Silent meditation retreats - Never miss a chance to shut up by Suryacitta 
It is so very easy to live our lives in a haze of activity. The busier we become the more we contract into the mind and our world becomes smaller and smaller. The more we are locked into the mind the less time we seem to have and we tighten ourselves like a coiled spring, trying to fit everything in. At some point, the merest of incidents can set us off into irritability and anger. We are caught in the busy-trap. 
We need to be able to step out of the busy-trap, and to  
“shut up” talking and be quiet and listen to the world instead of our thoughts. 
Silent meditation retreats have become our most popular events by far, and a silent retreat is a time to step out of the madness and to just sit, stare, read and walk. 
On a silent meditation retreat recently I was reminded of the poem by WH Davies on how too many of us are living our lives.  It begins, “What is this life if full of care, we have no time to stand and stare”. 
In meditation, and on a silent retreat we give ourselves time to stand and stare, to lie on the grass and not give a care, to look at the sky and the clouds. 
On a silent mindfulness retreat we step out of the madness that can become our life and to once more begin to pay attention to things which matter. The first warm rays of the morning sun, the glow of the evening sunset, the warm breeze on your face. When we slow down and “shut up” we smell the flowers, the we can hear things we may have forgotten about, the hum of a bee, the neigh of a horse, the gentle rustle of leaves in the wind. 
But most of all a silent meditation retreat gives us the opportunity to observe and to face ourselves, and this is the most valuable thing there is to do. To face yourself, to see time and again just how you create your own world with your believed thoughts, opinions, judgments and beliefs. 
When we are caught in the busy trap we don’t see this, we believe the world is how we think it is and so we suffer as a consequence. 
A retreat in silence is not meant to be all nice and cosy for you, but is there to wake you up. The silent mindfulness retreats which we run at Mindfulness CIC are designed with this purpose in mind. We run them so that they wake you up to how life really is and to pull you out of your small thought made world. 
All our over thinking in our daily lives keeps us wound up, or coiled like the spring mentioned earlier. On a retreat we get the chance to step out of all that thinking, and when we do we naturally begin to unwind or to uncoil ourselves. This is a natural consequence of letting go of all the thinking that ordinarily we are so caught up with. 
Our silent mindfulness retreats are open to all. There are teachings from myself each and every day along with meditations and the option of one to one time with myself or Gaynor to discuss your practice. 
On the longer retreats of five and seven days, there is plenty of time to go for walks, relax in the sun (they are always in summer -because - I like the summer) or to do yoga / Thai chi or to just sit around under the boughs and stare like sheep and cows. The vegetarian food is always excellent, healthy and full of love. 
Our weekend meditation retreats are a little different. There are teachings and the meditations are 20 minutes in length. We have 20 minutes open period for walking or drinking tea. We do this very simple routine all day long part apart from a good long lunch period. 
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