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Welcome to the Duke Health & Well-Being Programs website!

Urban Retreat

What kind of retreat is this?

Our goal is to provide a “retreat” from your everyday routine and a structured learning opportunity that will give you a chance to “check in” with yourself.  While this won’t be a spa day, and cultivating mindfulness takes focus and determination, we hope you leave at the end of Day 3 feeling uplifted and more relaxed!

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Can I do a mindfulness retreat if I have never done meditation before?

The mindfulness retreat is open to, and welcomes, participants with all levels of experience with meditation, even if you have never meditated before!  Instructors will provide guidance in mindfulness meditation practices and participants will have opportunities to ask questions about their experience with meditation.

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I have done other types of meditation (transcendental, insight, mantra, loving kindness, yoga, centering prayer), will you be teaching those at the retreat?

This mindfulness retreat provides instruction and emphasis on the forms of mindfulness meditation practice.  Mindfulness focuses on increasing the natural ability to notice what is happening in the present moment without judgment and is an ability anyone can cultivate through regular practice, regardless of their background, and can be applied in many different ways in our lives.  Guided instruction for awareness of breathing, mindful movement, body scan, or choiceless awareness are different meditation exercises that you may learn.

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What is a typical mindfulness retreat schedule?

The specifics of each mindfulness retreat will differ, but a typical mindfulness retreat can look like this: 9:00-9:15 am     Arrival & Opening Remarks 9:15-10:15 am    Meditation Practice 10:20-10:35 am Break 11:50-Noon         Meditation Practice and mindful walk to lunch Noon-1:15 pm     Lunch 1:15-1:45 pm       Teaching 1:45-3:00 pm      Meditation Practice 3:00-4:00 pm     Suggestions for Home Practice, Q&A, Closing/Taking the Practice Forward, Closing Council

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Why is the mindfulness retreat conducted in silence?

By simplifying your To Do list (even if only for a day or so) to “being present”, what might you notice? To create an opportunity for greater focus and attention we ask participants to refrain from conversation and social interactions for the majority of the time in the retreat.  Participants are also encouraged to refrain from personal device usage.  By agreeing to cultivate this silence as a group, participants offer each other support and the opportunity to experience the power of ...

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