I attended a 3 Day Silent Retreat at True Nature Retreat near Millersburg, OH. We were lucky to only have three of us students from UZIT program attending this weekend and one local gentleman for Saturday.
Friday and part of Saturday was a little agonizing for the hips for all 3 of us. What we were experiencing was between 20 and 28 minutes four times in a two hour stretch with 5 minutes of walking meditation in between. We did this type of sitting several times a day. We had plenty of break time but not enough for a full recovery (I needed a week).
When we first arrived we had an hour of orientation and talking before we went into silence. Dave told us about a nun who did a 3 year, 3 month and 3 day retreat. She said after the first year her pain was gone. Dave encouraged us to set cross legged facing a wall and try not to move. I did great Friday without moving. On Saturday I became weaker than a nun and chose a different pose and moved if I needed to.
During the lunch break on Saturday another student gave me a note that said her hips were killing her and she was forced to do a restorative pose during meditation from now on so she could function when she returned home. I showed Dave the note and pointed out it was all three of us in misery. Dave brought us together for a short meeting and we whimpered and cried about our aches and pains. Dave immediately changed his current itinerary and we literally had a silent blast the rest of the time. We had a price to pay for speaking about our agony which was we could not speak, make eye contact or touch until poem reading at 8pm, and again with all three rules the first half of Sunday.
Dave said this retreat was very intense up to the point we crumbled. He said all the other retreats they host are nothing like what we had experienced. The rest of the weekend was probably a taste of the retreats they usually offer.
Some cool stuff we did was walking meditation in the snow up the hill to the pond while it was snowing. They live in the middle of nowhere and it was like being back on the farm as a kid with complete silence except the gentle breeze through the limbs of the trees. Good stuff!
Each day we had a Yoga practice and Dave is the only person in OH certified in Breema so each day he led us through self Breema. On Saturday afternoon since there was only three of us he gave each one of us a Breema treatment. Sunday again since there was only three of us he trained us in a Breema series that we worked in pairs treating each other. We loved it.
Saturday night was an hour of poem reading that ran for at least an hour and half. Check out my previous post for more details.
Sunday afternoon as the day ended around 5 we were able to talk. We all connected and became friends in just three short days.
Silence was the easy part for me even though everyone who knows me didn't think I could make it. The hardest part was the first two meals. We were trying to be polite and nice not chewing to loudly or eat very much. When I bit into a carrot it was like thunder in the silence. By the third meal the gloves were off for me. I ate what I wanted and didn't care what sounds were coming from my mouth and nobody else cared.
In closing if you want a Retreat with great food, very clean and comfortable, True Nature Retreat will be a great experience hosted by a couple good people, check out Alana M. Generson and David Pratt at:
6721 Township Road 319
Happy & Healthy,