Spiritual retreats represent an often unique opportunity to experience a parenthesis distant from technological digital interconnections. Because spirituality is not a passing fad. If you are already imagining the mystical silence within the four walls of a convent, know that it is not only this that is spoken today when referring to spiritual retreats. Alongside traditional Catholic-style initiatives, there are many other types of spiritual paths that are offered to post-modern man today. These draw above all from the New Age area, from Buddhist meditation and from initiatives derived from these also offering secular ways, independent of creeds or religious confessions, to cultivate one’s own spirituality.
So whether you are in a prayer group among the most traditional walls of a convent, or that you find yourself immersed in nature meditating silently in front of the Buddha statue, or that you still participate in a spiritual growth group for the rediscovery of your Child Inside, some of the psychological benefits that you can get from these very different forms of spiritual retreats are much more similar than you might think.
A first aspect not to underestimate the benefits of spiritual retreats is that of representing an unrepeatable pause from all that postmodernity and technology today represent for us. And we’re not talking about a little healthy rest. Spiritual retreats offer our mind an opportunity to enter into a space-time dimension that is absolutely suspended and distant from everyday life, in which it is the contact with our interiority that is privileged with respect to the relationship with the outside.
The mobile phones are switched off, there are no car or urban traffic noises, often time passes in absolute silence; when most of the stresses that generally come from outside are missing, then we have the space to bring attention to ourselves; only in this way is it possible to regain contact with our most spiritual and contemplative part.
This suspension from the rhythms of everyday life may not be easy, since we are so used to being constantly bombarded with information, inputs and requests of any kind that our ability to concentrate is now dependent on this continuous multitasking. But in this constantly hyper-connected and digitized world, real ties to people or to a reference community often fail.
In this sense, spiritual retreats offer another benefit for post-modern man: the sense of belonging to a community, to the group of people with whom one shares a significant experience that creates a bond. Praying or meditating are activities that can be experienced very differently if they are practiced alone or in a group, silence and recollection become the silence and recollection of the group and not only of the individual, and this amplifies a sense of connection with the others with a supra-personal and spiritual dimension.
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