Advice on setting clear guidelines for retreat participants
In the past we’ve had some problems with guests not understanding the importance of silence and how to give other participants space. When you have a participant who is observing strict silence, it can be very impacting to have someone approach them and try to initiate conversation.
We now have documentation about our guidelines that we share with people before they come to the retreat, and when they arrive we help them to understand how we define “retreat”. We also do a lot to prepare guests for what might come up for them during their stay, especially if they will be observing silence. For example, we will give them information on how to manage distraction, and give them tips on dealing with boredom. We also set up a system to manage any incoming communication with the outside world so that they can go deep into the experience knowing that we’ll let their family know they are okay.