The weekend before last, we were fortunate enough to go on a meditation retreat. It was actually held at the same retreat centre that we are hosting our own three-day meditation and mindfulness retreat – Here and Now – in less than 4 weeks time. Wow, we can’t tell you how rested, refreshed, and utterly reinvigorated we felt all last week! We hadn’t been on a meditation retreat since our big trip to India almost 4 years ago. We were reminded how much of a difference it makes to step out of the rat race – into nature and into ourselves – even just for a few days.
In fact, David Strayer, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Utah who specializes in attention says that “when we slow down, stop the busywork, and take in beautiful natural surroundings, not only do we feel restored, but our mental performance improves too”. His research shows that there is a ‘three-day effect’ (the same length as our retreat) of being immersed in nature which acts as a kind of “cleaning of the mental windshield” so to speak. Whilst regular short bouts of meditation are instrumental in maintaining overall health and wellbeing, the power of engaging in extended meditation periods whilst being immersed in nature can’t be underestimated. Strayer says that if you can have the experience of being ‘in the moment’ for two or three days, it seems to produce a difference in qualitative thinking.
This certainly was the case or us. We literally observed our mind ‘de-bugging’ itself – sorting through all kinds of ideas, concepts, memories, worries, concerns etc. And then eventually it all slowed down and got into a really deep and restful state. The result? It’s left us more motivated than ever to host you on our own upcoming retreat! If you have even the slightest inkling that you would like to come, please send us an email and we’d love to schedule a chat!