To attend a retreat, or to retreat, is a way of stepping back from ordinary living to take time to renew, reflect, and recenter one’s life.
There are many ways to retreat and many places to do it:
The meaning of a spiritual retreat can be different for different religious communities. Spiritual retreats are an integral part of many Hindu, Buddhist, Christian and Sufi (Islamic) communities.
In Hinduism and Buddhism, meditative retreats are seen by some as an intimate way of deepening powers of concentration and insight.
Retreats are also popular in Christian churches, and were established in today’s form by St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), in his Spiritual Exercises. Ignatius was later to be made patron saint of spiritual retreats by Pope Pius XI in 1922. Many Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox Christians partake in and organize spiritual retreats each year.
Meditative retreats are an important practice in Sufism, the mystical path of Islam. The Sufi teacher Ibn Arabi‘s book Journey to the Lord of Power (Risālat al-Anwār) is a guide to the inner journey that was published over 700 years ago.
Facilities which can host individuals, couples and groups to host their retreats and events:
- Retreat Centers can typically host individual, couple and and small group retreats. They can host self directed and directed retreats as well as workshops led by retreat leaders. They often also offer their own retreats and programs. Monasteries, convents, Hermitages, Ranches, Lodges etc
- Conference Centers can host small and large groups. They offer a large variety of lodging and meeting spaces for group retreats in a variety of locations. Convention centers, hotels, resorts, ranches, Lodges etc
- In addition to their traditional camp program, camps often rent or lease their facilities to groups for summer or “off-season” programs.
Retreat themes : Art ,Acupuncture Addiction, Recovery, Aging,Animal therapy,Anxiety,Centering Prayer ,Chanting, Christian Meditation,Coaching,Contemplative, Cooking, Couples, Death / Dying, Depression, Detox, Drawing, Eco- Spirituality , Ecological. hiking Environmental, Family, Fasting, Fitness, Healing, Grief, Health,Health Education, Hydrotherapy,Illness, Juicing Learning,Loving Kindness, Marriage, Meditation, Transcendental (TM) Meditation, Midlife,Mindful Movement ,Mindfulness, Music, Nature, Nutrition, Painting,Personal Development , Personal Transformation, Philosophy, Photography, Pilgrimage, Poetry,Prayer ,Recovery / Addiction / 12 Step,Reflexology, Reiki, Relationships,Religious, Renewal Ritual, Sacred Geometry ,Senior ,Silence,Singles,Spa,Spiritual ,Spiritual Direction, Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius, Spiritual Studies, Stress management,Sufi Meditation, Team Building ,Theater,Travel / Pilgrimage,Vipassana (Insight),Wellness,Wildlife,Women,Writing,Yoga, Youth, Zen.
Types of retreat: Guided, Directed, Individual, Group, Couple, Personal, Preached, Sabbatical, Silent .
Day retreats, Week end retreats, Long term.
Retreat Spiritual orientations: Anglican, Baha’i, Baptist, Benedictine, Buddhist, Carmelite, Catholic, Christian, Cistercian, Dominican, Ecumenical, Episcopal, Franciscan, Hindu, Interfaith, Islam, Jesuit, Jewish, Lutheran, Methodist, Non-Faith Based, Open to All, Presbyterian, Protestant,Quaker, Shamanism, Sufi, Trappist, Unitarian, Universalist, Zen.