Both our inner and outer worlds are filled with noise and chatter, the one feeding off the other. On the one hand there is the constant inner chatter of the mind (the waswas) and in the outer world there is constant noise and distractions. Even when we are on our own we tend to send and receive texts messages or go on social media, many of addicted to such distractions.
The Prophetic way was interspersed with silence. Why else would the Prophet (SAW) have retreated to the Cave of Hira? Why was the Quran initially revealed in a context of solitude and silence? After the prayer of isha the Prophet advised on keeping silence within the household. Silence is an important feature of the Prophetic way and something that is often left out in our busy modern world.
The retreat is open to muslims and non-muslims alike. The study components will be made relevant to all who attend.
In a sense a ‘silent fast’ reduces the input of things triggering our constant inner dialogue. Silence helps to shift attention from the outward to the inward, enabling one to refine and build an inner Quranic landscape. Voluntary silence removes the outward pressures of conforming thereby allowing more focus on the spiritual aspects of our existence. In a chaotic and agitated world, silence brings substance and serenity, opens possibilities for contemplation and self-realization. With an excessive intake of information, things lose value and our lives can become filled with the mundane. With silence, concentration naturally focuses on what is really important.
The waswas – the ongoing and usually negative inner dialogue, has a limited lifetime, though the initial stages of silence can make it quite frantic. Usually, 24 hours of silence will start to slow thoughts down and decrease the arbitrary ranging around of the waswas.
Solitude and silence are not easy but they are doable.
The Alqueria Los Rosales is running a three day silent retreat run by Dr. Abdullah Treathan. The retreat takes place at the centre, located at the foot of the Sierra de la Sagra, an area of outstanding natural beauty and of renowned ecological interest and enormous biodiversity.
It will consist of periods of silence preceded by guided support, periodic guided self-reflections, guided contemplation sessions, study sessions on Quranic words, phrases and verse analysis and their implications for the self plus voluntary night dhikra and seasonal farm work. A more detailed account of the daily activities can be provided on request.
If interested, please complete the registration form
Dr. Abdullah Trevathan was born in New York and raised in Puerto Rico, Greece and Germany. Since the early eighties he has taught at all levels of education in the UK culminating in his lecturing in Education at Roehampton University in London and Comparative Religion and Philosophy of Religion at Masters level at Al Akhawayan University in Morocco. He has a Masters in Philosophy of Education and a PhD in Theological philosophy from the University of Birmingham and is currently engaged in the second year of a DProf course in Existential Psychotherapy. He has published work in academic books and articles. Dr. Trevathan has considerable experience in leading retreats for individuals and groups generally rooted around the Moroccan spiritual tradition. His is an earthy approach, not prone to overly ethereal discourse, rigorous in appealing for self-reflection and yet gentle at the same time. In 2006, he led a televised retreat broadcast on the BBC 2 entitled, ‘The Retreat’ providing insight into modes of thinking and being within classical islam. Dr. Trevathan currently lives and works between homes in Morocco, Spain and the UK.
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