While there most certainly are incredibly great Silent Retreat options ready to book in beautiful faraway lands, sometimes you just simply don’t have the time to sit on a plane for 20 hours and be quiet for 10 days straight.
If this sounds like you, and you’re wondering whether a silent retreat (also known as Vipassana) can be done at home, then you can be sure that organizing a silent retreat at home for yourself is a great (and budget friendly) alternative that might be exactly what you need in terms of recharging yourself!
How to do a silent retreat at home: The most important aspects to keep in mind when wanting to create a successful silent retreat at home are good preparation, a realistic planning, some basic tools and necessities and giving yourself the permission to relax and shut out the world for an entire day (or more).
I personally plan a silent home-retreat for myself quite regularly and in this article I will walk you through my step-by-step planning for the ultimate ‘At Home Silent Retreat’, so you’ll be able to create your own home silent retreat with great ease as well! Sit back, relax, and dream away to your soon-to-arrive private quality time becoming a reality.
Step-By-Step Home Silent Retreat Guide
Make A Planning
When you want to create a successful silent retreat for yourself at home, that you’ll actually be able to benefit from in a positive way, making a planning is absolutely a top requirement.
First, pick the day (or days, if that’s what you prefer) you’d like to organize your own at home silent retreat and mark it on your calendar.
I personally like to schedule my retreat day at Friday or Saturday, as it allows me to truly create a sense of freedom in my mind and also these are the days of the week I normally have the least obligations to deal with.
If your schedule happens to be different though, and you feel like Monday or Tuesday for example works better for you, then that’s obviously absolutely fine as well.
Choose whatever day feels right for you (just try to remember to not plan your at-home-retreat the day your neighbours are planning on organizing a birthday party with 30 screaming kids in their backyard..)
Now that you’ve chosen your day of blissful silence, it is time to inform your family and friends that you won’t be available for any form of communication on this specific date.
It is up to you whether you inform them what you’re up to, but please remember you never owe anyone an explanation when it comes to doing what’s best for you and your well-being!
Create A Schedule
Now that you know the specific date of your at home silent retreat, and you’ve informed your loved ones you won’t be available that day, it is time to create a schedule for the day.
For this step, I will give you an example of what my personal At-Home-Silent-Retreat Schedule looks like for inspiration, so you’ll be able to create a nice schedule for yourself as well.
In the graphic which I’ve created for you below, you can see an example of my personal Silent Retreat At Home Schedule, with a more in-depth step-by-step explanation following underneath it.
Silent Retreat At Home Schedule
6:00: Wake Up & Shower: I know it’s tempting but don’t snooze! Jump out of bed and head towards the shower where you’ll mindfully wake up
7:00: Sitting Meditation: Now it is time for your first silent meditation of the day. I can recommend the video below for guidance (so you won’t have to use a timer)
8:00: Breakfast: make a mindful, healthy and nourishing breakfast for yourself, filled with vitamins and protein.
9:00: Sitting Meditation
10:00: Walking Meditation: during a silent retreat, you don’t necessarily need to stay home all day. Walking outside is great for recharging and connecting to nature. The ‘nature sounds video’ below offers great background sounds while you’re walking outside, to prevent other unwanted noises from disturbing you during your walking meditation.
11:00: Mindful Housekeeping: now it’s time to clean your house or a specific room while solely trying to focus on the cleaning process.
12:00: Lunch: make a mindful, healthy and nourishing lunch for yourself
13:00: Walking Meditation
14:00: Sitting Meditation
15:00: Journaling: write down any memorable thoughts or maybe even possible breakthroughs you’ve experienced until now today
16:00: Light Snack (+Tea): prepare a healthy nourishing snack and some (herbal) tea for yourself
17:00: Sitting Meditation
18:00: Dinner: make a mindful, healthy and nourishing dinner for yourself
19:00: Walking Meditation
20:00: Sitting Meditation
21:00: Shower Or Freshen Up: release all the build up energies of the day by taking a mindful shower or just freshen up (whichever you feel is needed)
21:30: (Herbal) Tea Time
22:00: Journaling: finish the day with a final evening journaling session to clear your mind of any lingering thoughts and/or feelings. For example, you can write down your greatest lessons of today and the top 3 things you’re grateful for, count your blessings.
Gather Necessary Tools and Supplies
In order to make your silent retreat day(s) run smoothly, there are some helpful tools and supplies to consider when preparing.
Healthy Foods & Drinks
The most important aspect when it comes to necessary tools and supplies are healthy foods and drinks (and some mindful snacks of course!).
Make sure to stock up on enough veggies & fruits so you’ll be able to create awesome smoothies and nourishing meals for yourself.
You could also prep your meals in advance and store them in your freezer for even more convenience on the day itself. For mindful snacks I personally love to make bliss balls and banana bread, absolutely delicious but without the sugar crash!
For drinks, I try to avoid coffee and drink mainly (green herbal) tea and water. In order to make sure you drink enough water throughout the day, keep a water bottle close to you as this will help to remind yourself to hydrate regularly.
As you will be doing quite a bit of meditational practices throughout your day, one thing I personally love to use is a meditation cushion (and one body-part in specific thanks me for this as well..).
You could also use a meditation bench, but I just personally prefer a cushion.
A meditation cushion can offer great comfort and support, and prevents you from feeling distracted during your meditation by any soreness or feelings of uneasiness in your body.
Even though during a true silent retreat (also known as Vipassana), reading and writing is usually ‘not allowed’, I personally however do use a journal to keep track of my thoughts and feelings throughout the day.
I’ve noticed it gives me the ability to reflect back on the day later on and see the patterns of self-growth which give me some great feelings of confidence and pleasure.
Of course, using a journal or notebook is optional, if you feel like you want to eliminate as much mental stimulus as possible, then just leave this activity out of your silent retreat. It is all about doing what is best for you.
Pick out some comfortable clothes for you to wear during your at home silent retreat. In order to be able to relax and wind down to the fullest, comfortable clothing can help you get in to the right mindset and give you a cozy feel.
Speaking about a comfy and cozy feel, candles are great for home meditations as they can help set a calming mood right away.
Last but not least, I like to keep healing crystals around as they have the ability to clear the surrounding space of negative energies. Each individual type of crystal has its own unique properties, which you could benefit from in a positive way.
Setting intentions is an important aspect when it comes to preparing for your at home silent retreat.
Grab a piece of paper or your journal and write down in what ways you hope to (spiritually) grow throughout your retreat day. This can be anything and is different for everyone!
Your intention of organizing a retreat could just be to quiet the mind and actively notice the sensations taking place inside your body, or your motivation could be to generate new creative ideas without any unwanted distractions.
Whatever your intentions are, write them down as this will certainly help you focus during your retreat day and heighten your chances of achieving the desired outcome you’re looking for.
To conclude, doing a silent retreat at home is a great alternative when you simply don’t have the time and/or resources at the moment to book a retreat in some faraway destination.
In order to be sure organize a successful at-home silent retreat for yourself, it is important to be well prepared by making a realistic planning, gather some basic tools and necessities and allow yourself to truly relax and have some well deserved ‘me-time’.
Organizing your own silent retreat at home is a great way to develop a stronger bond with yourself as you won’t get distracted by others voicing their opinions, and really learn to trust yourself and your own choices and thoughts.
A silent retreat can be a very empowering experience which you’ll probably be repeating for many times to come.