Virtual retreats – Just when Canadians had started to feel like the worst of the pandemic was behind them, the world got a new Covid variant.
After months of anticipation and complex travel plans for the winter holidays, families around the world saw their hopes of reunions dashed by the surge of Omicron, cancelled flights caused by staffing shortages and expanded requirements for virus testing.
For the Western world, the pandemic is now nearly two years old, and the prolonged isolation and instability has created a widespread need for coping mechanisms that don’t involve risky situations in public places.
To help Canadians find a measure of solace and community, many in-person retreats have shifted to virtual events, allowing people to take workshops on wellness and spiritual health without leaving their house.
If you’re feeling the need for connection, personal growth, or just an opportunity to try something new, these retreats offer community without the large, in-person gatherings.
John de Ruiter Offers Online Dialogues
Philosopher and spiritual thinker John de Ruiter has been nurturing community in his homebase of Edmonton for many years. Every week, de Ruiter would host gatherings at the College of Integrated Philosophy, which he founded in 2006.
The gatherings were an opportunity for attendees to seek answers about issues in their lives, or pursue big-picture thinking about spirituality and wellness.
When the pandemic started, de Ruiter quickly moved the meetings to Zoom, and now hosts online dialogues several times a week. The prolonged retreats that he once hosted several times a year have also moved online. For example, he recently concluded his Winter Online Intensive, which involved “10 consecutive days of interactive live streams with John as we delve into the opportunity of this lifetime – to be what we are after we’ve died, while we live,” according to his website.
Visit his site here to see future opportunities for online meetings.
The Point Begins Offering Virtual Options
The Point Retreats started on a beautiful peninsula a few miles outside Pequot Lakes, Minnesota, offering visitors the chance to relax and enjoy 1,500 feet of shoreline across three different lakes.
As the pandemic continued, however, The Point has begun offering a virtual version of their popular retreats.
The virtual events offer a large degree of flexibility, letting attendees choose when and how to participate.
“During this retreat, we’re a bit like your on-call health coach or provider, and you can choose how and when you want to connect with us!” The Point website said. “We know how hard it is to stay healthy and well on a good day, let alone in the middle of a pandemic. Social isolation and distancing is necessary right now but let’s be honest, some days feel a bit rough. Being isolated can bring on a serious case of cabin fever, so to get out of it we’re launching our first ever virtual retreat!”
Isaac Shapiro is another popular speaker and teacher who has pivoted during the pandemic to virtual meetings through Zoom.
His website describes his Zoom retreats as “an invitation to participate in an online community and to have the direct sense of participating in each others’ wellbeing.”
Over his many years of experience working with others, Isaac has learned the ability to “track what is happening in the nervous system of participants,” according to this website.
“In the course of investigation, people spontaneously recognize the true nature of themselves, which many report as the experience of peace, unconditional love, compassion, or simply of being home,” the website said.
A Jamaican spiritual teacher based in Portugal, Mooji has become an immensely popular teacher and leader who gives frequent talks called satsang, as well as retreats.
Like the other teachers on this list, Mooji has started to embrace online, virtual retreats during the pandemic, allowing people to experience his wisdom from anywhere in the world.
Mooji held a five-day virtual retreat in January named “A Call To Awakening.”
“This Call to Awakening Retreat is for those who are genuinely drawn to self-discovery,” Mooji’s website said. “This environment is not for the merely curious, but for those who have a sincere and wholehearted commitment to self-discovery.”
Be sure to check his website frequently if you don’t want to miss the next online retreat.
To find more remote retreats, try visiting Retreats Online, which has a searchable database of retreats all over the world.