A Winter Cocoon of Connection: The Benefits of a Silent Retreat

Oh, navigating this modern and busy life. It’s so easy to get lost in the flurry and fill your days with go, do, run, rush, more, harder, faster, and mind-spinning stories. Yet, the need for pause is something we all have felt in our bones. What might it be like to slow down and listen your way through life?

The great journey of inwardness ushers us to meet life in its fullness including inner and outer frontiers where another world awaits our arrival. When we give ourselves to silence, what we find is intimacy. Quiet and stillness offer an opportunity to catch up with ourselves, come home, make room, and meet ourselves in different, deeper, more connected ways. Sometimes it is only by stepping back, standing still, and creating space that we really see the painting of our life and what it has to say and begin to understand some of its meaning.

Kripalu’s recurring Silent Retreat naturally invites you inward to a place where you can feel the essence of life and awaken to who you truly are.  Author Francis Weller says, "silence infuses our lives with unexpected meetings- a process of hollowing out so we can open to what is emerging.” A shared silence with community, or sangha, courageously invites you to cultivate a relationship with the unknown, to touch the whole of your vulnerabilities with tenderness and care, and open beyond narrow thinking to greater wisdom. Togetherness is how WE find our way.

As we embark on a new season and the nights grow longer, the quiet whispers of winter months bestow guidance for rest, renewal, and hibernation. It is a time that naturally invites us inward to a presence that honors and welcomes the untamed, wild, confusing, unfathomable wonder of existence, to feel the essence of life, and to awaken to who and what we truly are. All of which rarely have a chance to surface unless we intentionally stop to listen. This quiet, reflective space coaxes us to the core of remembering what matters most in this life and how to live and love more freely—self, other, and world. When we can meet ourselves in an open, curious, kind, and patient way, a broader possible future arises allowing us to trust the process of transformation and attune to new ways of being.

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Jess Frey (she/her), E-RYT 1000, is a Kripalu Yoga educator, life coach, and artist known for her authenticity, motivation, and depth.

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