Hey, are you tired of so many mindfulness retreats available these days offering almost the same things? You may be looking around and not sure which one is better and you may reach a point where you even doubt if its the right thing for you. I am here to make your life easier 🙂 After studying several retreat programs, attending and co-organizing more than 15 retreats across the world, I have some advice and tips you must always look for.
Just like we train our body in the gym, and learn a new subject, we should and can train our mind to experience the fullness of life. Like it or not, there are several programs out there claiming to offer Mind Training. My post is not to discredit them. However, I am keen to share a few things to look for if you are keen on developing various faculties of your mind and attaining peace of mind, more productivity and flow with life.
An effective Mind Training retreat should provide the following elements:
1. A window to understand the basic operations of the mind: While not necessarily going deeper, one should have a basic guide to how the mind works and how each faculty of the mind impacts the greater whole. To avoid the complexities of this subject, it is important to use common daily terminologies. Such examples could include self awareness, inner contentment among others.
2. Open and private sessions to go deeper in conversation with an experienced teacher: This is particularly important as any mind training challenges the mental faculties of reason and belief. This conjures doubts, worries and sometimes discomfort as one gets to master vital tools of resilience, peace of mind among others. In some cases, one going through this phase of transformation may experience an awakening of past situations that need healing. In such circumstances, the presence of an expert teacher and supportive community is useful.
3. Practical Life Hacks to deal with daily problems: I cannot stress this point enough. We are not out to look for intellectual concepts without practicals to real life. If you are, then a mindfulness retreat may not be for you. Some spiritual gurus have a habit of staying and sharing very conceptualized ideas that would most easily leave the participants awed, yet lost in the maze of how that really applies to paying their bills or resolving their relationship with family at home. Any well meaning retreat should, at the bottom line, offer practical tips and solutions that prompt practitioners to start acting on their life immediately, not lost in some spiritual bubble of niceties.
4. Mind-body-soul alignment: The mind is a separate entity yet experienced through the body and the soul. Dividing these three aspects of the self is impossible. Therefore, mind training should also include the connections between the body and the mind. Such connections happen in the form of yoga sessions, mindful body movements, physical fitness, mindful dances among others. These experiences, when added to the training provide a peak practical experience to anyone who cares to join.
5. Location: We can access our mind anywhere, yet, absolute mind training requires places that reduce the activity of the mind. Calm, tranquil places offer the mind an opportunity to relax and calm down. When calm, one has the opportunity to access the deeper layers of the mind. Therefore, the next time you are thinking of a suitable location for a mind training session, think calm, relaxed and peaceful.
6. Community support: As mind training is a continuous process, one should also think in terms of access to a community of progressive support. Training the mind requires gradual teaching and guidance from beginner to advanced levels with each level requiring one to always stay within a community of other practitioners for support and motivation. One way to start getting closer to a community is by joining Peace Revolution 42 days self-development program.
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What are the must have qualities of a Mind Training Retreat that you always look for? Share with us in the comment section below!