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Category Archives: Meditation

How to Create Your Own Meditation Retreat

The below article was borrowed from Jonathan Parker’s website at http://www.jonathanparker.org/ where this and other good spiritual information can be found.

How to Create Your Own Meditation Retreat

By on February 18, 2013
Posted in        Meditation

How often do you find yourself driven by the  pressures of having more to do than the time you have to do it? Are you  stressed or bored sitting at your desk and not feeling  like you’re part of a worthwhile bigger purpose? Do you find yourself pulled  one way and then another by being a busy wife or husband, mother or father, or  teacher or student? The question you have to ask yourself is when are you going  to give yourself some time for yourself? Have you considered creating a  meditation retreat for yourself?

If you can barely recall the last time you allowed  yourself time to self-reflect, meditate, and go within, then it’s been way too  long and you’re overdue for a meditation retreat. When you haven’t given back  to yourself and nurtured your inner self, it’s time to stop and listen to the  voice from deep within you that’s calling out for the kind of deep peace and  healing that a meditation retreat offers.

When  Your Inner Chatter Starts And Won’t Stop

Think of your mind like a radio. All day long you  switch from channel to channel, and each station offers something slightly  different from the last one. Some stations play music, while other stations are  like nonstop talk shows. The question is what station would you like your mind  to be tuned into today? Millions have discovered that through meditation there  are ways to quiet the unwanted programs and replace them with restful  peacefulness.

Time  Out for Joy, Peace, and Happiness

Everyone needs a time out from the day’s  responsibilities of work and home life. It’s time to make the decision to  rejuvenate your mind, your body, and spirit. By taking time for your own  meditation retreats periodically you will discover you can transform your days  into a peaceful landscape that you can then transfer to your everyday life.

Retreat  Benefits

Meditation  retreats offer the following benefits for your heart, mind, and soul:

  1. It allows you to be quiet, appreciate the practice of silence, and go within to  explore your inner space and find clarity. You can be with the silence or  explore receiving insights and answers that are not easily discovered in  everyday life.
  2. You’ll be taking time just for yourself to enjoy either peaceful time in  silence, or to listen to audio recordings of guided meditations to help you  spiritually grow, find inner peace, and refresh your life.
  3. When you are free of distractions from work, children, and all the other  obligations in your life, you’ll be able to reconnect with yourself in a new,  deeper, and more peaceful way.
  4. You’ll emerge from your retreat with new perspectives and feel mentally and  physically rejuvenated.

Creating Your  Own Private Retreat

Your Everyday Mini-Retreat. A  retreat can be something short and what I call a quickbreak mini-vacation in  which you silence your phone, lean back in your chair, close your eyes, and go  into your inner space for 5-10 minutes or longer. I have some short free videos  that will guide you through this type of process at this link:  http://www.jonathanparker.org/meditation-resources

Short mini-retreats like this can really refresh and  rejuvenate you throughout the day, but for a more serious retreat you’ll need  more planning.

Your Daily Retreat. The  next level of retreat is your daily meditation practice. Here is a list of  things to help you plan a successful daily meditation retreat.

  1. You will need to explain to the people you live with what you are doing and  that this is really important to you, so when the door is closed you are not to  be disturbed.
  2. Put a sign on the door that says, “Meditation in Progress. Do Not  Disturb.”
  3. Make sure you have taken care of potential distractions such as turning off  your phone.
  4. If your bedroom is the only place where you can do your meditation, then I  suggest you do your meditations sitting up or you’ll find it too easy for your  mind to drift or you may even fall sleep and you’ll miss the special benefits  that meditation brings. If you can meditate in a room that you do not sleep in  that would be preferable.
  5. Determine beforehand how long you are going to meditate.  Meditate at a time when you are comfortable  and don’t feel rushed.
  6. Be sure you are not hungry or tired. If you are tired try doing some light  exercise or bodily movement to get yourself going. Some people find sipping a  little coffee or tea before meditation helps them to be more attentive.
  7. The lighting should be low, so you may need to lower the shades or use an  eye-pillow. If there are distracting sounds listen to some ocean waves or other  peaceful sounds or soothing music with headphones.
  8. Once you have made all of your arrangements  and have selected a guided meditation with an audio recording, or decided to  just enter the silence, begin by taking a few slow deep breaths in through your  nose, and exhaling gently out through your mouth to help settle yourself in.
  9. If you are not using a guided meditation you  will find it helpful to select a word or phrase to repeat numerous times. The  word can be “love” or “God” or “peace” or any  word that is meaningful to you. I have often used the phrase, “I feel love  and my soul in my heart.” You may not actually feel anything at first by  using this process, but in time you will find that you move into a deepening  experience of peace.
  10. If you can. I’d also suggest taking two or more days in which you spend most of  your time meditating as I’ve just described. If possible you treat yourself to  a change of scenery and check into a motel where you won’t have the normal  distractions. Pick a place where there is beautiful scenery and a nice  restaurant. Do several meditations throughout the day and evening.
  11. In-between meditations read some inspirational passages. There are many choices  available for this such as “A Course in Miracles,” writings by Rumi,  or other spiritual teachers.
  12. You may also want to attend a meditation retreat organized by a meditation  teacher. In that case, you will have other like-minded individuals who can be a  support to you.

The spiritual path is a long one, filled with  discoveries and transformations. It’s also an experience of your spiritual  evolution. Do you want to evolve your consciousness? Do you want to become  realigned with your true calling? Do you want to feel centered, relaxed, and  balanced? Your personal meditation retreat can do all  that and much more.

Give back to yourself for a change, and experience a  deeper part of yourself. If you are ready for your transformation, there is no  better way than to invest in yourself in a self-directed meditation retreat.

Be sure to check out the many meditation resources I  have for you at this link: http://www.jonathanparker.org/meditation-resources

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