly do now!

Stillness equals spaciousness and spaciousness stops the mind being cluttered with unnecessary junk – a spring clean for the soul.

It is this spaciousness that allows fresh ideas to enter. If your mind is crowded with thoughts, all jostling for attention you might easily the gem that you really need!

I have dogs, so I walk a lot anyway, but getting out in the fresh air for brisk walk is especially sweet when I’ve been sat a long time. It’s a chance to ground yourself and let go of any unwanted stressful emotions that might have reared their heads during meditation.

Silence is an amazing way to build energy, this I can guarantee you. In yoga we have a practice called pratyahara, or sense withdrawl, where we gently draw our energy away from our outward senses, the theory being that when we focus on the outward senses we are putting energy there and possibly wasting energy. We can also become drained of energy. My work involves me talking a lot. Much as I love teaching Dru yoga it can be quite tiring. I am sure that any of you that teach or do jobs that involve a lot of talking will identify with this. Taking time out to be silent gives us time to recharge the communication batteries.

If you recognise that you talk a lot, why not give yourself the gift of silence each week, start small, perhaps commit to a couple of hours silence during your waking day. The benefits are increased tenfold if you turn off the TV, radio, computer, phone etc, and spend this time doing creative work, walking, gardening, relaxing or practising yoga. You’ll come to really cherish this silent time and I bet you soon find yourself wanting more and more 🙂

I came away from my weekend inspired, full of gratitude and renewed energy. If you would like details on retreats at Snowdon Lodge let me know, otherwise have a think what you can do at home to create your own haven of tranquility and renew your energy. Ix

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