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Berger, 33, a web developer, had attended a number of silent retreats over the past decade.Today's retreats last from a day to several weeks and take place at monasteries, colleges, spas, hotels and even hospitals.The retreat had activities scheduled from 5:30 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. There were about eight daily periods for sitting, along with set times for walking, yoga, group interviews, working, eating, chanting, meditation instruction and lectures on Buddhist philosophy.Mann said he's never been good at being still and found a 45-minute meditation on the second day physically painful and emotionally frustrating. For instance, the four-day retreats offered to students and faculty by Fordham University, in New York City, have some scheduled prayer and a brief daily meeting with a spiritual director, but the rest of the time is for personal reflection.
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