5 Things You Need to Know Before You Go on a Meditation Retreat

Thinking about going on a meditation retreat this summer? Here's what you need to know.

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1) What’s the Setting?

Urban-ish or rustic, vegetarian or vegan, silent or guided, beach or mountain, solitary or group—retreats come in all shapes and types. Make sure you like the space and geographical area. Find out whether the retreat center is aligned with your values. Are there chairs suitable for meditating in? Are you OK with doing some volunteer work during the retreat?

Find out whether the retreat center is aligned with your values. Are there chairs suitable for meditating in? Are you OK with doing some volunteer work during the retreat?

2) Who’s the Teacher?

Because of the huge range of teachers and retreats, you need to be sure you align with the teacher’s philosophy. If you’re skeptical of religion and wary of spiritual talk, say, look for a teacher who emphasizes secular values. Do a bit of research to make sure the teacher is respected in the meditation community. Talk to him or her. Do you feel an affinity for the way she speaks about meditation and mindfulness? Does she appear to have your best interests at heart?

3) What’s Your Level of Experience?

We won’t kid you: Spending the bulk of a day in silent meditation with people you don’t…

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