Sunday, March 4, 2012

24-hr Silent Retreat

Step 1: Choose your day

Plan ahead and choose a day that you don’t have to be at the office, or available ‘on call.’ A weekend or regular day off works best.

Step 2: Let others know

Post it on your Facebook page, record a special voicemail message, and setup a vacation email response letting friends, family and colleagues know that you’re unavailable to talk during this time. Make arrangements with your household, particularly your partner and children, so that everyone understands and respects your choice.

Step 3: Set up guidelines for the day

We suggest forgoing media - email, television, texting, etc. for the entire period of your silent retreat. Will you write notes? How will you deal with emergencies? Are gestures or sign language okay? Make a list of your own guidelines for the day and share it with your family so everyone is on board.

Step 4: Consider how you’ll spend the time

Mindful activities like yoga, meditation and journaling are natural choices during a day of silence. Spending time outdoors, or doing a beloved creative activity are also excellent ideas. Will you venture out in public? Or try to stay in solitude? Thinking and planning ahead will make the experience go more smoothly.

Step 5: Reflect

What did you learn about yourself while in silence? What was challenging? What surprised you? Spend the last hour of your day contemplating the experience.

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