There’s something to be said for deafening silence. Especially in today’s technology-mad world, where not only your devices are beeping, ringing, alerting, buzzing, but so are those of every person near you. If you’re brave enough to surrender your cell phone and any other device that keeps you in the (social-media) loop, get away from it all at a silent retreat. Here are a few of the digital detoxes that we’ve come across.
In NYC, unplug for a short 20 minutes at Modrn Sanctuary’s Somadome, a sensory-deprivation style dome spent lying in silence or hooked into binaural beats, using noise cancelling earphones combined with light therapy and/or guided meditation. Not in NYC? There are tons of sensory-deprivation tank experiences (otherwise known as “float spas”) popping up all over the country.
Deep Digital Detox
For longer, deeper detoxes:
A silent shout out to Lebh Shomea House of Prayer in Sarita, TX. This school of prayer welcomes guests who are earnestly interested in exploring their spirituality and keeping their silence to stay among hermits living in remote, permanent hermitages throughout the community.
Enjoy the sounds of silence at Mepkin Abbey in Moncks Corner, SC, where you can schedule a retreat or, if you so desire, study to become an actual monk. They call their once-a-month Fridays of total silence and solitude, “Desert Days.”
Foundations of Mindfulness at Leyden, MA’s Middle Path Healing Arts center is co-sponsored by the UMass Center for Mindfulness, happens three times a year and sells out quickly. This quiet practice includes guided sitting, walking, lying down and standing meditation, yoga and evening talks.
The Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY, explores Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, “embedded” within seven days of silence. The center advises seeking out “silent moments” in preparation for their retreats with helpful tips on the site.
A silent soak in hot springs? Yes, please. Oregon’s Breitenbush Hot Springs lodge pairs nature and solitude. But be prepared to relinquish more than just your devices; note the clothing-optional clause!
Getting the silent treatment isn’t so bad, after all.
A version of this article was originally published in June 2018.