A retreat provides an opportunity and a caring container for undertaking deep meditation and spiritual exploration. The central practice is mindfulness, which enables us to discover a freedom of heart in the midst of all the difficulties of life. Mindfulness practice on retreat is often accompanied and complemented by training in lovingkindness (mettā) meditation.
Spirit Rock on-land retreats involve a gathering of around 30 to 100 or more participants. Most of the retreat is held in silence, and retreat participants do not speak to one another. Writing and reading are also discouraged, so that retreatants can better stay with their own present experience as it unfolds moment to moment. In this silent and mindful environment, awareness sharpens, the body quiets, the mind clears, and space opens for insight and understanding to unfold.