Jennifer Howd had been building a mindfulness practice for a few years before taking on the challenge of her first nine-day silent meditation retreat. In this debut memoir, she chronicles the humorous—and often harrowing—adventures of the dueling inner voices that emerge in the silence: one intent on focusing on the seemingly negative aspects of her experiences, and the other on helping her see the positivity that can come from them.
Illuminating for those who are new to mindfulness and resonant for those with established practices, Sit, Walk, Don’t Talk: How I Survived a Silent Meditation Retreat also includes a helpful appendix listing tips for preparing for a silent meditation retreat, including a section for undertaking a retreat on your own.
Sit, Walk, Don’t Talk is written from a secular perspective and will appeal to folks who’ve never attended a residential retreat but are curious about the experience and want to get a taste of what to expect before possibly taking the plunge. Practitioners who dream of going on retreat but cannot make the time will also get a lot out of Howd’s story, as well as folks who’ve been on many retreats and want to recapture the feeling without leaving home.
Jennifer Howd is a writer, editor, and a mindfulness facilitator certified by the Mindfulness Awareness Research Center (MARC) at the University of California, Los Angeles. She offers mindfulness classes, workshops, retreats, and one-on-one mentoring for individuals and organizations seeking mindfulness-based tools for expanding awareness and fostering a greater sense of well-being. For more information, visit jenniferhowd.com.
Buddhist teachings and meditation offer a roadmap to help college students and others in early adulthood incorporate mindfulness into their lives as a means of facing the myriad struggles unique to this stage of life.