I honestly thank God for difficult times because I have two choices when faced with adversity. I can either go straight down the rabbit hole and plunge into the darkness or I can choose God, give the problem to him and just let go. The first path is what I normally would choose and honestly, I think it’s the path that most take.
I hit a bottom with the dark thinking and know that I just can’t plunge into the abyss anymore, I have to be happy, joyous and free regardless of what is going on. So, all I had to do was choose God and literally the difficulties, although they didn’t disappear, my reaction and care about them went away. I officially became a seeker. I bumped up my prayer and meditation and made sure to keep a conscious contact with God.
So I’m seeking now because I want to be happy, calm and peaceful and realize that I have no control over anything that happens in my life. The screenplay for my story was written before I was born and nothing I do can change the events that happen. So, with that said, with my new found seeking I have been reading many spiritual books and I’ve also been signing up for retreats. Without further ado, here are the Self Worth Diet’s top five spiritual retreats:
1) Self Realization Retreat – Encinitas California (San Diego) – You have to be a student in order to go on this retreat which is a mixture of meditation and classes. I paid the 50 bucks to get the SRF lessons a while back to become a student and it has been well worth it. The retreat is a mixture of meditation and classes.
2) Spirit Rock, California – Spirit Rock is near San Francisco and has a plethora of Buddhist teachers and meditation retreats. My favorite Buddhist teacher is Jack Kornfield and he is a frequent speaker guest there. He is also one of the founding teachers.
3) Dalai Lama’s Teachings, Dharamsala, India – No list of anything spiritual would be complete without the the Dalai Lama, not just because my father and I inadvertently slept next to him for a week but because he is the very embodiment of peace and compassion. His talks are typically free.
4) Kripalu, Massachusetts – Ahhhh the Berkshires…It’s where my parents live. They actually live down the road from Kripalu. It’s a gorgeous setting in the woods. They teach many courses and have day retreats and other kinds of retreats. They have yoga, dance, classes, massage, facials and various different mind and body classes.
5) Gampo Abbey – Pleasant Bay – Nova Scotia – This is Pema Chodron’s Buddhist monastery. They have retreats there which consist mostly of silent and walking meditation, just like any Shambala center in the U.S. If you can’t meditate for hours on end, do not attempt this kind of retreat. I include Gampo Abbey because Pema Chondron’s is one of my favorite spiritual writers. She wrote the fantastic book, “When Things Fall Apart” that changed my life in early sobriety.
I also want to say there are some good AA retreats as well. Although I have to say the men seem to get the better retreats than the women. Who knows maybe I will start a retreat of my own. Enjoy the list and retreat away!