Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat Labor Day Weekend 2023
September 1-4, 2023
Location: Cinebar, WA
Shift your relationship to life by quieting your mind, rejuvenating your body and opening your heart. The Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat is a multi-day immersion in noble silence, allowing you to drop the everyday acts of doing and sink into just being.
In Hridaya Northwest’s Fall 2023 Silent Retreat you’ll be held in a container of loving silence, guided teachings and practices to awaken the Spiritual Heart (Hridaya), daily meditation and meditative yoga, all designed to connect you through body, heart and mind to your deeper Self.
Is life calling you to slow down?
Are you going through the motions?
Are you ready for deep transformation but something is holding you back (like not knowing how or being afraid of what will happen?)
Then you’re ready for a meditation retreat – a silent meditation retreat.
Ah! Silent? Like not talking? That’s scary. I can’t imagine being silent for any length of time. I can’t even sit still for a few minutes without finding a distraction.
Right – which is why you may feel so wound up. It takes time to slow down and learn how to let go – of your past, of your worries, of what the future might look like. Trust me, you’re not alone. You’re one of millions of people on Google searching how to let go of their worries and be more present and accepting.
A silent retreat is a kickstart to deep transformation, to slowing down and to learning how to enjoy every minute of life.
A silent retreat is for anyone who’s craving time to themselves, an inner transformation, and to experience what meditation can bring to their life. It sets you up for a committed personal practice and a road map to letting go.
What’s a silent retreat like?
The Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat is structured to give you guidance every step of the way. Participants practice noble silence throughout the entire retreat, from our opening circle to our closing circle. Retreat leaders will speak during sessions to offer teachings and guidance in the practices but will also be in silence outside of the sessions. You are encouraged to ask written questions about your experience, the teachings or anything you need during our retreat. You’ll always be able to contact a retreat leader for support.
The daily schedule offers both structure and spaciousness for your silent process. On our three mornings together we begin practice at 7am, and on our three evenings we end the day around 9pm. Our meditation sessions start out shorter and build up during the weekend. There is a 3-hour break after lunch for you to go for a walk, journal, take a nap or rest. Three nourishing, vegetarian meals are offered daily, using seasonal produce which helps you have the best retreat possible, not only in your mind and heart but also in your belly. Vegan and gluten free options are available as well.
Every day we practice hatha yoga – a gentle but deep meditative physical yoga practice in the style of Hridaya, the Yoga of the Spiritual Heart. Movements and poses are adaptable for all bodies and give you access to tools that bring embodied awareness into your daily life. Hridaya Yoga engages not only the physical body but the whole being in the attitude of yoga – integrated union. Postures and practices are performed with a focus on both the physical body and inner experience, turning physical practice into blissful meditation. If flow or vinyasa is your thing, there is also space every day to do your own practice.
What should I expect in a silent retreat?
Every silent meditation retreat is different – even if you attend the exact same retreat multiple times. The most important attitude to have in a silent retreat is to let go of expectations. A spirit of openness to what unfolds is essential to welcoming a retreat experience.
Grace, Dianna and Britt, your Washington-based retreat leaders, have over a decade of experience leading people through their personal transformation of yoga, meditation and silent retreats. We start with the basics of meditation and concentration techniques and build your understanding and experience throughout the retreat. Practices are accessible for beginning meditators and experienced meditators alike. You’ll learn how to listen to deeper parts of your intuitive self through yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, daily life contemplation, spiritual curiosity, compassion and intentional integration.
You’ll leave with a renewed strength and momentum to develop a daily practice which keeps you more calm, centered and present than you’ve been before.
Our meditation retreat atmosphere is a safe space for you to try out different meditation and concentration practices which invite a holistic experience of yourself and discover how you want to bring these practices into your life. There’s no expectation that you do anything perfectly or that you can even sit still! We practice together by increasing the length of our meditations day by day and building up our stamina in the practice. Your humanness is welcome – exactly as you are.
You’ll have the space to share your retreat experience on the last day and we highly encourage everyone to witness each other’s process and share your experience. This is sometimes the most profound session of the whole retreat after being in silence with fellow seekers.
What do we do in a meditation retreat?
Hridaya Silent Retreats are created to intimately experience what meditation is and to feel the inner transformation it can bring. During our meditation retreat, we offer practices centered on the Spiritual Heart – another name for the essence of our being. Practices come from a variety of traditions, including esoteric Christianity, Sufism, Buddhism, Tantra, Taoism and Yoga. All religious backgrounds, faiths and lifestyles are welcome in the Spiritual Heart! The atmosphere is one of love and strong spiritual support.
