The Seeker's Guide to Retreats


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What is a retreat?

Simply put, a retreat is a time (and usually a place) that is set aside for stepping outside of the day-to-day world in order to focus on some aspect of self-development.

Engaging in retreats and retreat activities can be an essential component of your spiritual or wellness practice and for developing and maintaining spiritual wellness.

There are many benefits of retreats. A retreat can be as simple as sitting in your room with your door shut for a few minutes to meditate or self reflect or it can be as elaborate as a year-long

pilgrimage to the holy sites of another part of the world. There are many types of retreats Typically though, retreats generally last anywhere from one day to one week – often occurring over the course of a weekend as that is the unit of time which tends to fit best with our “routine” lives and structure.

Although anything we do that is a focussed time set aside for the purpose of accomplishing something could be thought of as a “retreat”, there are several characteristics that differentiate a retreat from just another focussed task.

• A retreat is often conducted in a special place, set aside specifically of that purpose. Often it takes place in a setting totally removed from the normal day-to-day environment. There is a sense of removal from the mundane world

• There is a definite purpose for which the time and space is set aside for retreat. Something is to be accomplished or experienced – even if what is “accomplished” is simply to have some time to yourself.

• There is usually some kind of pre-determined agenda for the retreat – a set of activities to be done during the course of the retreat.

• There is usually and aura of “specialness” or “sacredness” created around the activities, which is accompanied by a sense expectancy that something new or different will emerge from the retreat.

• Most important is your mind-set. The key factor of a retreat is creating a sense of deliberately stepping outside of the “normal” world with a purpose of setting out on a special or even sacred task. One might think of a retreat as a mini-spiritual quest or sacred journey. This is what truly separates a retreat from just a vacation, having time alone, going on a weekend getaway or having focussed time to work on a project.

The truth is that a vacation, having time alone, going on a weekend getaway or having focussed time to work on a project could all be undertaken as personal retreats as long as we imbued them with a sense of stepping outside of the world and embarking on a sacred quest or journey.

When on retreat, we all become Grail seekers!

Types of Retreats

Meditation retreats
Yoga Retreats
Church Retreats
Weight Loss Retreats
Spa Retreats
Detox Retreats
Marraige and Couples Retreats