What is a Spiritual Retreat?

retreats

The term ‘reclosures’ may be somewhat misleading as the meaning of a spiritual retreat may vary for different religious traditions. A spiritual retreat is a fundamental part of most Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, and Sufi sects. In fact, all these three religions employ spiritual retreats as a tool to enhance their spiritual awareness and lifestyle. The goal of spiritual retreats is to enable an individual to find a deeper sense of spirituality- see website for more

 

A spiritual retreat is usually held for four to eight weeks and includes cultural exploration, intellectual growth, socialization, and intense self-examination and self-awareness, usually through self-inquiry. During the retreat, the activities may consist of yoga, spiritual exercises, reading, writing, meditation, guest speakers, physical activities, cooking, sewing, and many more. Most retreat centers lay emphasis on learning to cook and eat healthily, and forty days of eating raw fruit or vegetable coupled with regular meditations is ideal for cleansing the body of all the accumulated toxins. A forty-day fast followed by a two-week duration period is all that is needed in order to complete one of these retreats.

 

Most spiritual retreats begin with a ceremony which is referred to as ‘Purana’; however, seekers from other traditions like Zen and other Eastern religions follow a different procedure. A purana is an essential part of any retreat. The purana is recited by a master or seer and involves emotional, mental and physical exercises designed to cleanse the soul and bring about spiritual awakening. Unlike a traditional retreat, during a spiritual retreat an individual is not required to eat only raw fruits and vegetables; they eat meat, cooked food and beverages. So if you are planning to go on a retreat, make sure you prepare all your requirements well in advance.

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