How To Do A Basic 2-Day Solitary Meditation Retreat [Video]

Via Jayson Gaddis
on Dec 28, 2008
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All right friends, this is a short 10 min video on how to get started on a basic meditation retreat–alone. 

For the past 5 years, I usually spend two days to two weeks alone somewhere in the Colorado mountains in a retreat cabin. Doing what? Thinking. I’m supposed to be meditating, however.

Thinking is how I typically spend most of my time on retreat. But for some, they may experience peace, emptiness or emotions such as fear, paranoia, joy, grief, anger, hostility, anxiety, dread…I could go on and on. 

In all seriousness, I have had some very emotional retreats experiencing the highest of the high and the lowest of the low.

I notice that when I first arrive at the tiny cabin and make it home, I can’t wait to get started. Then a few hours into it I wish I were somewhere else. It all points to how my ego would rather not be present and I drift off to fantasies about eating coconut bliss in the comfort of my own home, snuggling with my wife. 

If you stay for the length of your retreat (whatever amount of time that is. Some folks do it for 20 years!) a lot of teachings can come through about how you are and about how you operate. It is very helpful for the path. 

Even if you don’t meditate, the stillness and solitude of the wilderness setting can be very healing. 

I’ve done retreats where I don’t bring books or even a journal. I just sit there with no distractions except for the kitchen and the food that I want to eat, even though I just ate. 

Other retreats have been more relaxed for me. I give myself permission to read, write and even go on exploratory hikes to places I’m not supposed to go. 

For you, it might be an interesting experiment to just sign up for one and commit to a weekend if nothing else. No need to get crushed by a 2 month long retreat right out of the gate.

I did my retreat at DKD in Gardner Colorado although there are other good ones elsewhere such as KTTG in Crestone.

Of course, if you go, it is important to get some basic meditation instruction

Here’s the video link. I’d love your comments, especially if you’ve ever done a solitary retreat!






About Jayson Gaddis

Jayson Gaddis, founder of The Relationship School® , and host of The Smart Couple Podcast , is on a mission to teach people the one class they didn’t get in school--”How to do intimate relationships.” He was emotionally constipated for years before relationship failure forced him to master relationships. In 2007 he stopped running away from intimacy, asked his wife to marry him and now they have two beautiful kids. When he doesn’t live and breathe this stuff with his family, he pretty much gets his ass handed to him. You can find him here: Jayson Gaddis or sign up for a free training here if you are dealing with an emotionally unavailable man like Jayson used to be. You can also become a fan on Facebook here: Jayson Gaddis Fan Page.


4 Responses to “How To Do A Basic 2-Day Solitary Meditation Retreat [Video]”

  1. Ellen says:

    A beautiful setting that was captured well, and practical info. for one who dares to venture into a solitary meditation retreat! Thanks!

  2. Todd says:

    Great article, Jayson, thank you. This is something I’ve long thought about doing. I’ve tried doing it at home here and there, but the number of ways to distract myself is simply remarkable. Perhaps I just need to take the next step and just isolate myself as you have done. Thank you for the suggestion and tips!

  3. admin says:

    FYI, would-be retreatants:

    New Year Update from your southern Colorado solitary retreat center.

    We wish everyone a healthy New Year.

    Mid-Winter slow-down:
    It’s still happening. We have a total of only seven retreats scheduled from January 24 – March 10. This is our traditional slow season, but that is a worryingly record low.

    You can still schedule a retreat utilizing a mid-winter discount: From January 24 – March 10, 2009. All cabins $25 per night four nights minimum retreat stay.

    How you can help:
    We send many thanks to all of you who continue to support DKD through one-time and monthly donations. This year those donations will enable us to pay necessary bills.

    Send a donation or sign up for monthly donations and help support DKD. We can accept automatic bank withdrawal, credit cards or checks. We still offer one free night for every $200 donated per year. Use our PayPal option on the web-site for one time donations and retreat payments.

    Group Retreats:
    If you want to do a group retreat practice here, let us know. It works best if a group of people contact us to schedule the time.

    March 11 -22: Chakrasamvara Drupchen.
    Pre-requisite: Chakrasamvara Abhisheka. No prior retreat experience needed. Suggested price: $50 night, which includes lodging in a retreat cabin, two meals a day and all the practice, feast and shrine supplies needed. There is still room for a few more people.

    Wish List (as before):
    New sets of ten metal shrine bowls. Available through Sharchen Imports.
    Shrine backdrops for cabins (76” x 36”) – Prefer washable gold satin.
    Shrine Photos: Sakyong Mipham, Rinpoche and HH 17th Karmapa. Framed or suitable for 11” x 14” frame.
    Twin bed (foam) mattresses for cabins.
    Small Jerry containers for cabins. Nothing larger than three gallons – McGuckins in Boulder has the Reliance brand.
    Tea Kettles, small French Press coffee makers
    Bed pillows: Medium firm – new or like new only.

  4. […] And yes, I am qualified to teach meditation as a certified meditation instructor! Oh, and if you want to learn the basics of a solitary meditation retreat, click here. […]