10 Things I Learned at a 10 Day Silent Meditation Retreat

I recently took a 10 day silent meditation course, with no true reasoning or intention other than my own intuitive whisper. This experience was hugely powerful, life changing in ways I may never be able to fully express, and completely wonderful and I recommend it to anyone who thinks even for a moment that maybe they should go on this adventure. Taking such a deep dive into oneself is more transforming than one would think. You can imagine all you wish, but the growth you find when you can openly greet the unknown is never really what you would expect. I certainly learned a lot and while a lot of it is hard to put into words, I have 10 things to share from this experience.

1. The World is Really Loud

Coming home from 10 days of silence and a lot of meditation will really show you how loud the world is. Not in a volume way, in a noise way. A lot of the noise is a good thing, and it can be purposeful. Yet a lot of the noise is unnecessary madness. Sifting through what is essential and worth attention, while this practice is trying at times, is an essential tool in itself.

When coming back from an experience like a silent meditation course, in such a hyper aware and observant state, you quickly find that much of the busy-ness of the world is unnecessary. Everyone is doing their thing and sharing what they think or feel is valuable of themselves, but that may not be valuable to you. It may not resonate with you, or you may find a lack of integrity in more places than you thought you would. Our fast pace brings us more chaos than we need, and this can blur our vision. Taking a moment to step back and slow things down within ones life allows for any fog to clear. It is then we can see all angles of a moment, and from that point of view there is always a chance to find beauty in something you before may have thought was less than beautiful.

2. It Isn’t Very Hard To Shut Up

Most would likely think that not speaking for 10 whole days would be quite hard. I know I did! I can tell you though, it is not hard at all. In fact, myself and most of the others I spoke to at the end of the course I attended agreed that once we started, we didn’t really want to talk at all.

3. It’s Kind of Hard To Shut Up

Mentally,  I mean. Anyone who practices any type of meditation is probably familiar with this. It can be kind of tricky to hush your thoughts, especially when the ego begins to
freak out and talk over all of the soul magic that begins to bubble up in an experience like this. Learning to observe thoughts, and allow them to pass or choose purposeful thoughts is a great lesson and it is worth doing the work for. It may be hard, but it is not impossible!

4. Once You Become Quiet, Everything Becomes Wise

This reminds me of a favorite quote of mine, “The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” -Ram Dass. When you can truly quiet everything down within yourself all negativities begin to fall away and wisdom fills every open space possible. Every feeling, perspective, and experience (past + present) all realize with newfound wisdom, especially in places where there was none before. This leads to major healing and growth.

5. No Lesson Has To Be Drug Out

We as a species tend to keep ourselves in our own miseries much longer than we need to. Negativities and discomforts serve their purpose of teaching. They will do so either way — whether we let the sensations last for a mere moment, or hours, days, or years. You can choose how quickly (or not) and painlessly (or not) you move through your trying times.

6. Awareness Makes Everything Easier

Purely having more awareness in life makes everything easier. It brings more simplicity, understanding, and gentleness to anything and everything. It allows for a more peaceful perspective and less reaction and attachment. No one is perfect, but this truly makes a lot in life feel better.

7. Everything Is As It Is, and Everything Will Change

This is the Law of Nature. Everything is and always will be ever changing. The cells in your body, your emotions, the atmosphere, the nature of your breath, leaves on trees, etc. Everything is just as it is in the moment, and with each new moment it will change. So if you are unhappy with this moment, have patience for the next.

8. Life Is What You Make It

Cliche, maybe. It is beyond true though. You can choose how you react, or if you react at all. You choose every road you go down, what you make of every experience, how you see the world, and how you show up to life.

9. We Can Truly Do Anything

So long as you set your mind to it with fierce dedication you can truly accomplish anything you wish to. 10 days of silence with 10+ hours of meditation each day is not all bliss and love letters to god (don’t get me wrong though, there is a good amount of that). It is work. Sitting with yourself and only yourself is not always fun. In the end the experience is beyond worth it, and 10 days is nothing. You can accomplish anything always.

10. There Is A Deep Peace Within All Of Us

Perhaps this is Enlightenment. Perhaps this is Wisdom. Perhaps this is Connection. Perhaps it is Joy. Maybe it is all of the above. Whatever it is, this deep space of peace is within all of us. The journeys there are never the same, and some don’t even know it is an option or believe it is everyone’s to experience. I am here to tell you it is, and you will find it if you objectively and boundlessly seek it with patience and loving energy.

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