Why Retreat At Home?

In writing yesterday’s post on planning your meditation staycation, I left out a crucial bit of information: WHY you would want to spend a day in an at-home retreat.

I love going on vipassana retreat, and if you can do that I would absolutely recommend it over and over. As a complement to retreating away, here are a few reasons to retreat at home:

1. Continuity of Practice
Mindfulness and meditative mind-states don’t require that you go anywhere. Presence is available here and now. Realize the power of continuous practice in a familiar setting. It is possible to bring awareness to daily tasks, and to find freedom and insight at home. This may profoundly change the way you occupy your space and go about your days.

2. Your Habits, Revealed
Practicing at home reveals the multitude of ways we seek distraction and entertainment. If we go on retreat, many of these habitual distractions are absent. Retreat life is like a giant laboratory of seated meditation, an artificial environment that we create to learn and support mindfulness practice as practice. At home, surrounded by our habits, it becomes clear pretty fast how often we’re eager to jump off the meditation cushion, and when and why we give in to those impulses. And what happens if we don’t. Less reactivity = more equanimity.

3. Increased Energy and Ease
Even though there’s a lot about an at-home retreat that is challenging, I find a level of relaxation at home that supports my meditation practice. There’s literally nowhere to go, and as a result my body and mind don’t have to contend with the stimulation of the outside world. After setting aside a day for practice, often my energy level is high, my concentration is strong, and I’m clear-eyed. I’ve often got a bit of that It’s Love! shiny feeling — buoyant and settled at the same time.

Let me know how it goes….
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