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Emma Watson went to a ‘silent retreat’ to get over heartbreak


When actress and equal rights campaigner Emma Watson split from her boyfriend last year she said it was amicable — but still “horrendous.”

In the September issue of Vogue, Emma reveals that even before her relationship with rugby player Matt Janney ended she booked herself into a “silent retreat” to get over the heartache.

“I felt really uncomfortable, even before my relationship ended, I went on a silent retreat, because I really wanted to figure out how to be at home with myself,” she said.

Shortly before the difficult breakup, the former Harry Potter star booked herself into a facility in Canada’s Rocky Mountains that enforces a week-long silence vow.

More: Emma Watson on Time‘s list of the world’s most influential people

If I think back to my previous breakups I can’t say silence was ever part of the getting-over-it plan. In fact, probably the opposite was true. Noisy tears and/or toasting singledom with girlfriends (and a bottle of wine or two) was always more my style. But maybe there’s something in this silence thing. After all Emma always looks so, well, serene.

So I’ve done a little research and if you think you could benefit from a week of complete silence — breakup or no breakup — here are a few options: 

“Shattering the Great Doubt” 7-night Residential Retreat, Maenllwyd, Wales, Nov. 7 to 14 

The intensive silent retreat from Western Chan Fellowship provides a “supportive environment” in which to practise the ancient Chinese Zen practices of investigating Huatou and Gongan (Koan). During the practice, “one is confronted by a realisation that one does not know the nature of existence and one’s fundamental assumptions of life are groundless,” say the organisers. Price on enquiry; waiting list reservations available.

The Sharpham Trust Barn Retreats, South Devon, every week of the year

If you’re not sure if you could handle a week of silence, you could ease yourself in with a six-day retreat with The Sharpham Trust, which includes one full day of silence. Also included are three 40-minute meditation sessions per day, outdoor walking meditation and “mindful work practice” in the organic garden and woods. £270.

More: What is it about meditation that has everyone talking?

Vipassana Meditation Centre, Herefordshire, courses run throughout the year

Dhamma Dipa (Island of Dhamma) is dedicated to the practice of Vipassana meditation, a “process of self-purification by self-observation.” The 10-day residential course is only for those serious about meditating: 4 a.m. starts, 10 hours of daily meditation and silence is observed for the first full nine days. Attendance is a “gift” from a previous student and all courses are run on a strict voluntary donation basis.

More: 8 Steps to get over a breakup as fast as possible

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