DIY Meditation Retreat
December 27, 2017 10:00 AM   Subscribe

I'm planning on hosting a part-day meditation retreat for friends at my house. Goal is nothing fancy, just to offer some solid hours of mindfulness. Have you ever done this or attended one led by a non-expert? Would appreciate your advice on devising a schedule and finding good resources.

My experience: I've been on a 2-day mini-retreat with an expert leader, and I've had an on-and-off practice for ~3 years now.

My tentative schedule: 1/2 hour chunks of: sitting, mindful stretching/light yoga, sitting, walking, then lunch. for 3 hours total.

My questions:
- Any other chunks of activities I should add?
- Of the attendees, 3 are semi-regular meditators, and 1 is totally new. Should I buy a guided meditation resource for the sitting parts (Headspace, some tapes from the library... )? How about for the light yoga parts?

Plus, I welcome any other recommendations that will give this a good shot at being effective and centering. If all goes well, I'd love to make this a recurring, every-other-month event.
posted by estlin to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (3 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: This sounds like a cool idea. To answer your direct questions:

1. What you have listed sounds like a good plan. Perhaps if this is something you make into regular thing, incorporate other elements such as aromatherapy.
2. I would recommend guided meditation for at least a portion of the time, especially if some people are new. For the light yoga, it definitely needs structure but perhaps you could lead it if you have done some yoga teacher training. If not then there are some great yoga apps, I like YogaStudio.

Below are other things that would be important to me.

Is your house and more specifically the meditation space blocked from external noises and distractions? Depending on the situation I would find traffic and street sounds and noise from other family members or pets irritating.

Do you have a space that is large enough to comfortably fit all of the attendees with supporting furniture and equipment (cushions, chairs)? While I understand that meditation is technically supposed to be done while sitting, personally I hate it and need to lay down.

Are the spaces that will be seen by the participants clean, calming, and removed of any clutter? I would not get much out of meditating in a space that is cluttered.
posted by seesom at 10:28 AM on December 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I'd have the semi-regular meditators approve the tape. To a beginner, anything sort of soothing/relaxing will feel fine. But a tape one more experienced meditator finds a little cheesy will really irritate.

Consider a period of silent, non-interactive walking meditation (ideally in nature). That's good to break up any listlessness.
posted by Quisp Lover at 12:34 PM on December 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

I've meditated before, and went to a retreat once.

I'd warn people ahead of time if scented products are to be used, as some people are allergic to incense - which others use as a meditation tool.
posted by spinifex23 at 8:57 PM on December 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

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