Have you ever thought about going on a retreat? It might be the best thing for you! While you may be thinking, “Hey, I already went on a retreat – I went to rehab!,” Well, that isn’t quite the same thing. Now that you are clean and sober and well along your path to recovery, there is no time like the present to step out of your daily life and routine and step deep inside yourself.
Retreats can be a great help to you in many ways. You can learn a great deal about yourself by going to a quiet, relaxed place for deep introspection, meditation, and self-reflection. At a retreat, you can experience and integrate rapid and intense personal growth. Although you can create your own retreat, certainly, by simply renting a house or apartment in a quiet location, or by heading out on your own to do some solo travel or camping in nature, there are also a wide variety of retreat centers where you may choose to spend your time as well. After an effective and successful retreat, you will return home feeling happy, relaxed, refreshed, and more in touch with yourself than you have ever felt before!
Why Go on Retreat?
There are so many benefits to going on a personal retreat. First of all, stepping away from the stresses of your busy life by leaving town on your own can help you to withdraw from the constant barrage of tasks, activities, and communications you deal with each day. Retreats are usually experienced independently, which will give you space to breath and time apart from all of the demands placed upon you. Even if you live alone at home, you may feel that you always have a To Do List to complete, that there are always cleaning and chores to be done, that there is always someone you should be calling or meeting or something “important” you should be doing. Taking a retreat frees you from all those obligations, and opens your time, mind, and spirit for other things.
Many people find that retreats inspire them. Having a few hours, days, or weeks to listen to your inner voice can be invigorating! With all the technology around is today, it is so rare that we have time alone with our thoughts. If you take some time to check out, and tune in with yourself, you may be amazed at the things you hear and learn inside your mind.
Detoxification is another reason people go on retreat. Although as someone in recovery you are free from drugs and alcohol, stepping away from your regular life can give you the opportunity to detoxify from other things. Perhaps you don’t eat healthily when you eat at home and are left to your own devices. Maybe you have some friends who have toxic behaviors like complaining or procrastinating and you find that their attitudes sometimes rub off on you. Or, maybe you live somewhere that is noisy, or polluted, or you have family members who always seem to need something from you – you can get away from all of that, too.
A retreat can help you get back to your roots. It can remind you who you are, deep down inside. It is simplicity and escape – two things we all have too little of these days. At a retreat your day will be filled with quiet, thinking, meditation, observation, breathing, meditation, walks in nature, writing, and whatever else you love. You will have the chance to reflect deeply on your life – as it was, as it is, and as it will be. You will integrate your experiences into your being in a relaxed and slowly paced environment. When it is complete, you will emerge anew.
Also, you may come out of it with some new friends, too! Although a retreat is mostly a solo experience, if you visit a retreat center, you will surely encounter a number of people who value the same things that you do. People who take retreats tend to be similar in some ways, and since you and others are all there for the same general reason, you may develop deep connections with them in a very short time.
Further, since you will feel so revitalized at the time of departure, you may attempt or desire to incorporate some of the healthy routines and practices in which you participated at the retreat center into your everyday life when you return to your regular routine. Things such as daily meditation, yoga, journaling, or walks outdoors may be just want you need to bring the energy of the retreat center home with you in a small way.
Where to Go
There are a wide variety of wonderful retreat centers in the United States, and since they all differ from one another in location, philosophy, and vibe, amongst them all, there is really something for everyone. The Esalen Institute (Big Sur, CA) overlooks the Pacific Ocean, and offers hot mineral springs, with the Santa Lucia mountains as the backdrop. Rhinebeck, NY’s Omega Institute, just two hours north of New York City, provides a location for hiking, swimming, boating, yoga, workshops, massage, and other experiences. The Raj Ayurveda Center in Vedic City, IA invites both Ayurvedic practitioners and people who are new to Ayurveda to experience an immersive, stress-free, meditative experience on their one hundred acre campus. The Shambhala Mountain Center in Red Feather Lakes, CO focuses on meditation but also offers programs and workshops about mindful living, yoga, spiritual teachings, and more.
These are just a few of at least fifty large-scale, commercially operated retreat centers in our country, and with a little research, you will quickly find one that speaks directly to you. Consider trying a short-term retreat for starters to see what one is all about and to get you in the right state of mind, but soon after that one, you will be wanting more. Many people who go on personal retreats try to do so yearly, or better yet, bi-annually, or more.
Going on retreat will change your life. You will learn so much about who you are and who you want to be. Retreats give you a chance to escape from your everyday life, but they are so much more than a vacation. Through reflection, introspection, simplicity, and a quiet mind, you will renew yourself and return to your regular life feeling refreshed and inspired. For people in recovery, doing this periodically is not just pleasant – but it is vital. Take some time to yourself to learn and grow. A retreat is perhaps the best way to do that effectively. Enjoy!
At Clear Sky Recovery, we want to help you get started on the first steps to recovery from your addiction. Our ibogaine detox treatment is innovative and effective, and we invite you to experience it at our facility in Cancun, Mexico. We look forward to hearing from you; please contact us today with any questions!
Dr. Sola is one of the world’s leading experts in medically-based ibogaine treatment; he has more clinical experience with safe and effective ibogaine administration than any other M.D. in the world today.