Silent Retreat Near Me: Use Our Guide and FAQs To Get You Started

Finding a silent retreat is easier using our guide and meditation app, with online and in-person retreats all across the U.S.

Denise Everheart

Allow me to introduce myself, I am silent retreats’ #1 fan! 🙌🙌 In my 50 years of meditating, I have easily taken more than 100 meditation retreats (including 70 plus silent retreats). Some were weekend meditation retreats, and some a week or even longer. 

The west coast, NYC, the midwest, the Blue Ridge mountains, and even Canada and India are all places I have attended silent retreats. I LOVE SILENT RETREATS! 

Maybe you’re wondering if a silent retreat is right for you. Or if you can find one in your area. Or maybe you want to know what to expect during a silent retreat.

I’m sure you have questions, and I will do my best to answer them. Let’s dive in!

What are some of the benefits of taking silent retreats?


So, you already know I have a lot of enthusiasm when it comes to silent retreats. It might seem strange to love silent retreats this much, but here’s why I think you will love them too.

Life can be hard. Stress and a never-ending to-do list with one challenge after another means there is little time to recharge.

A silent meditation retreat is the ultimate vacation for recharging your batteries. Typically for me, that new energy lasts several months and improves my daily life significantly.

spiritual direction

Along with an increase in energy comes greater mental clarity. Being able to focus on what really matters while enjoying better decision-making is invaluable!

Attending a silent retreat is also a surefire way to deepen your meditation practice and increase your overall resiliency. 

And then there’s significant personal growth. I cannot even put into words all that I have gained from attending silent retreats. It’s something you have to experience for yourself.

What do you do at a silent retreat?

meditation practice

My favorite silent meditation retreat is the one offered by the Art of Living Foundation. These retreats are especially nice for beginners because they ease you into silence, rather than throw you in as vipassana meditation retreats do (though experienced practitioners like myself also love the Art of Living Silent Retreats).

If you have any doubts that you can stay silent for the duration, the Art of Living Silent Retreat provides the right amount of structure and support to ensure you have a wonderful experience. There are even talking processes in the first session that help prepare you for being silent. 

mindful eating
Note: Prior to taking an Art of Living Silent Retreat, you will need to learn SKY Breath Meditation, as it is practiced on these retreats. SKY is a great meditation practice for everyday life. The SKY Breath Meditation course is like a mini meditation retreat itself.

Typically, the mornings begin with yoga classes, guided meditation sessions, and a light breakfast. Usually, there is time for nature walks or other alone time before the next session. Easy-to-follow guided meditations fill the rest of the morning before a lunch break. Many meditation retreats provide healthy and easy-to-digest vegetarian meals to ensure deeper meditations. Afternoon sessions include more guided meditations. After a dinner break and more time in nature, the last session typically includes time for questions (written) answered by the instructor. 

The Art of Living Silent Retreat also includes time for video content on various topics by Art of Living’s founder, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Other activities I will leave for you to discover when you take your first Art of Living Silent Retreat.

What kinds of silent retreats are available?

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There are many different types of silent retreats. Residential retreats are some of the most common meditation retreats. But with the availability of Zoom, it is now possible to retreat from the comfort of your home with a “virtual” online retreat. I especially enjoy this type of retreat when I can’t easily get away. 

Online retreats have the ultimate convenience in their favor. Your own home could host your next silent meditation retreat!

When you do want to get away, the Art of Living Retreat Center in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina offers Wellness Retreats, R&R Retreats, Happiness Retreats, and Private Retreats, in addition to the Art of Living Silent Retreat. They also offer a wonderful retreat called Stepping Into Silence, which teaches you SKY Breath Meditation prior to going into silence.

walking meditation
The center also has a labyrinth on campus for you to enjoy a walking meditation anytime.

I think it is worth noting that the Art of Living Retreat Center was recently voted 2nd Best Wellness Retreat in 2022 by USA Today in their 10 Best Readers' Choice Awards

And in October 2022, United Airlines featured our retreat center in their magazine “Hemispheres” as one of the top five restorative retreats

It’s one of the very best meditation retreats in the country!

How do I find a silent retreat center near me?

retreat center

Thanks to the Art of Living Foundation, “pop-up” residential retreats are offered regularly by local chapters all over the U.S. 

Often local groups rent facilities for weekend retreats, making it easier for you to find a retreat near you.

Use this link to find silent retreats, meditation workshops, and yoga programs either close by or online. With filters for online/in-person, course type, dates, time zone (for online programs), and even instructor, the Art of Living Journey app makes it easy to find what you’re looking for!

How much do silent retreats cost?

serene environment

If you are a Journey+ member you can take an online silent retreat for as little as $50! In-person local weekend retreats typically run $400-$700. 

The retreats at the Art of Living Retreat Center have a wide range of fees based on program choice and accommodations. Program options are varied, and you can choose between single rooms, double, and triple occupancy.

Ready to learn more?

To know more about our Silent Retreats, join the Power of Silence—a FREE online intro session. Click on the image now to choose a session that works with your schedule.

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Dive into silence, and enjoy a renewed sense of energy, purpose, and clarity!

ART OF LIVING PART I COURSE Discover Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s ancient secret to modern well-being

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