Sit, Walk, Don’t Talk: How I Survived A Silent Meditation Retreat

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.

Publisher: Parallax Press (May 30, 2017)
Distributed by: Penguin Random House

Reader Reviews:

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“If you’ve never been to a silent retreat, you need to read this book. If you’ve been, but not for a while, you need to read this book. This is one of the most honest accounts I’ve ever read of what a silent retreat entails.” —D. Harman

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“Jennifer Howd leads us on a journey of raw honesty and compassion with a dose of wit that makes it ok for us to start our own perfectly imperfect, and potentially profound, mindfulness journeys.” — A.Wilczynski

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“Sweet little book that made me both laugh out loud, cry—and want to go out there and sign up for a meditation retreat.” —S. Montesino

Click here for more reviews of the book’s first edition on