Retreats can be designed for individual, group or team reflection. Retreating may be for one day (Quiet Day) or several days (Residentials).
At an Australian university, a number of academics developed a rhythm of twice-yearly residential quiet days plus periodic residential retreats.
The days involved extended silence for personal reflection combined with deep listening in small groups. There was a commitment to turning off technology for the duration. Many examples of personal and professional creative breakthroughs were reported as well as how the process aided general wellbeing.
Two of the outcomes involved the development of new cross-disciplinary units which brought together engineering, arts, and geography students to work together on real community projects in both rural and urban areas. Participating staff also met in an ongoing ‘community of contemplative practice’ which has continued to meet every 6 weeks in the years since.
"As a CEO working in a challenging and dynamic environment and probably addicted to a very busy workplace it has been hard to stop and take time for reflection and focus on myself.
The retreat at Merrybrook was a brilliant balance of sensual soothing for the soul and powerful lessons on leadership. It was also a timely reminder that soothing oneself can add years to your life and is essential to happiness and effectiveness."
- CEO Local Government