No previous meditation or yoga experience is necessary as this silent retreat is designed for beginner and advanced meditators alike.
Using techniques from these vast, mystical traditions and Hridaya Yoga, we’ll learn how to create the best conditions for meditation including cultivating awareness, mental concentration, meditation techniques based on opening to the Spiritual Heart and how to apply these techniques in daily life. The last day will include practical and concrete integration practices like how to create a home practice and maintain an open heart in the challenging moments of life.
Where is the Silent Meditation Retreat?
We will be hosted by a quiet home in Cinebar, WA, on beautiful Mayfield Lake just east of Chehalis. Our intimate weekend will include 6-10 guests and rooms are either single or shared. There are stairs in the home, so please tell us if you need an accessible room and we’ll do our best to accommodate.
The home features wrap around decks with a panoramic view of Mayfield Lake, ample indoor and outdoor space to practice, walk and rest. Extensive cleaning will be done before our arrival and we will take all the necessary precautions for health and safety as we continue venturing the covid-19 time. On arrival you’ll drop into a quiet space of unwinding and feel the desire to slow down, breathe more deeply and step into silence.
All meals will be vegetarian, and lovingly prepared with locally sourced, organic food and freshly prepared whole food ingredients. Your retreat experience will be enhanced with this delicious, simple food. We invite you to share with us any food restrictions so we can do our best to nourish all bodies to their optimal health.
What does it mean to be silent?
Silence starts with not talking…but it’s so much more.
We start with the intention to not talk or communicate once we set our container and begin the retreat. You are welcome to write notes to retreat leaders when you have questions or need assistance. Otherwise, we ask there to be no communication between guests, including not looking at other people’s faces, not making eye contact and not touching others. This may seem strict, but it opens the gateway to really focus internally, the whole point of a silent retreat. Once you get into the rhythm, you’ll be grateful for the space away from pleasing people or worrying about how they’ll react to you.
We ask all guests to maintain this noble silence throughout the retreat, which includes: no books, no electronics, no music, no phones or devices or other distractions. Again, this might feel extreme. The point is to not let yourself go to any distraction from what you’re really experiencing in the present moment. If taking a few days away from social media scares you, then you’re very ready for this journey.
We do encourage journaling to assist in the processing of your experience.
If you’ve never experienced the intimacy of silence – especially in today’s fast-paced, notification pinging, constant news driven, social media addicted, instant gratification world – you’ll never forget the spaciousness it brings. You’ll leave with more inner and outer love, tools to calm and center yourself, an understanding of what it means to let go, practices for deeper connection with other people, and the ability to be more present, conscious and to let go.
We hope you’ll join us for this special weekend dedicated to YOU.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is noble silence?
Noble Silence is a common practice in retreats which offers a rare and precious opportunity to simplify one’s daily routine, quiet the mind and cultivate an inward focus of attention. There is also the opportunity to go deep in our internal world and not be distracted by the social conventions that usually turn the wheels of our mind constantly.
By observing outer silence and temporarily renouncing our usual habits of conversation, we provide a support for the cultivation of a deep inner silence. You will be asked to refrain not only from speaking, but also from using electronic devices. We will explain more and provide an opportunity for asking questions before going into silence. Be assured you will always have the opportunity to communicate by writing messages to Dianna and Grace should the need arise. There will also be a daily Q&A session.
I’ve never meditated before. Is this retreat right for me?
Absolutely! Many new to meditation begin by attending a retreat. Retreats provide a wonderful opportunity to learn skills and to dive directly into the process, building momentum and faith in meditation.
I’m an advanced meditator. Will I get something out of this retreat?
As an experienced meditator, you have the opportunity to go very deep in this retreat and start from your level of practice. The retreat is designed to give you the gift of leaving the busy-ness of life behind and concentrating for an extended period of time. You’ll also gain new meditation techniques and practices focused on the Spiritual Heart and insights to deepen your existing practice.
How long are the meditation sessions?
Sessions will gradually increase in length from the beginning to the end of the retreat. Guests are welcomed to adjust their sitting position during sessions as needed and to use props to sit comfortably. Chairs are also provided.
Do we have to sit on the floor?
