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5-Day Silent Retreat with Mindful Shenandoah Valley

If you're interested in a 5-day silent retreat near the mid-Atlantic region, I would totally recommend Shell Fischer's retreats with Mindful Shenandoah Valley.

The retreat's theme was "Keep Calmly Knowing Change" and focused on the 3 Truths of Life: impermanence (annica), suffering (dukkha), and interdependence or no-self (annata). I had no idea what these concepts were before this retreat and Shell not only explained them well, but she also helped us embodiy the concepts.

So full disclosure, I've been practicing meditation in the Vipasana style for about 7 months as part of my 300-hour meditation teacher training. I think if I had not had a daily practice, this would have been much more challenging and I may not have gotten as much out of it.

But even if you don't have a daily practice (maybe a few times a week), I think this would be a good silent meditation retreat. It wasn't as intense as other ones I've heard of.

Okay, enough about the meditation... let's talk about the important stuff. Food and accomodations.

View from the meditation room

For those of you who know me, I usually consider staying at at Holiday Inn Express as my version of camping. I knew this was more rustic than I was used to but I wasn't expecting it to literally be a former summer camp! I bunked with another woman, used a shower stall, and bathroom stall. But with that said, it wasn't THAT bad!

The food was vegetarian and served cafeteria style - it could have been a disaster, but it was suprisingly good and thoughtfully prepared. Honestly, I wasn't sure what to expect and I was pleasently surprised.

You can read my blog post on my experience: Hi, I'm Ming-Wai and I stopped talking for 5 days

Overall, it was a positive experience and I can't wait to do another 5-day silent retreat!

With love,


P.S. BIG NEWS! We're planning our first ming+ming retreat near San Luis Obispo at Sagrada Wellness in January 2025. Stay tuned!

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