A silent retreat is a foreign concept to many people. For good reason. Spending extended periods of time in silence is almost impossible. One of the most common questions asked about a silent retreat is, “Why should I pay to spend a weekend in silence?” And, “What is the purpose of a silent retreat?” These are both appropriate questions. Here is a response to these questions from Tim Boone:
“It may be hard for us to admit, but we resist silence. More than silence, we resist boredom. Our stimulus threshold has risen to a point that seconds of stillness feel like hours. We have become so accustomed to having information and social connection at our fingertips that we rarely switch off. The first thing many of us do as we roll out of bed in the morning is look at our phones. On our way to work, we turn on a podcast or listen to our favorite radio station. A recent report from the Nielsen Company, a data analytics firm, found that on average adults in the US spend almost 11 hours a day in front of a screen. Today, many parents are more aware of the physiological impact that screens have on children than in the past. The effects of blue light exposure have been more widely broadcasted causing many of us to limit screen time. This is the ugly truth: In trying to better control and manage our lives through technology, technology controls and manages us.
We need to accept the effects that our constantly connected and diversely distracted culture has on our spiritual lives. Our culture of restlessness and resistance has distorted our perception of our spiritual needs. Psalms 46:10 reads, “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” How often do we simply stop and contemplate our need for God? Embracing silence allows us to experience intimacy with the God of love. In the still moments, we are able to differentiate between the voices of doubt and fear and the voice of God. Paul Blane writes, “Silence is the sanctuary for God’s presence residing in the depths and recesses of our heart.”
A silent retreat is a spiritual immersion experience designed for anyone who desires to draw closer to God. For those who are in need of clarity about the future, parents in need of rest and renewal, those wanting to learn a new spiritual practice, the hurting and grieving, and the curious and skeptical, this retreat is for you. Through guided meditation, centered prayer, journaling and writing exercises, Bible study, and dedicated time for rest and contemplation, you will encounter God in new ways.
So, how do you know if you need to consider being a part of this silent retreat? Set an alarm or countdown timer on your phone for 5 minutes. Close your eyes and sit in silence and notice how long it takes to quiet your mind and heart of anything that would distract you from simply being still. Does your mind race with to-do-lists, unanswered emails, and news headlines? Do you feel a compulsion to check your phone or turn on the TV? Throughout this exercise did you reach a point where your heart and mind was clear to hear from God? If you answered yes to the first two questions and no to the last question, then this retreat will be beneficial not only for your spiritual life but for your physical life.
The dates for the silent retreat are October 18-20. The cost per person for meals and lodging for three days and two nights at Haley Farms is $235. Scholarships are available. Please email Tim Boone at to sign-up or for more information.