Retreat from the world?

Retreat from the world or renouncing the world is about being kind to one’s mind, to allow the mind to take care of itself.

It’s moving away from the so called ‘normal’ or ‘conventional’ worldly life that is subject to some particular thinking and belief that are influenced deeply by commercial and political ideas, and social or cultural or religious belief and practice. It’s moving the mind away from all kinds of worldly ideas, beliefs, custom, people, affairs, politics, activities, events, movements, objects, social medias, commercials, mingling, socializing, interactions, communications, novel reading, news reading, magazine reading, TV and movies watching, entertainments, talks, debates, gossips, criticism, slander, condemn, story telling, lies, hypocrisy, passions, desires, clinging, craving, ambitions, trends and hypes, and etc, to live a life of seclusion and solitude for a prolonged period of time.

Worldly activities such like talking, mingling, social interaction and communication, novel and news reading, movies watching, political analysis and debates, ideology discussions, and etc, are the main cause of restlessness of the mind and the fuel that feeds ignorance and egoism.

When the mind is free from ignorance and egoism through taking essential care for this mind, one can mix freely in the world but won’t be influenced by all the names and forms, and be undisturbed by the worldly conditions and situations.

If one truly wants to care for the world, but due to ignorance and egoism, one’s mind is being influenced by all the names and forms, and be disturbed very much by the conditions and situations of the world, then one should try to take care of one’s mind first. Otherwise, how can one help others when one’s mind is as lost and suffer as all the others’.

“You hurt me, and hence, I hurt you too.”
“You are unkind to me, and hence, I am unkind to you too.”
“I want myself to be good. I want the world to be good. I want everyone to be good. I’ll feel disappointed and angry if myself is not good enough, if the world is not good, if everyone is not good enough.”
“I want to contribute to the world. I want to be a hero to save the world. I would do anything to hurt anyone who would get in my way to do what I want to do, to be what I want to be, to achieve the world that I want.”

Be free.

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Want to join a yoga retreat?

What does the ‘retreat’ in yoga retreat mean?

Many people think yoga retreats are for people to enjoy a yoga ‘treat’ or ‘re-treat’ for oneself, where a group of people who like to do some yoga exercises come together to engage in a social ‘yoga’ meeting and interaction with some other people, and pampering their body and mind in pleasurable enjoyments.

It’s normal for people to think like that as there are many yoga retreats in the world that are not about retreating from worldly social interactions and activities, to turn the outgoing mind inward for self-inquiry. These yoga retreats are not about retreating from the social world to allow the participants to focus on their yoga and meditation practice to quiet the mind, but they are more into engaging in social activities and interactions getting to know some other people, and getting a nice ‘treat’ to pamper oneself in some pleasurable bodily and mentally enjoyments.

But, retreat is about retreating or renouncing from worldly affairs, objects, ideas, habits, social activities and sensual enjoyments, to quiet the mind, to have a period of time and space to focus on one’s yoga and meditation practice, to be with oneself, to observe one’s mind, to deal with one’s mind impurities, to limit mind inputs and outputs, even when there are some other people are participating in the same retreat. Everyone should minimize social talking or interactions as much as possible, to allow the mind to have the opportunity to move away from restlessness and its usual habits of actions and reactions, to calm and quiet the mind to know oneself. It makes no difference whether it is a personal private retreat or it’s a group retreat with other participants.

If people are more interested in worldly affairs, objects, activities, ideas, social meeting and interactions than their own personal yoga and meditation practice to conquer their minds through quieting the mind and the elimination of ignorance and egoism, and they expect to be meeting with other people in the ‘retreat’ to be socializing with one another, they can participate in many other kinds of social activities organized by many different people and organizations around the world. As those who expect to have social interactions in a yoga retreat, they might be disturbing other retreat participants who join the retreat mainly for a retreat.

Although yoga retreats are not necessarily including the observation of complete silence, but all participants should try to minimize and restrict their speech, mental and physical activities, to conserve energy for yoga and meditation practice, and allowing the mind to have some moments of quietness to contemplate upon the truth of all the teachings of yoga.

Om shanti.