7 Amazing Benefits of an Online Retreat
1.5min read – A connected, deep and profound experience can be had with an online retreat. This article looks at the benefits of attending one, particularly during these times, as we face physical restrictions.
Online retreats? You might say? Ridiculous.
I was blown away by the first online retreat that I attended. There were so many unexpected surprises AND the connection was just as deep as in person, the meditation just as profound and transformative. It seems that whether in person or on-screen, meditation works. Physical proximity is not a pre-requisite for powerful and moving group meditation. I find this concept mind-blowing, but it has been proven to me time and time again, both in the online retreats I have attended and those I have facilitated. I encourage you to find out for yourself.
The surprising magic of an online retreat
Think of it this way; if you watch a Dharma Talk or video by a teacher, even though the video may have been made 10 years ago, watching it for the first time still has a profound effect. When you watch the video, you connect to that teacher’s energy and the lineage of the teachings regardless of when it was delivered. I can’t explain this phenomenon, however, it feels like a connection to something much bigger than simply the experience in that moment.
There are also some unique benefits that can only be experienced in an online retreat and that I personally, have enjoyed:
#1 Creating a sacred, private space at home
In order to experience the retreat is a fabulous exercise in practicing self-care and communicating boundaries. Preparing your space can become a ritual and asking others to respect your space is important for your ongoing meditation practice. You are role modelling emotionally safe and healthy boundaries and self-care to those you live with.
#2 Easier transition back home
When I attend an in-person retreat there is always the transition home which can at times be trickier. The deeper I go in my experience, the at times more challenging I find the drive home. Simply the sight of the city skyline and the thought of a busy schedule has made me wish I was back in the bush experiencing bliss. During an online retreat, you are still in your home environment. At each break, we integrate and settle whatever has been stirred and deepened. At the end of an online retreat, I experience more ease about returning to my life. I felt more grounded and less de-stabilised, yet I had still experienced very deep connections.
#3 The comforts of home
A home space for retreat breaks is ideal for more introverted personalities who are less inclined to socialise. We can rest, eat the food that we like and simply relax at home. We can see our children instead of missing them and having them miss us.
#4 No travel!
Do I even have to mention that we don’t need to pack, fly and drive? Guess what this means? Not only less hassle and time but less carbon emissions!
#5 Saves money
Online retreats are far cheaper (usually by more than 50%) since we don’t have to pay for accommodation, food and rent workshop space. This makes them far more accessible and do-able.
#6 Connection with others
Meeting other people is still possible through the use of online breakout spaces and leaving the space open for socializing during breaks.
#Discover new ways to bring meditation to the fore
As a meditation teacher, it is pretty inspiring to see what can be done online. Video communication platforms such as Zoom and Skype for Business are providing solutions for when physical proximity is not possible. During this time of lockdown and social distancing – I can think of no better way to spend my time at home that on retreat.
Retreats and teaching meditation go hand in hand
There is so much to love about all retreats. Online and in-person. It’s where the magic really happens. If you plan to become a meditation teacher then attending retreats needs to become a part of your practice. The growth, connection, insights, profound learning and power of group meditation are foundation experiences. These experiences undeniably help shape your uniqueness as a meditation teacher.
My favourite way to learn is through experience. A retreat allows you to do just that.
Find out more about our in-person and online retreats