How Does A Silent Meditation Retreat Help?

A student recently asked Shunyamurti, “How does a silent retreat help?” In response, he wrote this inspirational essay on “The Power of a Silent Retreat.”

The Power of a Silent Retreat

If you are coming to a retreat because you have decided you want to be free of the suffering caused by the ego, and you are willing to do what it takes to attain Self-realization—which involves deep meditation, then a silent retreat can be of enormous help.

This is because the capacity of the ego to keep consciousness captive within its illusory world depends on its ability to maintain its equilibrium through the production of a certain kind of mental discourse and behavioral ploys to sustain subjectively favorable kinds of social bonding.

The silent retreat, conducted in an energy field governed by Dharma, minimizes the opportunities for the ego to impress others, to form couples, to massify in order to collude against the power structure, or otherwise to act out its multi-faceted imaginary/symbolic representational pseudo-existence, producing conflictive scenarios in its wake.

Once outer silence is accepted, it is far easier to make the mind subside into inner silence as well, especially once one feels the relief and healing that such inner peace provides. The deeper one enters into meditative Silence, the more wisdom is accrued, the more detachment, and the more independence from the Other of the phenomenal plane. This is the significance of the mantra Om Namah Shivaya.

This is also the true meaning of meditation:

to bring the attention to its Silent core of Pure Egoless Presence and have the power to abide in this immovable, impeccable, and impervious Center of the Real. This is the significance of the mantra Shivoham.

When Silence is total, then the Supreme Understanding unfolds. Awareness transcends all frames of reference, all symbolic grids of meaning, and all mental and sensuous attractors. The Silence is the infinite consciousness that contains all Knowledge and thus abides as the timeless changeless Absolute. About This, nothing can be said, nothing can be thought. This is the significance of the mantra Om Tat Sat.

A silent retreat helps the attendee to gain control over its own sabotaging mind and to bring its full attention to its essential Self in order to become coherent, discerning, expansive, empowered, and egoless. By cutting off the options of using language to foment the ego’s desires and enjoyments, the silent yogi starves the ego of its junk food diet and forces the awareness to nourish itself from its living Source.

Through silence, the ego is eliminated as a factor in consciousness, and life becomes a fulfilling expression of the infinite divine nature of Pure Presence, the Knower and the Dreamer of the Cosmic Dream.



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One whose consciousness has merged with Brahman, the Absolute, and thus has been liberated from all desire, fear, attachment, and material frames of reference. Thus, a Brahmachari naturally lives a life of celibacy, simplicity, and inner solitude.


Meditative meetings in which the highest teachings are shared. Shunyamurti also offers guidance during questions and answers to resolve the most difficult and delicate matters of the heart.


Information, energy, or nonlinear change that occurs as the effect of events that take place in the future and alter the past, which is perceived in the present as non-ordinary phenomena, synchronicities, unpredictable emergent properties or other notable explicate arisings. The source of such forces may also lie beyond chronological time, in higher dimensions of the Real.

The process of non-process:

Since awakening is instantaneous, along with the recognition that one was never really in the dream, but enjoying the creation of the dream, it must be understood that making awakening into a process can only be part of the dream, and has nothing to do with Awakening itself.

The Real:

When we speak of the Real, unless otherwise qualified, we mean the Supreme Real. The Supreme Real does not appear. Appearance is not Real. All that appears is empty of true existence. There are no real things. All that is phenomenal is temporary, dependent, and reducible to a wave function of consciousness. The world does not exist independent of consciousness. There is no matter or material world. All is made of consciousness. Pure consciousness is Presence. It is no-thing, non-objective, not in space or time. All that appears in Presence, or to Presence, is an emanation of Presence, but is not different from That. This is one meaning of nonduality.

The Real is also a term used in Lacanian psychoanalysis. What Lacan means by the Real is that aspect of phenomenal appearance which is overwhelming, traumatic, or impossible. We would call that Real One. It is a relative Real, not Absolute. We add that there is a Real Two, which consists of divine love. Love is not an appearance, but it changes appearance, through recognition of its Source, into a divine manifestation, a projection of God’s sublimely beautiful Mind as infinite fractal holographic cosmos. Real Three is the unchanging Absolute, beyond all conception or image.

Dharma and dharma:

When we use the term Dharma (capitalized), we refer to our dedication to living in accord with the timeless principles of impeccable integrity that keep us in harmony with Nature and our Supernatural Source.

When we use the term without capitalization, we refer to our acceptance of the community’s processes, protocols, and chain of command with the “Haji! Spirit” of going the “extra mile” and working overtime when necessary to make the impossible inevitable, as our unconditional act of surrender to Love.