Self-Compassion

What Actually is a Silent Retreat, and Why Go?

As a person who has practiced silent teacher-led meditation retreats for decades and led them for about 14 years, I’ve been reflecting on this question a lot, trying to see it through “fresh eyes” and with a “beginner’s mind”. With my own experience and great mentors to draw from, I thought I would share some of my evolving thoughts and feelings about what a retreat should or could look like, in the hope that these things might interest or inspire people to participate in a retreat.

Answering the Fundamental Question of Mindful Self-Compassion

It’s a simple question, really. But one that often brings on a state of perplexed astonishment when someone asks us.

“What do you need?”

Unless we are a sobbing child who has come rushing to his mother after some sort of sibling transgression, or we are urgently and frantically searching for the restroom in an unfamiliar restaurant, we have an unusually hard time answering that question.

Meet Your Inner Critical Coach

When asked what gets in the way of consistently performing at their best, most people can easily identify obstacles such as time, energy, scheduling conflicts, and distractions. These can indeed be areas that need focus but what I’ve found in my coaching practice is that most of our real obstacles are internal. Another way to say this is, our greatest obstacle to peak performance is often ourselves.

THANKFUL: Appreciating Beautiful Gifts from Children and Youth

Albert Schweitzer said, “At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”

Nowhere is this spark as bright than in the heart of a youth. Nowhere does there lay a stronger elixir to waken your purpose than in the sparkling enthusiasm of a child’s spirit. And nowhere is there a grander purpose than the need to ease the suffering of a child.

How About Making an “Old Year’s Resolution” to Be More Compassionate to Yourself in the New Year?

Perhaps you have seen the clever t-shirt depicting a pirate on his ship exclaiming “The beatings will continue until morale improves!” We tend to laugh at that sentiment because at some point in our lives we have probably found ourselves on the receiving end of that sort of “logic”. And we also laugh because we know it is a ridiculous notion that pummeling someone with negativity will bring about more positivity. It’s like continuing to put your car in reverse in order to move forward.