A Personal Account of Meditation Retreat
Serif Sisman is the founder and CEO of VIVAVOYA. He is an astute businessman, a healthy-living advocate, and an avid mediator
I often get asked about meditation and whether it is the right choice for health and healing. The short answer is yes, but the outcomes are unique for everyone — for me it is the most engaging, profound, and rewarding things I have ever done in my life. The long answer is probably best explained through my personal account at a week-long retreat in Sardinia, Italy earlier this year…
You could say that I was experiencing a mini mid-life crisis and I knew I needed to remove the negative energy from my life, realign my objectives, and find balance again. So, I naturally turned to meditation and signed up for an advanced retreat in Sardinia, Italy. I needed a profound experience to kickstart this journey and I knew that this meditation retreat could deliver the emotional healing and direction that I craved.
Surrendering to the experience.
This particular retreat began with a morning meditation at 7am, another around noon, and a third one in the evening, with plenty of breaks and rest times in between. During the first few days, you are also required to participate in a challenge activity such as completing a grueling zipline course blindfolded which helps integrate the meditation work into your body. I am always pleasantly surprised to witness the profound revelations that myself and others go through during these activities, and they have been excellent tools in overcoming limiting beliefs, making big changes, and conquering fears.
By day 3, I find that I have settled into a pleasant rhythm and can feel the transformations starting to take root. This is also when my favorite style of meditation begins: the pineal meditations. Pineal meditation awakens the third eye and activates intuition, empathy, and decisiveness, but the 4am start and the 3+ hour duration can be grueling for first timers (thankfully the time flies and you honestly don’t feel it, but you are permitted to leave earlier if you so desire)!
“Meditation practice has been shown to benefit higher-order cognitive functions and positively alter brain activity.” – source
Letting go to grow.
One of the core components of a meditation retreat is to overcome your ego and work towards self-alignment. So, for me, I try to interact with other people and support them on their transformational journeys, which inevitably supports my own experience. One of the things that I love about this particular retreat is the ability to connect with other people, prior to the event, through a custom mobile app – this immediately creates a strong community and allows you participate on the same level of consciousness, while also sharing rides from the airport and discussing packing strategies!
This sense of solidarity transpires throughout the weeklong retreat, but it is especially apparent during the healing meditations. In pods of 8, we surround the individual that seeks healing and we focus all our energies on their intention. When it was my turn, I felt all the heavy emotions pour out of me and they were replaced with an instant lightness and spiritual awareness. I have also witnessed a woman regain her vision and another being able to leave her wheelchair and perform physical activities 1 week after major spinal surgery! The effects of meditation are far more powerful than most people realize; once you experience the life shifting benefits, it’s hard to go back!
A profound, lasting impact.
But now that I am home, I continue to meditate twice daily and have implemented various thought patterns to give me a more positive outlook on life. Meditation has played a pivotal role in my physical and emotional well-being and has been one of the best things for my health.
My advice for anyone considering a meditation retreat is to completely surrender to the full experience. Simply let go, because if you don’t, you cannot, and will not benefit, from the retreat.
Curious about meditation or would like to book your own retreat? Contact one of VIVAVOYA’s highly connected consultants to discuss your ideal experience, goals, and budget, and they will personalize a meditation package just for you. You may also want to check out our other blog post on the Importance of Meditation here.