The meaning of a spiritual retreat can be different for different religious communities. In Hinduism and Buddhism, meditative retreats are seen by some as an intimate way of deepening powers of concentration and insight. Retreats secrets to spiritual power pdf also popular in Christian churches, and were established in today’s form by St.
Ignatius was later to be made patron saint of spiritual retreats by Pope Pius XI in 1922. Many Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox Christians partake in and organize spiritual retreats each year. Meditative retreats are an important practice in Sufism, the mystical path of Islam. A retreat can either be a time of solitude or a community experience.
Retreats are often conducted at rural or remote locations, either privately, or at a retreat centre such as a monastery. Some retreats for advanced practitioners may be undertaken in darkness, a form of retreat that is common as an advanced Dzogchen practice in the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. Spiritual retreats allow time for reflection, prayer, or meditation. They are considered essential in Buddhism, having been a common practice since the Vassa, or rainy season retreat, was established by the founder of Buddhism, Gotama Buddha.
In Zen Buddhism retreats are known as sesshin. Christianity itself, the practice of spending a specific time away with God is a more modern phenomenon, dating from the 1520s and St. Ignatius of Loyola’s composition of the Spiritual Exercises.