I hope this note finds you with plenty of internal sunshine. If not, there is some Irish sun coming your way, sealed in between these lines. Take three deep breaths and feel the fresh ocean air. The Irish sun is never assumed and always cherished.
On the topic of retreats, a friend recently shared scientific research she found (brain scans incl. long term studies of individuals) comparing mindfulness/meditation practice in retreat settings confer more benefits than daily practice. If you take two individuals with identical lifetime hours of meditation practice, there are more lasting changes in people who have gone on retreats (brains and behaviour).
Theory about why is that retreats are away from routine and environment. Schedules are not present. Retreats have some element of silent. In retreat settings people practice together. Retreats include a teacher that can provide instruction.
I have no question, I feel it on myself and see in others. The value of taking time to support and inspire ourselves, learn tools to cultivate joy and connect with nature are priceless. It is not a selfish act, on the contrary it gifts us the means to support the body, mind and spirit as well as others, especially when chaos occurs.
If affording a retreat for time or money stops you, check local retreats, even for a weekend. Look into bursaries. I do one per retreat. Ask if there is a tier pricing structure, or a volunteer involvement. There are options and you are worth it.
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