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Long-term Residential Retreats

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  • Long-term Residential Retreats

    Every year I plan a retreat for 3-5 days. Its just a phenomenal experience and often wish I could do 10 days or 3 months. However, my community activities, work and home life doesn't allow for that allotted time now. I do attend Non-Residential 1-2 day Retreats often though.

    My issue is, which I understand is somewhat common, after those 3 or 5 days, going back to the non-retreat world is difficult to adjust to. I immediately fall into a depression and the desire arises to shave my head, jump on a plane to Thailand and become a Nun. I become "attached" to the like-minded lifestyle and people and upon departing almost feel as if I'm not going home, but leaving home.

    As I'm making my plans now for the this retreat this arose and wanted to share and learn if anyone experiences this so intensely

  • #2
    Dear Michelle,

    It sounds like you are really getting into your practice. It is common after finishing a period or intensive practice to have difficulty adjusting to the "real world". I have spoken to Ajahn Brahm about this effect and he says that even he finds coming off retreat a bit of a shock to the system. Being attached to meditation and solitude is not a bad thing. Those things which transcend suffering should be attached to. Try to take it easy when you come off retreat, don't go straight back into the hustle and bustle of worldly life. Even if you can give yourself a morning to adjust it might help.

    Cheers,

    J.R.

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    • #3
      Thank you for your insight. I will certainly keep your advice and suggestion in mind. _/\_ bows.

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