No, sitting on the floor is not required – there will be seats available as needed. If you do choose the floor there will be cushions and other items for maximum comfort. We will also teach some ways to sit more comfortably. We encourage you to bring any props/benches/cushions that you know will ease your seated practice.
What is the yoga like? Do I need to be flexible?
Hridaya Yoga is a meditative practice focused on going into the Spiritual Heart through the energy and movements of the body. It is accessible for all bodies and modifiable for any injuries or conditions. Don’t worry about whether you’re experienced at yoga or flexible.
What about the food?
We will serve lovingly prepared organic, vegetarian meals. We will do our best to accommodate restricted diets, including vegan and gluten free – you will need to let us know preferences on your registration form. For highly restricted diets you may need to supplement your own meals. A refrigerator will be available to store your personal items. We do ask that everyone bring snacks, as needed.
What should I bring?
A list will be provided after registration. You don’t need to bring anything to “do,” just the things that support you in being.
What should I wear?
Comfortable, layered clothing is best. The Northwest can be surprisingly chilly in the spring. Bring clothes you can sit, move and walk in. Bodies can get chilly during meditation and warm during yoga sessions. There will be opportunities to go for walks on your breaks. Bring waterproof clothing so you can go outside.
Where is the retreat located? How do I get there?
The retreat is located in Cinebar, WA. Directions will be provided after registration.
HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS AND AGREEMENTS
(These are subject to change as events unfold in the world.)
As the world is ever changing with restrictions of the Covid pandemic, we recognize that there is still a need to take precautions. We will do everything reasonably possible to mitigate this risk. We also trust that you, as a participant of this retreat and community, will do all you can to reduce your exposure risk to yourself and others before, during and after the event.
Before signing up and arriving, we ask that you do a deep and honest self-assessment and only attend if you can comply with the basic health and safety protocols and agreements (see below) for at least 7 days before the first day of the retreat.
If you are not able to attend the retreat due to COVID, we will be happy to refund you according to our refund policy above.
The Covid-19 Safety Protocols
You are welcome to join this training if you…
- will take a COVID-19 PCR test 3-6 days before arriving at the retreat and share your results with the organizers
- have no symptoms such as fever, cough, difficulty breathing, runny nose, sore throat, loss of smell/taste. If you have exhibited any of these symptoms or come into contact with anyone who has these symptoms in the 2 weeks before the retreat, we require that you speak to the organizer and get an additional COVID-19 PCR test before arriving
- have NOT come into contact with anyone who has COVID-19, and/or are showing symptoms of COVID-19. If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19 in the 2 weeks before the retreat, we require that you speak to the organizer and get an additional COVID-19 PCR test before arriving
- agree to limit your exposure to people outside of your bubble by social distancing and wearing masks around people outside your personal circle for at least 7 days before the start of the retreat
- agree to avoid social gatherings of people you don’t know for at least 7 days before the start of the retreat
- agree to wear a mask when traveling and inside public buildings such as grocery stores, restaurants, and other commercial establishments for at least 7 days before the start of the retreat
- agree to make every effort to practice good personal hygiene and wash your hands frequently for at least 7 days before the start of the retreat and at all times during the retreat, especially around food
All guests are welcome to contact the organizers about our COVID-19 safety requests and practices. Please note we will not be requesting masks at the retreat, which is why testing and safe practices before the retreat are imperative. Due to the intimate nature of the retreat, that no one will be coming or going after we’ve begun, we feel safe with these requests.
This form is required for liability reasons. These answers are viewable only by the organizers.
Required Private Covid Safety form: https://forms.gle/meGRnPDA7HPpj9BG7
Our responsibility to you…
To provide a consensual space where we can practice safely and comfortably in noble silence, we will be taking these additional precautions….
- we will be limiting total capacity (including facilitation team) to 13 people
- we will be not be requiring mask wearing at the retreat and guests are welcome to wear masks if they choose
- we will be dedicating time at the beginning of the retreat for a discussion about how to respect each other’s boundaries and health standards
We also recommend…
- that you consider self-secluding for 3-5 days after the retreat has concluded in order to protect friends and family that may be vulnerable (and to better integrate the unfolding of silence)
- that you take care of your immune system before, during and after the training. Several studies and articles have discussed the importance of keeping a strong and healthy immune system during this time. Take immune strengthening vitamins, eat nutritious meals, get plenty of good quality sleep and manage your stress levels.