Retreats are a great way of developing your understanding and experience of mindfulness and meditation. They give a concentrated period of practice and reflection.

A typical mindfulness retreat will be a mixture of meditation, some teaching on a topic of mindfulness, and some discussion on a mindfulness topic. They can last a day, a week, or even longer. If they last over a day the retreats may be residential.

Retreats often are run in “silence”. That does not mean that speaking is forbidden, and in some of the discussions of course you have to speak. However, normal social chatter is discouraged. This is actually a good practice, as it helps to calm the mind.

If you are interested in a retreat, talk to a teacher. Retreats differ widely. There are religious retreats that are similar in many ways to mindfulness retreats, but the teachings are likely to be very different. Also, make sure that you are not diving in at the deep end – start with a few day retreats before you try a longer retreat, and build up your experience.

Mindfulness Wakefield run day retreats. Look out for them in our newsletters or on our calendar. If you are looking for longer mindfulness retreats, see the Mindfulness Network’s retreat website.