Meditating in the monastery: finding stillness in a noisy world
A monastery is a place of silence and contemplation - a place that more and more people in this noisy world long for. Within the walls, visitors encounter a regular daily routine and, far away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, a space in which mindfulness and connectedness can develop. If you want to press the pause button with a stay in a monastery to get a little closer to the inner center, you will always find better ways to do so.
Holiday in the monastery?
What shapes your daily routine? Do you also belong to the growing group of people who no longer have time? No time for family, friends or even for yourself? Anyone caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life thinks about escaping more than once a day. Just get out of the stress. A wellness weekend should ensure short-term relaxation. There, between the swimming pool and the 5-course menu, you want to find it - the relaxation, the peace. But we often don't manage to do that during a two to three day break.
We now know that a longer recovery phase from everyday life is necessary to really switch off and recharge the batteries. More and more people are making a conscious decision to retreat. The epitome of such a retreat is a stay in a monastery. More and more monastic communities are opening up to tourism and offer a variety of possibilities. Stays that focus on meditation and mindfulness are particularly popular. Silent retreats, where there is silence for days, are becoming more and more popular.
When the silence gets really loud
Without a vibrating smartphone, loud TV and bad news, many distractions simply fall away. But even without everyday distraction, a room of silence is created, which can suddenly be unbearably loud. In the monastery you will find trained therapists or experienced meditation teachers who can competently deal with emerging issues or who are at your side with advice and action. It therefore makes sense to pay attention to competent support or experienced meditation teachers when planning.
Meditation and retreat - what a monastery visitor can expect
Tastes differ, and so do monasteries. Male and female monasteries of different religions, traditions and religious affiliations are increasingly opening their doors to those people who are looking for this temporary lifestyle. What characterizes many of these monasteries - regardless of religion - is the repetitive, structured daily routine. Monasteries that adhere to the Rule of St. Benedict, for example, structure their days according to his rule "Ora et labora" (pray and work).
A typical daily routine (between Monday and Saturday) in a Catholic monastery usually looks like this:
- Shortly after five o'clock the first prayer (vigil) is called, at seven o'clock there is breakfast.
- From eight o'clock we work or teach.
- At noon at twelve o'clock we pray and eat together.
- In the afternoon one dedicates oneself to the work in the monastery garden or the library.
- Vespers follows at six in the evening
- Shortly thereafter there will be dinner and a few hours of free time
- At half past seven there is often a joint reading or a lecture followed by night prayer
Monastery guests who book a temporary stay are involved in this daily routine depending on the type of stay. You don't have to be religious or spiritual. Anyone who wants to meditate and find peace is also in good hands in the monastery. As a rule, the monastery doors are open to all people.
Three monasteries for your meditation practice
Open and diverse: Gut Aich European Monastery in Austria
Anyone interested in a longer stay in a monastery can take part in prayers and meals with the monks in the Benedictine monastery Gut Aich in St. Gilgen as part of the "Monastery for a time" program. Individual days or health weeks are also possible. In addition, the local Hildegard Center offers massages, physiotherapy and psychotherapy.
Silence: Capuchin monastery Irdning in Austria
In the archaic-looking Capuchin monastery in Irdning, visitors will find the absolute opposite of wellness tourism during the "Days of Silence", which the monastery has been offering for over 20 years. Here a complete retreat from the "outside world" is possible - the monastery is a place of silence and contemplation. The residents celebrate the simple life and invite guests to the days of silence, days of retreat and the ten-day contemplative retreat.
Indian Ashram: Swami Rama Ashram in India
Why stay close when you can roam far away? Rishikesh is known, after all, as the world capital of yoga. In the Swami Rama Ashram there, surrounded by magical nature, you can combine yoga with meditation and get to know India. All denominations are welcome in the ashram, the program is tailor-made.
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